Ricoh GR IIIx Gallery Images: Hands-on with Ricoh’s new premium compact camera
posted Monday, October 25, 2021 at 3:40 PM EST
Click here to browse our Ricoh GR IIIx Gallery
Earlier this year, Ricoh quietly added a new model to their popular GR series of premium pocketcams, the GR IIIx. This new camera doesn't replace the previous Ricoh GR III from 2019, however, but instead offers photographers a different focal length option while keeping the rest of the camera more or less unchanged. Characteristic of the modern Ricoh GR series is not only its large APS-C-sized sensor but also its fixed single-focal-length lens. The past three generations of Ricoh GR all used a similar 28mm-eq. wide-angle f/2.8 lens. It's a versatile focal length that can work well for a variety of subjects. However, if you wanted something longer, perhaps to better isolate a subject or get a bit of compression to your scene, you would be out of luck. Just shoot wide and deal with it, or switch to a different camera altogether.
Fortunately, Ricoh has listened to their customers and developed a second model of the GR III. The new Ricoh GR IIIx offers a longer 40mm-equivalent f/2.8 prime lens, yet maintains the same overall design and amazingly pocketable form factor. It's not quite a 50mm lens, nor is it wide-angle. Still, the 40mm-eq. focal length was chosen to more accurately match the normal field of view of your eye. The lens is also not so long of a focal length as to verge into specifically "portrait" territory, while also being wide enough to encompass some scenery and the environment should you wish. Overall, the new longer lens makes the GR IIIx quite versatile.
A while back we shared lab sample images from this new premium pocket camera, but I've now had an opportunity to get out into the field and gather some real-world sample images, as well. As mentioned, the GR IIIx maintains the same super-compact form factor as its wide-angler GR III sibling. Walking around trails and through town with this camera is a breeze, as it's easily small enough to slide into a back pocket or jacket pocket -- despite the large APS-C sensor. It's quite impressive that they can fit such a large sensor into a camera this small!
The new lens consists of 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. (Note: We did not have the new teleconverter lens adapter to test.)
Besides the new lens, the imaging pipeline is essentially unchanged from the "regular" GR III. The camera ports a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor with no optical low-pass filter paired with Ricohs's latest GR ENGINE 6 processor and accelerator unit. The camera's ISO range spans ISO 100-102400, which is its native ISO range -- there are no expanded ISOs. The camera also captures 14-bit RAW filters and features body-based image stabilization, rated for up to 4-stops of correction. In addition to just keeping things steady in low-light or when just shooting with slower shutter speeds, the built-in Shake Reduction allows for an on-demand optical low-pass filter simulator mode that moves the sensor ever-so-slightly to mimic the effect an OLPF and thus supressing any moiré and aliasing artifacts.