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Ricoh details modular GXR camera for US

updated 07:45 am EST, Tue November 10, 2009

Ricoh GXR to come to US

Ricoh in confirming the full details of its GXR camera system also made the rare move of bringing its cameras to the US. As promised, the approach goes one step further than most interchangeable lens cameras by relying on modular units that contain the lens, image sensor and processor in a single package. Taking this step theoretically gives users the best possible performance for the task at hand: a CMOS sensor accompanies a prime lens to let in as much light as possible, while a CCD can accompany a typical zoom lens.

The sealed link between the lens and sensor also means dust is a virtual non-factor, according to Ricoh.

Regardless of the unit, the camera has unique software features such as a pre-autofocus mode that speeds up the AF system for faster-moving subjects and a macro mode that invokes automatically. An accelerometer gives the camera a tilt sensor much like the Canon EOS 7D.

The body itself will sell for $550 and has just the main controls, an internal flash, a hot shoe and a 3-inch color accurate, articulating LCD. Creating the least expensive complete camera requires the S10, a $440 module that combines a 24-72mm (film equivalent), f2.5-4.4 lens with a 10-megapixel CCD sensor. Alternately, the A12 unit at $550 gives users a 50mm f2.5 macro lens along with a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor. An external flash and an electronic viewfinder aren't immediate options in the US.

All three of the US-bound parts are due to ship in December.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jreades

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Neat System

    That's a pretty neat system, but I'm not entirely sure who it's targeted at -- most professionals will have way too much invested in lenses to want to pick one up, and most regular consumers won't understand why they have to keep paying $500/lens+sensor for what looks like a point and shoot... will they even care that they can change out bits and pieces?

    The specs on the lenses are pretty impressive, so I suppose it's supposed to be an alternate for a DSLR getup? But given that you have to carry around lens/sensor combos that doesn't exactly seem like a 'drop and go' backup...

  1. fizzy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    A pro-level rangefinder-like camera is something that a lot of shooters want, but I don't think this is it. The small CCD sensor/zoom lens combo is too slow and would be noisy, and it would be better to have something wider and faster than 50mm f/2.5 even though the bigger CMOS sensor is nice. (Look at the lens focal lengths relative to the stated 35mm film equivalents -- the CMOS must be a DSLR-like 1.5x or so, and the CCD is a typical point-and-shoot size.)

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Long time user

    As a long time user of Ricoh compacts like the GR1, GR1v and the GX200, notwithstanding how they look on paper, there is an undefinable pleasure in using these cameras as they emulate a more traditional camera experience. They are also a lot smaller and more pocketable than the likes of the Canon G10 or G11 hulks. It's a hard choice between a Ricoh or a Panasonic however, with the LX3 having the edge in terms of image quality but the GX200 having better usability! All this being said, this puppy works out pretty expensive so I would warn against looking at one in a store because you may be easily seduced!

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