How to Turn Out the Lights On the Ricoh GR III

As discreet as the Ricoh GR III is out of the box, you can make it even more so. You can make it quiet. You can also turn out the lights (well, mostly). Here’s how.

Ricoh GR III Compact Camera. Photo by David Coleman "
Text & Photos By David Coleman
Last Revised & Updated:
Filed Under: Compact Cameras

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Quick Summary

  • Two main lights can be controlled: Power Button Lamp and Count Down Setting.
  • Power Button Lamp: Green ring around ON/OFF button. Indicates camera is on.
    • Location: Setup > [4] Indicator Lamps > Power Button Lamp.
  • Count Down Setting: Green flashing light near lens. Blinks for self-timer.
    • Location: Setup > [4] Indicator Lamps > Count Down.
  • Status Lamp: Green LED on back panel. Indicates various camera states (e.g., focus, charging). Cannot be turned off.
  • Back screen can be blacked out using DISP button.
  • Instant Review setting prevents shot preview after shutter press.

The Ricoh GR III excels at being subtle and discreet. It’s small, plain-looking, and very quiet (although not silent). And it doesn’t have particularly attention-grabbing lights, but you can still, nevertheless, turn them off if you’re going full night mode.

Quirkily, Ricoh calls these “indicator lamps.” Which is probably why you couldn’t find the setting when looking for “lights” or “LEDs.”

There are two lights on the GR III that you have some control over in the settings. There’s also a third light that you can’t change the settings of.

Turning these on or off has more to do with making the GR III more discreet rather than saving battery power, although there’s almost certainly some tiny (though probably negligible) power savings to be had by having them turned off.

Power Button Light on Ricoh GR III

The first is what Ricoh calls the Power Button Lamp. It’s the small green ring around the ON/OFF button. Its only purpose is to show when the camera is powered on.

You can find this setting on the camera’s menu at:

Setup > [4] Indicator Lamps > Power Button Lamp

You have a choice of ON or OFF. The default setting is ON.

Count Down Light Indicator on Ricoh GR III

The second is the Count Down Setting. This is the green flashing light at the top left of the lens (when you’re looking at the camera). It blinks when you use the self-timer.

You can find it under:

Setup > [4] Indicator Lamps > Count Down

You have a choice of ON or OFF. The default setting is ON.

Status Lamp (aka The Other Light)

There is a third light on the GR III: the Status Lamp. It’s the small green LED on the top of the back panel, right below the ON/OFF power button.

There’s no way to turn the status lamp off. But if you really need it blacked out, a small fragment of black gaffer tape over the top of it seems like a simple fix.

This is the hardest working light on the camera. Its purposes include:

  • Indicates that external power is connected when charging. It turns off when charging is complete.
  • It blinks a few times when you power the camera on or off.
  • It indicates that the subject is in focus (solid green when in focus; flashing green when unable to focus).
  • Serves as a sleep mode indicator (useful when the Power Button Lamp is set to OFF).
  • Blinks while image processing is happening (eg. noise reduction).

Turn off the Back Screen on Ricoh GR III

The back screen isn’t really a light, as such, but it does emit light. And quite a lot of it (which is a big part of the reason it presents such an important power-saving opportunity). And that might be an issue if you’re shooting in a dimly lit environment such as a stage performance. Sleep Mode will turn the screen off, but that’s not much good if you actually want to shoot.

But you can black the back screen out with the DISP button at the bottom right of the back panel. Press that a few times, and it will cycle through the available displays until you reach the one that is a blacked-out screen. The camera is otherwise functioning as normal, although you obviously can’t preview the shot on the back screen for composition (a good argument to use one of the optional viewfinders). Press the DISP button again to cycle to the next screen to make it visible again.

It’s best paired with the setting to prevent the shot from flashing up on the screen momentarily after you press the shutter. On the GR III, that’s called Instant Review. The default setting is 0.5sec, but you can turn it off completely in the setting:

Customize Settings > [3] Display Customization > Instant Review > Display Time

Wrap Up

In summary, as discreet as the Ricoh GR III is out of the box, there are ways you can make it even more so. Some of that involves making it quiet. You can also turn out the lights (well, mostly).

The “Power Button Lamp” and “Count Down” settings can be turned on or off based on the user’s preference.

Another light, the “Status Lamp,” works as a multifunctional indicator that communicates various operational states of the camera, and you can’t turn that off. But it’s pretty subtle and unlikely to draw much attention.

And if you’re ever in need of complete darkness during a shoot, the back screen can be blacked out using the DISP button, ensuring that your GR III remains unobtrusive in low-light settings.

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.

Lens Ring Cap

The lens ring cap is the small plastic ring that attaches around the lens port. To the extent it’s a functional part of the camera, it’s mostly there to protect against grit getting into the attachment thread around the lens port. But it’s also largely decorative. Chances are, it’s fallen off. While you do have to remove it to attach the lens adapter for using filters or the wide-angle conversion lens, 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 if you want to get the genuine replacement part, it’s model GN-1. 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.

Haoge Metal Lens Ring Cap for Ricoh GR III
  • Designed for the Ricoh GR III
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Replaces Ricoh part number GN-1

USB Cable

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.

Not all USB-C cables support data transfer, though. That’s often something you’ll run into with USB-C cables designed for fast charging. So it’s worth checking the product description and specs first. 

  • Data Transfer
  • Video Output
  • Charging

Battery & Charger

The Ricoh GR III takes battery model 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.

Wasabi Power Battery & Battery Charger for Ricoh GR III
  • COMPATIBILITY – Works with these popular Ricoh cameras that use DB110 batteries: Ricoh GR III, Ricoh GR…
  • BATTERY & CHARGER SPECS – Premium Grade-A cells rated at 3.7V, 1300mAh for longer run-time and battery…

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.

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

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.

Something to be aware of, though, is that you will also need to pick up the GA-1 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.

Ricoh GW-4 Wide Conversion Lens
  • For GR III Digital Camera
  • Provides 21mm Equivalent Focal Length
  • Magnification: 0.75x
  • Requires GA-1 Adapter for Use (not included)
Ricoh GA-1 Adapter
  • Required for GW-4 Wide Conversion Lens

Remote Shutter Releases

  • Wired Shutter Release: CA-3

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.

JJC Camera Shutter Release Cable Remote Control for Ricoh GR IIIx GR III GR…
  • Easy to operate, Half-press to focus, Full-press to shoot
  • Fits macro photography well, eliminates camera shake

External Viewfinders

  • Standard External Viewfinder: GV-1
  • Mini External Viewfinder: GB-2

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.

Screen Protector

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.

ULBTER GR III Screen Protector for Ricoh GR III Digital Camera, 0.3mm 9H…
  • ✪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…

Carrying & Protection

  • Soft Case: GC-11 (replaces the GC-9)

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.

RICOH Leather Soft case GC-11 [Compatible Models: GR III, GR IIIx]…
  • [Compatible models] RICOH GR III, RICOH GR IIIx
  • [Feature 1] A high-grade genuine leather soft case with solid protection.

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.

External Flash

Unlike some of its predecessors, the GR III doesn’t have a built-in flash. It supports the Pentax P-TTL flash protocol.

Pentax External Flashes:

Ricoh GR III Manual

You can find it here

Something to be aware of is that if you do a web search for the manual, you’ll often end up at the manual for the Ricoh Digital III manual, which is a different, and older, camera. 

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Profile photo of David Coleman | Have Camera Will Travel | Washington DC-based Professional Photographer

Text & Photos by David Coleman

I'm a professional photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. I've been shooting for 30+ years, and my my photos and time-lapse videos have appeared in a bunch of different publications from major newspapers to magazines and books, billboards, TV shows, professional sports stadiums, museums, and even massive architectural scrims covering world-famous buildings while they're being renovated. You can see some of my travel photography here and here.

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