The kicker is that the RICOH GR III Street Edition will cost you $1.199.95.
Why? That’s the question that I’m asking about the RICOH GR III Street Edition camera. The company, seemingly taking a page from Leica’s book, put a giant orange ring around the front of the camera to draw attention to it. I’m not exactly sure why they did this with all practicality, but if you plan on using it, that big ring is most likely going to draw lots of attention to yourself. There are excellent reasons why Leica shooters put black tape over the logo, and Leica even has editions without the logo on it. The Ricoh GR III was already a pretty stealthy looking camera. Instead, the RICOH GR III Street Edition is probably targeted to some wealthy surgeon that likes walking around a park channeling his inner Garry Winogrand in hopes that he’ll make it big one day and teach many a workshop through his collective. Limited to 3,500 units, it also comes with a detachable optical viewfinder and a leather hand strap.
The longer I’ve spent away from the Ricoh GR III, the more I wonder why someone would get it over a camera far more performance-driven like the Fujifilm X100V. Specifically, they’ve given the RICOH GR III Street Edition a grey finish to match the streets of a city. And we’re not kidding about that; that’s what’s said in the press release. And the orange ring is supposed to be akin to traffic lines on the street. Unfortunately, the press release says nothing about a custom shutter sound that mimics the sounds of the subway doors closing or street performers trying to make a buck in Times Square.
Here’s another quote from the press release:
“This camera allows the photographer to instantly activate the Full Press Snap feature* with a single touch on the LCD panel. This feature shifts the lens to a preselected focal point the moment the shutter release button is fully pressed. It can also be assigned to the LCD screen, assuring the photographer of flawless point-and-shoot photography to capture once-in-a-lifetime shutter opportunities. One of the strong points of the GR series, this feature comes in handy when taking snapshots on the street and will be available in the standard GR III via a firmware update that is scheduled for release later this year.”
The camera will be sold at $1,199.95 and will probably be flipped on eBay for a few hundred bucks more for a very limited time. In Autumn of this year, they plan on releasing a version of this camera without the snazzy leather strap or the viewfinder.
Here’s a quote from our review of the Ricoh GR III:
“In my opinion, the Ricoh GR III is too much of a niche camera. For $899 you can get so many other things instead. Skip out on this and either get a fine film point and shoot or an older digital camera with a lens and call it a day.”
Of course, do what you want to do with your own money. But I’m not sure that I’d use this. The Ricoh GR series has a ton of problems, and while it’s capable of delivering excellent images, it severely lacks in build quality. It’s also a camera that can really only be used for street and not a whole lot else.