Upping My Photography Game with the Ricoh GR III Digital Camera

Photography has become my main passion since I retired three years ago.  Although I used to use a Sony camera for my photography, the improvement in the quality of the photos achievable on the iPhone has gradually led me to rely solely on the iPhone camera.  

It’s not like the size of the Sony camera was a big deterrent.  I was using the Sony RX100 II, which is a small point-and-shoot. 

Sony RX100 II
Sony RX100 II

It’s not a camera with a big body, and you can’t attach bulky lenses to it.  It’s very portable and it delivers high-quality images.  But I travel a lot, and ultimately, it’s more pleasant to travel as light as possible. My international travel adventures also became more physically demanding when I started volunteering for Mission Rabies, making me even less inclined to drag a camera along with me. Having a good quality camera that slips in your pocket so that you always have it with you, like an iPhone, eventually led me to leave my Sony camera behind.  Initially I felt a little guilty about it, especially after I had taken a class at PhotoManhattan, a photography school here in the city, where I learned the basics about composition, exposure, lighting, etc., and did pretty well.  

But while on a Mission Rabies trip to Goa, India, one of my fellow volunteers shared her iPhone photos, and the quality of her images were amazing.

I decided to become as proficient as I could be in iPhone photography, taking classes in mobile phone photography and  obtaining the best images that I could.  

There are many photography genres – landscape, portrait, wedding, etc.  The one that I’ve fallen for (and have actually become almost obsessed with) is ‘street photography’, a slightly nebulous category with hard-to-pin-down precise definition, but basically it is candid, unposed photographs of people, taken in a public space, that capture some aspect of their humanity i moments that are often fleeting. 

The candid nature of the genre puts a premium on stealth, and I’ve really mastered the act of taking photos inconspicuously with the iPhone, by shooting from the hip and using my Apple earphones to pretend to be speaking with someone when I’m actually using the volume control as a shutter release, surreptitiously acquiring my photo.  I’ve been happy with the results. 

However…

My general approach to hobbies and any other leisure time pursuits has always been to read and learn as much as I can about a topic, and the more books I read about street photography, and the more videos I watch, the more ‘left out’ I’ve been feeling. I understand the concepts they discuss – aperture, shutter speed, ISO, various lenses, etc. – but I could no longer relate all that much, because I was using an iPhone.   I love my iPhone, but I’m ready to play with the big boys again.

In my next post, I’ll tell you why I chose the Ricoh GR III.

Ricoh GR III Digital Camera

Produces high-resolution 14-bit DNG or JPEG stills with impressive tonality, natural color rendering, and high sensitivity from ISO 100-102400. In addition to stills shooting, the GR III is also capable of recording Full HD 1080 video at 60p, 30p, and 24p frame rates.

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