A painting of me

Ricoh GR III

   8 February 2023, mid-afternoon

After meeting Ali at MaRS to catch up, I walked over to the Service Ontario in College Park to try and renew my health card. You can make appointments online nowadays. That would have been good to know before I arrived. I had nothing else to do, so I sat down and read a book while waiting. All in all it took about an hour, and probably 90% of the time was waiting: live and learn. Walking back to the subway, I spotted an Aden Camera. I walked in and left with a Ricoh GR III, quite the impulse purchase.

I’ve had the camera on my mind for the last few months. I love my GR Digital IV, but it’s really showing its age. At this point I almost exclusively use it to shoot candid portraits at parties in black and white with its fill flash to light the scene. It’s a whole aesthetic. In many other situations, my iPhone feels like it does a better job. That’s probably not quite true, but it’s true enough.

Hopefully this camera lives up to its predecessors. There seems to be a lot of hype around it, which feels funny to me. The original GR Digital had a bit of a cult following: lots of people felt the noisy JPEG photographs looked like film. Daido Moriyama shot with the older film camera, the GR1, perhaps giving it some notoriety. For the most part I always felt Ricoh was an obscure camera for photography nerds. This latest iteration seems have a bit of a following, perhaps scooping up people who were unable to buy the Fujifilm X100V. For my part, right off the bat I love that it charges with USB-C and can send pictures directly to my phone is already quite promising. I’ll have to see what else it has to offer soon.

Expect more photos.

Ricoh GR III - Portrait Test Colour



  1. Nice. I love my GRIII, especially at night, though I haven’t used it in quite some time now. I have the dreaded filthy sensor, and the spinny wheel thing on the back is completely screwed now. I keep meaning to send it off for repair, or at least figure out how much that would cost.

    Probably should have taken better care of it, but then again, I really wanted it as my “always in the pocket” camera.

  2. It’s kind of unfortunate their cameras are a bit hit of miss with build quality. My first Ricoh GR II broke. I got it repaired. And then it broke again! But then my IV has been chugging along for a decade, give or take. I am a big fan of the cameras and the sorts of pictures they take. I’m kind of glad I didn’t do much research: I didn’t know there were sensor issues at all!

  3. As someone who’s owned gr1 film cameras, I really wanted to love the digital ones too but they didn’t stick for me. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

    RE reliability in the previous comment, I’ve broken both of my film GR1s so sadly I think this might be a pattern (not that I babied them tho)

  4. My GR1s came with a broken LCD screen. It’s mostly an ornament now, film and developing is so expensive, but still!

    Off the bat this takes much better photos than my GRD IV indoor in low light. Much more natural looking photos. I would more or less exclusively shoot in B&W with my older cameras, it just couldn’t put out a nice looking colour shot most of the time.

  5. Funny enough, it’s almost 10 years to do the day I bought my last Ricoh. So it really has been going strong-ish for a decade.

    I started an album on Flickr for this camera.

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