Ricoh GR III Camera Review

ISO: Colors

High ISO performances will likely be one of the most interesting image parameter for many users. We will thus look at the new camera's results in detail. This page looks at both sharpness and colors, to see how the GR III delivers.

All images were shot in RAW+ mode under constant illumination from a 500W halogen lamp. They were developed in Lightroom. Default development settings were used, except that we tuned noise handling since Lightroom did not apply any noise reduction by default. We used auto white balance, "bright" custom image with default settings, auto in-camera noise reduction (for JPEGs), and no lens corrections.

In-camera JPEGs

We will first look at how the camera performs when generating JPEGs in-camera.

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12800

ISO 25600

ISO 51200

ISO 102400

Color accuracy is high between ISO 200 and 12800. At ISO 100, the exposure and color balance results in a whiter white brick (third from the right) but with decreased detail, and a washed-out pink brick (fourth from the left). The same behavior occurs at ISO 25600 and higher. Reds are probably the weakest point for color rendering. As if often the case with digital cameras, there is some loss of detail compared to the other colors.

Noise handling is superb up to ISO 6400. There is very little to distinguish the images shot below or at this value. The blue channel seems to be the most prone to noise, but the differences are subtle.

ISO 12800 and 25600 still allow the viewer to read the brand name on the bricks. Even though noise is more apparent, the decrease in resolution remains small.

ISO values starting from 51200 and higher show a significant loss of detail. The impact on color accuracy is quite small, however, which is commendable. Ricoh did well to limit high ISO values at 102400, anything higher would have been wasted anyway.

The following table offers full-resolution links to the files.

ISO 100
ISO 200 
ISO 400 
ISO 800 
ISO 1600 
ISO 3200 
ISO 6400 
ISO 12800 
ISO 25600 
ISO 51200 
ISO 102400 

Lightroom-processed RAW

We now look at how the GR III delivers when generating RAW files processed in Lightroom.

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12800

ISO 25600

ISO 51200

ISO 102400

Color accuracy is generally excellent with the Lightroom-processed RAW files, except for a persistent warm cast, particularly obvious on the white and gray bricks. Changes in ISO values do not appear to impact the color space as much as with the JPEG files.

Using RAW files gives some headroom regarding noise. The files between ISO 100 and ISO 6400 are hard to tell apart, there is no noise to speak of. ISO 12800 and 25600 are perfectly usable, with the text easily legible. Noise begins to take its toll only at ISO 51200, an advantage of more than one stop over the JPEG files.

The following table offers full-resolution links to the files.

ISO 100
ISO 200 
ISO 400 
ISO 800 
ISO 1600 
ISO 3200 
ISO 6400 
ISO 12800 
ISO 25600 
ISO 51200 
ISO 102400 

Verdict

The Ricoh GR III offers excellent noise handling. ISO 6400 and below can be used with confidence, and results remain good even up to ISO 25600. There is more headroom with RAW files, as can be expected.

Color accuracy is good, though not perfect. Users should pay attention to color when using RAW files, as the default creates a warm color cast.


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