Ricoh GR III vs Sony A5100
The Ricoh GR III and the Sony Alpha A5100 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2019 and August 2014. The GR III is a fixed lens compact, while the A5100 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Ricoh GR III||Sony A5100|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|28mm f/2.8||Sony E mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-102400||ISO 100-25600|
|Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 1037k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|4 shutter flaps per second||6 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|200 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|109 x 62 x 33 mm, 257 g||110 x 63 x 36 mm, 283 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Ricoh GR III and the Sony Alpha A5100? 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 Ricoh GR III and the Sony A5100. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The A5100 can be obtained in two different colors (black, 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 Sony A5100 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Ricoh GR III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GR III nor the A5100 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 A5100 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 A5100 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, 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. 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.
|Ricoh GR III»||109 mm||62 mm||33 mm||257 g||200||n||Feb 2019||899||Ricoh GR III|
|Sony A5100«||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Canon G7 X Mark III« »||105 mm||61 mm||41 mm||304 g||235||n||Jul 2019||749||Canon G7 X Mark III|
|Canon SX740« »||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499||Fujifilm XF10|
|Leica C-LUX« »||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049||Leica C-LUX|
|Panasonic GX9« »||124 mm||72 mm||47 mm||407 g||260||n||Feb 2018||849||Panasonic GX9|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic LX15« »||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699||Panasonic LX15|
|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 RX100 VI« »||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449||Sony A5000|
|Sony A6000« »||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony RX100« »||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649||Sony RX100|
|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. 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the GR III and the A5100 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GR III is much more recent (by 4 years and 6 months) than the A5100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 Ricoh GR III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5100 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Ricoh GR III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Ricoh GR III|
|Sony A5100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon G7 X Mark III|
|Canon SX740||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX740|
|Fujifilm XF10||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm XF10|
|Leica C-LUX||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Leica C-LUX|
|Panasonic GX9||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic GX9|
|Panasonic TZ200||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic LX15||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic LX15|
|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 RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.8||13.0||1089||79||Sony A5000|
|Sony A6000||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.1||1347||82||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.8||12.5||1067||74||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony RX100||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66||Sony RX100|
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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The GR III and the A5100 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 III can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Ricoh GR III and Sony A5100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Ricoh GR III||optional||n||3.0||1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0||n||Y||Ricoh GR III|
|Sony A5100||none||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y||Canon G7 X Mark III|
|Canon SX740||none||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Fujifilm XF10||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm XF10|
|Leica C-LUX||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Leica C-LUX|
|Panasonic GX9||2760||n||3.0||1240||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||Y||Panasonic GX9|
|Panasonic TZ200||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic LX15||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic LX15|
|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 RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000||none||n||3.0||461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Sony A5000|
|Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony RX100||none||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The A5100 has one, while the GR III does not. While the built-in flash of the A5100 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The A5100 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the GR III does not have a selfie-screen.
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 GR III writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5100 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 Ricoh GR III and Sony Alpha A5100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Ricoh GR III||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||none||3.0||Y||-||Y||Ricoh GR III|
|Sony A5100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Canon G7 X Mark III|
|Canon SX740||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Fujifilm XF10||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm XF10|
|Leica C-LUX||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica C-LUX|
|Panasonic GX9||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic GX9|
|Panasonic TZ200||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic LX15||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic LX15|
|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 RX100 VI||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A6000||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony RX100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX100|
It is notable that the GR III has a hotshoe, while the A5100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the GR III and the A5100 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The A5100 replaced the earlier Sony A5000, while the GR III 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 Ricoh and Sony websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Ricoh GR III better than the Sony A5100 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Ricoh GR III:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 922k dots).
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A5100 requires a separate lens.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A5100).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- 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 4 years and 6 months of technical progress since the A5100 launch.
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A5100:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 200) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2014).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GR III emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 Ricoh GR III and the Sony A5100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the GR III and the A5100 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 450D vs Sony A5100
- Canon 700D vs Ricoh GR III
- Canon G3 X vs Sony A5100
- Leica X Typ 113 vs Sony A5100
- Nikon D3 vs Ricoh GR III
- Olympus E-PL8 vs Sony A5100
- Panasonic G10 vs Ricoh GR III
- Panasonic GX80 vs Ricoh GR III
- Panasonic ZS80 vs Ricoh GR III
- Ricoh GR III vs Sony A99 II
- Ricoh GR III vs Sony RX100 II
- Sony A5100 vs Sony A6100
Specifications: Ricoh GR III vs Sony A5100
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||Ricoh GR III||Sony A5100|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28mm f/2.8||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2019||August 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A5100|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-102400 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||GR Engine VI||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||80|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1347|
|Screen Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A5100|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A5100|
|Autofocus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/4000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||6 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A5100|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A5100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||200 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
109 x 62 x 33 mm
(4.3 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
110 x 63 x 36 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||257 g (9.1 oz)||283 g (10.0 oz)|
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