Ricoh GR IIIx vs Sony A5100
The Ricoh GR IIIx and the Sony Alpha A5100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2021 and August 2014. The GR IIIx 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Ricoh GR IIIx 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 IIIx and the Sony A5100. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 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 Sony A5100 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Ricoh GR IIIx. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GR IIIx nor the A5100 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the GR IIIx 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.
Concerning battery life, the GR IIIx gets 200 shots out of its DB-110 battery, while the A5100 can take 400 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 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. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Ricoh GR IIIx||109 mm||62 mm||35 mm||262 g||200||n||Sep 2021||999||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X-S10||126 mm||85 mm||65 mm||465 g||325||n||Oct 2020||999||amazon.com|
|4.||Panasonic LX15||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699||amazon.com|
|5.||Panasonic TZ100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|6.||Ricoh GR III||109 mm||62 mm||33 mm||257 g||200||n||Feb 2019||899||amazon.com|
|7.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699||ebay.com|
|8.||Sony ZV-1||105 mm||60 mm||44 mm||294 g||260||n||May 2020||799||amazon.com|
|9.||Sony RX100 VII||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||302 g||260||n||Jul 2019||1,199||amazon.com|
|10.||Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999||ebay.com|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX100||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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. 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 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.
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 IIIx and the A5100 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GR IIIx is much more recent (by 7 years) 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 IIIx has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Ricoh GR IIIx 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).
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 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.
|1.||Ricoh GR IIIx||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.2||13.8||2146||85|
|6.||Ricoh GR III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.5||1897||83|
|7.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|9.||Sony RX100 VII||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||21.8||12.4||418||63|
|10.||Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||12.3||478||64|
|11.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||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 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 variety of features. The GR IIIx 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 IIIx can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-3. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Ricoh GR IIIx and Sony A5100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Ricoh GR IIIx||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||n||Y|
|2.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Fujifilm X-S10||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Panasonic LX15||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Panasonic TZ100||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Ricoh GR III||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||n||Y|
|7.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Sony ZV-1||none||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||n||Y|
|9.||Sony RX100 VII||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||Y||1/2000s||90.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony A5000||none||n||3.0 / 461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|14.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Sony RX100||none||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0/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 A5100 has one, while the GR IIIx 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 IIIx does not have a selfie-screen.
The Ricoh GR IIIx 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 IIIx 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 IIIx and Sony Alpha A5100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Ricoh GR IIIx||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Fujifilm X-S10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Panasonic LX15||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Panasonic TZ100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Ricoh GR III||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Sony ZV-1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Sony RX100 VII||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony RX100 V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony A5000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony RX100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the GR IIIx has a hotshoe, while the A5100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The GR IIIx is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Ricoh. In contrast, the A5100 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the A5100 from Sony. Further information on the features and operation of the GR IIIx and A5100 can be found, respectively, in the Ricoh GR IIIx Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony A5100 Manual.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Ricoh GR IIIx and the Sony A5100? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Ricoh GR IIIx:
- 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 7 years 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 number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GR IIIx emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 9 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 IIIx 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GR IIIx or the A5100 perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.||Ricoh GR IIIx||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2021||999||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X-S10||5/5||..||4.5/5||86/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2020||999||amazon.com|
|4.||Panasonic LX15||..||+ +||4/5||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699||amazon.com|
|5.||Panasonic TZ100||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|6.||Ricoh GR III||4/5||..||3.5/5||81/100||4/5||..||Feb 2019||899||amazon.com|
|7.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699||ebay.com|
|8.||Sony ZV-1||4/5||..||4.5/5||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2020||799||amazon.com|
|9.||Sony RX100 VII||4.5/5||..||4/5||..||4/5||5/5||Jul 2019||1,199||amazon.com|
|10.||Sony RX100 VI||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||ebay.com|
|12.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX100||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||ebay.com|
|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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 20D vs Sony A5100
- Canon 760D vs Sony A5100
- Canon G5 X vs Ricoh GR IIIx
- Canon G7 X vs Ricoh GR IIIx
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Ricoh GR IIIx
- Fujifilm XQ1 vs Sony A5100
- Leica M10-P vs Sony A5100
- Nikon D500 vs Sony A5100
- Nikon Z6 vs Ricoh GR IIIx
- Panasonic GF7 vs Ricoh GR IIIx
- Ricoh GR IIIx vs Sony A7C
- Sony A5100 vs Sony A58
Specifications: Ricoh GR IIIx 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 IIIx||Sony A5100|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||40mm f/2.8||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2021||August 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 549|
|Sensor Specs||Ricoh GR IIIx||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 - 102,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 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 IIIx||Sony A5100|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||no viewfinder|
|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 IIIx||Sony A5100|
|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||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||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||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Ricoh GR IIIx||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 IIIx||Sony A5100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||200 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
109 x 62 x 35 mm
(4.3 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
110 x 63 x 36 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||262 g (9.2 oz)||283 g (10.0 oz)|
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