For some time I have wanted a small camera that I could easily put in my pocket and have with me anytime anywhere. The problem is that a number of the cameras that I have looked at are either too big and don't fit the 'pocket' category or don't have the quality I need if I were to submit the images for publication. I feel like why carry something around if in the end you'll only end up with a snap shot that you can't use. It might help me remember the moment but it may just as well help me remember the moment I didn't bring my SLR. Enter the Ricoh GRD III.
...and about 2 AA batteries thick. But in that package you get an f1.9, 28mm lens, 3648x2736 RAW files, full manual control (including a pop up flash that will operate manually and synch with the rear 'curtain'), average, center weighted, and spot metering, 'manual' selective focus and macro, all in a solid magnesium (not plastic) body.
Because it's small it's great for street photography.
It also has a nice macro function.
The GRD III also comes with a hot shoe mount. I took it out with me on an assignment where I am shooting the music scene in KL. Below I'm synching two Canon flashes with Pocketwizards 'just like the big camera'.
I'm still in the 'test drive' stage ( I don't own the camera nor am I being paid to say nice things about it) but so far it is doing everything that I had hoped for from a pocket camera. A few niggling points. The GRD III has a 4X digital zoom but unfortunately it does not work in RAW only JPEG so you need to switch to JPEG if you want to use that. It also has a 'dynamic range' (which allows for an expanded tonal range by taking two photographs of the same subject) and 'skew correct mode' (that corrects angular distortions in door frames, ect. caused by wide angle lenses) but unfortunately neither of these functions work in RAW. Small points and in the end not deal breakers.
In all, I have to say I am much more impressed than I was initially prepared to be. The image quality is excellent, the menu is straight forward, it's well built and incredibly compact. Check it out if you are in the market for a compact (or even SLR) camera.