Is the Ricoh GR III the Perfect Compact Camera for Street and Travel Photography?

A comprehensive review of the Ricoh GR III, exploring its specifications, design, shooting capabilities, and image quality.

The Ricoh GR III has garnered attention as a top choice for street and travel photographers. With its compact size, excellent image quality, and user-friendly features, it has become a favorite among photography enthusiasts. In this article, we will delve into the specifications, design, shooting experience, and image quality of the Ricoh GR III to determine if it truly lives up to its reputation as the perfect everyday carry for street and travel photography.

Ricoh GR III Specifications:

The Ricoh GR III, released in early 2019, boasts impressive specifications that contribute to its exceptional performance. These include an 18.3mm F2.8-F16 lens (equivalent to approximately 28mm in full-frame terms), a CMOS image sensor with approximately 24.24 megapixels, and a 3-axis sensor shift shake reduction. The camera also features built-in ND filters, image control simulations, a 3-inch TFT color LCD, and a hotshoe (without an inbuilt flash). Weighing in at just 9oz (257g) including the battery and SD card, the GR III is remarkably lightweight.

Design and Build Quality:

While the Ricoh GR III may not be as visually appealing as some of its predecessors, its build quality is commendable. Users have reported no major issues apart from slight discoloration on the canvas case. However, there have been concerns regarding dust accumulation on the sensor, although this issue has not affected all users. One notable drawback is the camera’s tendency to turn on accidentally, resulting in battery drainage. Despite these minor flaws, the GR III’s overall design and build quality are satisfactory.

Shooting with the GR III:

The Ricoh GR III offers a seamless shooting experience, with easy-to-use functions and customizable dials and buttons. Users can quickly change aperture, adjust exposure compensation, switch to macro mode, and modify ISO settings and JPG simulations. The camera’s quick start-up time allows for spontaneous capturing of fleeting moments. Its 3-axis sensor shift reduction ensures sharp images even in low-light conditions or when shooting handheld with slow shutter speeds. The LCD screen, although sometimes challenging to view in bright conditions, aids in discreetly composing shots.

Battery and Memory Card:

The GR III’s battery performance is adequate, though not exceptional. However, its compact size allows for easy carrying of spare batteries. With a single SD card slot, it is advisable to use a 128GB or larger card if capturing both JPGs and RAW files.

Image Quality:

The Ricoh GR III produces stunning images with its sharp lens, excellent contrast, and accurate color rendition. While some users may desire a slightly longer lens for portraits, the GR IIIx offers an alternative with an equivalent 40mm field of view. The camera’s JPG simulations, though not as extensive as those offered by Fujifilm, provide impressive results. The Positive Film simulation, in particular, produces striking colors, while the Negative Film simulation may require some adjustments for optimal results.

Is This the Perfect Everyday Carry for Street and Travel Photographers?

The Ricoh GR III checks all the boxes for an ideal everyday carry camera. Its compact size and lightweight design make it effortless to carry everywhere. The camera’s user-friendly features, excellent image quality, and easy image transfer to smartphones contribute to its appeal. While the absence of a flash and weather resistance may be viewed as drawbacks, it is impossible for any camera to cater to every photographer’s needs. Overall, the Ricoh GR III is a highly recommended choice for street and travel photographers.


The Ricoh GR III Diary Edition camera has proven itself as a reliable and versatile everyday carry for street and travel photography. Its portability, image quality, and user-friendly features make it an excellent choice for photographers on the go. While there are minor improvements that could be made, such as addressing the dust issue, the GR III’s current performance is commendable. As photographers eagerly await a potential successor to the GR III, it is hoped that Ricoh will continue to enhance and refine this exceptional camera.






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