After my brief and rather well paid shoot for ANZ yesterday, I met with Stewart Pickersgill from Ricoh Australia to have a look at Ricoh's latest offering - the GRDIII. I have had the distinct pleasure of using the GRD range of cameras on various assignments overseas as my 'carry around' camera, the kind of tool you use for those moments you need the perfect little street machine for those grab shots. Here at home, it is the perfect tool to have on hand at all times.
The great thing about these cameras is that they allow you complete control over your image, the kind of control you have in a DSLR. The lens is fixed at a 28mm equivalent, which would prompt questions from some who would never want a camera without a zoom. However, for me it is ideal. I am a fan of prime lenses anyway and knowing how the camera sees the world helps me to previsualise the photograph every time I raise my camera to my eye. Having the lens at a fixed focal length also means that there are no compromises for sharpness required.
The GRD range of cameras have received their share of criticisms for noise in the images. Personally, I have never had a problem with this in my images from the camera, remembering that rarely will I make a billboard from an image taken with a camera of this kind! I think that photographers and technicians need to remember that it is always a 'horses for courses' situation and the Ricoh has performed beautifully for me in times past.
That said, Stewart informed that they have now have a sensor in the camera that could accommodate 17MP resolution. Nonetheless, Ricoh have done the wise thing and kept it at 10MP, thus reducing the noise significantly. The images I grabbed at 1600 ISO were actually very pleasing.
I am looking forward to using this camera and regularly posting images to this blog and to the Facebook site dedicated to its existence. I imagine there will be several images from my upcoming tour through India and my few days in Kathmandu that will wind up on here too!