Ricoh GR III vs Sony A7 II
The Ricoh GR III and the Sony Alpha A7 II are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2019 and November 2014. The GR III is a fixed lens compact, while the A7 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (GR III) and a full frame (A7 II) 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 A7 II|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|28mm f/2.8||Sony E mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-102400||ISO 100-25600 (50-51200)|
|Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder (2400k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1037k dots||3.0" LCD, 1230k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|4 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|200 shots per battery charge||350 shots per battery charge|
|109 x 62 x 33 mm, 257 g||127 x 96 x 60 mm, 599 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Ricoh GR III and the Sony Alpha A7 II? 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 A7 II. 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 Sony A7 II is considerably larger (80 percent) than the Ricoh GR III. It is noteworthy in this context that the A7 II is splash and dust-proof, 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 A7 II 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 A7 II and their specifications in the Sony FE 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 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»||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||9.1 oz||200||n||Feb 2019||899||Ricoh GR III|
|Sony A7 II«||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||21.1 oz||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||Sony A7 II|
|Canon G7 X Mark III« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||235||n||Jul 2019||749||Canon G7 X Mark III|
|Canon SX740« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||265||n||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||9.8 oz||330||n||Jul 2018||499||Fujifilm XF10|
|Leica C-LUX« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.0 oz||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049||Leica C-LUX|
|Panasonic GX9« »||4.9 in||2.8 in||1.9 in||14.4 oz||260||n||Feb 2018||849||Panasonic GX9|
|Panasonic ZS200« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.0 oz||370||n||Feb 2018||799||Panasonic ZS200|
|Ricoh GR II« »||4.6 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||8.9 oz||320||n||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799||Ricoh GR|
|Sony ZV-1« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||10.4 oz||260||n||May 2020||799||Sony ZV-1|
|Sony A9 II« »||5.1 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||23.9 oz||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7 III« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.7 in||10.6 oz||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony A7R II« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||22.0 oz||290||Y||Jun 2015||3,199||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.7 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||Sony A7|
|Sony A7R« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.4 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299||Sony A7R|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 GR III was launched at a lower price than the A7 II, 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Ricoh GR III features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A7 II a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A7 II is 133 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. 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.
Even though the A7 II has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A7 II has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 3.91μm for the GR III), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the GR III is much more recent (by 4 years and 3 months) than the A7 II, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 A7 II are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-51200.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90||Sony A7 II|
|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 ZS200||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic ZS200|
|Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78||Ricoh GR|
|Sony ZV-1||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony ZV-1|
|Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96||Sony A7 III|
|Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony A7R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90||Sony A7|
|Sony A7R||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95||Sony A7R|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7 II has an electronic viewfinder (2400k 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 Ricoh GR III and Sony A7 II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Ricoh GR III||optional||n||3.0||1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0||n||Y||Ricoh GR III|
|Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7 II|
|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 ZS200||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic ZS200|
|Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR|
|Sony ZV-1||none||n||3.0||922||swivel||Y||1/2000s||24.0||n||Y||Sony ZV-1|
|Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony A7R II||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Sony A7|
|Sony A7R||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n||Sony A7R|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GR III has a touchscreen, while the A7 II 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 GR III writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A7 II 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 A7 II 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 A7 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7 II|
|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 ZS200||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic ZS200|
|Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony ZV-1||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony ZV-1|
|Sony A9 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9 II|
|Sony A7 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony RX100 VI|
|Sony A7R II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7|
|Sony A7R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R|
It is notable that the A7 II 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.
The GR III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Ricoh. In contrast, the A7 II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A7 II was succeeded by the Sony A7 III. 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 there a clear favorite between the Ricoh GR III and the Sony A7 II? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Ricoh GR III:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A7 II requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (109x62mm vs 127x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A7 II).
- 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 affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 3 months of technical progress since the A7 II launch.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A7 II:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- 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.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k 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 (5 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 (350 versus 200) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in November 2014).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A7 II emerges as the winner of the match-up (13 : 10 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 A7 II 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GR III or the A7 II. 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 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 (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 review scores listed above should be treated 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 450D vs Ricoh GR III
- Canon SX70 vs Sony A7 II
- Fujifilm X-A10 vs Sony A7 II
- Leica M10 vs Ricoh GR III
- Nikon D300S vs Ricoh GR III
- Nikon D780 vs Sony A7 II
- Olympus E-M1 vs Sony A7 II
- Olympus E-M10 II vs Sony A7 II
- Panasonic GX7 vs Sony A7 II
- Pentax K-1 II vs Ricoh GR III
- Samsung NX500 vs Sony A7 II
- Sony A7 II vs Sony A7R IV
Specifications: Ricoh GR III vs Sony A7 II
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 A7 II|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28mm f/2.8||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2019||November 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 1999|
|Sensor Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A7 II|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||35.8 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||855.62 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||43 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||5.97 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||2.80 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|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50-51200 ISO|
|Image Processor||GR Engine VI||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||90|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||2449|
|Screen Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A7 II|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2400k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony A7 II|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/8000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board 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 A7 II|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|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 A7 II|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||200 shots per charge||350 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)
127 x 96 x 60 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||257 g (9.1 oz)||599 g (21.1 oz)|
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