I’m a big fan of the premium compact segment and there are so many good choices for us consumers right now. My father has the beautiful Leica Type 109, I have the Ricoh GR and now the Sony RX100 Mark III has fallen into my hands. All of them are incredibly powerful little machines. They all have full manual controls, they all shoot raw and they all have huge sensors compared to compacts of the not too distant past. They also all come at a premium price, but have outstanding build quality, good (RX100) to outstanding (Ricoh GR) handling and all of them deliver amazing image quality compared to their size.
In this short post we are talking about Sony’s outstanding 1 inch sensor vs. Pentax/Ricoh’s APS-C sensor. As far as the bodies are concerned there’s not too much difference when turned off. Both cameras are roughly the same hight and thickness, but the Sony is a little more boxy while the Ricoh is a little wider. However, when the cameras are powered on there is quite a difference. The Sony’s rather large, bright zoom lens makes the camera considerably larger while the lens on the Ricoh makes it just marginally bigger. It should be noted that the GR is a fixed 28mm lens. See the photos above and below for size comparisons.
When it comes to the images shot at ISO3200 it’s pretty close, which says a lot for Sony’s relatively small sensor compared to Ricoh’s larger sensor. In my opinion I find that the Ricoh has retained just slightly more detail than the the RX100 III. It’s not much, but when looking at the black fiberboard behind the bikes I see a little more detail from the GR. Funny thing is the color cast from each camera. Both were shot RAW, but there is a visible color difference. This doesn’t bother me too much since that’s easily correctable in post.
In the end, I could easily live with the quality coming out of both of these camera.