Ricoh GRIIIx review. When the size matters.

Ricoh GRIIIx in a pocket

At the moment I’m posting this, I have only about 50-80 views on each post and 10 subscribers. So, of course, this post is not paid and it’s my own opinion about the camera!

A couple of months ago I bought a new camera and that’s Ricoh GRIIIx.

I remember, years ago, I liked when my gear looked serious. Back then, the serious gear in my opinion meant to be big. Right now I enjoy having the pocketable Ricoh GRIIIx and don't care if it looks professional or not.

The camera I wanted when I was a beginner

Photographer Fedor Vasilev on a mountain
Me 5 years ago

I remember I wanted a powerful camera and I wanted the maximum performance I could get. I also didn’t have any photography orders and tried to do all kinds of photoshoots. For that, I searched for a camera that can allow me to do anything. And I bought a zoom lens (Prime lenses are better). And I wanted a camera that will allow me to use a very high ISO, so I could come to an event indoors and shoot with 4000-6400ISO and still have good quality. I did care about the dynamic range too. Later I realised that Sony A7 has all of these qualities but it’s relatively small. It’s, of course, better since it’s lighter to carry with me. I still had some big lenses for that camera and always had to carry a backpack with me only for the camera.

So I bought Sony A7R and it’s a nice camera but not pocketable. Sometimes I didn't want to take a heavy backpack with me to take some photos.

My struggles with heavy cameras

In a few years, I lost interest in simply taking pictures of the streets. Often I could take the camera and walk with it for the whole day without taking a single shot. But sometimes I left the camera at home. It was frustrating when I saw something very beautiful without being able to photograph it. Many times I carried it without any reason. Sometimes I needed the camera so much but didn’t have it with me.

“the best camera is the one you have with you” - there is a book by Chase Jarvis called like that.

How I decided to buy Ricoh GRIIIX

A house on a sunny day with a very dark shadow on it
One of the first shots I made on Ricoh GRIIIx

I used to like a big dynamic range. It’s good for sure since you can capture more information but it’s not necessary for subject-based artistic photography. You don’t need to capture all of the light to convey your idea. I realised it when I learned photography better. I started making less of mistakes when taking pictures and I didn’t need to fix them in post-processing. Because of that, I didn’t need to have a wider dynamic range. A different quality of the camera became more important - the size.

Sony A7R is already relatively small but there’s no pancake lens for it, so it’s impossible to put it in your pocket. Since I used only full-frame cameras for some years, I didn’t want to get a camera with a cropped sensor (even though Ricoh GRIIIx has a quite large APS-C sensor). I searched for the all available compact full-frame in 2022 but they all weren’t compact enough. And then I found Ricoh GRIIIx. For some time I wasn't sure but later realised that it will be the best performance I can have in such a small body and I bought it.

My experience with Ricoh GRIIIx

A house on a sunny day

It’s a nice and very lightweight camera which is smaller than my phone, it has all of the options of the professional camera and you can do any sorts of photos with it. It has a prime 40mm(full-frame equivalent) lens. And the colours and dynamic range on it are very good.

I took this camera on different walks and did a street fashion photoshoot on it and the results were very nice. The pictures were even published in a few magazines, so the quality of the images is good enough for a print (24 megapixels).

Portrait of a man on green blazer by Photographer Fedor Vasilev

One time I accidentally switched to Jpeg format and didn’t notice it and unfortunately some of the photographs turned out much worse than I wanted (the colours weren’t editable and were very dirty in the shadows) but I kind of fixed it in photoshop. So today’s lesson: “Never switch to Jpeg, especially on cropped formats”.

Portrait of a young man on a street
This image was shot in Jpeg and I've spent 30 minutes fixing the colour of the face

Overall, it’s a great camera and it serves well for any purpose.

For example, I used it in the evenings. Since it has f2.8 and built-in stabilisation and is very lightweight, it’s easy to keep it still in your hands and take photos with a shutter speed of up to ~ ¼ of a second. This way I’m able to take pictures on this camera at night and keep using a very low ISO.

Pavement on Karl-Marx strasse at night

A house on Karl-Marx strasse

Entrance into a house on Karl-Marx strasse at night

And some more shots made on Ricoh GRIIIx

Black and white silhouettes of people on a street

Abstract photo made on Ricoh GRIIIx

A table in a Bar in Neukölln

Silhouette of a person in a staircase

The Best camera is the one you have with you.

So in a conclusion, I want to say that it's really important to keep taking photos if you want to learn photography. It's better to have a bit lower quality but take a hundred pictures a day than to have the highest quality and take your huge and heavy camera with you only once a month. Ricoh GRIIIx is a great camera and I feel like I can do absolutely anything with that and there's no need for extra features for the type of photography I do.

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