How to Make the Ricoh GR III as Quiet as Possible

The Ricoh GR III excels at being discreet. With its plain looks and small stature, it doesn’t attract attention to itself. You can also make it very quiet, but somewhat surprisingly, not completely silent.

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

I MAY get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Quick Summary

  • Ricoh GR III is designed for discretion, but it’s not completely silent.
  • Two main sounds: lens barrel movement and shutter click.
  • Artificial Sounds Control:
    • Turn off most sounds: Settings > 5. Sound Effects Settings > Sound Effects > Shutter Sound Only.
    • Minimize shutter sound: Setup > [5] Sound Effects Setting > Volume > 0 (still a faint sound).
  • Lens Barrel Sound:
    • Occurs when lens extends/retracts during power toggle or sleep mode.
    • Reduce frequency by adjusting standby time: Setup > [7] Power Supply Settings > Sleep Mode.
  • While these settings make the camera quieter, it won’t be entirely silent.

The Ricoh GR III excels as an unobtrusive camera. Its small size and plain looks don’t scream high-end camera. And it’s the type of camera you can take places where a larger camera would attract unwanted attention or objections. So if you’re after something discreet that can also capture high-quality photos, it’s well worth a look.

What I’m focusing on here is how to make your Ricoh GR III quiet. Because all that discretion from its size and looks can be undone if it’s beeping loudly and audibly calling attention to itself.

And I say quiet, because, somewhat surprisingly, you can’t make the RG III completely silent. That would be a nice improvement to have in the GR IV (fingers crossed!).

There are three things standing in the way of properly silent shooting with the GR III. Two of them have to do with the lens. The first is the slightly grating sound the lens barrel makes when the lens is going in or out, as it does when the camera’s power is toggled or it goes in or out of sleep mode. A second is a quieter mechanical noise when the lens focuses.

A third inescapable sound is the faint click of the shutter.

None of these is especially loud, but they also don’t rate as silent. If you’re out on the street, you and your subject almost certainly won’t notice it—it’ll just be drowned out in the ambient noise. But it can be a factor if you’re shooting a performance or wildlife.

There’s not much you can do about the lens barrel sound aside from keeping the camera powered on and ready to shoot (although you will hear it when the camera goes into standby, but you can extend the time or even turn off the standby mode—more on that below) or, I guess, using some kind of baffle enclosure. And in most situations, it’s probably a non-issue.

But you do have some control over the artificial sounds created by the camera. Here’s how to turn them off and minimize them.

Turn Off Most Sounds

You can turn off most sounds on the GR III. The GR III is by no means a particularly noisy camera, unlike some. So artificial sounds are used quite sparingly. An example of where it’s used is with the focus locking on.

To turn most of these artificially generated sounds off, go to:

Settings > 5. Sound Effects Settings > Sound Effects > Shutter Sound Only
Screenshot of Ricoh GR III Menu to Show How to Make the Camera Quiet & Turn Off Sounds
Screenshot of Ricoh GR III Menu to Show How to Make the Camera Quiet & Turn Off Sounds
The default setting is All.

Minimize Shutter Sound

The Ricoh GR III uses an artificially generated sound for the shutter. It is possible to turn that off, but it’s still not going to make the shutter completely silent. A quiet click remains, but is very faint to the point that I don’t find it to be a problem in the vast majority of situations.

You can set this in the menu item:

Setup > [5] Sound Effects Setting > Volume > 0

As it turns out, 0 isn’t really 0 for the shutter. There’s still an audible sound, but it’s very faint.

Screenshot of Ricoh GR III Menu to Show How to Make the Camera Quiet & Turn Off Sounds
Screenshot of Ricoh GR III Menu to Show How to Make the Camera Quiet & Turn Off Sounds
The default setting is 2.

Delay Standby on the Ricoh GR III

There’s a definite mechanical sound when the lens barrel extends and retracts. While you can’t eliminate that sound, you can minimize the frequency of its occurrence by increasing the time before the camera goes into standby mode. Or, as Ricoh calls it, Sleep Mode.

You can find this setting under:

Setup > [7] Power Supply Settings > Sleep Mode

There’s a selection of preset durations to choose from, or you can choose Off.

Screenshot of Ricoh GR III Menu to Show How to Make the Camera Quiet & Turn Off Sounds
Screenshot of Ricoh GR III Menu to Show How to Make the Camera Quiet & Turn Off Sounds
The default setting is 1min.

Of course, using a long duration or turning it off negates what the whole point of sleep mode is: to preserve battery power and keep you shooting for longer. So it’s a compromise.

This combination of settings isn’t going to give you a perfectly silent GR III, but it will make it quiet enough for many shooting scenarios.

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. 

Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2023-12-01 at 13:56. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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.

Leave a Comment