Ricoh launches camera with removable lenses, sensors
Uses slide-on modules
Ricoh has redefined the high-end compact camera, launching what it has claimed is the world’s smallest and lightest camera to sport an “interchangeable unit camera system”.
Ricoh's GXR uses a slide-on interchangeable lens system
The Ricoh GXR sees lenses attached to the main camera body using a slide-in mount system. Image sensors are contained within each interchangeable lens, Ricoh said.
This revolutionary lens swapping system – which Ricoh claimed is “as easy as changing a memory card” – supposedly has two main benefits.
Only two lenses are currently available for the GXR
Firstly, the design apparently provides a greater power of expression because each interchangeable lens is tuned to its sensor and image processing engine within.
Secondly, Ricoh claimed that the interchangeable system makes it “inherently difficult” for dirt and dust to enter the camera and impact sensor performance – as can be the case with digital SLR cameras.
The system ties you into buying Ricoh lenses, of course
Currently, only two lens options are available: the 13Mp GR prime lens and a 10Mp wide-angle alternative.
Ricoh has, however, promised to release a high magnification zoom telephoto lens in early 2010.
Better that a DSLR?
The GXR goes on sale next month, though Ricoh hasn’t directly said in which countries. However, it has released Australian pricing: the GXR body will cost AU$600 (£333/$556/€371). The 12Mp lens has been priced at AU$1100 (£611/$1020/€680) and the 10Mp alternative at AU$600 (£333/$556/€371). UK-specific prices haven’t been confirmed. ®
Lens costs will possibly kill it
Lets face it, a Zeiss 50mm f/1,4 will only cost you about £530 and that's possibly the most expensive DSLR 50mm lens you can get (aside from the Zeiss 50mm f/2,0 50mm which is just shyof a grand).
"And why does the body cost FOUR HUNDRED AND TWENTY sniffs when it doesn't have a sensor, an image processor or a lens included?!?"
Ah, but the body does include an image processor. Identical, in fact to the one in the lens modules. So you pay for the same thing twice... There is actually some logic in this, in helping ensure forwards compatibility: if new sensor technology generates radically differently formatted data, the communication channel can be kept consistent.
Still not convinced though.
Not different, stupid.
So, let me get this straight... if you want to buy a new lens for this camera you also have to buy a new sensor and image processor as well??? That's bonkers.
And those prices?!? Are they having a laugh? You can get an entry level SLR with a half decent kit lens and a 50mm prime off ebay and you end up with a much better, far more flexible piece of kit for less than this Ricoh body-only.
And why does the body cost FOUR HUNDRED AND TWENTY sniffs when it doesn't have a sensor, an image processor or a lens included?!?
The sensor-on-lens idea is Interesting idea but I'm not convinced it will catch on. The lenses will be more expensive for what you get than their SLR equivalents since they have the sensor, shutter etc on them. You also can't buy decent glass and upgrade the body later. I think it'll have a hard time competing with entry level DSLRs, especially those as small as a 1000D.
DPReview reports in their hands-on preview:
• Body: £419
• VF-2 viewfinder: £219
• GF-1 flash: £239
• A12 50mm lens: £600
• S10 24-70mm lens: £330
The LCD's a nice one for sure, but that really is prohibitive body pricing for most - and the zoom option has a pretty average compact-class sensor behind it by the looks of things.