Olympus TG-6 vs Ricoh GR IIIx
The Olympus Tough TG-6 and the Ricoh GR IIIx are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2019 and September 2021. Both the TG-6 and the GR IIIx are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (TG-6) and an APS-C (GR IIIx) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 12 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 Tough TG-6 and the Ricoh GR IIIx? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus TG-6 and the Ricoh GR IIIx is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The TG-6 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the GR IIIx 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 IIIx is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Olympus TG-6. However, the GR IIIx is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the TG-6. It is worth mentioning in this context that the TG-6 is splash and dust resistant, while the GR IIIx does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the TG-6 is water-proof up to 15m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
Concerning battery life, the TG-6 gets 340 shots out of its LI-92B battery, while the GR IIIx can take 200 images on a single charge of its DB-110 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Olympus TG-6||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||253 g||340||Y||May 2019||449|
|2.||Ricoh GR IIIx||109 mm||62 mm||35 mm||262 g||200||n||Sep 2021||999|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-S10||126 mm||85 mm||65 mm||465 g||325||n||Oct 2020||999|
|5.||Nikon W300||112 mm||66 mm||29 mm||231 g||280||Y||May 2017||389|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||250 g||340||Y||May 2017||449|
|7.||Olympus TG-4||112 mm||66 mm||31 mm||247 g||380||Y||Apr 2015||379|
|8.||Olympus E-PM1||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||265 g||330||n||Jun 2011||499|
|9.||Olympus XZ-1||111 mm||65 mm||42 mm||275 g||320||n||Jan 2011||499|
|10.||Panasonic TS7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449|
|11.||Ricoh GR III||109 mm||62 mm||33 mm||257 g||200||n||Feb 2019||899|
|12.||Ricoh WG-6||118 mm||66 mm||33 mm||246 g||340||Y||Feb 2019||399|
|13.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|14.||Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199|
|15.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|16.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|17.||Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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. The TG-6 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 percent) than the GR IIIx, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.
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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 Olympus TG-6 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Ricoh GR IIIx an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the GR IIIx is 1211 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the TG-6 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the GR IIIx offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the GR IIIx offers a higher resolution than the TG-6 (12MP), but the GR IIIx nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.53μm for the TG-6) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the GR IIIx is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 3 months) than the TG-6, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GR IIIx has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Ricoh GR IIIx implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GR IIIx 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 TG-6 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The GR IIIx has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Olympus Tough TG-6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR IIIx are ISO 100 to ISO 102400 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|2.||Ricoh GR IIIx||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.2||13.8||2146||85|
|8.||Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52|
|11.||Ricoh GR III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.5||1897||83|
|13.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|14.||Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||12.3||478||64|
|17.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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 TG-6 provides a higher video resolution than the GR IIIx. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Ricoh is limited to 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The TG-6 and the GR IIIx 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. That said, the GR IIIx can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-3. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus TG-6 and Ricoh GR IIIx along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Olympus TG-6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/2000s||20.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Ricoh GR IIIx||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||n||Y|
|3.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-S10||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Nikon W300||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/2000s||20.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Olympus TG-4||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Olympus E-PM1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.5/s||n||Y|
|9.||Olympus XZ-1||optional||n||3.0 / 614||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Panasonic TS7||1170||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Ricoh GR III||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||n||Y|
|12.||Ricoh WG-6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony HX99||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony HX95||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The TG-6 has one, while the GR IIIx does not. While the built-in flash of the TG-6 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The Olympus TG-6 and the Ricoh GR IIIx 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 TG-6 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the GR IIIx comes with a built-in prime. The TG-6 has a 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9 optic and the GR IIIx offers a 40mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Olympus provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Ricoh. The TG-6 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the TG-6 and the GR IIIx write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 Tough TG-6 and Ricoh GR IIIx and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Olympus TG-6||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Ricoh GR IIIx||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon SX740||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-S10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Nikon W300||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Olympus TG-4||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Olympus E-PM1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Olympus XZ-1||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic TS7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Ricoh GR III||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|12.||Ricoh WG-6||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||3.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony HX99||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony HX95||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony RX100 V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the GR IIIx has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The TG-6 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the TG-6 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
Both the TG-6 and the GR IIIx are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The TG-6 replaced the earlier Olympus TG-5, while the GR IIIx followed on from the Ricoh GR II. 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 what is the bottom line? Is the Olympus TG-6 better than the Ricoh GR IIIx or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Olympus Tough TG-6:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (340 versus 200) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 15m).
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2019).
Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR IIIx:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 44%.
- 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 live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the TG-6 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GR IIIx emerges as the winner of the match-up (14 : 12 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 TG-6 and the Ricoh GR IIIx place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the TG-6 and the GR IIIx in practical situations. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 TG-6||..||+ +||4.5/5||76/100||4/5||4/5||May 2019||449|
|2.||Ricoh GR IIIx||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2021||999|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-S10||5/5||..||4.5/5||86/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2020||999|
|5.||Nikon W300||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||389|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||449|
|7.||Olympus TG-4||..||+||..||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2015||379|
|8.||Olympus E-PM1||..||86/100||..||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499|
|9.||Olympus XZ-1||4/5||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||499|
|10.||Panasonic TS7||..||+||..||..||..||3.5/5||May 2018||449|
|11.||Ricoh GR III||4/5||..||3.5/5||81/100||4/5||..||Feb 2019||899|
|12.||Ricoh WG-6||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2019||399|
|13.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|14.||Sony RX100 VI||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199|
|15.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|16.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|17.||Sony RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu 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 200D vs Olympus TG-6
- Canon R6 vs Ricoh GR IIIx
- Leica S3 vs Ricoh GR IIIx
- Leica X2 vs Olympus TG-6
- Nikon W150 vs Olympus TG-6
- Olympus TG-5 vs Olympus TG-6
- Olympus TG-6 vs Panasonic GF6
- Olympus TG-6 vs Sony A68
- Panasonic GX800 vs Ricoh GR IIIx
- Panasonic GX9 vs Ricoh GR IIIx
- Panasonic S1 vs Ricoh GR IIIx
- Ricoh GR IIIx vs Ricoh WG-60
Specifications: Olympus TG-6 vs Ricoh GR IIIx
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 TG-6||Ricoh GR IIIx|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-100mm f/2.0-4.9||40mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||May 2019||September 2021|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus TG-6||Ricoh GR IIIx|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic VIII||GR Engine VI|
|Screen Specs||Olympus TG-6||Ricoh GR IIIx|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus TG-6||Ricoh GR IIIx|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||20 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||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus TG-6||Ricoh GR IIIx|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Olympus TG-6||Ricoh GR IIIx|
|Environmental Sealing||Waterproof body (15m)||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||340 shots per charge||200 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
113 x 66 x 32 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
109 x 62 x 35 mm
(4.3 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||253 g (8.9 oz)||262 g (9.2 oz)|
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