Ricoh GR III vs Sony RX1R
The Ricoh GR III and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2019 and June 2013. Both the GR III and the RX1R are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an APS-C (GR III) and a full frame (RX1R) 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Ricoh GR III and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R? 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 RX1R 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 RX1R is notably larger (9 percent) than the Ricoh GR III. Moreover, the RX1R is substantially heavier (88 percent) than the GR III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GR III nor the RX1R are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the GR III gets 200 shots out of its DB-110 battery, while the RX1R can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.||Ricoh GR III||109 mm||62 mm||33 mm||257 g||200||n||Feb 2019||899||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony RX1R||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||105 mm||61 mm||41 mm||304 g||235||n||Jul 2019||749||amazon.com|
|4.||Leica C-LUX||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049||amazon.com|
|5.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295||ebay.com|
|6.||Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic GX9||124 mm||72 mm||47 mm||407 g||260||n||Feb 2018||849||amazon.com|
|8.||Panasonic TZ200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic LX15||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699||amazon.com|
|10.||Panasonic TZ100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|11.||Ricoh GR IIIx||109 mm||62 mm||35 mm||262 g||200||n||Sep 2021||999||amazon.com|
|12.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony ZV-1||105 mm||60 mm||44 mm||294 g||260||n||May 2020||799||amazon.com|
|14.||Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony RX1R II||113 mm||65 mm||72 mm||507 g||220||n||Oct 2015||3,299||amazon.com|
|16.||Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony RX1||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799||ebay.com|
|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 GR III was launched at a markedly lower price (by 68 percent) than the RX1R, 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 size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Ricoh GR III features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX1R a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1R 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.
Even though the RX1R has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the RX1R 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 5 years and 7 months) than the RX1R, 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The GR III has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Ricoh GR III has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Ricoh GR III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.5||1897||83|
|2.||Sony RX1R||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.2||12.4||583||65|
|5.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||12.8||1491||78|
|7.||Panasonic GX9||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.1||12.8||1163||74|
|11.||Ricoh GR IIIx||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.2||13.8||2146||85|
|12.||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|
|15.||Sony RX1R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||1080/60p||25.8||13.9||3204||97|
|17.||Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture 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. The GR III and the RX1R 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 GV-1 for the GR III and the FDA-EV1MK for the RX1R – are available as accessories. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Ricoh GR III and Sony RX1R in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Ricoh GR III||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||n||Y|
|2.||Sony RX1R||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Leica C-LUX||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Panasonic GX9||2760||n||3.0 / 1240||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Panasonic TZ200||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Panasonic LX15||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Panasonic TZ100||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Ricoh GR IIIx||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||n||Y|
|12.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Sony ZV-1||none||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||n||Y|
|14.||Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony RX1R II||2360||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|16.||Sony A3000||202||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||n|
|17.||Sony RX1||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GR III has a touchscreen, while the RX1R 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.
Both the GR III and the RX1R have built-in prime lenses. The GR III has a 28mm f/2.8 optic and the RX1R offers a 35mm f/2.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Ricoh provides a wider angle of view than the Sony. The RX1R offers the faster maximum aperture.
The GR III writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX1R uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The GR III supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the RX1R 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 Ricoh GR III and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Ricoh GR III||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Sony RX1R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Leica C-LUX||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Nikon D3300||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Panasonic GX9||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Panasonic TZ200||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Panasonic LX15||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic TZ100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Ricoh GR IIIx||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|12.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony ZV-1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|14.||Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony RX1R II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A3000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony RX1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the GR III offers wifi support, while the RX1R does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The GR III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Ricoh. In contrast, the RX1R has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX1R was succeeded by the Sony RX1R II. Further information on the features and operation of the GR III and RX1R can be found, respectively, in the Ricoh GR III Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony RX1R Manual.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Ricoh GR III and the Sony RX1R? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Ricoh GR III:
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- 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.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 225g or 47 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- 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 affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (68 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 7 months of technical progress since the RX1R launch.
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R:
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1037k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 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).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (270 versus 200) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2013).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GR III is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 7 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 Ricoh GR III and the Sony RX1R place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listing 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GR III or the RX1R. 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 following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.||Ricoh GR III||4/5||..||3.5/5||81/100||4/5||..||Feb 2019||899||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony RX1R||5/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark III||..||+ +||4/5||81/100||4/5||..||Jul 2019||749||amazon.com|
|4.||Leica C-LUX||..||..||3.5/5||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049||amazon.com|
|5.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295||ebay.com|
|6.||Nikon D3300||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic GX9||4/5||+||4/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||849||amazon.com|
|8.||Panasonic TZ200||..||+ +||4.5/5||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic LX15||..||+ +||4/5||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699||amazon.com|
|10.||Panasonic TZ100||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|11.||Ricoh GR IIIx||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2021||999||amazon.com|
|12.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony ZV-1||4/5||..||4.5/5||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2020||799||amazon.com|
|14.||Sony RX100 VI||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony RX1R II||5/5||..||..||82/100||..||4.5/5||Oct 2015||3,299||amazon.com|
|16.||Sony A3000||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony RX1||5/5||..||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon SX530 vs Ricoh GR III
- Fujifilm X-A10 vs Sony RX1R
- Fujifilm X-T30 vs Ricoh GR III
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Sony RX1R
- Leica M Typ 262 vs Ricoh GR III
- Leica V-LUX 4 vs Sony RX1R
- Nikon 1 V3 vs Sony RX1R
- Panasonic FZ150 vs Sony RX1R
- Panasonic G95 vs Ricoh GR III
- Panasonic GH2 vs Sony RX1R
- Ricoh GR III vs Sony A58
- Ricoh GR III vs Zeiss ZX1
Specifications: Ricoh GR III vs Sony RX1R
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 RX1R|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28mm f/2.8||35mm f/2.0|
|Launch Date||February 2019||June 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 2,799|
|Sensor Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony RX1R|
|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||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 102,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 102,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||GR Engine VI||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||91|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||25.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||2537|
|Screen Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony RX1R|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony RX1R|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||no handshake reduction|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony RX1R|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Ricoh GR III||Sony RX1R|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||200 shots per charge||270 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)
113 x 65 x 70 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||257 g (9.1 oz)||482 g (17.0 oz)|
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