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Ricoh announced a successor to its two-year-old Digital II that comes with an improved image sensor and lens, among other things. The Ricoh GR Digital III is a high-end compact digital camera that will become available in mid-August.
The Ricoh GR Digital III has the same 10.1-megapixel resolution as its predecessor, but comes with a slightly different 1/1.7-inch CCD. It also has a new image processor that Ricoh promises will deliver faster shooting and better noise reduction, according to the company’s July 27 press release.
The old GR Digital II has a 5.9mm fixed lens that is equivalent to 28mm in the 35mm format. The new model reaches the same equivalency with its 6mm lens, but the GR Digital III has a much wide aperture at f/1.9 as opposed to the old f/2.4. A 21mm wide conversion lens, hood, and adapter will be sold among the accessories. An external flash is also in the works to be available in the fall.
The Ricoh GR Digital III makes a few cosmetic changes. It is a few millimeters larger in all directions, but still remains just over an inch thick (26mm). A bigger change is the larger 3-inch LCD screen. The old model has a 2.7-inch LCD with 230,000 pixels, but the new GR Digital III is not only a third of an inch bigger, but it has much better resolution at 920,000 pixels.
The new digital camera makes improvements in its functions and operations. It adds a shutter speed priority mode and more control over hue and saturation. Ricoh also adds a few more ways to customize the controls – in addition to the typical fine tuning of the sensitivity of the physical buttons themselves. Some of the new custom options are available on the GR Digital II with a firmware update that was also announced July 27 but won’t be available from Ricoh until Aug. 5.
Five functions are enhanced in the firmware update for the GR Digital II, and all of these upgrades come installed on the new Ricoh GR Digital III. The improved functions include a more intuitive display in the playback mode, a one-push zoom in the playback mode with the “ADJ” lever, a one-push zoom ratio selection, a playback mode option selection, and an option to change dial functions in the manual exposure mode.
Pricing has been announced at £520, or upwards of $850.