An Update to the Ricoh GR II: Will There Ever Be a New Ricoh GR III?

The updated Ricoh GR III could potentially be nothing more than just a myth, but it still stands as a fact that the Ricoh GR II is a popular choice for many street photographers. This isn’t to be confused with the older iteration of this camera, which Eric Kim reviewed for us years ago, but instead an updated version of the Ricoh GR II. The camera is a cult hit with this genre for a number of reasons including the small size, fantastic image quality and the pretty silent operation coupled with great ergonomics.

It’s been a number of years since the Ricoh GR II was announced and so it’s a bit odd the camera hasn’t been updated in a long time. Fixed lens cameras and point and shoots typically have shorter life spans, but the 16MP sensor inside the Ricoh GR II is still capable of putting out very sharp images. We’ve even featured photographers who shoot with it here on the blog.

There are rumors of it coming this year, but so far mum’s the word. Now, if you want the film cameras, Japan Camera Hunter has an excellent buyer’s guide to the Ricoh GR series. Perhaps it may not be called the Ricoh GR III. Instead, it could be called the Ricoh GR IIs or the Ricoh GR IIv.

So does it really need an update if photographers already do great work with it?

Arguably yes. A few more megapixels, an even sharper lens, better battery life, a viewfinder, and a few more controls could make the camera much more attractive. At the moment though the Fujifilm X100F is what’s dominating the field. A bigger sensor? I’m not so sure. The APS-C sensor format makes a whole lot of sense for street photography due to delivering a balance of image quality, fast focusing abilities, and depth of field. Micro Four Thirds sensors could be ideal in some ways, but the Ricoh GR II did a great job with the APS-C format.

Ricoh has stated they’re going to become a bit more laser focused when it comes to cameras. The Pentax brand doesn’t do too terribly and many of their cameras are very underrated. But the Ricoh brand itself, when it comes to cameras, isn’t talked about as much on a mass scale. They’re often overshadowed by Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and others. Talk to most folks who have grown up not knowing anything about photography, and the brand that they’ll probably most associate themselves with could be Apple. I mean, the best camera is surely the one you’ve got on you.

This statement could be an even better reason for Ricoh to amaze the smartphone audience. With a small camera, you can take better images than your phone can, shoot better RAWs, get the same depth of field effects but even better, get sharper images, and then you can beam them to your phone and then to Instagram at a moment’s notice whenever you wish. Plus, the Ricoh GR series has always been very small and fairly straightforward to use.

Or maybe, unfortunately, it’s time for us to lay the series of excellent compact cameras to rest.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.