Does Ricoh's lack of roadmap mean there is no roadmap?

Started Feb 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Tom Caldwell
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Does Ricoh's lack of roadmap mean there is no roadmap?
Feb 28, 2012

I am usually pretty cool about this. I am happy just to be amazed from time to time at Ricoh taking a new direction with another great product.

I am not one to demand "a roadmap" and in that regard it might be comfortable for others but it is a bit restrictive to a company issuing the roadmap as it appears that the lines on the maps soon enough become regarded as a future direction compact written in blood.

However a teeny hint at what might be in store would not go astray. Not so much that "we will produce this" or "that" specifically as a "certainty" but more what they might see as the future direction and thrust of the GXR concept, the GRD and even the CX series.

Even confirmation that the GXR and GRD do have a future would be nice.

We have come to the end of the predicted GXR roadmap - the M mount module is here and the aps-c zoom will be in the shops soon enough. If you discount the paparazzi frippery of the very early days considering cameras that might see around corners, x-ray modules, and bolt on print modules that were so convenient but you still have to carry print medium and and "paper" then the future of the GXR is a blank sheet.

Some talk hopefully of new modules where the existing lenses are recycled with larger sensors. Other have their own lists of requirements that will keep Ricoh backroom boffins glued to their cad design screens for years to come.

I have put all this quiet down to a restructuring process after the Pentax takeover. Like Ricoh-Pentax is a subsidiary where the tail wags the dog? The K-01 seems to be driven by madder designers than the careful Ricoh precision meisters ever designed.

Possibly mad enough for me to buy one some time in the future but probably not enough to convince Joe buying public out there that Pentax HQ were not in the midst of one huge sake party with the lead karioke singer from the r&d department.

Meanwhile I remain optimistic that something intersting will turn up in the GXR department. For me the M mount module was the best thing ever produced for any digital camera to date bar none - a close second is the mode 2 focus peaking function. Two winners there are enough to keep me very happy for a longer time than any digital camera has ever kept me happy before.

Who needs a new camera every/every-second# year? (#cross out which does not apply to you). But the great buying public out there just keeps buying other cameras and for some reason seems oblivious to the Ricoh system merits. Even dpreview rarely mentions a Ricoh product in it's definition of "enthusiast camera".

Maybe we need a new definition "nutter's camera". This might be the only way to describe the unique staus of the Ricoh brand. Perhaps only "nutters" deliberately buy cameras that (only) do manual focus and walk around with a permanently-fixed beaming smile that is surely misinterpreted as madness.?

On the other hand we must all know some abject nutters in historical terms who went about designing great objects that were so ahead of their time that they were thought akin to being madmen. Leonardo da Vinci was one, there were others. LIke who was ever going to buy/use one of his designs in his heyday? Is the true greatness of Ricoh only going to be recognised once their cameras are no longer made?

Or is the future roadmap an electronic one and we simply need to switch on our gps and all will be revealed?

In any case roadmap or no roadmap the next product from Ricoh is going to be a surprise - roll on a few surprises ...

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Tom Caldwell

Pentax K-01
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