Unconventional and completely new, the Ricoh GXR camera system may change the way we think about the relationship between cameras and sensors. Richard Sibley examines the new system

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Ricoh GXR

Product:

Ricoh GXR system review

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Price as reviewed:

£750.00

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Verdict

As much as it is an interesting concept, the Ricoh GXR system is something of an oddity. Although I appreciate the idea of being able to take out a compact-style camera or a high-quality fixed-lens camera, I feel that Ricoh has created a solution to a problem that in real terms doesn’t actually exist, in much the same way as a Segway solves the problem of walking. A Segway costs thousands of pounds when you could either walk or spend a lot less and get a very good bicycle.

The two benefits that it does offer are lenses that are specifically designed for the sensor being used, and that it should be far more difficult for any dust to settle on the sensor.

As much as these are definitely positives, I cannot see huge numbers of photographers feeling that these advantages warrant the expense of an entirely new system. They may consider that they would be better off with a high-end compact camera (around £400) and a Panasonic Lumix GF1 and 14-42mm lens (around £650), which would offer more flexibility and cost around £200 less than the GXR body and A12 camera unit.

It will be extremely interesting to see how Ricoh develops the GXR system. It is definitely an exciting prospect, especially as both camera units provide excellent image quality in their fields. Once more units are released later this year, we will have a better idea of the true potential of the GXR. Hopefully, a GR-series wideangle lens and a S-series HD video superzoom unit will be released, along with some accessories to link with the GXR body. Ricoh may have been better waiting until more of the system had been developed to give photographers more of an idea of exactly what the system is capable of.

 

 

Ricoh GXR system key features

Pop-up flash

This springs into action once the Open/Flash button is pressed. The rest of the time it is closed flush to the camera body

Control dial

This is the main control for navigating the various menus of the camera. When shooting, the user-definable Fn1 and Fn2 buttons each offer direct access to a choice of functions

Hotshoe

The hotshoe (shown here with protective cover) allows the use of an external flashgun. Full TTL flash exposure compatibility is offered via the Ricoh GF-1 flash

 

 

 

Details

White Balance:Auto, Multi Point Auto, 4 presets, plus custom and manual settings
Shutter Type:Electronically controlled focal-plane
Built-in Flash:Yes
Memory Card:SD/SDHC
AF Points:256 point auto or manually selectable points
Viewfinder Type:Manual, single shot AF, Multi, Snap
Output Size:A12: 4288x2848 pixels. S10: 3648x2736 pixels
LCD:Fixed 3in LCD with 920,000 dots
White Balance Bracket:Yes
Max Flash Sync:1/250sec
Sensor:A12: APS-C-size CMOS with 12.3 million effective pixels. S10: Compact camera-size 1/1.7in CCD with 10 million effective pixels
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
Drive Mode:A12: Single, continuous (4fps for raw files, or 3fps for raw with noise reduction on, or unlimited JPEG files), self-timer, interval timer. S10: Single, continuous (5fps for raw files, or 4fps for raw with noise reduction on, or unlimited JPEG files), self-timer, interval timer
Shutter Speeds:A12: 180-1/3200sec in 1⁄3 steps. S10: 180-1/2000sec in 1⁄3 steps
Exposure Modes:PASM, plus 2 custom modes, 6 scene modes
Weight:A12: 265g (423g on GXR body). S10: 161g (325g on GXR body)
File Format:Adobe DNG raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
Power:DB-90 rechargeable Li-Ion battery
RRP:A12: £599.99 (excluding GXR body £419.99) S10: £329.99 (excluding GXR body £419.99)
ISO:200-3200 in 1/3EV or 1EV steps
DoF Preview:No
Focusing Modes:Manual, single shot AF, Multi, Snap
Dimensions:A12: 113.9x70.2x77.1mm on GXR body. S10: 113.9x70.2x44.4mm on GXR body
Metering System:A12: 256 segment multi-zone, centreweighted, spot. S10: 256 segment multi-zone, centreweighted, spot
Connectivity / Interface:USB 2.0 Hi-Speed/HDMI
Compression:A12: Two-stage JPEG (Normal, Fine)
Exposure Comp:A12: ±4EV in 1⁄3 EV steps. S10: ±4EV in 1⁄3 EV steps
  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. Autofocus
  5. 5. Dynamic range
  6. 6. White balance and colour
  7. 7. Metering
  8. 8. Resolution, noise and sensitivity
  9. 9. LCD, Live View and video
  10. 10. Verdict
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  • Johnsphotos

    I totally agree with your rating. I have been looking for a decent macro lens for the Canon 6D. This fits the bill. When we attached the lens. I took a portrait shot of my friend from 6ft away. Then I zoomed in on won of the eyes even hand held at that distance. You could see the blood veins. Reflection in the eyes as a mirror of the surroundings. I also chose Sigma because you do not have to by cases and hoods as extras. I did look at Canon and Tam ron equivilant models . They failed to impress as the Sigma lens did. Must dash I am off down the garden. To try it out on the roses and bumble bees.

  • SUBRAMONIAM

    I chose this lens after a long thought which one to choose. I’ve a SONY A580 that can take any lens. My wife has a NEX5 with LAEA1 A mount adaptor that needs SSM/SAM or lenses with in-built drives. Tamron 60mm that was a cheaper option did not guarantee operating with the NEX combo. Only option is this lens. Overall very pleased with the performance though test on NEX remains. A bit heavy though.

  • Hedo

    Does Sony version has OS inside or they removed it? Some says they removed the OS but some says no. Hmmm?

    I ordered this lens instead of Sony 100mm Macro, because it has better features, has the same price (due on summer sale), newer, and does not change in length. Did I make a good decision for this? 🙂

    Thanks.