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Thread: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

  1. #1
    Oxide Blu
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    Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    First impressions:

    - It's bigger than the GRD II, but not by much.

    - The lens ring extends slightly beyond the hand grip. The GRD II hand grip is just a tad beyond the lens ring.

    - There is an extra contact in the hot shoe, presumably for the GF-1 flash/strobe due out this fall.

    - The display ... WOW!!! ... This makes it all worth moving from the GRD II to the GRD III. If you are a GRD II user, the increased size and resolution of the GRD III display is going to blow you away. After playing with it for only a few minutes I was wondering how I ever managed with the lower resolution display on the GRD II. (And I absolutely loved my GRD II.)

    - There is a crap load more things in the menus. Scrolling (holding down the up arrow or down arrow) is now fast but not so fast that you can't take your finger off the scroll button and stop on the menu item you want.

    Ricoh hit a home run on this one. They did right to discontinue support of the GRD II. The GRD II and the GRD III are two entirely different cameras that share a common design and similar menu/button footprint.

    Now, to go play with the thing.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Photos! Photos!

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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Photos! Photos!
    +1
    +2
    +3

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    +1
    +2
    +3
    +4
    +5
    +6


    Please post a link to some RAW files if possible. Thanks

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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    +4
    +5
    +6


    Please post a link to some RAW files if possible. Thanks
    +7
    +8
    +9 for RAW samples

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    +10
    +11
    +12 for high ISO
    +13
    +14
    +15 for Dynamic Range

    You've hot some shooting to do, my friend

  7. #7
    VladimirV
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    I agree, I had a GRD III for a while now and have to say it is fantastic. The IQ is very good and ISO 1600 is perfectly usable, especially the RAW files.
    It is a massive improvement from the GRD II although I still prefer the b&w pictures from the GRD I, the noise just adds wonderfully to the images.
    This will give the LX3 and even DP1/2 a run for their money.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    PLeeeaaase post some photos and stop teasing us!

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    How much is it by the way?

  10. #10
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirV View Post
    I agree, I had a GRD III for a while now and have to say it is fantastic. The IQ is very good and ISO 1600 is perfectly usable, especially the RAW files.
    Are you a beta tester?

  11. #11
    ddk
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirV View Post
    I agree, I had a GRD III for a while now and have to say it is fantastic. The IQ is very good and ISO 1600 is perfectly usable, especially the RAW files.
    It is a massive improvement from the GRD II although I still prefer the b&w pictures from the GRD I, the noise just adds wonderfully to the images.
    This will give the LX3 and even DP1/2 a run for their money.
    Vladimir, what about the AF system, do the same GRD2 issues still exist? FYI I prefer both color (more natural) and BW (wonderful grain) from original GRD.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    [QUOTE=VladimirV;123561]The IQ is very good and ISO 1600 is perfectly usable, especially the RAW files. QUOTE]

    I don't mean to be questioning what you are saying but that is a very odd statement since I've read a review from a very respected spanish website that says iso 400 is still the border for this camera. I read this website on a daily basis and it is not likely for them to be wrong with their reviews.

  13. #13
    VladimirV
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    @Rafa
    I will post some samples and a quick review hopefully by beginning of next week.
    It depends what you consider usable but there is a lot of detail left in the pictures, the color is fine and the noise is not too bad and can be removed with noise ninja. I do not think ISO 400 is the most you can get from this camera. Keep in mind though that I am someone who finds the GRD I pictures at ISO 1600 perfectly acceptable while not being a big fan of the GRD II images at high ISO.
    I would say as far as small sensor cameras go the GRD III is the best at high ISO, from the samples I have seen it also beats the DP1/2 at high ISO if you shoot color.

    @TEB
    Something like that.

    @David
    Ricoh has fixed the AF issues from the GRD II, no more screen freeze, faster AF overall and the new customizable Snap mode and full-press Snap AF are great and make it prefectly usable for street photography.

  14. #14
    ddk
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirV View Post
    @Rafa
    @David
    Ricoh has fixed the AF issues from the GRD II, no more screen freeze, faster AF overall and the new customizable Snap mode and full-press Snap AF are great and make it prefectly usable for street photography.
    Great news, thanks Vladimir!

  15. #15
    Dawson
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    A bit of a trivial question for Oxide Blu, Vladimir or anyone else who might know actually!

    As Oxide Blu stated the III is a little bit bigger than it's predecessors, but does this mean the very cool new GC-4 case (The ever-ready-esque one) is also a tiny bit too big for the GRD/GRDII? If anyone has managed to get hold the case and is able to try out a GRD/GRDII in it I'd really like to know how snug/sloppy the fit is... I'd love to be able to buy the GRDIII but I haven't worn out my GRD enough yet - a case is also quite a lot cheaper!

  16. #16
    VladimirV
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    The main size difference is in height and due to the protruding lens so the case should fit the GRD I and II just fine but I could not test it. Don't see why it would not work though.

  17. #17
    Dawson
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Thanks Vladimir: it's probably a longshot but I might try and find somewhere that will stock it, take my GRD along and see if I can pair them up! I guess it has the tripod screw-in anyway so it's not going to move around or drop out once it's in...

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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Estimated at $700 in the US. Good as the GRD3 may be it will be hard to justify another small sensor camera for that much money today.

    I wish they would allow you to turn off noise reduction. I do that with all of my cameras. I'd rather have sharpness and noise.

  19. #19
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewteee View Post
    Estimated at $700 in the US. Good as the GRD3 may be it will be hard to justify another small sensor camera for that much money today.

    I wish they would allow you to turn off noise reduction. I do that with all of my cameras. I'd rather have sharpness and noise.
    I think it'll be a tough sell considering that $799 will get you an E-P1 w/14-42 lens. My gut says anything over $500 for a small sensor will be pushing it considering the low priced dSLR and now u4/3 market. That being said, I do take my DLux4 most anywhere and places/times where I even consider the E-P1 too big.

  20. #20
    VladimirV
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    I posted a quick first impressions post and some high ISO pictures on my blog:

    http://ricoh-gr-diary.blogspot.com/2...pressions.html

    More will follow.

  21. #21
    Member agoglanian's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    How would you guys compare the GRD III to something like the D-Lux 4?

    I've been happy with the D-Lux, I think it's definitely the best compact I've owned, but I've always liked the GRD series.

    I had the DP1 as well and it produced amazing results but just had too many limitations for me.

  22. #22
    VladimirV
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    I would say the GRD have the way superior controls and better build. They are alsmo more suited for street photography due to the Snap mode and possibility to save settings and use the Fn buttons for quick access to the main functions.

    The DL4 is more versatile due to the zoom lens and has the better JPG engine, which it needs to correct the lens distortion, and it also has the better video mode.

    IQ should be very similar now with the GRD III.

    Ricoh cameras are always the best when it comes to handling and controls. You want to go out and take pictures with them and enjoy experimenting because everything is easily accessible.

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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by agoglanian View Post
    How would you guys compare the GRD III to something like the D-Lux 4?

    I've been happy with the D-Lux, I think it's definitely the best compact I've owned, but I've always liked the GRD series.

    I had the DP1 as well and it produced amazing results but just had too many limitations for me.
    I have the GRD II and the LX3 - before both of these I used a Contax T3. The GRD feels more solidly built and IMO like Cris mentioned has the better Operating system. The protruding lens assembly on the LX3 makes it bigger and less pockatable. The colours of the out of camera GRD jpgs i really like, they are more natural and accurate for me. The LX3 colours while adjustable just don't seem to work as well. They are different cameras. I could live with something other than an LX3 but I'd always want a GRD.

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    Member agoglanian's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Very interesting to hear.

    I would be lying if i said I was unhappy with the D-Lux 4, perhaps my only issue is how small it is. I have large hands so I had to get that grip for it.

    I've gotten some killer results from it, but I would be intrigued to try the Ricoh. As long as the IQ is as good as or better than the Dlux

  25. #25
    Senior Member Y.B.Hudson III's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    yehh... I had a GRD's...the build quality was terribLe and the warranty service in the USofA was worse...it took 6 months for warranty work...which was in the end unsuccessful...the Camera was ultimately replaced by Ricoh, Japan. the image quality was good, the camera wuz shyte...

  26. #26
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    PLeeeaaase post some photos and stop teasing us!
    Nope! You're not ready, yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    How much is it by the way?
    I'm in Japan -- the camera cost me the equiv of $700USD.


    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirV View Post
    The IQ is very good and ISO 1600 is perfectly usable, especially the RAW files.
    I would have to disagree, based on my experience using the GRD3 day to day. I have NOT been "testing" the camera, I only have a few thousand shutter actuation now on my GRD3, do not consider the ISO 1600 stuff usable for my needs, mostly avoid using the camera at that setting. Yeah, it really can be that bad.


    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirV View Post
    Ricoh has fixed the AF issues from the GRD II, no more screen freeze, faster AF overall and the new customizable Snap mode and full-press Snap AF are great and make it prefectly usable for street photography.
    The snap af is NOT to be under-estimated. It is a fugging marvel!!! On the street, in actual use, the snap AF is F_A_S_T!!! You can bring the camera up, get off a shot, and look the other way before anyone knows what just happened -- and it's in focus. But you need to be mindful of the snap af distance setting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dawson View Post
    As Oxide Blu stated the III is a little bit bigger than it's predecessors, but does this mean the very cool new GC-4 case (The ever-ready-esque one) is also a tiny bit too big for the GRD/GRDII?
    The GRD3 is only a tad bigger than the GRD2, not enough to matter in most situations. If you have a molded case for the GRD2, then the GRD3 will not fit.

    I found an excellent case for my GRD2, use it everyday, snug fit, and the GRD3 fits in it without any problems.

    One diff I do notice is the weight. The GRD3 is noticeable heavier. It is comfortable to hold, feels more robust than the GRD2, but I wouldn't want it any heavier. The size diff, I don't notice -- the weight diff I do.


    Quote Originally Posted by andrewteee View Post
    Estimated at $700 in the US. Good as the GRD3 may be it will be hard to justify another small sensor camera for that much money today.
    My GRD2 and GX200 are collecting dust. I have no need for them since the arrival of the GRD3. I only wish there was a 40mm lens for the GRD3 as there was (past tense) for the GRD2.

    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirV View Post
    I would say the GRD have the way superior controls and better build. They are alsmo more suited for street photography due to the Snap mode and possibility to save settings and use the Fn buttons for quick access to the main functions.
    Maybe it is just me, or maybe just the cameras I have, but the GRD3 seems a tad bit better built than the GRD2. Maybe it's the additional weight of the GRD3 ?!? Most of the camera (and controls) are the same, but the build, the way it is assembled, just seems better on the GRD3.

    The snap af is a godsend ... as is the mixed light auto WB. WOW!!! Also, whatever changes have been made with metering when using the camera's built-in flash have been a vast improvement, too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Y.B.Hudson III View Post
    yehh... I had a GRD's...the build quality was terribLe and the warranty service in the USofA was worse...it took 6 months for warranty work...which was in the end unsuccessful...the Camera was ultimately replaced by Ricoh, Japan.
    I killed by GRD2, sent it to Ricoh (in Japan) -- was perhaps the best service experience I have ever received for anything, photography related or not. I dread the idea of having to go through US companies for service repair.

    Other note: overall slower start up time with the GRD3 compared to the GRD2, but faster RAW write time. The GRD3 has a bigger buffer that allows you to keep shooting RAW (6 images?) but where the write speed makes the diff is when you want to see the image immediately after taking it.

    Other other note: I haven't gotten the hang of the auto tracking whatever thingy. Supposedly the GRD3 will track the subject and keep them/him/her/it in focus, even without depressing/holding the shutter release. My experience has been the camera loses the subject and stop tracking.

    Other other other note: the HD combining of two JPEG images is kind of cool, kind of not. There is just enough diff that you can see the diff, but not enough to get excited about it. After looking at a few comparison pix (straight JPEG vs HD JPEG) the regular old JPEGs look flat, exposed wrong. Now if only we could get the same feature to work with RAW files.

  27. #27
    VladimirV
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    I would have to disagree, based on my experience using the GRD3 day to day. I have NOT been "testing" the camera, I only have a few thousand shutter actuation now on my GRD3, do not consider the ISO 1600 stuff usable for my needs, mostly avoid using the camera at that setting. Yeah, it really can be that bad.

    Other other note: I haven't gotten the hang of the auto tracking whatever thingy. Supposedly the GRD3 will track the subject and keep them/him/her/it in focus, even without depressing/holding the shutter release. My experience has been the camera loses the subject and stop tracking.

    Other other other note: the HD combining of two JPEG images is kind of cool, kind of not. There is just enough diff that you can see the diff, but not enough to get excited about it. After looking at a few comparison pix (straight JPEG vs HD JPEG) the regular old JPEGs look flat, exposed wrong. Now if only we could get the same feature to work with RAW files.
    I have no problems with the ISO 1600 quality and find it more than usable, I would say it is as good as ISO 800 on the GRD III and ISO 400 on the GX200.

    The below pictures are at ISO 1600 (aside from the last which is at ISO 1181) and have been developed with RAW Therapee and I used Noise Ninja to get rid of color noise only.







    You have to use RAW Therapee for best results, I found that ACR does not seem to like the GRD III RAW files at all and produces noisy and smudgy results.

    The pre-AF does not seem to do much for me either and I find it actually makes the focus slower in most cases so I have turned it off.

    Unlike you, I found the DR mode completely useless. Taking a RAW file or being more carefull with the exposure gives the same if not better results. The camera is also too slow in taking the two pictures and the results are nowhere near as good as on the CX1.
    I have found a better use for the DR mode however and use it as a double exposure mode, this is more fun and actually more usefull than using it for the intended purpose.

  28. #28
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't see these as any better (and in some cases worse) than my DLux4. Maybe it is the pp...but that top photo looks quite bad to my eyes. And I generally *like* noise/grain. Maybe the original image would look better to me.

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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    If you want a glimpse of what the GRD III is capable of (both color and B&W), take a look at Hikari's blog:

    http://ricohgrd3.wordpress.com/

  30. #30
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony C. View Post
    If you want a glimpse of what the GRD III is capable of (both color and B&W), take a look at Hikari's blog:

    http://ricohgrd3.wordpress.com/
    Again, maybe I'm missing it but I don't see anything there that is beyond what I've seen come out of GRD2 or DLux4/LX3.

    I think we've hit a plateau with cameras right now. Some added features (video being the major one) and minor handling differences but iq seems to be on hold. This seems to be the case in APS-C cameras as well as "high end" small sensor models.

    Or maybe I'm just trying to talk myself out of buying more gear

  31. #31
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    I'm not suggesting, nor is anyone else, as far as I know, that the GRD III produces significantly better images than the II or Dlux. It does, however, apparently move the II design forward in some practical respects. The comparison with the Dlux is less apt, I'd say, given how much more compact and portable the Ricoh is.

    For a truly pocketable digital with a high-quality, fast lens, and well-thought out interface, I doubt that it can be matched at present.

  32. #32
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony C. View Post
    I'm not suggesting, nor is anyone else, as far as I know, that the GRD III produces significantly better images than the II or Dlux. It does, however, apparently move the II design forward in some practical respects. The comparison with the Dlux is less apt, I'd say, given how much more compact and portable the Ricoh is.

    For a truly pocketable digital with a high-quality, fast lens, and well-thought out interface, I doubt that it can be matched at present.
    When people say "wow" about the images, I assume they're talking about the image quality, not that they were more practically acquired. I'm just saying that to me I'm not seeing anything to say "wow" about when comparing to other "serious" compacts (especially the iso1600 images above). It seems like an incremental upgrade and at $700, not a cheap one at that.

    I briefly had a GRD2 and while it is easier to slip in to a pocket than the DLux4, it isn't that much more compact/portable imho. I agree that the GX200 is the "direct" DLux4 competitor, but I think that a lot here are in the either/or/both when talking GRD2 and DLux4. So from an iq and handling comparison, I think it is a proper choice to discuss. For UI, I agree that Ricoh does a couple of things very well, but I found the build quality on the GRD2 to be "ok," not first-rate.

    I actually want Ricoh to succeed as I like their cameras. I just don't see the GRD3 as being of much interest to me personally, and the first rounds of images are not selling me at all. But ymmv and maybe I'll change my mind. Been known to happen...

  33. #33
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirV View Post

    I have no problems with the ISO 1600 quality and find it more than usable, I would say it is as good as ISO 800 on the GRD III and ISO 400 on the GX200.

    From what I am experiencing it seems ISO 1600 is very much usable IF there is sufficient light to require a higher shutter speed, e.g. shooting outdoors in the middle of the day, where it is not necessary to use ISO 1600. ISO 1600 with a slow shutter speed, e.g. shooting indoors under very limited light, isn't giving me what I would consider usable results. Slow shutter speeds with lower ISO values is not a problem. I'll take ISO 200 at 2-secs over ISO 1600 at 1/4-sec.

  34. #34
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    I may be weird (high probability) but I am totally fine with most of the 1600 images I get out of the DLux4 - as long as my expectations are reasonable. That said if I pixel peep the images are less appealing, but at reasonable size they can be ok. I do try to avoid NR though as I'd rather have definition and grit than "smooth" and faded/blotches which is what small sensors seem to do. I'd be interested to see some iso1600 from the GRD2 without any pp.

    I drink too much coffee for a 2 sec exposure

  35. #35
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    Re: Ricoh GRD III -- WOW!!!

    Sold the LX3 and got the GRDIII about a week ago. IQ wise, i.e. high iso, both cameras perform probably at comparable levels. Though, all I care about is whether I like the results, rather than bothering about pixel peeping or scientific testing.
    IQ wise, I had no complaints with the LX3, but its UI and general usability is by no means at the GRDIII level. The latter one fits into jeans pockets, is ready when needed, remembers your settings, no lens cap to fumble off etc. It allows capturing the moment.
    Last edited by retow; 13th January 2010 at 17:18.

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