Ricoh introduced its first digital camera system, a compact model that will rival cameras like the Olympus Pen series. The Ricoh GXR has a mount that allows users to slide units on that encompass a lens, image sensor, and processor.
Ricoh is calling the GXR the “world’s smallest and lightest digital camera with the ability to change lenses,” according to the company’s Nov. 10 press release. Olympus also makes the same claim with its E-P2. The Ricoh GXR measures 113.9 x 70.2 x 28.9 mm, while the E-P2 is slightly thicker but shorter lengthwise at 120.5 x 70 x 35 mm.
Ricoh is releasing two interchangeable units that will attach to the camera body. The GR Lens A12 unit has a large APS-C, 23.6 x 15.7 mm, CMOS image sensor that has 12.3 megapixels. The unit also has a GR Engine III processor and a fixed 50 mm lens with a wide f/2.5 aperture and manual focus ring. The other unit is a Ricoh S10 that has a smaller 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor and Smooth Imaging Engine IV processor. Also in the unit is a wide 3x optical zoom 24-72 mm f/2.5-4.4 lens. The S10 unit is equipped with sensor-shift image stabilization and is compatible with wide and teleconverter lenses.
One advantage of the enclosed lens/sensor/processor unit is that dust can’t get inside. The GXR has a durable magnesium alloy body that has an image processor inside of it, so there are two image processors on board when an interchangeable unit is attached. The back of the GXR has a 3-inch LCD monitor with 920,000 pixels.
The Ricoh GXR has a full set of manual controls that can be accessed more easily with customizable buttons. The camera provides ISO settings up to 3200 and a pre-AF mode that automatically adjusts the focus to the subject’s movement. Other features include a tilt indicator and an image flag function that can tag up to 20 images at a time. The pricing and availability of the Ricoh GXR has not yet been announced.