Ricoh GR III vs Sony A6400
The Ricoh GR III and the Sony Alpha A6400 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2019 and January 2019. The GR III is a fixed lens compact, while the A6400 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 A6400|
|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||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-102,400||ISO 100-32,000 (100 - 102,400)|
|Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 1037k dots||3.0 LCD, 922k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|4 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|200 shots per battery charge||410 shots per battery charge|
|109 x 62 x 33 mm, 257 g||120 x 67 x 50 mm, 403 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Ricoh GR III and the Sony Alpha A6400? 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 Ricoh GR III and the Sony A6400 is provided 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 width, height and depth measures 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 Sony A6400 is notably larger (19 percent) than the Ricoh GR III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GR III nor the A6400 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 A6400 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 A6400 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 table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Ricoh GR III||109 mm||62 mm||33 mm||257 g||200||n||Feb 2019||899|
|Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||n||Jan 2019||899|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||105 mm||61 mm||41 mm||304 g||235||n||Jul 2019||749|
|Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|Fujifilm XF10||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499|
|Leica C-LUX||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049|
|Panasonic GX9||124 mm||72 mm||47 mm||407 g||260||n||Feb 2018||849|
|Panasonic TZ200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799|
|Panasonic LX15||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699|
|Panasonic TZ100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699|
|Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|Sony ZV-1||105 mm||60 mm||44 mm||294 g||260||n||May 2020||799|
|Sony A6100||120 mm||67 mm||59 mm||396 g||420||n||Aug 2019||749|
|Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199|
|Sony A6300||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999|
|Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
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. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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. 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 A6400 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. 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 A6400 are ISO 100 to ISO 32000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-102400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Ricoh GR III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic GX9||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A6400 provides a better video resolution than the GR III. It can shoot movie 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 A6400 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Ricoh GR III and Sony A6400 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|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The A6400 has one, while the GR III does not. While the built-in flash of the A6400 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The A6400 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 reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the A6400 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
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 A6400 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 A6400 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Ricoh GR III||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the A6400 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The GR III does not feature such a mic input.
Both the GR III and the A6400 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The A6400 replaced the earlier Sony A6300, 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 what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Ricoh GR III or the Sony A6400 – 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.
Reasons to prefer the Ricoh GR III:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- 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 A6400 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x62mm vs 120x67mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A6400).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A6400:
- 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).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- 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 (11 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 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.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A6400 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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 Ricoh GR III and the Sony A6400 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the GR III and the A6400 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
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.
|Ricoh GR III||..||81/100||4/5||..||..||Feb 2019||899|
|Sony A6400||+||85/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|Canon G7 X Mark III||+ +||81/100||4/5||..||..||Jul 2019||749|
|Canon M50||+||79/100||..||4/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|Canon M5||+||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|Fujifilm XF10||..||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499|
|Leica C-LUX||..||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049|
|Panasonic GX9||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||849|
|Panasonic TZ200||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799|
|Panasonic LX15||+ +||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699|
|Panasonic TZ100||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|Ricoh GR II||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|Sony ZV-1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||May 2020||799|
|Sony A6100||..||82/100||4/5||..||5/5||Aug 2019||749|
|Sony RX100 VI||+ +||83/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199|
|Sony A6300||+||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999|
|Sony A6000||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 800D vs Ricoh GR III
- Canon G16 vs Ricoh GR III
- Canon SX510 vs Sony A6400
- Canon SX610 vs Ricoh GR III
- Canon SX740 vs Ricoh GR III
- Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs Sony A6400
- Leica SL vs Sony A6400
- Leica V-LUX 2 vs Sony A6400
- Leica X1 vs Sony A6400
- Panasonic GF7 vs Ricoh GR III
- Panasonic ZS100 vs Sony A6400
- Pentax K-3 II vs Ricoh GR III
Specifications: Ricoh GR III vs Sony A6400
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 A6400|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28mm f/2.8||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2019||January 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A6400|
|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||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 102,400 ISO||100 - 32,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||GR Engine VI||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||83|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1431|
|Screen Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A6400|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A6400|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||YES|
|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 A6400|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A6400|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||200 shots per charge||410 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)
120 x 67 x 50 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.0 in)
|Camera Weight||257 g (9.1 oz)||403 g (14.2 oz)|
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