RICOH GRIII – A PREMIUM COMPACT

Let’s cast our minds back to the Photokina photography fair in Cologne last September; it certainly didn’t disappoint, we saw the unveilings of the new full frame systems as well as some medium format monsters. With the big boys out in full force, namely Leica; Sigma; Panasonic: Ricoh may have gone unnoticed for many. They announced their new GRIII compact digital camera… and it’s scheduled for release, well, any time now!

They’re clearly keen to push their new lens configuration which features six elements in four groups (no, me neither). They are also keen to get that pixel count in too, boasting a respectable 24.4 megapixel CMOS sensor. It comes with assignable knobs and buttons for functions in focusing, exposure and white balance that can be customised giving control to the user; which has proven popular particularly with the newer Sony full frame systems. The camera claims an impressive shutter speed range of 1/4000s to 30s, and features a touchscreen display.

It seems that in recent years the compact market has been in decline because… well because it has. The cost DSLRs has fallen sharply and the picture quality of smart phone has improved dramatically so there isn’t a whole lot of perceived value in compact cameras to the average consumer.

The Ricoh though is certainly a premium camera and the price tag certainly reflects that, expected to fetch roughly £800. And that’s for good reason, its older brother the GRII is widely regarded as one of the best street photography cameras available. Surely this smaller, lighter model will top its predecessor. 

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