Quick review of the GR IIIx — a good refined design:
Keep or not?
Ultimately, the question is:
Should I buy it, and if I buy it, should I keep it?
Truth be told, the GR III (28mm) is better than the slightly strange 40mm lens. 40mm is interesting, because it is roughly what the human eye sees. But the question is:
Should a lens capture what the human eye sees … or something else?
Something very shocking to me:
The RICOH GR IIIx lens appears to be significantly sharper, higher resolution, better image rendition than the Ricoh GR III.
If you want the apex in terms of image resolution and rendition, RICOH GR IIIx is better than GR III.
Given the 40mm is more ‘tele’ than a 28mm, it seems that the GR IIIx can actually be a very good portrait-focused camera (shooting headshots).
GR IIIx over iPhone Pro
Upon much consideration, theorizing, philosophizing and testing … I am convinced — RICOH GR III/IIIx is probably at least 1000x better for photography than even the newest iPhone Pro.
I don’t particularly hate a lot of things, but I hate the new iPhone Pro. Why? Too big, heavy, brutal. Brutal, brutalist is bad.
The goal in photography is to keep shooting new photos. The RICOH GR camera is superior to an iPhone because —
- Better ergonomics: Fits better in the hand
- Physical buttons
- Physical on/off button, and physical shutter button, and physical dial for exposure-compensation (essential).
Also, having a specialized and a niche device specifically designed for *only* photography is good. The iPhone Pro camera is not for ‘pros’– it is actually for grandmothers who want to make better landscape photos, millenials/zillenials who want to shoot better selfies of themselves and their ‘lifestyle’, or for people who just want the most long-lasting battery on a phone (which happens to also shoot photos).
I actually see an iPhone Pro as the ultimate productivity device, not for photos.
Even when looking at the RICOH GR IIIx photos in high contrast black and white JPEG — the image quality literally blows me away. It looks as good to me as a Leica APO-lens.
RICOH GR IIIx as an ideal camera
The Ricoh GR III/IIIx is the best camera. Why? It fits in your front pocket, and always is with you. You now have no excuse to never miss the decisive moment.
Even after my GR III broke, and I tried using an iPhone to capture decisive moments with Seneca, I was insanely frustrated because I missed at least 3 really personally meaningful photo moments.
A recent photo I shot with the GR IIIx which was insanely meaningful — the first time Seneca tried to put on my moms’s shoes.
Not the best camera, but the most productive camera
Something I learned about cameras:
It is not about having the ‘best’ camera, it is about having the camera which you make the most photos with.
For me, the RICOH GR III/X is in this way, superior at least 10,000x more than any Leica M camera, any Leica Q camera, any Fujifilm camera, any digital medium format camera, and even any iPhone Pro camera:
So, should I get it?
If you don’t own any RICOH cameras, get a RICOH GR III. If your Ricoh GR III is broken, then get the GR IIIx.
If you already have a RICOH GR III that works fine, just hold out until the GR IV comes out.