- The new menu system on the GR 3 is very good. More streamlined, better resolution in the LCD screen, and the menu system is super fluid. I want to play more with the menus of the GR3– seems like a ton of intelligent and creative thinking went into the menu UI-UX (I think more camera companies should copy Ricoh-Pentax menu design)
- Image quality of new GR3 looks superb. The high ISO of GR3 seems to be at least 3x better in low light.
- New positive film preset in GR3 looks really beautiful aesthetically.
- The smaller size of the GR3 gives me slight hand cramps, and I imagine shooting with it all day won’t be as comfortable as the GR2. However, the benefit of a smaller camera size is it is more pocketable and easier to carry everywhere.
Further testing to come!
There is no “perfect” camera. Don’t fall into GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and falsely believe that buying a new camera will make you a better photographer. If you’re not feeling inspired in your photography, I recommend you to buy books, not gear. Also check out these 75+ Inspirational Photo Books You Gotta Buy. You can also download my free books.
- Gear Adaptation Syndrome
- What is the Benefit of “Standalone” Digital Cameras?
- All Cameras are Good Cameras
- Why The Future of Photography is Software
- RICOH MAFIA
- Use and Abuse Your Gear!
- Why RICOH GR II is the Best Street Photography Camera
- The Best Photography/Vlogging Equipment Setup
- My Favorite Travel Street Photography Equipment
- Zen Body-Hand-Mind Connection with the Camera
- Why It Doesn’t Matter What Camera You Shoot With
- What is the Best Camera and Lenses for Street Photography?
- The Best Travel Street Photography Equipment 2018
- 6 Lessons I’ve Learned After Shooting All the Expensive Cameras
- How to Make Good Photos on a Shitty Camera
- Why I Shoot With One Camera and One Lens
- My Travel Equipment, Winter 2017
- What is the Perfect Camera For You?
- What to Consider When Buying a Camera
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Smartphone Photography
- Benefits of Shooting Street Photography With a Smartphone
- In Street Photography, The Smaller the Camera, the Better
- Film Street Photography Manual
- What I Learned Shooting 100 Rolls of Black and White Film
- What I Learned Processing 164 Rolls of Film
My favorite camera for street photographyThere is no perfect camera for street photography and everyone’s tastes are different. My favorite camera for street photography is the Ricoh GR II. The Ricoh GR II is the best bang-for-the-buck camera for street photography on the market. It has an APS-C sensor (DSLR-sized sensor), a super-sharp 28mm lens (no anti-aliasing filter), and literally fits into your front pocket. The Ricoh GR II is pretty much the same as the prior Ricoh GR, except it has Wi-Fi built in. Why do I recommend the Ricoh GR II? First of all, for street photography you want the smallest, most compact, and inconspicuous camera (that you can always carry with you). I find that with other digital cameras, you end up never carrying them with you 24/7, simply because they are too big. The Fujifilm X100F and digital Leica’s are fantastic tools, but honestly even those cameras are too big to fit in your front pocket. In street photography, the size of the sensor is also not very important. In-fact, having a non-full frame camera is generally preferable, because you have more depth-of-field in street photography, which is beneficial to “zone-focusing.” When I shoot with the Ricoh GR II, I generally keep the camera on “P” mode, ISO 1600, and center-point autofocus. I treat it like a point-and-shoot: I simply point and click. This makes me have to think less when shooting, and spend more energy focusing on the composition, framing, and capturing emotion in the photos. Many photographers bemoan the fact that the Ricoh GR II doesn’t have a viewfinder. Honestly, I feel that viewfinders are a bit overrated — the LCD screen helps you be more creative with your compositions (shooting super-low angle, or a super-high angle), and also helps you photograph your subjects closer (putting a small compact camera close to someone’s face is less intimidating than putting a big DSLR lens into someone’s face). Also if you want, the Ricoh GR II has a fantastic “snap mode” which allows you to pre-focus to a certain distance (1 meter, 1.5 meters, 5 meters, infinity), which is like zone-focusing on a rangefinder camera. This means when you’re shooting on the streets on a sunny day, you can set your pre-focus to 1.5 meters, ISO 1600, aperture-priority mode in f/8, and take photos that are all sharp and in-focus. In addition, the Ricoh GR II has the simplest yet comprehensive menu out of any digital camera I’ve used. You can change the function buttons, you can change whether the power lamp is on or off, and everything in the menu is easily searchable. I believe the Ricoh GR II was designed by photographers, not simply by engineers. The camera is extremely affordable, which means you can save all your hard-earned cash on buying experiences, not stuff. Use that money to travel to a country you’ve always wanted to travel, to buy photography books, and to invest in photography-education (workshops, classes, seminars). Furthermore, you can charge the camera via USB, which means you don’t need to travel with a bulky battery-charger. As long as you keep the camera off while you’re not shooting on the streets, one battery should last you a full day. If you end up buying the camera, I recommend picking up a 3” LCD screen protector, shooting in RAW, and using my free Lightroom film simulation presets.
- Read my review of the Ricoh GR II
Best Equipment by ERIC KIMThis is a list of my personal favorite equipment in photography, computers, and life: Of course, this list probably won’t apply to you — but this is advice I would give myself (if I needed to buy stuff):
CamerasMy favorite cameras:
Best value digital camera for street photographyFujifilm X100F Review // Buy on Amazon for $1300 >
Best digital compact cameraRicoh GR II Review // Buy on Amazon for $600 >
Best 3-inch screen protectorFor Ricoh GR II: Expert Shield 3” LCD protector ($14)
Best designed mirrorless camera
Olympus Pen F (silver): $1200 + Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Lens: $500 //my review
Best value mirrorless cameraFujifilm XT-2 ($1600) + Fujinon XF23mmF2 WR Lens ($450)
Best digital rangefinderLeica M10 + Leica 35mm f/2 ASPH Lens
Best digital video cameraSony A7S II ($2700) + Sony 35mm F2.8 Sonnar ($800)
Best SD cardTranscend 128 GB SD card UHS-3: $73
Best fashion digital camera
Pentax Medium-format digital 645Z ($6500) + Pentax 55mm F2.8 AL ($960) // 7 Lessons I’ve Learned Shooting Fashion Photography For the First Time
Film camerasIf you’re new to shooting film, pick up a copy of FILM NOTES.
Best film rangefinderLeica MP + Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron Lens
Best affordable film rangefinderLeica M6 + Voigtlander 35mm f/2.5 Lens
Best compact film cameraContax T3
Best medium-format film cameraFujifilm GF670 (discontinued, find on eBay)
Best black and white filmKodak Tri-X 400 (pushed to 1600): $5
Best color filmKodak Portra 400: $8.50
Best film scannerFor medium-format/35mm: Epson v800: $800 For 35mm: Plustek OpticFilm 8100: $270
Best camera shoulder bagSAIGON SATCHEL
Best camera backpackFits 13” Laptop and Camera: Thinktank Perception 15 (black): $120
Best photography neck strap
Best photography wrist strap
Best photography inspiration websiteMagnumPhotos.com
Best photography news blogPetaPixel.com
Best photography softwareAdobe Lightroom
Best video editing softwareiMovie (free) or Final Cut Pro X ($300)
BooksSee all my free books.
Best educational photography bookMagnum Contact Sheets
Best black-and-white photography art book“Exiles” by Josef Koudelka
Best color photography art book“The Suffering of Light” by Alex Webb
Best photography handbookStreet Notes
Best philosophy bookOn the Shortness of Life – Seneca ($8) // 10 Lessons Seneca Has Taught Me.
Best digital tools
Best laptopAny MacBook Air or Pro
Best tabletiPad Pro 10.5 inch, 64 gb, space grey
Best phoneiPhone X
Best value phoneiPhone SE (cheapest model): $400
Best android phoneSamsung S8
Best value android phoneOnePlus 3T ($440)
Best Mac Apps
Best writing appIA Writer (for writing) + Ulysses (for note-taking)
Best screen recorderCamtasia
Best image resizerJPEGmini Pro
Best noise-cancelling headphonesBOSE QC 35 (black): $350
Best earbudsApple Beats X
Best watchCasio Men’s F108WH Illuminator Collection Black Resin Strap Digital Watch: $13
Best underwearExOfficio Men Boxer Brief (black): $26
Best T-shirtOutlier NYC Merino Wool T-Shirt
Best socksDarn Tough Socks Merino Wool
Best shoesNike Free Flyknight RN Motion (black/white) // my review
Best pantsMerino Wool Leggings (black)
Best glassesLINDBERG – Titanium
Best bank / credit card (USA)Chase / Chase Sapphire credit card
Best entrepreneurial tools
Best blogging platformWordPress.org + Genesis theme (I use the ‘Academy Pro’ theme).
Best paid online services
Best cloud storageDropbox (Pro)
Diet & Nutrition
FoodIntermittent fasting — with one big meal a day (only dinner)
WorkoutDeadlifts (one rep max) + squats + dumbbell press + chin-ups + pushups
ConclusionOf course this is just a list of stuff that work for me. It probably won’t work for you. But I got inspired to make this list– because it took me about 10 years to figure out the best equipment for me. And this works for me, and I hope it can help simplify your purchasing decisions (at least in photography and some other details). I’ll continue to do articles and videos related to equipment– because I do believe (up to a certain degree) having the ‘right’ equipment in life makes life easier. But the problem is falling victim to GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) where we are buying stuff for the sake of it (has happened to me). If you already have a bunch of equipment that works for you– stick with it. But if you need some help, I hope this list helped you. Always, Eric
Unleash your creative potential:
- April 10-11th, 2021: BOSTON / Discover Your Unique Voice in Photography Workshop [Register Intent Here]
- May 1-2nd, 2021: CHICAGO / Street Photography Composition Masterclass [Register Intent Here]
- May 22-22nd, 2021: NEW YORK CITY / STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS by ERIC KIM [Register Intent Here]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.