Ricoh GR IIIx Review
|Full model name:||Ricoh GR IIIx|
(23.5mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||No / LCD|
|Native ISO:||100 - 102,400|
|Extended ISO:||100 - 102,400|
|Shutter:||1/4000 - 1200 sec|
4.3 x 2.4 x 1.4 in.
(109 x 62 x 35 mm)
|Full specs:||Ricoh GR IIIx specifications|
Ricoh GR IIIx Preview -- First Impressions
Ricoh GR IIIx Key Features & Specs:
- Newly designed, high-resolution 26.1mm F2.8 GR lens (40mm eq.)
- 24MP APS-C sensor with no OLPF
- GR ENGINE 6 imaging engine plus RICOH-original accelerator unit
- Multi-tone 14-bit RAW
- ISO 100-102400
- Hybrid AF system with face and eye detection
- Three-axis, four-stop shake reduction
- Magnesium-alloy exterior frame
- 3-inch touchscreen LCD monitor
- MSRP $999.95
Ricoh has quietly announced a fairly minor refresh to its popular pocketable street shooter, the GR III. Dubbed the Ricoh GR IIIx, the new model is, in a lot of ways, nearly identical to its predecessor, especially in terms of its exterior design, the imaging sensor, autofocus and most of its various shooting. However, there's one significant change to this camera compared to the original GR III from 2019: the lens.
The refreshed Ricoh GR IIIx uses an all-new fixed prime lens, going from a wider 28mm-eq. lens to a longer 40mm-equivalent field of view. Ricoh states this was in response to customers who wanted "a new perspective" for this popular compact, large-sensor camera, which up until this point has stuck with a 28mm-eq. F/2.8 lens. The new, longer lens of the GR IIIx now more closely matches the field of view of your own eye (hence why a 50mm lens is often called a "normal" focal length). The new 40mm-eq. lens sits in a nice middle ground between a classic 35mm wide-angle lens and a 50mm normal lens, allowing the GR IIIx to be a quite versatile camera.
In terms of specifics, the Ricoh GR IIIx's new 26.1mm (40mm eq) lens comprises 7 elements in 5 groups and includes 2 aspherical lens elements. The maximum aperture remains a bright f/2.8, just in earlier models, and can stop down all the way to f/16. In addition to the standard 40mm-eq field of view, the camera features two different crop modes to give a bit more shooting versatility: a 50mm mode that results in a 15-megapixel image size and a 107mm crop mode (using the new optional Teleconversion Lens GT-2 adapter) for a 7.5-megapixel resulting image.
Additionally, the camera is also compatible with a new optional Conversion lens adapter. The Teleconversion Lens GT-2 provides a 75mm-equivalent focal length, while the existing Wide Conversion Lens GW-4 works exclusively on the wider-angle GR III, offering a 21mm-eq. FOV. The GR IIIx also requires a new (optional) viewfinder accessory should you want a viewfinder-based shooting experience. The External Viewfinder GV-3 offers a 40mm field of view to match the new longer lens.
The sensor and the image processor remain unchanged from the previous model: an APS-C-format CMOS image sensor with 24.24 effective megapixels and no optical low-pass filter paired to Ricoh's latest-generation GR ENGINE 6 and accelerator unit. As before, this similar imaging pipeline gives the Ricoh GR IIIx an expansive ISO range from ISO 100 up to ISO 102,400 and the ability to capture 14-bit RAW files. Further, while the sensor lacks an optical low-pass filter, for better fine detail resolution, the camera's built-in 3-axis image stabilization system allows for an on-demand AA filter simulator if you need to suppress moiré and aliasing in your images. Further, the built-in IBIS system is also said to offer up to 4-stops of shake correction.
The focusing system also remains essentially unchanged, with the sensor featuring a hybrid AF system with on-sensor phase-detection pixels and contrast-detection. Once again, the number of PDAF pixels is unspecified. New on the GR IIIx (though coming later to the GR III via a firmware update) is multiple face- and eye-detection autofocusing functionality.
The GR IIIx also debuts with several new software-based shooting modes and functions, including a new Image Control feature that offers 10 different film simulation-like image presets and a new monotone mode. These creative filter-style modes have a wide range of adjustable parameters, including saturation, contrast, hue, clarity, tone. This allows for a lot of in-camera image adjustment without the need to edit images on a computer. (The new Image Control features will also be coming to the GR III via a future firmware update.)
Other new features include enhanced smartphone connectivity, including wireless LAN connectivity. With wireless LAN, you can connect to a smartphone and use Ricoh's Image Sync mobile app to transfer images and control the camera remotely. Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity is also supported. Once again, wireless LAN functionality will also be made available on the GR III with a firmware update.
Overall, the Ricoh GR IIIx is vastly similar to the earlier GR III, utilizing the same exterior design and handling characteristics as well as the same overall imaging pipeline. These two cameras are essentially the same camera, varying only by their lenses. For those who prefer a wider view, the Ricoh GR III is available, while those who want a little more reach or a more normal perspective, this new GR IIIx is the one. And while the GR IIIx does debut with a handful of new software-based features, the forthcoming firmware update(s) for the GR III will put that older camera on par feature-wise to this newer model.
To see how the Ricoh GR III/IIIx handles and performs out in the field and in the lab, be sure to check out our in-depth Ricoh GR III Review.
Pricing & Availability
The RICOH GR IIIx will be available early October 2021 for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $999.95.