Ricoh GR II vs GR III Comparison

Ricoh GR II vs GR III Comparison Front

Ricoh GR II vs GR III Front View

Post updated Jan.22.2019 (official GR III release date)

The Ricoh GR II successor model GR III was released today on January 22nd 2019.

As longtime Ricoh GR II fan and user, I was curious how the technical specifications and new control buttons layout of the new GR III compares to the older GR II model. My comparison is based on publicly available text and image information and includes only new and changed aspects.

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Treat Your Ricoh Right – Howto Avoid/Fix Ricoh GR Problems

The Ricoh GR and GR II is a beautifully engineered digital photo camera with excellent optical quality in a small package. It is the smallest and lightest camera with APS-C sized sensor and fixed prime lens!

I bought my GR second hand in 2013. Next to the ten other cameras the Ricoh became my most used camera until today. In total I made 71005 photographs with the GR. That is 52% of all my 135117 of my photos since 2013. I am really sold to the GR (:

Although it is highly praised and recommended among many popular Street Photographers, including Eric Kim, …, … and others, technical problems can develop over time. With a steady price tag ~ $500 the GR is not a cheap camera. With proper precautions and care those common problems can be avoided and fixed if necessary.

4 Common Ricoh GR Problems & Howto Avoid/Fix Them

Let´s start with the issue that affects the photographic process the most:

  1. Closed Shutter after Power On
    • Ricoh GR Sticky Closed Shutter Black Frame

      Ricoh GR Closed Shutter after Power On

    • What is the problem?
      • After power on the shutter of the camera is still closed and the display is black.
      • The shutter will “unlock” after you make one “dark frame” exposure. Repeat each time the camera is turned on.
    • Why does it happen?
      • Most likely moisture caused the shutter to become sticky
    • How can it be avoided?
      • Do NOT shoot in the rain and other moisture conditions!
    • How can it be fixed?
      • Send to dedicated camera repair service.  The whole lens module will be replaced (included under product warranty)
    • Where is more information about this issue?
  2. Dust on Sensor
    • Ricoh GR Sensor Dust

      Ricoh GR Sensor Dust

    • What is the problem?
      • Like in every digital camera, small dust and other particles can deposit themselves on the sensor.
      • To check for dust, set the aperture to f/16 and make a photo of the blue sky.
    • Why does it happen?
      • The camera is stored unprotected in a place with dust/small particles (for example a jeans pocket)
      • The camera is left on during a photo walk
      • The camera is used during windy conditions
    • How can it be avoided?
      • Always store the Ricoh GR in a small dedicated camera bag!
      • Turn the camera off between shots (the start up, lens extrusion time is only 0,8 seconds!)
      • Try not to shoot directly against strong winds or towards an outdoor driving direction.
    • How can it be fixed?
      • Send it to a dedicated camera repair service (included under product warranty)
      • Clean the sensor DYI (involves meticulous camera disassembly procedure)
    • Where is more information about this issue?
      • Written and illustrated step by step guide how to disassemble and clean the Ricoh GR, GR II sensor
      • Ricoh GR disassembly and sensor cleaning video
  3. Sticky shutter button (left and right side)
    • Ricoh GR Shutter Button stuck in the lower right corner

      Ricoh GR Shutter Button stuck in the lower right corner

    • What is the problem?
      • After pressing the shutter button it gets stuck in the left or right corner
      • Pressing the button again in its center helps to release it from the blocked position
    • Why does it happen?
      • Fingertip grease and dust tend to accumulate under the button, making it less responsive
      • “The shape invites a rocker-like motion, thus the possible stickiness.”
    • How can it be avoided?
      • Use gloves :) just kidding, I am not sure if this can be avoided at all.
    • How can it be fixed?
      • Undocumented for the GR but a possible cleaning method would be to use a syringe and inject small amounts of electrical contact cleaner under the button, while the camera is upside down.
    • Where is more information about this issue?
  4. Rubber wrap stretching out of form
    • What is the problem?
    • Why does it happen?
    • How can it be avoided?
    • How can it be fixed?
    • Where is more information about this issue?