I’m not switching brand but sometimes I feel the need to carry with me a small and unobtrusive gear for taking instant shots when opportunity presents itself. Although I love my Nikon, I simply think that there is nothing in their Coolpix line can truly match the superior features offered by the Ricoh GRD3. It has been three months since I acquired my Ricoh GR Digital 3 compact camera and it never ceases to amaze me with its usability and ease of use. I’ve been using this pocketable camera as my wide angle lens option being equipped with a fixed focal length equivalent to 28mm in 35mm format. It boasts of having a faster lens of f/1.9 aperture, thus it can take pictures on low light environment at a faster shutter speed or the same shutter speed but with a lower ISO sensitivity setting. This third generation GR Digital camera from Ricoh has a new GR Engine III Image Processor which they claim to be capable of producing photos with enhanced image quality.
What I like most from this little gem is its 3 inch high resolution LCD screen with 920,000 dots making your images look so clear and vibrant when viewing them on the LCD. However, the clarity of images you see on the LCD screen is sometimes misleading and is not a guaranty that you’ll have a clearer or sharper picture if you view it on a larger computer LCD screen or monitor.
As a compact camera, nothing beats this GRD3 when it comes to customi- zation. It is designed like a DSLR where you can find the main controls ergonomically and strategically located where your fingers can reach them. On the top right is the Mode Dial where you can either select a choice of Full Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Full Manual and the Scene Setting. At the back is the Adjust Dial where you can access various menu for setting Exposure Compensation, White Balance, ISO Speed, Quality and AF target. The front circular control acts as Aperture Dial while the toggle lever at the back operates as your Shutter Dial.
Since I am more interested in showing you sample photos from this little gem, I will purposely shun from talking about its paper specs but dwell more on what it can do and can produce as photographic image results. This GRD3 truly excels when shooting landscapes and street scenes or when you simply would want to come closer to your subject.
Overall, what I can do with my DSLR, I can easily do it in this small wonder. I can set the built in Flash to Manual which I usually do instead of relying on its Auto Flash capability. I can avail of its Front Curtain or Rear Curtain setting just like a Nikon can, thus, I can also do remote flash photography using my Nikon SB-800 speedlight in its SU Mode.
Shooting night scenes is a possibility with its extremely longer shutter speed choices of setting thereby allowing you to capture enough light just like when using a Bulb setting while placing it on a tripod and activating the self timer button. Macro photography or those taken in close distance is likewise an easy task because you can focus in as close as 1cm away from the subject.
This little gem is a small wonder. Though only a compact camera, it can take great photos too and this is a very customizable tool in the hands of a serious photographer. Photography, after all is not owning the better gears but what matters more is what you do with what you have.