Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ricoh GXR

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

The GXR system uses interchangeable lens/sensor units - every lens comes in a sealed unit complete with sensor, shutter, aperture, processing engine (there's also one in the camera body) and the motors necessary to focus the lens (and drive the zoom mechanism if present). You are, essentially, buying a new camera every time you buy the lens: the GXR body is little more than a shell containing the screen, card slot, controls and flash.

This radical rethink of the 'interchangeable lens' has some important consequences:

- Different lens units can have different sensor sizes and technologies

- By using a smaller sensor the GXR system can offer very small zooms

- Lens units can be designed for specialist applications (e.g. video optimised)

The GXR launches with two very different optional lens modules. Although the body is very thin, how pocketable the camera is depends entirely on the lens module mounted: the S10 zoom unit maintains the low profile when not in use (it collapses when powered down) but the A12 prime is a fairly large unit.

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Brett's 2p'orth: I have no idea whether this is a triumph or a turkey. What I do know is that the pre-production sample images are impressive, and that I am looking forward to visiting my local Jessops for a 'hands-on' when it is released in the UK.

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