Capturing the mundane to create interesting stories

Ricoh GRD III — First Day!


Let’s start this journey with a smile from a cute, fluffy little dog.



Did I hear you ask for more?





Okay, that’s enough. Let’s get into the elevator and start this journey.





That’s right, I have a new camera! :D — a (used) Ricoh GR Digital III.

After a disappointing day with (rented) Fuji X100, my mind goes to this little camera. I’ve heard so much praise and compliments for Ricoh GR Digital series. I wanted to try (rent) first, but can’t find one. Finally, I decided to just place the bet and jump.

The new GRD IV looks great, but the price is way over my budget (for a compact camera). I try to get used GRD3 here in Singapore, but can’t find one.

With the help of my cousin in Tokyo, I manage to buy a used one from the trusty Kitamura shop :D. Even with the shipping cost, it’s less than half of the new GRD IV.

I feel like I made the right decision. This could be it — my perfect daily camera.

Well, is it?



Boots, shoes and sandals. Different footwear for different purposes, like different camera and lens for different purposes.



In short, yes. This is the perfect camera for my daily/every day needs.



Dragon breath…



IQ-wise, GRD III is not that special. Some reviews say it produces great B/W photos. It may be true, but I’m no expert in B/W. I’d say the image quality is around the same league as Canon S95.

It’s a compact camera after all.






Then why did I bought GRD3 if it is in the same league with Canon S95, which I already have?

It’s the operability. This camera has some essential features that S95, or even D90, doesn’t have; simplicity features that make me fall in love with the art of snapping pictures once again. I think I’m at the point where image quality isn’t my number one priority. Don’t get me wrong. I still want good photos. But, when I look for great IQ, I’ll use my trusty D90. Right now, I just want a camera that is always with me.





So, what are the features that I like from this camera?

28mm (equiv.) prime lens, snap focus, Optical Viewfinder (OVF, attached to hotshoe), shooting with LCD off, and One press M Mode. I won’t go deep in talking about these features.

If you are curious, Google is your friend. All the reviews of GRD3 are boasting these features — and those are true.





Bottom line, I really like the simplicity of this camera.

It won’t replace my trusty D90 as my main camera. But for every day use, GRD3 will be my main camera.

With OVF and hood, it isn’t exactly pocketable… but still light enough to bring everywhere.





I don’t think this camera will boost my photography skills; but I’m positive I’m going to take a lot of pictures with it. Perhaps it will be some kind of spray and pray? That’s okay. I don’t care.





I start writing this post at the end of my first day with GRD3. Although it’s only for a day, I can tell you that I love it.

On my first day out, I’m still without Optical Viewfinder (OVF), and I still don’t like the LCD. So, What did I do? The photos I took that day was framed without LCD nor OVF. I just imagine the frame, and take the shot. Sometime I even take the photos without looking — from the hip, from the chest, from the side, wherever. It’s not perfect, but I still find it better than using the LCD… at least for most of the time. Your style and need may be different.

A week passed, I’m still learning how to best use this camera. Yesterday, I took it to Little India for another ‘test’, and now with a used (mint) OVF. I’m still learning how to use it properly. It is definitely a different experience from using a DSLR with TTL view. Another thing that cumbersome is that GV-1 is an external viewfinder without any electrical connection, so it doesn’t show any information (e.g. metering)…



That’s about it for now. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.

I’m happy, and been grinning throughout writing this post. I’ve been smiling just like this little girl…





Cheers, folks!




Turns out, I’m using only this camera for the whole year of 2013 — D90 was never been used. Check this post for my favorite photos of 2013 (all taken with Ricoh GRD III).

In early 2014, I upgrade the camera to Ricoh GR — not because I’m unhappy with GRD3; I just need that extra oomph to get more excited.



*Singapore City, Singapore



13 responses

  1. It is a wonderful little camera, with great image quality for a compact camera. Black and white is where it really shines though, in my opinion. A perfect camera for street photography. I see you’ve got some great shots with it already! :)

    October 28, 2012 at 00:48

    • Yes, it is a wonderful little camera. I haven’t really play with b/w photos. I’m sure it is great, but I prefer color photos.

      Thanks for the kind words and comment, Simon :-). I’m enjoying shooting with this camera.

      October 28, 2012 at 13:52

  2. I would love your photography whatever camera you have in your hands to be honest. These photos are brilliant!! :)
    I have a small micro 4/3rds Olympus that I take out with me sometimes and I like using it (in good light) but the image noise is really bad past iso 800 even compared to my d700 (I can shoot comfortably with the d700 at 2000+ iso and still there is very little noise which is great because I like low light).
    I like taking pictures of my kids doing ordinary stuff like shopping at the supermarket etc and feel like a bit of a wally with a huge great dslr so need a very small camera with good iso – any ideas??

    October 29, 2012 at 05:56

    • Thank you very much for the kind words, Peter :-).

      Well, I’m no expert in camera… and I think different people will have different needs. However, summarizing your needs (small camera with good ISO performance), then I’m thinking of Fuji X10 and Canon S100. They are reasonable small, fast lens and with good ISO performance… and since they have rather small sensor, shooting at large aperture will still have good depth of field. Anyhow, I suggest you do more research before buying any camera. Most of the time, the problem that I have with a camera is the operability… most camera reviews didn’t scratch this deep enough…

      Hope it helps.

      October 29, 2012 at 18:55

  3. Chloe

    i’ve heard good things about your new camera :) and i very much like your photographs, have fun with your new toy

    October 29, 2012 at 16:56

    • Thanks, Chloe :-)… I’m sure I’ll have plenty of good time with it! :D…

      October 29, 2012 at 18:58

  4. Congrats on your new toy GM! I see you have a lot of fun with it already :).

    October 31, 2012 at 00:18

    • Thanks, Jenn! Yes, I do have a lot of fun with it. I hope this is not just a honeymoon phase :-)

      October 31, 2012 at 06:08

  5. Oh forgot to comment on the cute doggie.

    Here doggie doggie :).

    October 31, 2012 at 07:05

    • Woof Woof!
      (I can’t move. You come here)

      October 31, 2012 at 18:56

  6. Sebelum bertanya, mau sungkem dulu… *sungkem* …dan menyampaikan salam dari Riffat dan kawan-kawan di Flickr.

    Jadi.. apa yang menyebabkan Om Martos kecewa dengan Fuji X100? Ricoh-nya seru tuh. :D

    November 2, 2012 at 11:38

    • Hooo, kekecewaan saya pada Fuji X100 sudah di tulis di paparan yang bersangkutan. Coba dicari saja dengan kata kunci X100. Ada beberapa paparan dengan inti permasalahan yang berbeda :-). Baca di sana aja ya, daripada bolak-balik saya terangin :D…

      Oh iya, disclaimer saja, tapi besar kemungkinan kamera yang saya sewa itu bermasalah. Jadi pendapat saya tentang X100 juga mungkin salah.

      Titip salam kembali ke Rifat dan kawan-kawan di Flickr :D

      November 2, 2012 at 22:30

  7. Pingback: Year 2012 in Pictures « MartosC, [Gm] – v2.0

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