By Elias Plastiras PC World Australia | on August 17, 2009
Pros: Great build quality and style, prime lens, excellent macro performance, vibrant and sharp picture quality.
Cons: Slightly noisy images, high cost, no built-in optical viewfinder.
There is another mode that's available that sits in the main menu: interval shooting. This is a very cool feature that lets you take a shot at an interval of your choosing (it can be seconds or hours) and it's perfect if you want to follow a certain scene's progression without actually being there to press the button. The only problem is you can't give it a shot limit, so it will shoot until the memory card runs out of room or until you press the menu button.
The best thing about the Ricoh GR Digital III is that you can carry it around everywhere and pull it out at opportune moments to catch an interesting scene on the street, or a magnificent sunset.
This image was shot using aperture priority on a particularly interesting Sydney afternoon. It was shot using an aperture of f/3.2, an ISO of 100 and a shutter speed of 1/189.
We used the 'vivid' setting for our shots, which is why colours looked so saturated and vibrant, but you can switch this to 'standard' if you find it overbearing. You can also choose to shoot in black and white (or in a different colour tone), and you can even select your own custom settings. The camera lets you take total ownership of colour saturation and contrast, so you aren't stuck with the default values that it selects.
In low-light conditions, the Ricoh will shoot relatively crisply down to a shutter speed of 1/7th of a second.
This was shot in a lift. We used an aperture of f/1.9, a shutter speed of 1/7 and an ISO speed of 100.
The large aperture really helps in low-light conditions, but you can boost the ISO speed up to 1600 if you so desire. Anything above ISO 400 will introduce some noise to your photos, but it won't be overly noticeable unless you crop the pictures closely. Of course, you could also use the pop-up flash in low-light situations, and there are comprehensive options for the flash, including first and rear curtain settings.
At 10 megapixels, the Ricoh GR Digital III can produce images that can be printed at large sizes, and the quality of the images when viewed at their full size is quite good. Edges are well defined and you won't get much chromatic aberration between high-contrast areas.
The camera is sturdy, and it has a rubberised grip that makes it easy to hold. The mode dial has a lock on it, so it won't change positions if it's accidentally nudged, and the shutter button has two distinct steps when you press it. It's quite a lovely camera to use, despite the fact it doesn't have an optical viewfinder. However, there is an option for one (GV-1 EXTERNAL VIEWFINDER). Other options include a lens converter, which can expand the view of the camera to 21mm (GW-2 21MM WIDE LENS), plus a hood and adapter, but these are all costly accessories. If you purchased them all, you'd run up quite a bill.
Some, if not most people, may balk at the £480 price tag of the GR Digital III, especially considering that you can't change lenses. But the prime lens is useful for times when you don't need anything more than a wide angle. Taking it for what it is — an advanced point-and-shoot for a professional or enthusiast user — the Ricoh GR DIII is a great camera, with plenty of features, a sturdy build, and above all, capable of producing excellent picture quality.