Nikon Z7 vs Ricoh GR III
The Nikon Z7 and the Ricoh GR III are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2018 and February 2019. The Z7 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the GR III is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (Z7) and an APS-C (GR III) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 45.4 megapixels, whereas the Ricoh provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon Z7||Ricoh GR III|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Nikon Z mount lenses||28mm f/2.8|
|45.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 64-25600 (32-102400)||ISO 100-102400|
|Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots)||Viewfinder optional|
|3.2" LCD, 2100k dots||3.0" LCD, 1037k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fixed touchscreen|
|9 shutter flaps per second||4 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|330 shots per battery charge||200 shots per battery charge|
|134 x 101 x 67 mm, 675 g||109 x 62 x 33 mm, 257 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Z7 and the Ricoh GR III? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon Z7 and the Ricoh GR III. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR III is considerably smaller (50 percent) than the Nikon Z7. It is worth mentioning in this context that the Z7 is splash and dust resistant, while the GR III does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the GR III has a lens built in, whereas the Z7 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Nikon Z7»||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||330||Y||Aug 2018||3,399||Nikon Z7|
|Ricoh GR III«||109 mm||62 mm||33 mm||257 g||200||n||Feb 2019||899||Ricoh GR III|
|Canon G7 X Mark III« »||105 mm||61 mm||41 mm||304 g||235||n||Jul 2019||749||Canon G7 X Mark III|
|Nikon Z6« »||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||310||Y||Aug 2018||1,999||Nikon Z6|
|Nikon D850« »||146 mm||124 mm||79 mm||1005 g||1840||Y||Jul 2017||3,299||Nikon D850|
|Panasonic S1« »||149 mm||110 mm||97 mm||1017 g||400||Y||Feb 2019||2,499||Panasonic S1|
|Panasonic S1R« »||149 mm||110 mm||97 mm||1016 g||380||Y||Feb 2019||3,699||Panasonic S1R|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic TZ100« »||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699||Panasonic TZ100|
|Ricoh GR II« »||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony ZV-1« »||105 mm||60 mm||44 mm||294 g||260||n||May 2020||799||Sony ZV-1|
|Sony A7 III« »||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III« »||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A99 II« »||143 mm||104 mm||76 mm||849 g||490||Y||Sep 2016||3,199||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7R II« »||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||625 g||290||Y||Jun 2015||3,199||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||627 g||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A99« »||147 mm||111 mm||78 mm||812 g||500||Y||Sep 2012||2,799||Sony A99|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GR III was launched at a lower price than the Z7, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon Z7 features a full frame sensor and the Ricoh GR III an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the GR III is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 45.4MP, the Z7 offers a higher resolution than the GR III (24MP), but the Z7 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.35μm versus 3.91μm for the GR III) due to its larger sensor. However, the GR III is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the Z7, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon Z7 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Z7 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 27.5 inch or 104.9 x 69.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 22 inch or 83.9 x 55.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 18.3 inch or 69.9 x 46.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Ricoh GR III are 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon Z7 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 64 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 32-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR III are ISO 100 to ISO 102400 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Nikon Z7||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.3||14.6||2668||99||Nikon Z7|
|Ricoh GR III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Ricoh GR III|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon G7 X Mark III|
|Nikon Z6||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||3299||95||Nikon Z6|
|Nikon D850||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.4||14.8||2660||100||Nikon D850|
|Panasonic S1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.2||14.5||3333||95||Panasonic S1|
|Panasonic S1R||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/60p||26.4||14.1||3525||100||Panasonic S1R|
|Panasonic TZ200||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic TZ100||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||559||70||Panasonic TZ100|
|Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony ZV-1||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony ZV-1|
|Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A99 II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A99||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||14.0||1555||89||Sony A99|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the Z7 provides a higher video resolution than the GR III. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Ricoh is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Z7 has an electronic viewfinder (3690k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GR III relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GR III can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon Z7 and Ricoh GR III along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon Z7||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||9.0||n||Y||Nikon Z7|
|Ricoh GR III||optional||n||3.0||1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0||n||Y||Ricoh GR III|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y||Canon G7 X Mark III|
|Nikon Z6||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y||Nikon Z6|
|Nikon D850||optical||Y||3.2||2359||tilting||Y||1/8000s||9.0||n||n||Nikon D850|
|Panasonic S1||5760||Y||3.2||2100||full-flex||Y||1/8000s||9.0||n||Y||Panasonic S1|
|Panasonic S1R||5760||Y||3.2||2100||full-flex||Y||1/8000s||9.0||n||Y||Panasonic S1R|
|Panasonic TZ200||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic TZ100||1166||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ100|
|Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony ZV-1||none||n||3.0||922||swivel||Y||1/2000s||24.0||n||Y||Sony ZV-1|
|Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A99 II||2400||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7R II||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A99||2359||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||6.0||n||Y||Sony A99|
One feature that is present on the Z7, but is missing on the GR III is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The Nikon Z7 and the Ricoh GR III both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The Z7 writes its imaging data to XQD cards, while the GR III uses SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Z7 and Ricoh GR III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon Z7||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Nikon Z7|
|Ricoh GR III||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||none||3.0||Y||-||Y||Ricoh GR III|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Canon G7 X Mark III|
|Nikon Z6||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Nikon Z6|
|Nikon D850||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D850|
|Panasonic S1||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic S1|
|Panasonic S1R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic S1R|
|Panasonic TZ200||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic TZ100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TZ100|
|Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony ZV-1||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony ZV-1|
|Sony A7 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A7R III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Sony A99 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7R II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7S II|
|Sony A99||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A99|
It is notable that the Z7 has a microphone port, which is missing on the GR III. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both the Z7 and the GR III are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The GR III replaced the earlier Ricoh GR II, while the Z7 does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Ricoh websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon Z7 or the Ricoh GR III – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Nikon Z7:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (45.4 vs 24MP) with a 38% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2100k vs 1037k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (330 versus 200) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2018).
Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR III:
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the Z7 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x62mm vs 134x101mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the Z7).
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Z7 is the clear winner of the match-up (19 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon Z7 and the Ricoh GR III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the Z7 or the GR III perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1Ds Mark III vs Nikon Z7
- Canon 800D vs Nikon Z7
- Canon T6 vs Ricoh GR III
- Fujifilm X100 vs Nikon Z7
- Leica T vs Ricoh GR III
- Leica V-LUX 5 vs Ricoh GR III
- Nikon B600 vs Nikon Z7
- Nikon Z7 vs Panasonic ZS200
- Olympus E-510 vs Ricoh GR III
- Panasonic TS7 vs Ricoh GR III
- Pentax KP vs Ricoh GR III
- Ricoh GR III vs Sony A9 II
Specifications: Nikon Z7 vs Ricoh GR III
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon Z7||Ricoh GR III|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon Z mount lenses||28mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||August 2018||February 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 3399||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon Z7||Ricoh GR III|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 23.9 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||858.01 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.1 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||45.4 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||8256 x 5504 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.35 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.30 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||64-25600 ISO||100-102400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||32-102400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 6||GR Engine VI|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||99||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||26.3||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||14.6||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2668||..|
|Screen Specs||Nikon Z7||Ricoh GR III|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||2100k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon Z7||Ricoh GR III|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||No Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||9 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||XQD cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon Z7||Ricoh GR III|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon Z7||Ricoh GR III|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||330 shots per charge||200 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
134 x 101 x 67 mm
(5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in)
109 x 62 x 33 mm
(4.3 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||675 g (23.8 oz)||257 g (9.1 oz)|
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