Ricoh GXR system review
January 23, 2010
Price as Reviewed:£750.00
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
LCD, Live View and video
Like other 3in, 920,000-dot screens we have seen, the LCD of the GXR is bright, clear and of a high-enough resolution to check even fine details.
Should you prefer to use a viewfinder, the VF-2 electronic viewfinder is available separately, although it costs around £200. This looks like, and attaches to the GXR in the same way as, the curiously identically named, E-P2-compatible Olympus VF-2 electronic viewfinder. The Ricoh VF-2 slides into the GXR’s hotshoe and plugs into an electronic connection just below.
With a 920,000-dot resolution, the EVF is as sharp and clear as the rear LCD screen. Better still, it is hinged, so it can also be used as an angle finder. It also has an adjustable dioptre. However, even though it offers a 100% field of view, it doesn’t look or feel as natural as using an optical viewfinder. That said, EVFs have come a long way in recent years and they now offer a genuinely usable alternative to traditional viewfinders.
In the same way that image resolution changes depending on which camera unit is being used, so does the video resolution. At its best quality, the A12 camera unit with its 12-million-pixel APS-C-size sensor can record at a moderately high-definition resolution of 1280×720 pixels at a rate of 24fps.
The S10 camera unit produces lower-resolution 640×480-pixel videos at a frame rate of 30fps. I would imagine that if Ricoh aims to compete with the Micro Four Thirds range of cameras, then a 10x superzoom lens capable of shooting at least 1280×720 pixels will be required.
- 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