Not many manufacturers enjoy the cult status that Ricoh’s GRIII generates among photographers. The GR series has been going for years and has proved to be a perennial popular camera among the street photography sector thanks to its sharp lens and tiny dimensions that allow it to slip neatly into your pocket.
Well, now Ricoh is back with a new camera – well sort of new as the GRIII X features a new lens. Instead of the wider 18.3mm optic in the standard GRIII, which translates to an effective focal length of 28mm thanks to that 1.5x crop factor generated from the APS-C sensor squeezed into the tiny GRIII body, the GRIII X quite literally gets a little extra.
In fact, the GRIII X features a newly-designed f/2.8 26.1mm lens that features a ‘6 elements in 4 groups’ construction and this generates an effective focal length of 40mm, which Ricoh says is; ‘close to the photographer’s own effective field of view.’ The longer focal length will lend itself to more closely cropped imagery, which should give street photographers in particular more reach when out shooting on the pavement.
Also available via the menu system is the ability to enable a crop mode that returns an effective focal lengths of either 50mm or 71mm (although that’s at the expensive of some megapixels). What’s more, the new GRIII X also provides a range of new and upgraded post-shooting functions to edit captured images (including RAW files) to the photographer’s preference with parameters such as contrast, saturation and sharpness able to be adjusted to the user’s personal taste.
The GRIII X also retains the 24-megapixels APS-C sensor, touch-sensitive LCD and a three-axis In Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) system from the original GRIII and there’s now an Eye-Detection AF feature which will supercharge the to the autofocus system – another move which is sure to please street photographers. It’s worth noting that GRIII users will also get access to the Eye-Detection AF via an incoming firmware upgrade.
Despite the new lens featuring a longer focal length, the GRIII X still matches the original GRIII’s incredible macro mode focusing distance that allows users to lock onto subjects as close as 12 centimeters from the front of the optic, which will enable photographers to capture frame-filling shots of smaller subjects.
The GRIII X is also compatible with a host of Ricoh accessors including an optical viewfinder that slots neatly onto the camera’s hotshoe mount and a teleconverter accessory that gives the camera a 75mm equivalent focal length. Available to pre-order, the Ricoh GRIII X will be priced at £899.