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Thread: GR-DIII users your impressions?

  1. #1
    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    GR-DIII users your impressions?

    I'm thinking of upgrading my GR-DII to a GR-DIII and would like to know from those who have already done this what they think about the III compared to the II if they had one. Also would like to hear from first time III owners about it.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  2. #2
    ddk
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Go ahead and upgrade John, there are a number of key improvements in the GRD3 that make it worthwhile. Just so that you know, because of its focusing issues I never quite loved the GRD2 as much as the original GRD. With this one they have fixed the focusing enough to make the camera useable for street again.

    - The new lens is wonderful, its faster, sharper and imo even has a more beautiful rendering.

    - Better menus, as good as they were in the past they've made them even better.

    - Better AWB, the WB works surprisingly well.

    - Color is also excellent now, unlike GRD2 the jpg engine is once again wonderful.

    - Very fast raw speeds, dslr-ish!

    - You already know most of the rest, this is THE GRD!

    Yes I'm in love again....

  3. #3
    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Go ahead and upgrade John, there are a number of key improvements in the GRD3 that make it worthwhile. Just so that you know, because of its focusing issues I never quite loved the GRD2 as much as the original GRD. With this one they have fixed the focusing enough to make the camera useable for street again.

    - The new lens is wonderful, its faster, sharper and imo even has a more beautiful rendering.

    - Better menus, as good as they were in the past they've made them even better.

    - Better AWB, the WB works surprisingly well.

    - Color is also excellent now, unlike GRD2 the jpg engine is once again wonderful.

    - Very fast raw speeds, dslr-ish!

    - You already know most of the rest, this is THE GRD!

    Yes I'm in love again....
    You sure Tony Rose is not paying you for this? Looks like Tony gets some of my money this week.

    P.S. a GR-DII and 40mm adapter will be in B&S soon.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  4. #4
    ddk
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Unfortunately not even brownie points! You're going to be very pleasantly surprised; specially if you print your images.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Unfortunately not even brownie points! You're going to be very pleasantly surprised; specially if you print your images.
    I consider the Print to be the raison d'etre of photography.

    I was surprised at the GR-DII prints so it looks like I'll love the III.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    David,

    Just so that you know, because of its focusing issues I never quite loved the GRD2 as much as the original GRD
    What focusing issues were you having? Haven't seen any discussion regarding this here.

    I have the GRD2 and find the infinity and manual focusing hit or miss. Often I get better focusing for distant objects setting the manual focus to 1m instead of infinity. But it's not consistent. Using autofocus or stopping the lens down compensates for this, but it makes me hesitate to use manual focus wide open.

    Maybe my camera is broken, but I have sent it to CRIS for repairs several times and it always comes back pretty much the same.

    -Thomas

  7. #7
    ddk
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by trisberg View Post
    David,



    What focusing issues were you having? Haven't seen any discussion regarding this here.

    I have the GRD2 and find the infinity and manual focusing hit or miss. Often I get better focusing for distant objects setting the manual focus to 1m instead of infinity. But it's not consistent. Using autofocus or stopping the lens down compensates for this, but it makes me hesitate to use manual focus wide open.

    Maybe my camera is broken, but I have sent it to CRIS for repairs several times and it always comes back pretty much the same.

    -Thomas
    The AF of the GRD2 was the issue for me, there was a delay between the what showed as locked and what actually was locked on by the time camera fired off, this is an issue if you're using af with moving subjects.

    There were several discussions here regarding this matter, last one was with Vladimir, when he posted his initial impressions of the GRD3 a couple of months ago.

    *** Found it, scroll to no. 11 for question and no.13 for answer:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9266

    I never experienced the infinity focus that you're mentioning, but I think that I heard about it and I think that there was a firmware fix for it, but I'm not certain.
    Last edited by ddk; 13th October 2009 at 06:46.

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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Thanks David,

    I gave up on using AF for anything that moved so for me the MF issues are a bit troublesome. I guess I'll have to send the camera back to CRIS to see if they can fix it. Maybe the lens unit is loose inside and needs repair.

    -Thomas

  9. #9
    ddk
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by trisberg View Post
    Thanks David,

    I gave up on using AF for anything that moved so for me the MF issues are a bit troublesome. I guess I'll have to send the camera back to CRIS to see if they can fix it. Maybe the lens unit is loose inside and needs repair.

    -Thomas
    Original GRD's AF was the best imo but AF is now fast & useable again with the GRD3. I was also forced to use MF with mine but I don't recall infinity issues, probably because I rarely shot anything beyond 3.5 with the camera unless it was a large building, but I'd use AF for that.

    You should post your problem in a separate thread before sending in your camera, turn around time from CRIS is very long. Try posting to Vladimir's and DPR's Ricoh forums too, they're very friendly and helpful there.

  10. #10
    wbrandsma
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    I agree with David, John. The GRD3 is a fantastic camera. I had a loaner for a month from Ricoh and was impressed by the quality feel and actual performance. Not only the lens is impressive, like mentioned by David, but also the option to actually change the snap focus distance is superb.

    I posted a much longer impression of the GRD3 on my blog.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    I have bought a GRD III but am keeping the GRD II.

    So far I have found the GRD III can get a higher IQ in more difficult lighting conditions. Indoors and at museums and the like there is enough light to get a decent shutter speed at f1.9 and a reasonable ISO - I would have struggled with the GRD II or taken a blurry image.

    You have all read lots about the differences but here are a few of my personal observations....

    The LCD while gorgeous to look at has a slightly smaller font and text for the menus, no problem for me but the GRD II is chunkier in menus and icons.

    I use the lower right strap lug on the GRD II, it suited my grabbing and holding of the camera, however I look at the GRD III lower right lug and it seems less substantial, I worry it could wear through or break under strain - I'm using the top right lug at the moment.

    The camera seems quicker and quieter for power up, focus, everything.

    The various buttons seem more substantial, more positive and more "clicky" on the III

    While I like the GRD II output I think I prefer the look of the III files. So far my best RAW processor results seem to have come from RAWTherapee, but dont take my advice here as I am a RAW novice.

    I have to do some testing to see if the reported Macro AF focus issue is a problem for me but all in all I am very happy with the GRD III. If I lost or smashed my GRD III I would buy another!

    Here is a sample...

  12. #12
    Hypnohare
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Hi All:

    I want to chime in with my opinion.

    For the past 18 months, the only camera I used was a GR2. I LOVED that camera.

    But based on the specs, I sold the GR2 to a good friend and purchased the new GR3 (from PopFlash.com) about a month ago.

    Since I am "photo-monogamous", I really like to get used to a single camera and learn all that the camera can do. Furthermore, I only shoot in manual mode and like to control the Aperture, Shutter Speed, Focus and ISO settings. With practice I can very quickly hit the setting I want almost instinctively.

    Although, I admit that I often carry a tiny Sekonic Twinmate L-208 light meter to double check to see if I am setting the right exposure in tough lighting conditions (this is probably a bit of a crutch, but I can't help but be influenced by Ansel Adams and his "Zone System" from the classic book "The Negative").

    Getting back to the GR3, I am convinced that it is capable of two f-Stops greater sensitivity and since I like to shoot in natural light and in dark situations, to me the new GR3 was worth every penny I paid for it!

    That said, it did take me a couple of weeks of constant use to completely get used to it.

    Basically what I am saying is that if I had to shoot something really important, I could not do a good job with the new camera right away. I made a lot of over exposure errors in the beginning!

    Now, I am thrilled to be able to take low-light shots which I would have NEVER attempted before with the GR2.

    My guess is if I chose to set the GR3 to Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority the learning curve would have been a lot smoother.

    Just my two cents...

    Best regards,
    Levent
    www.LeventMagic.com

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hypnohare View Post
    Hi All:

    Although, I admit that I often carry a tiny Sekonic Twinmate L-208 light meter to double check to see if I am setting the right exposure in tough lighting conditions (this is probably a bit of a crutch, but I can't help but be influenced by Ansel Adams and his "Zone System" from the classic book "The Negative").
    Hi,

    I find that the GRD II gives exactly the same exposure as my seconic - i.e. it is a very good light meter!

    That is, when set to spot metering, which seems to meter within the small square in the middle (it takes into account a smaller area than the GRDI, fwiw).

    Of course you can't do incident metering, but if you're trying to do things along the lines of the zone system, you wouldn't really want to anyway.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    My GR-DIII is on it's way from PopFlash.....

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  15. #15
    Hypnohare
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Hi Johnastovall:

    I don't know if I mentioned this before on GetDPI or on another forum, but I thought you should know that I put the compact GV-2 viewfinder on my new GRD3 and was able to use the older GC-2 soft case without problems. The GC-2 case is only about $40 and allows you to hang a GRD3 with the GV-2 in the hot shoe slot with the case attached to your belt.

    The newer GC-4 case is $100 and is quite beautiful, but it is designed to use the camera (GRD3 plus the GV-2 Viewfinder), while hanging the camera from the neck strap.

    Personally, I like hanging the camera from my belt, But I will certainly get the GC-4 case, because it is old-fashioned and really gorgeous to look at.

    Levent
    www.LeventMagic.com

  16. #16
    Hypnohare
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by sizifo View Post
    Hi,

    I find that the GRD II gives exactly the same exposure as my seconic - i.e. it is a very good light meter!

    That is, when set to spot metering, which seems to meter within the small square in the middle (it takes into account a smaller area than the GRDI, fwiw).

    Of course you can't do incident metering, but if you're trying to do things along the lines of the zone system, you wouldn't really want to anyway.
    Yes I agree!

    I forgot to mention that I also have a folding Sekonic pocket Grey Card which really works well.

    I know with the histograms and modern metering systems, the light meter sounds like a dumb thing to carry. But for me it is mostly an educational tool that helps me check to see if the settings I sense in my head during the pre-visualization match up to the real world.

    Another thing is that I often teach friends about photography and the scales on the old analog light meters help me to explain the relationship between ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed to novices.

    Incidentally (pun intended), when I shoot videos, I often use both a Waveform monitor and a Spectra Pro IV-A cinematography light meter. The Technical Academy Award winning Spectra-Pro is fantastic for measuring foot candles and contrast ratios on the set.

    Levent
    www.LeventMagic.com

  17. #17
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post

    P.S. a GR-DII and 40mm adapter will be in B&S soon.

    John, I'm not sure what the 40mm adapter is that you reference, but there is no 40mm lens for the GRD III, and no plans from Ricoh to every provide one for the GRD III.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    John, I'm not sure what the 40mm adapter is that you reference, but there is no 40mm lens for the GRD III, and no plans from Ricoh to every provide one for the GRD III.
    Note "GR-DII" it is the GT-1. I'll be selling the GR-DII kit with the adapter that is useless on the III.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Mitch Alland, a former member here, wrote about his initial impressions here.

    i think it will be kind of an ongoing review as there are still bells and whistles he hasn't played with such as the Shutter Priority (something i always wanted).

    in-depth info on his b/w PP if you like the sort of looks he gets.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Mitch, was one of the reasons I got the GR-DII. I just could believe what he was getting out of such a small camera.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    yes, he got me started on the original way back when and i never regretted it!

    i moved up to the II when my first version broke and, whilst i used it constantly, it never felt quite the same to me... (possibly because i had no upgrade lust at the time?)

    the GRDIII seems to be the one i always wanted and i have been trying to control myself before i run out and buy it. i want it, mind you, and i still think Ricoh does these little cams better than anybody else. i forgot how much i loved them until i pulled them out to bring them up for Wouter to play with. the GRDs are just genius!

    i love my rangefinders. mind you, but for wide angle, i really prefer to have a small camera i can manipulate easi;y. not to mention, it's a PITA when i have to shove my M in my bag when i go grocery shopping.,, i want a teeny pocket camera again.

    just trying to hold off until the X1 or the rumoured new Ricohs are announced before i decide (i can't afford both, like you, as i'm still saving for the 9). micro 4/3rds doesn't do it for me, but APC-S may -- as i'd really like decent high ISO. what i haven't decided yet is whether that completely defeats the purpose of having a tiny pocket cam... which brings me back to the GRDIII.

    sigh. following and lusting...

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Cam,

    If you get Reid Reviews Sean has his review of the GR-DIII up and it will increase your Lusting. Found the lens (without specific resolution tests) seems to be almost at it's sharpest wide open, very Leica like.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  23. #23
    wbrandsma
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    And I will give her a look tomorrow night at some of the 800 photographs I took with the GRD3 in September. I really miss that camera. Even David Burnett likes it very much.

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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    John -- just got home (internet finally!) and off to read... i must admit i've come to have a newfound love again for the original, so the III has got some pretty big shoes to fill.... curious as to what you think of the shutter lag?


    oops! we kind of forgot that, didn't we, Wouter. so much to do, so little time....

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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    John -- just got home (internet finally!) and off to read... i must admit i've come to have a newfound love again for the original, so the III has got some pretty big shoes to fill.... curious as to what you think of the shutter lag?


    oops! we kind of forgot that, didn't we, Wouter. so much to do, so little time....
    I'm not seeing much shutter lag and it is much faster clearing the Buffer than the II. I'll pay more attention to that tonight and report back...

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    thank you, John. i'd really appreciate that!

  27. #27
    wbrandsma
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    oops! we kind of forgot that, didn't we, Wouter. so much to do, so little time....
    I am certainly impressed by the B&W jpegs from the GRDI, but I must say that the photographs from the GRDIII are just great. The RAW photographs are stunning.

    I hope you enjoy your GRDIII, John.

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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    IMO the biggest jump from the GRD II to the GRD III is the lens, the extra aperture is welcome but I think the sharpness and lens IQ is quite a step up. The GRD III lens seems very good wide open I think.
    Last edited by Tim; 3rd November 2009 at 15:10.

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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    I am not as experienced or sophisticated as many users of the forum, but I am absolutely amazed at the brilliance of design employed by Ricoh on the GRD-III. I never owned the previous version, so I can only compare it to other digital cameras that I have owned (including Canon and Nikon DSLRs, an M-8, and Olympus P&S). But it stands head and shoulders above anything else that I have tried in many important respects. Ergonomics, user interface, battery life, LCD quality and build quality are all outstanding.

    I actually replaced my M-8 with this camera, mainly because I wanted to use a high-quality camera that I could take anywhere without feeling at all burdened. And while it is limiting to have to use a fixed wide-angle lens, I can't think of a single criticism beyond that.

    I do hope that it proves to be a big success, as I would love to see what Ricoh might develop down the road with plenty of cash for further R&D.

  30. #30
    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    I wonder why there will be no 40mm EFOV lens for the new Ricoh? Has anyone seen anything about that?

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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Kit -- i think it had to do with the size/speed of the new lens on the GRDIII...

    it looks like (fingers crossed) we should have an announcement from them next week on the new camera: compact, larger sensor, and interchangeable lenses -- the 40mm is likely to be there.

  32. #32
    nei1
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    is it possible that the sensor might be smaller than asp-c?that might keep the depth of field,portability and tradition of the ricoh"s.can they really cvompete with olympus and panasonic?

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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    everything is all just rumours for now, Neil.

    the way i figure it, this new camera is going to be the next best thing to sliced bread or a total dog... i've no clue which.

  34. #34
    nei1
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    Re: GR-DIII users your impressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    everything is all just rumours for now, Neil.

    the way i figure it, this new camera is going to be the next best thing to sliced bread or a total dog... i've no clue which.
    I too hope its good;I feel increasingly embarrassed at having anything to do with leica and would love to have an excuse to sell the lot.The big things for me are the highlight range and focussing,.......lets wait and see!

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