Olympus E-P2 vs Ricoh GR III
The Olympus PEN E-P2 and the Ricoh GR III are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in November 2009 and February 2019. The E-P2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the GR III is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-P2) and an APS-C (GR III) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 12.2 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus PEN E-P2 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 physical size and weight of the Olympus E-P2 and the Ricoh GR III are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The E-P2 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the GR III is only available in black.
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 notably smaller (20 percent) than the Olympus E-P2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-P2 nor the GR III are weather-sealed.
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 E-P2 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the E-P2 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The power pack in the GR III can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Olympus E-P2||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Nov 2009||799|
|2.||Ricoh GR III||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||9.1 oz||200||n||Feb 2019||899|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||235||n||Jul 2019||749|
|4.||Fujifilm XF10||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||9.8 oz||330||n||Jul 2018||499|
|5.||Olympus E-P3||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.0 oz||330||n||Jun 2011||799|
|6.||Olympus E-PL2||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||12.8 oz||280||n||Jan 2011||599|
|7.||Olympus E-PL3||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||599|
|8.||Olympus E-PL1||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||11.8 oz||290||n||Feb 2010||599|
|9.||Olympus E-620||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|10.||Olympus E-P1||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Jun 2009||799|
|11.||Olympus E-520||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699|
|12.||Panasonic ZS200||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.0 oz||370||n||Feb 2018||799|
|13.||Panasonic G10||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||13.7 oz||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|14.||Panasonic GF1||4.7 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||13.6 oz||380||n||Sep 2009||749|
|15.||Panasonic GH1||4.9 in||3.5 in||1.8 in||13.6 oz||300||n||Mar 2009||899|
|16.||Ricoh GR II||4.6 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||8.9 oz||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|17.||Ricoh GR||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-P2 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Ricoh GR III an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the GR III is 63 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the E-P2 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the GR III offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the GR III offers a higher resolution than the E-P2 (12.2MP), but the GR III has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.29μm for the E-P2). Yet, the GR III is a much more recent model (by 9 years and 3 months) than the E-P2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GR III has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Ricoh GR III implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GR III for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-P2 are 20.2 x 15.1 inches or 51.2 x 38.4 cm for good quality, 16.1 x 12.1 inches or 41 x 30.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.4 x 10.1 inches or 34.1 x 25.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The GR III has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Olympus PEN E-P2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR III are ISO 100 to ISO 102400 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Olympus E-P2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56|
|2.||Ricoh GR III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Olympus E-P3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51|
|6.||Olympus E-PL2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55|
|7.||Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|8.||Olympus E-PL1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54|
|9.||Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|10.||Olympus E-P1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55|
|11.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|13.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|14.||Panasonic GF1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||513||54|
|15.||Panasonic GH1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||21.6||11.6||772||64|
|16.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the GR III provides a better video resolution than the E-P2. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-P2 and the GR III are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. However, optional viewfinders – the VF-2 for the E-P2 and the GV-1 for the GR III – are available as accessories. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-P2 and Ricoh GR III along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Ricoh GR III||optional||n||3.0||1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0||n||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|16.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GR III has a touchscreen, while the E-P2 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The Ricoh GR III has 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 E-P2 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the GR III uses SDXC cards. The GR III supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the E-P2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Olympus PEN E-P2 and Ricoh GR III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Ricoh GR III||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|16.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the GR III offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the E-P2 does not provide wifi capability.
The GR III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Ricoh. In contrast, the E-P2 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-P2 was succeeded by the Olympus E-P3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Ricoh websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-P2 or the Ricoh GR III – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-P2:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (300 versus 200) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in November 2009).
Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR III:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 43%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 230k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the E-P2 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x62mm vs 121x70mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the E-P2).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 9 years and 3 months of technical progress since the E-P2 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GR III is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 4 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 Olympus E-P2 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the E-P2 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Olympus E-P2||3/5||+||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Nov 2009||799|
|2.||Ricoh GR III||4/5||..||81/100||4/5||..||Feb 2019||899|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||..||+ +||81/100||4/5||..||Jul 2019||749|
|4.||Fujifilm XF10||..||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499|
|5.||Olympus E-P3||..||83/100||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799|
|6.||Olympus E-PL2||3/5||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599|
|7.||Olympus E-PL3||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|8.||Olympus E-PL1||..||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599|
|9.||Olympus E-620||3/5||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|10.||Olympus E-P1||..||+||66/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799|
|11.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|12.||Panasonic ZS200||..||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799|
|13.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|14.||Panasonic GF1||..||85/100||69/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||749|
|15.||Panasonic GH1||..||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||899|
|16.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|17.||Ricoh GR||5/5||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Olympus E-P2 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||Olympus E-P2||Ricoh GR III|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||28mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||November 2009||February 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus E-P2||Ricoh GR III|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4032 x 3024 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.29 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.42 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic V||GR Engine VI|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||56||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.4||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||505||..|
|Screen Specs||Olympus E-P2||Ricoh GR III|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus E-P2||Ricoh GR III|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus E-P2||Ricoh GR III|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Olympus E-P2||Ricoh GR III|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||200 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
121 x 70 x 36 mm
(4.8 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
109 x 62 x 33 mm
(4.3 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||355 g (12.5 oz)||257 g (9.1 oz)|
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