Thursday 29 December 2011


Regular readers of my humble little blog will know that I frequently use a Canon G11 to photograph my adventures when out and about in London. For Christmas I was given a Ricoh GRD III and I have to say I am a very happy chap at owning one finally!

I love this little camera!!

This camera is in many ways a highly niche product that has quite a cult following among street / landscape photographers or those with discerning taste.  It has a fixed prime 28mm lens at a maximum aperture of      f1.9. Yes you read right, it had a fixed focal length of 28mm.

What this does is produce very bright, clear images for its 10 megapixels. Added to the f1.9 aperture, you have a camera that works well in low light and can provide some stunning images.  It also has a 940,000 pixel, 3 inch screen on the back which makes my Canon G11's screen like looking through a steamed up shower cubicle.

The controls are simple and laid out perfectly with a top mode dial. The camera can be customised to your personal likes and a hot shoe on top allows the addition of a flash and viewfinder - not that you'd need oneas the screen is gorgeous.

Elegant and simple design.

It it housed in a magnesium alloy shell so it has bulletproof construction.  The rubber covered hand grip is excellent and overall its ergonomics are the best I have ever experienced in any camera - and I include my Canon G11 and bigger Canon 500D. The whole camera exudes quality and is extremely well put together. It is also very descrete and understated. It will only draw attention from those in the know. Those who understand what a great camera this is.

This is a shot of the screen with a picture of my raw SL2. I took this with an iPhone 4 and believe me it does not do the 940,000 pixel screen justice. It is fantastic!
Since I have had this camera I haven't bothered to take anything else with me - I'd only miss it if I did and regret taking my G11 instead of my Ricoh. The strange thing is that I cannot see myself going back to using the G11 despite the restriction of the 28mm fixed lens. This, I feel, has actually made me a better photographer (I say photographer for want of a better word. I am merely a snapper of what interests me) as I have had to think more about the composition of shots. If I am too far or too near I now have to use me feet, something that with a zoom lens I have become very lazy with.

Battery life is excellent. It is quoted at 370 shots but I look over 500 and was viewing many of my shots back via the screen before the battery icon turned red. It can shoot in RAW so that you can process your images at home further than you can with jpegs.

The camera comes with a charger, wrist strap, USB cables and software. It also has a fully printed instruction booklet, which is much better than the rubbish pdf version you get with other manufacturers.  I managed to pick up this second hand camera at a steal.  The previous owner must have either loved it and looked after it or not used it at all as it appears to be in mint A1 condition!

Below are some of the shots I have taken so far. I love black and white but the colour RAW versions of these produced colours that were faithful, vivid and totally spot on as far as I was concerned. When I was getting things right as far as the settings go, I could zoom in a fair bit and still see that things were sharp. I cannot wait to use this for street photography. I would love to be able to afford the viewfinder than can be mounted to the camera for even more discrete shooting but alas it is not to be.

This camera won't make me better at taking photographs but it makes me want to become better, alter the settings and experiment. The old saying the best camera you can have is the one you have with you really rings home as the Ricoh GDR III will be going with me everywhere.

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