I almost exclusively shoot at night, so I figured I’d talk about the settings I use for my Ricoh GR iii in low light. It’s nothing overly complicated. This camera has IBIS, which makes it quite forgiving even if your hands aren’t super steady, but always remember to hold as still as possible.
The wide angle lens also makes slower handheld shutter speeds more accessible, because at wider focal lenghts not as much motion blur is accessible.
If you’d prefer to watch a video, I explain the settings in the beginning of this vlog on my Youtube channel:
In a nutshell:
Shooting mode: Shutter Priority.
Your camera will automatically pick f2.8 in this low light almost all of the time, so to make things simple, I use shutter priority. Then I use the dial to control only the shutter speed.
Which shutter speed to use
It depends what you’re capturing. Watch the video for a few examples in practice, however, if I’m shooting people, then around 1/100th of a second is good to prevent any motion blur. If the people are further away from the lens, we can drop to 1/50th without worries. This is all about using the lowest iso possible to minimize noise and grain.
If we’re shooting a landscape at night, we can drop all the way down to 1/15th or even 1/8th depending on how still you’re able to hold. Always remember to check and zoom in for motion blur if you drop that low though, it may take a few attempts.
I always have my gr iii on auto iso, but I’ve made the max 4000. Any more than that and the grain gets a bit too bad. And again, the reason we’re using a low shutter speed is to bring down the iso as much as possible to get a clearer image. How high you should set your max auto iso, it’s up to personal preference.
Few additional tips on focus
When shooting the gr iii at night, the autofocus can be tricky at times. You want to slow down a bit. Don’t shoot while your feet are moving. And try to be ahead of the scene as much as possible, so you don’t have to rely on the AF. Also, set up the Snap Focus function.
Oh, and obviously shoot raw.
Other than that, this should be enough to get nice images out of the gr iii at night even without a tripod (which would totally defeat the purpose of this camera anyway)
Here are some examples I’ve shot with this camera at night:
You can also check out this vlog I did for some rainy night gr iii examples and footage: