Sunday, 9 August 2009

First GRD III Impressions

Instead of posting my last text mode picture I decided to post a few first impressions of the GRD III and some pictures. Actually most of the text pictures from this week have been taken with the GRD III so you've all seen pictures from it already. ;)

First, the build is fantastic. It is probably the best built compact camera at the moment, nothing feels flimsy on it. The feel is more like the GR21 with the protruding lens but it still fits in the same case and in practice it does not make a lot of diffrence.

The controls are as usual excellent but the best feature is the ability to quickly chose the Snap focus distance by pressing the Up button and using the front wheel. This makes a massive difference and is great for street photography. It is a shame that this does not work for MF in the same way.

The new S-mode is also great and a big help in certain situations so it's about time Ricoh implemented it.

There have been concerns from people about using the old adpater lenses on the GRD III due to the different adapter and filter size. The bad news is you can't use the old adapter on the GRD III but you can use the lenses with the new adapter and step-down filter if yu are prepared to live with some vignetting.

Now most are probably insterested in the image quality. This is a massive improved from the GRD II and is the best in any Ricoh camera so far. Extremely detailed with very good and accurate colors and low noise. I still think the GRD I JPGs had their own unique character and prefer them especialy for b&w but the IQ here is great.

High ISO image quality is very good and the pictures retain a lot of detail without having too much noise.

All pictures are developed RAW files and aside from the first have been taken at ISO between 1000 and ISO 1600.
More in the upcoming reviews.


  1. Thank you Cristian for your first impressions about the GRD3. The higher ISO photographs looks so much better than what I get from the GX200. Look forward to more impressions from you.

  2. Thank you for doing this! Is the 2nd from last with 40 mm adapter? no vignetting there, unless cropped. and exif has 6 mm for the lens-can you please clarify?

  3. First picture: I see out of focus areas in front-towards left side of the wood post and steel pipe-and the aperture is f/6.3, not even the widest! Are we going to get bokeh effects with GRD3???
    Thanks again for the pictures

  4. Christi, thank you so much for your early views on this camera.
    I am soooo tempted now, time to fatten up the Piggy Bank!

  5. hey, thanks for your first impressions.
    I wonder how fast shot-to-shot is the new grd, when shooting RAW. There is no information about FPS in official specs. :(

  6. Wouter, the high ISO pictures are so far the best I have seen form any small sensor camera.

    All picturs have been taken with the 28mm lens and either in 1:1 mode or I cropped them to 1:1 mode. The new lens focal length is 6mm.

    You can get some bokeh effects with the GRD III if you are close enough.

    You're welcome Lili!

    Arthur, the shoot-to-shoot time is around the same as on the GX200. You can shoot a burst of 5 pictures before the camera needs to save. It is an improvement from the previous GRDs and very fast for serious compact cameras.

  7. Cristi, Thank you for posting these. Would you've gotten more OoF (bokeh) if you had used max. aperture on the close shots? and how does it compare to GRD2 in that regard? thanks

  8. Great images, these make me want to have one. Never thought I would say that about a fixed lens camera since my T3.

  9. The DOF is slightly different here and you get less if the lens is wide open. I have some comparison shots I will post that show this better.

  10. Great blog, Cristian. I'll definitely pick a GRDIII instead a Powershot G11.

  11. Thanks Manel! I am sure the GRD III can complement your G10 very well.

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  14. Thanks for your comment Kerry!

    The GRD III can be a great complement for your CX3 and will be a great progression thanks to the manual controls. Keep your eyes open for some good deals on the GRD III or maybe even on the GRD I or II.