Ricoh GR III SD Memory Card Recommendations

Looking for a new memory card for your Ricoh GR III? Here are my practical recommendations on good options that work well in this camera, have a proven track record or reliability, and are cost-effective.
Ricoh GR III SD Memory Cards
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Quick Recommendations on SD Cards for the Ricoh GR III

If you just want some quick recommendations, here you go. Any of these will work well in the GR III. These SD cards meet the needs of the GR III’s features, have a strong track record of reliability, are readily available, and are usually cost-effective.

SanDisk 256GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I Card - C10, U3, V30, 4K UHD, SD Card -...
  • Shot speeds up to 70MB/s, transfer speeds up to 150MB/s requires compatible devices capable of reaching...
  • Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video(1) and sequential burst mode photography (1)Full HD (1920x1080) and 4K...
PNY 256GB Elite Performance Class 10 U3 SDXC Flash Memory Card - 95MB/s...
  • Sequential read speed of up to 95MB/s
  • Class 10, U3 rating delivers speed and performance for burst mode HD photography and 4K Ultra HD...
Lexar Professional 1667x 128GB SDXC UHS-II Card, Up To 250MB/s Read, for...
  • Get high-speed performance with UHS-II technology (U3) for a read transfer speed up to 250MB/s (1667x)
  • Captures high-quality images and extended lengths of stunning 1080P full-HD, 3D, and 4K video with a DSLR...

Any of these makes for a good choice. If you’re after more detail, you can find it below.

What Type of Memory Card Does the Ricoh GR III Take?

The GR III doesn’t come with a memory card by default. There are some bundles that retailers put together that might include a memory card, but chances are it’s something you’re going to have to pick up separately. Or maybe you want something bigger with larger storage capacity—the cards that are included in bundles are often on the small side and might fill up quickly, especially if you’re on a trip. So which card should you get?

That’s where this post comes in—hopefully, to help you get out shooting sooner and taking full advantage of all the features of your new camera rather than spending your time searching the web and trying to make sense of cryptic technical codes. I’ve been buying and testing numerous SD cards for several years and have put many of the most popular SD cards on the market through their paces. You can find my main SD card tests here.

Ricoh GR III SD Card Requirements

The Ricoh GR III is a compact camera with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, shoots 14-bit RAW, has a fast ƒ/2.8 lens at 28mm (in 35mm equivalent), built-in image stabilization, and an ISO range of 100 to 102,400. And while its features are tilted heavily towards still images, it also shoots 1080p60 video.

It’s a camera I love shooting with, and it’s usually the one I reach for when I’m not looking to carry a larger DSLR or mirrorless camera around. It just slips in my pocket, is very discreet to shoot with, and has fantastic image quality.

Confusingly, there’s also a Ricoh GR Digital III. It looks almost identical (as do most of the GR-series cameras), also has a 28mm (equivalent) lens, and they’re both digital cameras. But it’s an older camera that was released ten years earlier, in 2009.

The GR III has a single memory card slot–a UHS-I slot that’s compatible with SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards. The GR III also has an internal memory that can be used for saving images, and by the standards of many other cameras, it’s quite a large one–about 2GB. So it’s quite possible to shoot on the GR III without a memory card installed, although you’ll only get limited mileage. Even 2GB will fill up quite quickly, especially if you’re shooting video.

The GR III’s video capabilities aren’t exactly high-end, and it doesn’t have the high-bitrate video encoding that some cameras use. The maximum video bitrate is around 44 Mbps, which is not very high compared to other cameras.1 For comparison, the Fujifilm X100V tops out at 200 Mbps, and higher-end cameras are up around 400 Mbps. Even current GoPros have top video bitrates of 100 Mbps.

So the GR III doesn’t really need a super-fast SD card. But you still need one that’s fast enough, fully compatible, reliable, and cost-effective to make the most of all the camera’s features.

And there’s no need to splurge for a top-end SD card for the GR III. Because of the way that cameras interface with memory cards, once you have a card that meets the requirements of the camera, you don’t get any extra benefit by inserting a card with high specs and performance that exceeds the camera’s capabilities.2 And, naturally, high-performance cards are more expensive. So why pay extra for high performance that your GR III can’t use? By all means, if you already have a fast SD card on hand, you can use it in the GR III, but it won’t get you any extra performance in the camera (it might when downloading the photos and videos to a computer). But if you’re looking to buy a new SD card, you’re better off getting a card with more storage capacity than one that’s faster than the camera needs–at least that way, you get the benefit of extra convenience.

That said, in the recommendations below, I’m factoring in cost-effectiveness as well. And because memory card manufacturers are coming out with newer, faster models all the time, it’s quite possible that the most cost-effective cards are faster than your camera needs. But that’s a case where it makes sense to go with the cost-effective option even if its performance exceeds the requirements of the camera.

Detailed Recommendations

So which SD card should you get for your Ricoh GR III? Here’s the more detailed version.

Practical Recommendations

The GR III’s instruction manual isn’t helpful on the topic of which SD card to get.

So what I’m aiming to do here is provide some practical recommendations on which SD cards to get for the Ricoh GR III so you can spend less time searching online and more time out shooting. I’m not trying to list every SD card that works in the GR III–there are others that will work just fine as well. I’m focusing here on ones that offer a good combination of meeting the requirements of all of the GR III’s features, are readily available at major retailers, are cost-effective, and come from major manufacturers with track records for good-quality cards. I’m also basing this on my own SD speed tests.

So here’s more detailed information on these cards, along with some others. These aren’t the fastest SD cards money can buy. Nor are they the most expensive. But they’ll serve you well in the GR III.

SanDisk Extreme V30 UHS-I

SanDisk 256GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I Card -...
  • Shot speeds up to 70MB/s, transfer speeds up to 150MB/s requires compatible devices capable of reaching...
  • Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video(1) and sequential burst mode photography (1)Full HD (1920x1080) and 4K...

SanDisk's Extreme range are good bets for many cameras, and that's true here too. SanDisk has faster ranges like the Plus and Pro lines, but the Extreme line is both quick enough for most cameras and usually less expensive than those faster lines.

One thing to note with SanDisk cards is that they recycle their model names. So you can find Extreme cards that are older and slower. You'll probably find those older versions work just fine--it really depends how far back you go--but you can tell the latest version because it's labeled with both U3 and V30, both of which are speed ratings specifically related to recording video. These cards are often good value, and you can sometimes find them sold in 2-packs.

Buy at Amazon or B&H Photo

Lexar Professional 1667x V60 UHS-II

Lexar Professional 1667x 256GB SDXC...
  • Get high-speed performance with UHS-II technology (U3) for a read transfer speed up to 250MB/s (1667x)
  • Captures high-quality images and extended lengths of stunning 1080P full-HD, 3D, and 4K video with a DSLR...

Like the SanDisk Extreme Pro, this one actually has UHS-II, which you don't need with this camera, but it's still a very good, reliable option. It's rated for video recording speed rating of V60. It comes in sizes up to 256GB.

Buy at Amazon or B&H Photo

PNY Elite Performance U3 UHS-I

PNY 256GB Elite Performance Class 10 U3...
  • Sequential read speed of up to 95MB/s
  • Class 10, U3 rating delivers speed and performance for burst mode HD photography and 4K Ultra HD...

PNY aren't as well known as some of the other brands, but they've been around for quite some time and make reliable, cost-effective memory cards. The packaging on this card hasn't been refreshed to include the newer V30/V60/V90 video speed rating system, but the real-world performance of the card is very good. It comes in sizes from 32GB up to 512GB.

Buy at Amazon

Delkin Devices Advantage V30 UHS-I

Delkin Devices 256GB Advantage SDXC...
  • Supports 4K & Full HD 1080p Video Recording at High Frame Rates
  • RAW Continuous-Shooting Approved

Delkin Devices have recently come out with a range of new SD cards of varying speeds and specs. This is one of their mid-range cards that is rated for V30 video recording speeds.

Find them at Amazon and B&H Photo

Canvas Select Plus V30 UHS-I

Kingston 128GB SDXC Canvas Select Plus...
  • Faster speeds — Class 10 UHS-I speeds up to 100MB/s. *
  • Capture in full HD & 4K UHD video (1080P) — the advanced UHS-I interface makes the card ideal for...

Kingston is another brand that isn't as well known as some of the others, but they've been making reliable memory cards for a very long time. As a brand, they don't tend to focus on the cutting edge speeds but rather on reliable and good-value memory cards.

This particular card (model SDS2 Canvas Select Plus) isn't the fastest in Kingston's range, but it's fast enough to work well in this camera. It's available in sizes from 16GB through 512GB.

Buy at Amazon

Sony U3 UHS-I

Sony 64GB High Performance Class 10...
  • Up to 95 MBs transfer speed and up to 90 MBs write speed
  • File Rescue downloadable software helps recover photos and videos that have been accidentally damaged or...

These Sony cards are quick, reliable, and fairly widely available. Sony also now has another much faster model that works well but is a bit overkill for this use.

Buy at Amazon or B&H Photo

SanDisk Extreme Pro U3 UHS-II

SanDisk SDSDXPK-064G-ANCIN Sandisk...
  • Designed for professionals
  • High read and write speeds

This is SanDisk's top-of-the-line range, and they work well in this camera. This latest version is somewhat overkill however, because they use UHS-II, which most cameras can't fully take advantage of. Older versions of the Extreme Pro cards are UHS-I and will still work well (ideally, stick to ones with the U3 rating on them).

Find them at Amazon and B&H Photo

Making Sense of SD Card Specifications

You’ll find a range of different acronyms and codes on SD cards. Here’s a quick overview of which to look for.

SDHC vs. SDXC

Most of the cards you’ll see available now have either SDHC or SDXC printed on them. The Ricoh GR III will work with both SDHC and SDXC cards (and, for that matter, just plain SD cards, but they’re hard to find these days and have impractically small storage capacities).

These aren’t performance categories, as such. An SDXC card isn’t necessarily any faster than an SDHC card, and vice versa. But they’re important for compatibility with the camera and also in terms of storage capacity.

They’re categories assigned by the SD Association, which is the organization that oversees and develops the standards for SD and microSD cards. The difference between those two specifications is in the filesystem they’re formatted with–the SDHC specification uses FAT32 formatting, while the SDXC specification uses exFAT–but when it comes to buying memory cards, the practical difference is that cards 32GB and smaller will be labeled SDHC and cards 64GB and larger will be labeled SDXC.

UHS-I vs UHS-II

The current generations of SD cards also have UHS-I or UHS-II on them (or often just an I or II). This refers to the type of interface that’s used to connect to the cards. It stands for ultra-high-speed bus.

Aside from whatever is printed on the card or packaging, you can tell UHS-I and UHS-II cards apart just by looking at them. UHS-I cards have a single row of contacts on the back. UHS-II cards have a second row of contacts.

UHS-I is the older, simpler bus interface. UHS-II is newer and potentially faster. The catch is that you only get the extra benefit of UHS-II if the device is also UHS-II. But the spec is designed to be backward compatible, so you can use UHS-II cards in UHS-I devices, but you will only get the speed of UHS-I.

The Ricoh GR III doesn’t have a UHS-II interface, so, as a practical matter, there’s no benefit to using UHS-II cards in it (but it’s perfectly fine to do so if you already have a UHS-II card on hand).

Video Speed Classes

The SD Association has come out with various rating systems over the years to help buyers choose a card that’s suitable for use in cameras. Because recording high-resolution video (or, more specifically, high-bitrate video) is often the most demanding operation in terms of a camera and its memory card, it’s known as a video speed class rating system.

Most cards available now have a mix of old and new speed class codes printed on them. And while it’s helpful, it’s still an imperfect system for judging the speed of an SD card.

As a practical matter in the Ricoh GR III, cards that have any of these on them should be fast enough:

  • V30
  • U3

V60 and V90 are also fine, but they’re overkill for the GR III.

It’s worth mentioning that there’s a separate rating system that you might also see on some cards. They might have an A1 or A2 on them. You can ignore that when choosing an SD card for a camera. It’s designed for the kinds of operations that gaming devices and smartphones do.

What Size SD Card to Use in the Ricoh GR III?

The GR III is compatible with SDHC and SDXC cards. That means you can use cards from 4GB all the way to the largest cards currently available, which are 512GB and 1TB cards.

There’s really no right answer when it comes to what size, or storage capacity, to get–it’s mostly a matter of convenience so that you don’t keep running out of space. As is probably obvious, you can fit twice as many photos on a 64GB card as on a 32GB card. And with a 128GB card, you can fit four times as many photos as on a 32GB. And so on. And that’s especially handy when you’re traveling; even more so if you’re shooting any video. The most logical sizes for this camera in terms of convenience and price are probably the 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB sizes. But if you want to use a larger or smaller one, say 64GB or even 1TB, go right ahead–they’ll work just fine because of the way that the SDXC spec is designed.

So Why Get a Good Memory Card?

A better memory card is not going to help you take better photos or improve image quality. But it can let you take advantage of all of the camera’s features. A card that’s not fast enough to keep up with the camera can cause issues like locking up, dropped frames, and overheating.

There’s also the issue of reliability. There are plenty of junk memory cards on the market. Not only do they have flaky performance, but they’re also more likely to fail. And that means the risk of losing your photos and videos.

At the same time, you don’t want to pay extra for a high-performance SD card that’s overkill for the camera.

How to Format SD Cards

When you buy a new SD card, you should format it before use and then regularly after that. If you’re formatting a card that you’ve already been using, make sure that you’ve downloaded any photos and videos you want to keep, because formatting deletes everything on the card.

Here’s some information on how to format the memory card.

How to Format SD Cards in the Ricoh GR III

It is best practice to always format memory cards in the camera that you’ll be using them in. That sets the card up with the filesystem, folder hierarchy, and, in some cameras, a database file, so that the card is just how the camera expects. That greatly reduces the risk of unexpected errors and unpleasant surprises.

If you insert a memory card that hasn’t been formatted by the GR III, you’ll get an error message that “Card is not formatted” when you turn the camera on. (It would be even better if it automatically asked you if you want to format it and provided a way to proceed, but it doesn’t. You need to press the Menu button and continue as below.)

If you’re formatting a card that you’ve used before, always be sure you’ve backed up everything you want from the card, because formatting it will wipe everything. (If you’ve formatted accidentally, it still might be possible to recover data from the memory card, but it’s not always guaranteed, and it can incur the expense of buying recovery software; more on that below.)

On the Ricoh GR III, you can find the format function under:

MENU > Setup (the wrench/spanenr icon > Format


You’ll have a choice of formatting the memory card or the internal memory. You’ll then be asked to confirm that you want to delete everything and continue with the format. If you do, select Execute.

As part of the formatting process, the camera assigns the volume label RICOH GR to the memory card. I wish more cameras set the volume label when you format in the camera.

How to Format SD Cards with a Computer

Having said that, it is still possible to format memory cards using a card reader and computer. You get a lot more flexibility that way, but also some extra risk if things aren’t set up just how the camera wants them. It’s also sometimes a good troubleshooting step if you’re having issues with a memory card.

There are some things to watch out for, particularly when it comes to choosing which filesystem to use. So I’ve put together guides on how to format SD cards on Mac and how to use the free SD Card Formatter app for Windows or Mac.


  1. Like most cameras, the GR III uses variable bitrate encoding for its video files. So while it has a maximum target bitrate to use, the actual bitrate is going to vary a little because of the way that video compression works. 
  2. Depending on your computer and memory card reader setup, you might get some speed benefit when putting a faster memory card into your card reader and downloading images to your computer. 

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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

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.

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.

Battery & Charger

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.

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 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

  • 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.

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.

Carrying

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.

External Flash

The GR III doesn’t have a built-in flash. It supports the Pentax P-TTL flash protocol.

Pentax External Flashes:
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