Celebrating 2000 consecutive days
Today I finally reached my goal of 2000 consecutive days of “filling the circles” on my Apple Watch. I’m going to celebrate by sitting in the sofa and just relax 😁.
I don’t trust the actual measurements, or think it is the best way to measure my health. But, and this is the important part, the gamification has got me to stand up and be more active. I’m pretty certain that I wouldn’t have walked around in heavy snowfall, or late evenings in a new town, or do other similar silly stuff just because I “need to fill the circles”.
These circles have made me enjoy walking more than ever before (walking is my most common way of exercising), which have made me experience and see more stuff. When I go to a new place, I try to make sure that I have an extra day or two just for walking around and look at the surroundings. This means that I experience more of the places I visit, which is nice. I’m also a lot more familiar with the forests around the village where I live, which is also very nice.
So far, that the only “drawback” I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of money I spend on shoes … I tend to wear them out 👍🏻. Definitely a price worth paying. The whole concept of “filling the circles” might be silly, but it works for me !! So, I give it a five-star rating 😜
A photo of the local notice board … but it’s really just a test to see if there is a decent workflow to get a photo and some text onto my blog.
If you see this text + the photo above, then it worked.
6 weeks and 700 photos with the Ricoh GR IIIx
As I have mentioned earlier, I like 40 mm lenses. They are not too wide, nor too long, they work surprisingly well for me in many situations.
This “love affair” started pre-covid when I noticed that a person in town sold a 20 mm/1.7 (m43 lens) for a reasonable price. At first, I couldn’t really figure out when and for what to use it, so I continued to use a zoom lens, thinking that “a zoom lens is much more flexible and useful”.
But 10 months ago, I wanted to carry something smaller than my G9, and started to use my GX80 more and more. At first, I used a compact cheap zoom, but it was a bit too slow, so I changed lens and put on the 20 mm instead … and it has stayed on.
The GX80/20 mm combo have worked well, and I’ve taken quite a few photos with it. But, and this is a big ‘but’, the GX80 is a bit heavy and together with the lens it’s not really pocketable. Trying to get something more compact, I then decided to pair the lens with an old GM5 I have. Unfortunately, while lighter, this combo is still a bit clumsy (and the picture quality isn’t as good as the GX80). So, I started to look at various point & shoot cameras, but I couldn’t find one that I really liked … so nothing happened.
I then realised that Ricoh had released a new version of their GR III model, the GR IIIx, with a 40 mm full frame equivalent lens. Very interesting … but why spend a lot of money on something that I already have: a small camera with a 40 mm lens. So, I couldn’t justify buying one.
Then my birthday came, and since it was one of the “big” birthdays, my extended family had pooled together and bought a gift card at my local camera shop … they sure know what I like. This was a chance I was unable to resist, I added some money and ordered a GR IIIx, hoping that it would be a camera I would actually like.
Spoiler: I do.
There are a few things that make the GR IIIx stand out in my mind
- Size and weight. The camera is light and small, it’s pocketable, and I don’t notice it when I have it with me.
- Ergonomics. The GR IIIx is comfortable to hold, it’s easy to use it single-handed, and the controls/buttons are in the right place.
- Picture quality. This was what really surprised me, the quality is much better than I expected. Colors, highlights, and shadows is more or less exactly how I see things.
I’ve used the GR IIIx both when walking around in the forest, and in the city. I spent most of the time trying to learn how it works in different situations, what kind of results I can expect, and how the controls work. Here are a few examples of the result (and yes, all photos have been edited).
Before getting the GR IIIx in my hand, I hadn’t realised that it had a good macro mode. I had not expected that a macro mode on a camera like this would be useful, but it is. A couple of examples:
I’m delighted that the GR IIIx is so easy to use one-handed, here are a couple of photos that I wouldn’t have been able to capture if it had required two hands to operate.
There are several features that I haven’t explored yet:
- Built-in ND filters
- Snap Focus.
- Editing. I don’t expect that I’ll ever use this, I have never used the editing features of any camera I’ve owned. I much prefer editing on my iPad/iPhone.
- Scenes. I’ve only tried a couple of exposures with the “B&W hard” scenes, so I can’t say anything yet.
- And a few other features that I don’t really know anything about yet.
A minor thing that I really appreciate is that the attachment point for the wrist strap is on the lower right, instead of the upper right. This makes it quite comfortable to use a wrist strap, something I commonly use (I recommend “The Cuff” by Peak Design).
There are two possible downsides of the GR IIIx.
- The first is the battery life, this seems to be a major concern of many reviewers. Personally, I haven’t had any problems … yet, but I haven’t had a chance to stress test this (this will happen in a few weeks).
- The more serious issue for me is that there is no viewfinder. I have the typical “old age eyes” which means that I need glasses to be able to read and see things close up, but I don’t need any glasses to drive a car, or walk around in the forest. This means that I find it difficult to read/see stuff on the screen. Two possible solutions exist: buy some cheap glasses that I’m not afraid of breaking, or try the external viewfinder … but it’s expensive, really expensive.
These are the two drawbacks I know of so far.
Would I buy it again?
Yep, without hesitation. I might even consider buying a GR III if I were a dedicated street photographer, or a travel photographer with a need to travel really light. This way I would get both 28 and 40 mm, which together with a smartphone or an iPad would get me a very compact and capable kit.
I’m looking forward to exploring this camera a bit more, especially as an “event camera”. So let’s see what I have to say in 6-12 months.