Photographers like to show off big photos. But if you’re posting images to the web, there are a lot of good reasons to make the files as small as possible.
If you’re emailing photos to someone, keeping the attachments as small as possible reduces the chances of hitting their email attachment size limits.
More importantly, it makes your website faster for your visitors and reduces bandwidth. And there are tangible benefits to having a faster website. There are oodles of studies that show that visitors are more likely to stay on a faster website. And Google now explicitly factors in site speed when calculating your search engine rankings. It can also have a big affect on mobile users of your website who are using their precious data quota to view your site.
In short, smaller image file sizes means a faster web, lower bandwidth bills, and happier visitors.
There are different ways to tackle the problem. Image optimization is one of the best and is something I use with any photo or graphic I put on my websites.
Making Image Files Smaller
Once is to make the pixel dimensions smaller. But that’s not much good if you’re aiming for a specific size on the page or the whole point is to show off your photos.
Another way is to crank up the compression on your JPEG images. Sure, you’ll get smaller, faster files, but the more JPEG compression you apply the worse the images look. That’s why it’s called “lossy compression.” Again, it’s not much good if the point is to show off your photos.
But there is also something you can do to significantly reduce filesizes without affecting the display size of the photo or affecting the quality in any way. It’s known as image optimization.
What is Image Optimization?
If you’re wondering what it means to optimize photos, the short version of what happens when you optimize images is that all the redundant information that’s usually included in the file is stripped out. If you’re using the right settings and not using the “compression” option if the software has one, it shouldn’t have any affect at all on the image quality itself.
The types of information that you can strip out safely in many instances are things like color profiles, metadata information like EXIF and IPTCS, and those mysterious “optional chunks.” Unless you need that information to be included in your files for some reason, it’s just adding unnecessary bloat.
How much of a gain you get depends on how the file your optimizing was saved in the first place. Some software is pretty good about small files. As an example, it’s why you usually get smaller files from Photoshop’s “Save for Web” option rather than just using the regular save. Some apps do a very good job of optimizing the images when you save. Some aren’t so good.
In general, in working with photos, I find that I routinely get savings of 10% to 40%. Smaller files typically end up with a higher percentage than larger files in large part because the ratio of redundant information to image information is higher.
Those savings translate directly into a faster, snappier website. If your site is getting only a handful of visitors each day, that’s not going to make a huge difference. But when you start measuring the number of visitors each day to your website in thousands, it adds up very quickly.
ImageOptim for Mac
There are quite a few image optimizer apps and services out there. Many of them are front ends to scripts that you can run from the command line if you’d prefer to have absolute control. But the apps make thing far more user-friendly and convenient.
ImageOptim works on JPEG photos, PNG graphic images, and GIF animations. It bundles together a bunch of different image optimization scripts in its toolbox.
Using ImageOptim is simplicity itself. When you first open ImageOptim you’ll get a blank window. You can just drag and drop images onto the window. Or you can use the small + symbol at bottom left to browse for the files. You can also put the ImageOptim app icon in the Dock and drag image files onto it there.
As soon as you drop the files there, ImageOptim gets to work–there’s no start button to push. As each file gets done optimizing, you end up with a small green checkmark icon to its left.
The important column is the Savings column at right. That tells you what percentage saving you got for each file. Down the bottom you get an overview of the total savings in terms of data size and percentage.
In this example, I’ve used the screenshots that are used in this post. As you can see, the size savings were significant. Sure, each file is only small. But those small savings add up if you get a lot of web traffic.
If you’re getting 0% in your savings column, it means that your image was already optimized for the web.
You have quite a bit of control over how aggressively the optimization is applied. The screenshots below of the ImageOptim preferences tabs give you a good sense of what you can control. If the acronyms are gibberish to you, you can find some links to detailed explanations on the ImageOptim website.
What’s the Downside of Image Optimization?
Overall, image optimization is a very good thing for all the reasons I mentioned above. But there are times it’s not the best option. There are times that you might need the information to stay in the file.
A common example for photographers is when using metadata to including captions or other information about the photo, embedding contact and copyright information, or using something like the PLUS metadata system. In its most aggressive forms, image optimization will remove all of that. But with ImageOptim you can choose not to remove it by unchecking the “strip metadata” options (unfortunately there’s no way to pick and choose what metadata gets included).
Image optimization–at least not this kind–also doesn’t work on TIFF, PSD, or RAW files. But none of those file formats are really designed for sharing images on the web.
Integrating ImageOptim with Lightroom
It’s possible to use ImageOptim as part of the export process in Lightroom to automatically optimze any photos you export. Here’s a guide.
Ricoh GR III Accessories & Replacement Parts
Here are the model numbers of some of the core accessories and replacement parts for the Ricoh GR III.
- Ring Cap: GN-1
The ring cap is the small plastic ring that attaches around the lens. Chances are, it's fallen off. While you do have to remove it to attach the lens adapter, it's a poor design that tends to fall off and get lost far too often. I've lost a couple of them now.
The camera will work just fine without it. But that will leave some contacts exposed around the lens barrel, which isn't ideal.
The official replacement part is overpriced. But you can also pick up much less expensive aftermarket versions. They're also available in different colors, so you can bling up your camera with a personal touch--or make it look like the Street Edition.
- 【Compatibility】: Designed for Ricoh GRIII (only).This decoration ring is made of high quality...
- 【Easy to use & Protector】:Easy installation and removal and Protects lens barrel exterior.
The GR III has a USB Type-C connector port. When you get a cable, you can get them with another USB Type-C connector on the other end or a more traditional USB Type-A connector. Which you choose depends entirely on what you're plugging into. For example, some newer laptops only have USB-C, while most other computers have USB-A.
- The Anker Advantage: Join the 50 million+ powered by our leading technology.
- Enhanced Durability: Improved construction techniques and materials make a cable that lasts 12× longer.
Battery & Charger
- Battery: DB-110
It's a rechargeable lithium-ion battery rated at 3.6V 1350mAh 4.9Wh.
There are some other cameras that also use the same battery--notably, some Olympus cameras (the Olympus model number for the same battery is LI-90B). So they're quite widely available. You can get the official Ricoh version. There are also aftermarket versions that can be much better value but work just as well.
- This Wasabi Power kit includes 2 batteries and 1 charger for the Ricoh DB-110
- Each Wasabi Power battery features Premium Grade A cells, 3.7V, 1300mAh
- Charger: BJ-11
You can charge the battery in the camera (using a USB-C cable). There are also external battery chargers available. They're especially useful if you're using spare batteries, so you can charge and shoot simultaneously.
- AC Adapter: K-AC166
This is used to power the camera for longer shoots, such as time-lapse, or if you happen to be using the camera for live streaming as a webcam. It connects via the camera's USB-C port.
Wide-Angle Conversion Lens
- Wide-Angle Lens: GW-4
- Lens Adapter: GA-1
- Wired Shutter Release: CA-3
- Easy to operate, Half-press to focus, Full-press to shoot
- Fits macro photography well, eliminates camera shake
- Standard External Viewfinder: GV-1
- Mini External Viewfinder: GB-2
- ✪LCD Screen Protector perfectly fit for Ricoh GR 3 DSLR Camera . Not for other model. Easy to install...
- ✪9H Hardness - Longer tempering time, which made the screen protector has a higher hardness. Prevents...
- Soft Case: GC-9
- Neck Strap: GS-3
- Hand Strap: GS-2
Ricoh has produced a wide-angle conversion lens that takes the standard 28mm view down to a 21mm (in 35mm equivalent). While it does add some extra bulk to an otherwise small camera, it works well and adds a more dramatic, wider view. I have an [in-depth review of it separately](https://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/ricoh-gw-4-wide-angle-conversion-lens/).
Something to be aware of, though, is that you will also need to pick up the lens adapter separately. For reasons I really don't understand, the wide-angle conversion lens doesn't come with the adapter, and both are required to make it work. So make sure you pick up one of those at the same time.
Remote Shutter Releases
This is the official Ricoh remote shutter. It connects to the camera via a USB cable, and it's a simple shutter release (i.e., there's no timer or intervalometer).
You can also find aftermarket shutter releases for the GR III.
The Ricoh GR III doesn't have a built-in viewfinder. But they make two versions of an external viewfinder that slides into the camera's hot shoe. It covers both the standard 28mm view as well as the 21mm view if you're using the wide-angle conversion lens. There's also a mini viewfinder; that model seems to be hard to find.
The back screen of the GR III is quite exposed, and if you lie the camera on its back, the screen comes in contact with the surface. Even if you're putting the camera in your pocket, there's a risk of keys or coins scratching the screen.
There's no official screen protector, but there are good aftermarket versions. The one I use is this one. It's essentially a consumable that protects the screen. If you scratch the protector, you can quickly and easily replace it with another from the pack.
You can, of course, use the GR III with just about any camera case or bag. But Ricoh does make a dedicated soft-case that fits snugly around the camera and offers some protection even if you're toting the camera around in your pocket. I've been using one for a couple of years, and it's held up very well, and it keeps my camera safer from bumps and scratches.
Again, there's no particular reason you have to use the official GR neck strap, but there is one. The main part is leather, and it even has a discreet, embossed "GR".
If you do use a different strap, be aware that the strap loops on the camera are very small and won't take thicker (i.e., stronger) attachment loops. So you might need to use some D-rings as well.
There's even an official "GR" leather hand strap! But, again, aside from the branding, there's no special reason to use the official strap. If you do use a different one, you might need D-rings if the thread doesn't go through the camera's small attachment loops.
The GR III doesn't have a built-in flash. It supports the Pentax P-TTL flash protocol.Pentax External Flashes: