Ricoh GR III Video Modes: What They Are and How to Use Them

The Ricoh GR III is mostly a stills photo camera. But it does have some basic video capabilities. Here's a rundown of what they are and how to use them.
Ricoh GR III Video Modes
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The Ricoh GR III leans heavily into still photos shooting. If I was shooting a lot of video, it wouldn’t be my first choice of camera. But it does have some basic video capabilities. Here’s a rundown of what they are and how to use them.

Resolutions, Framerates & Bitrates

The only video resolution available on the GR III is 1080p. Sometimes called Full HD, the screen size of 1080p measures 1920 pixels across and 1080 pixels tall.

There’s only a limited number of framerates available:

  • 60 fps
  • 30 fps
  • 24 fps1

To change the framerate, go to:

Menu > Movie (the video camera icon) > (5) Movie Capture Settings > Framerate

The encoding bitrate at 60fps is around 44 Mbps, which is not particularly high. It uses variable encoding, so it can deviate a little depending on the scene.

Video Format

The GR II uses the MPEG4 AVC/H.264 (MOV) file format.

Recording Limit

There’s a recording duration limit of 25 minutes. That creates a file that’s a little under 4GB in size. So it’s compatible with SDHC cards.2 Once the video reaches that, it’ll stop recording. You can start again right away (so long as the camera isn’t overheating–see below).

Overheating Protection

Saving high-resolution video can cause the camera to get quite warm. The GR III has built-in protection against overheating. If it gets too hot, it’ll stop recording. You’ll need to wait for it to cool down before resuming.

NTSC / PAL

Only NTSC is available on the GR III. That’s reflected in the available framerates (60 and 30).3

Sound

There’s a built-in stereo microphone. There are small holes for the sound on each side of the top portion of the lens (on the camera body, next to the lens).

There’s no input port for an external microphone, and I’m not aware of any compatibility with USB-connector external microphones.

How to Shoot Video with the Ricoh GR III

The first time I tried shooting video with the GR III, it took me a while to figure out how to do it. And this was after I’d owned and used the GR III for quite some time (but had only been shooting still images).

It’s not complicated, but it’s also not quite the same as with other cameras (a recurring theme with Ricoh cameras). There’s no red record button on top or a video mode dial switch. Instead, there’s a button to switch the camera into video-shooting mode. And it’s not necessarily where’d you think to look. It’s on the side of the camera and doubles as the wifi button. In the manual, it’s called the Movie/Wireless Button.

So what you do is press that button that has a video camera icon on it. That puts the camera into video mode. Now, when you press the shutter button, it will work as a record start/stop button.

To go back to still image shooting, just press that button on the side of the camera again.

It’s also possible to assign a different button to switch between photo and movie modes. You could, for example, use the Fn button.

To do that, go to:

Menu > C > (2) Customize Controls > Fn Button Setting

You can find more information about customizing buttons on the GR III here.

HDMI

The Ricoh GR III does not have an HDMI-out port. It does have a USB-C port, and that supports the DisplayPort protocol.

If you’re looking to output to a device that uses HDMI, the manual says to use a “USB (Type-C)-to-HDMI adapter. Some adapters cannot be used with this camera.” But it doesn’t explain which adapters do and don’t work. This is an issue I’m still investigating, but I don’t currently have any recommendations on which USB-to-HDMI converters work and which don’t.

Things Worth Knowing

The camera can get quite hot when recording video. If it gets too hot, a safety mechanism will kick in and shut down the camera.


  1. More precisely, they’re 23.976, 29.97, and 59.94 frames per second. It’s a quirk of video framerates/refresh rates that’s well beyond the scope of this post, but you can find more about it here
  2. SDHC cards use the FAT32 filesystem. The largest file size that FAT32 supports is 4GB. It’s the reason that some other cameras break their videos up into segments (or chapters). 
  3. 24fps is traditionally known as a film framerate and doesn’t fall within the NTSC / PAL specifications. 

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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