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Ricoh to make 16MP APS-C GXR zoom module

By dpreview staff on Nov 28, 2011 at 18:45 GMT

Ricoh has added a 24-85mm equivalent zoom camera unit, based around an APS-C sized CMOS sensor, to its product roadmap. The roadmap on the company's Japanese site shows the module, scheduled for an 'Early 2012' launch, will be built around a 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor. Given the company's use of 12MP Sony sensors in its A12 modules, it seems likely this zoom module will be built around a version of Sony's impressive 16MP chip that underpins several recent Sony, Nikon and Pentax models. No details are given on price or aperture range. (via DC Watch)

Click here to visit the Ricoh Japan module roadmap

Comments

Total comments: 136
yukonchris
By yukonchris (Apr 19, 2012)

The more I look at the GXR, the more I like it. Sometimes it takes people a while to realize that the established way of doing things isn't necessarily the best way - interchangeable lenses vs an interchangeable module for instance. As each new mirrorless camera model finds some fundamental way to disappoint me, I realize that the GXR has it pretty much all covered. The flexibility of the design seems quite good!

I hope Ricoh/Pentax continue to develop this concept. I wonder if the addition of one or two more lens mount units allowing one to conveniently reuse that old Nikon, Canon, Olympus, or Pentax glass might be a consideration? Also, given that no one other than Leica has bothered to consider a larger than APS-C option in the mirrorless market, I can't help but wonder if any such units could go that route...

0 upvotes
patoth66
By patoth66 (Dec 18, 2011)

No way! This camera is no flop! Its a hell of a camera, with fantastic image and build quality! A street shooters dream!!))

0 upvotes
gomezphotography
By gomezphotography (Dec 13, 2011)

Sometimes you can just tell when a camera is going to be a flop. This is one of them.

0 upvotes
Aero Windwalker
By Aero Windwalker (Dec 1, 2011)

Wrong. Ricoh is using Aptina MT9H004. It's a better sensor than Sony IMX071 in every way. It also has the on sensor phase detection technology, like the one we see on Nikon 1.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Dec 1, 2011)

1. Ricoh didn't publish which sensor they're going to use
2. Aptina's own website makes no claims about the MT9H004 having PD-AF
3. The Pentax K-5 APS-C sensor (which is widely accepted to be a Sony) is measured to provide the best overall performance among all APS-C sensors (excluding resolution). What makes you think the Aptina is better?

1 upvote
Aero Windwalker
By Aero Windwalker (Dec 1, 2011)

I can't comment on your questions.

0 upvotes
Rule 34
By Rule 34 (Dec 3, 2011)

...Because you have no clue what you're talking about.

Wait until it comes out and see how the noise levels and color rendition stack up to a K5 or a NEX 5n and then we'll have a better idea.

edit: misplaced "how"

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
sesopenko
By sesopenko (Nov 30, 2011)

Why don't they just quit the crap and come out with a full-frame M mount module? That's what everybody wants.

2 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Dec 1, 2011)

Even for the same cost, I would *much* prefer a GXR mount module that supports full AF and AE, even if the sensor is only APS-C (or even FourThirds).

And before you talk about size, read my previous comment below.

1 upvote
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Dec 3, 2011)

Do you still need to license M mount? Aren't the patents on it way past 50 years old now.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zygonyx
By Zygonyx (Nov 30, 2011)

As far as i read, one of the issues with GXR is autofocus performance. Let's hope Ricoh will have achieved significant progress in this respect with the new module.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
VladimirV
By VladimirV (Nov 30, 2011)

The Af issues have been fixed in firmware a long time ago but DP review never bothered to update their review as they have done for other cameras.
The AF is now faster with both A12 modules than similar APS cameras like the Fuji X100 and Leica X1 for example.

0 upvotes
Steve1307
By Steve1307 (Nov 30, 2011)

24-85mm with a APS-C is a handy focal length range, but done before i'm sure.

How about something a bit more unique to generate a bit of specialised interest......like a Boroscope module for insect macros.
Thinking outside the circle

0 upvotes
mootaineer
By mootaineer (Nov 30, 2011)

Absolutely agree with you.
I don't think it hurts Ricoh to have this module to attract users from other brands...but they should take the opportunity to do what other brands don't.
So many ideas...
- Underwater module (via fibre optic, perhaps).
- Extreme but high-quality wideangle (often missing for APS-C sized sensors, particularly rangefinders). This would complement the Mount A12 quite nicely.
- Remote module - lensor able to communicate with body via WiFi.
- etc

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (Nov 30, 2011)

Sounds interesting as long as the JPEG image quality is competitive and its price + body does not exceed that of a competitive DSLR. The former I do expect, the latter I seriously doubt it.

1 upvote
jameshamm
By jameshamm (Nov 29, 2011)

I'm getting very good results with the Leica mount module. Do yourself a favour, borrow a good leica lens and try it on the GXR. Then see if you want to come here and complain about the concept.

1 upvote
danaceb
By danaceb (Nov 30, 2011)

You yourself do the same, but with a Nex 5N. Its not so much a problem of non Ricoh fans trying Ricoh stuff as its Ricoh fans ignoring the rest of the world. Kinda like Konica zealots of the 1980s.

1 upvote
VladimirV
By VladimirV (Nov 30, 2011)

@danaceb
The Nex 5N is a great camera but in terms or ergonimics and handling it's not quite there with the GXR. I love the flip screen though and the sensor looks to be very good but the missing AA filter on the GXR is something not to be overlooked and makes a big difference.
At the same time, as good as the focus peaking on the Sony is, Mode 2 on the GXR really makes manually focusing a breeze and is way more usable in my view.

But I would be very tempted to get the Sony NEX7 with the 5N sensor as a backup camera.

0 upvotes
jameshamm
By jameshamm (Nov 30, 2011)

@danaceb

I have both. No comparison. GXR is superior in sharpness, color rendition and IQ. NEX has more saturated colors and perhaps better video, but I'm not 100% sure of this as they both render video differently. GXR might be darker.

I am curious why you'd make this argument without having it done yourself. Reading about stuff is really not the same thing.

3 upvotes
fzand
By fzand (Nov 29, 2011)

Ricoh's strategy of creating complex modules that include everything on a relatively dumb chasis is an interesting idea, but it also presents a big cost and complexity challenge that everytime you want to buy a lens you are practically buying a new camera with all its issues regarding firmware, etc.

0 upvotes
VladimirV
By VladimirV (Nov 29, 2011)

The idea is not as dumb as some people think.

You can buy the GXR with Mount module and have an interchangeable lens camera where you can swap the lens and sensor. If you need a small p&s superzoom camera, you get the P10 module or the S10 module if you need a slightly bigger sensor and higher quality zoom. If you need a APS fixed lens camera you get the A12 28mm or A12 50mm modules or if you want some zoom you get the new A16 24-85mm module.

Take another example why the system is very good, you travel and want a backup camera. Usually you need another camera which takes up space, needs another charger, different batteries, extra sd cards and so on. With the GXR system you just take another module and are done.

How many people would love to be able to use the Sony NEX5n sensor in the NEX7 body without paying so much extra, a new GXR body would allow you to upgrade just the body for as little as £250.

Or what about people buying the Fuji X100 or similar fixed lens cameras?

4 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Nov 30, 2011)

"Or what about people buying the Fuji X100 or similar fixed lens cameras?"

Say, a camera like Ricoh GR Digital III or IV, with a fixed 28mm lens? :-)

0 upvotes
jpr2
By jpr2 (Nov 30, 2011)

no, the concept is not dumb at all; however, what the whole line of Ricoh GR lacks, and lacks severely is the eye-level VF = without one they are just rather overblown P&S :(

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Rule 34
By Rule 34 (Nov 30, 2011)

@VladimirV: "Take another example why the system is very good, you travel and want a backup camera.... With the GXR system you just take another module and are done."

Right, then the back dies, or you drop the camera in water, or whatever, so you just pull out that second module and attach it to what exactly?

1 upvote
ebull
By ebull (Nov 30, 2011)

On the other hand it means you dont have to buy a new set of controls and body each time you buy a camera. For me the controls are just about perfect and I can get to know them off by heart and they will be the same for each lens. The other thing is that the shutter is one of the things that wears out so again replacing this with each new lens makes sense.

2 upvotes
fzand
By fzand (Nov 30, 2011)

My point is that this is a challenging idea. The problem that I was stating is that with each lens and sensor, you probably have to have a different firmware, also what problem are they solving here, if you want the full DSLR range, as this APS module competes with, then you are going to buy additional lenses (and sensors) to get the full range of prime, zoom and macro lenses. you end up carrying just as much in your camera bag as you would with other body and lens options. I like to "invest" in lenses and have the option of upgrading the body as sensor technology improves. Here you are frozen in time with the coupled lens and sensor.

0 upvotes
Andrew Higgins
By Andrew Higgins (Nov 29, 2011)

At last, a Ricoh to compete with the NEX5n. Very exciting for any Ricoh enthusiasts! The Sony 16mp sensor is superb, quite possibly the best available right now.

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (Nov 29, 2011)

small modules of smartphones and tablets with 8Mpix R CMOS Exmor senzor and with F2.4 lens have a price a few USD ... useful limit are approaching in sight ...

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Nov 29, 2011)

Thats actually not bad, but I would rather see 16 mpix Leica-M optimized back. :D

Still, its compact camera killer, if priced good..

0 upvotes
Magnus W
By Magnus W (Nov 29, 2011)

The GXR is such a great concept! A camera with a swappable camera. Wonder why no one thought of this before.

3 upvotes
wublili
By wublili (Nov 29, 2011)

It has been thought before. For example there's been rumors of Nikon introducing such dSLR one day (the rumor originally was for D800 but I doubt that happens). You'd be able to swap the sensor anytime, just like you already do with the lenses.

Well, it's not of course exactly the same but similar. The idea is the same anyways.

The problem however is that you cannot use the same 'body' (or whatever you wish to call it in GXR, for example) cannot be used forever. You would need to build completely modular design to archive a body that can be used "forever". You would need to be able to update image processor, for example.

0 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Nov 29, 2011)

Many cameras. With a swappable back.

Six now so far to be precise, including this announced zoom.

0 upvotes
wublili
By wublili (Nov 29, 2011)

And of course, like anothony mentioned, not to forget that medium format cameras has already modular designs.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Nov 29, 2011)

It's a great concept, but the implementation is seriously flawed. Except for the Leica M mount module, they are all fixed lens. Why should I have to pay for a new lens with each module? The fact that they're making a 16 MP module is great. Unless you want to use it with a fast prime lens. Then you're SOL.

0 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Nov 29, 2011)

Some people have a broken sarcasm detector.

4 upvotes
Magnus W
By Magnus W (Nov 30, 2011)

JensR, I do NOT understand. ;)

0 upvotes
Rule 34
By Rule 34 (Nov 30, 2011)

YO DAWG, WE PUT A CAMERA IN YOUR CAMERA SO U CAN SHOOT WHILE U SHOOT.

0 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (Nov 30, 2011)

Exactly, they totally stole this concept from Facebook.

0 upvotes
Pangloss
By Pangloss (Nov 29, 2011)

As noted in the DC Watch article, this is just a GXR module map and NOT a roadmap per se (no time scale).
It's also a particularly *contrived* way for Ricoh to re-pre-announce the GXR "kit zoom" APS-C module, which was previously pre-announced in... September 2010!
The kit zoom module itself is just an ordinary (not collapsible) 24-85mm equiv. zoom lens with f/3.5-f/5.5 aperture, and the reason it will use a Sony 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor is simply because Ricoh only uses Sony sensors, and Sony will soon cease (or has already ceased) manufacturing 12MP APS-C CMOS sensors.
Another unknown at this point in time is the retail price of such a module. If it is launched at a $700 price point (as most other GXR APS-C modules were until now) then it will compete head-on with Sony's NEX-5N, which costs $700 including the 18-55mm f/3.5-f/5.6 (27-83mm equiv.) E-mount "kit zoom".

0 upvotes
Harold66
By Harold66 (Nov 29, 2011)

I am not sure why it would matter to know why this module has a 16MP sensor than a 12mp if the new one is better.
the GXR is a completely different beast than the NEX5n and targeted at different users so the comparison hardly matters

2 upvotes
ngollan
By ngollan (Nov 29, 2011)

If that's the same sensor Nikon uses in the D7000, I hope they got around to fix the "warm" pixel manufacturing issue that seems to plague the chip.

0 upvotes
schaki
By schaki (Nov 29, 2011)

Ricoh have not taken the decision to let us pixelmap the sensors just yet, unfortunately. As Olympus and probably some others already have pixelmapping in their compacts it wouldn't be a hard thing to add for Ricoh considering how good they are at making probably the best user interface.

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (Nov 29, 2011)

It is a good idea to keep GXR line.
I excpect modul for Pentax K mount(DA, DA LTD, DA*, FA, ...) like A12 Leica M
and a new GXR unit with wi-fi a BT4 for full externall controll and data transfer including a high resolution of video signal ...

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
kff
By kff (Nov 29, 2011)

external controll and wireless transfer of video for a smartphone and tablets (with bigger displays for normal human being who want to a good to see what they are shoothing)

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
kff
By kff (Nov 29, 2011)

Or is true that Ricoh only wants to see Pentax' documentation, to divide his like Hoya and sell his to next buyer ?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Remko Westrik
By Remko Westrik (Nov 29, 2011)

Yes, I have been waiting for this module to complement my GXR kit.

Since I'm sure it's a collapsable lens it will be sufficiently compact. That combined with the excellent handling and adjustable GXR body. Bring it on.

I don't care about the 16MP versus 12MP, both are fine for my use.

I understand that the GXR is not everybodies favourite camera (it's one of mine) but there is no use bashing about that. Then just move on and buy something else.

2 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Nov 29, 2011)

I agree that the welded-lensor concept doesn't make much sense (at least not with APS-C sensors). Ricoh should focus on a adding more mount modules, with K-mount being the obvious first choice, now that they've bought Pentax.

As for the claim that flange distance from the lens mount to the sensor makes such modules too large, the solution is simple - make it collapsible. When the camera is turned off, the module should fold back for "coat-pocketability" with pancake lenses. When the camera is turned on, the module should expand for correct focusing all the way to infinity.

The same folding mechanism can be used with manual focus lenses to provide AF (by moving the mount back and forth).

Lastly, with new lenses designed specifically for this mount the module can stay folded and still provide focus to infinity, without compromising size.

In short, Ricoh can and should use existing mounts - even with long flange distance. Compact size can be maintained with the above solution.

3 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Nov 29, 2011)

That actually sounds quite ingenious in its simplicity.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Nov 29, 2011)

Collapsible mechanism sounds intriguing, and in some theory in may work if sensors were film, but in digital photography there are too many problems.

The flange distance must be exact, mount plane more perfectly parallel to the sensor plane, etc. Collapsible mechanism would cause many problems, discrepancies, and inferior image quality.

I believe for that same reason (keeping parts perfectly aligned) and many more additional reasons, there hasn't been invented a camera with changeable optical sensor module.

That would be most logical thing to do but Ricoh didn't do it because it's so difficult. So they've weld sensor and optics inside same module. Again, I have no idea why they didn't try harder and invent something more profound.

But perhaps that concept or collapsible mount and changeable sensors waits for some more forgiving sensor technology.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Nov 29, 2011)

Zvonimir, film is actually *more* critical than digital when it comes to flange distance, because of the much shallower DOF. I had the privilege to use an old medium format Yashika with a folding lens, and it was perfectly accurate. Modern technology make such mechanisms even simpler to engineer.

BTW, there are digital cameras with replaceable sensors. Most medium format DSLRs fall into that category.

0 upvotes
EarthQuake
By EarthQuake (Nov 29, 2011)

Film does not inherently have narrower DOF, it is the size of the film plane or image sensor that determines DOF. For example a medium format digital sensor has a narrower DOF than 35mm film.

APS-C does have a wider DOF than 35mm film, but simply saying "film is actually *more* critical than digital when it comes to flange distance, because of the much shallower DOF." is inaccurate.

I think the K mount idea presents too many problems with too few benefits. The Leica M mount on the other hand makes a lot of sense because:
A. Leica M mount is already a compact short-flange mount
B. Leica digital bodies are very expensive
C. Leica lenses are noted for their legendary quality

On the other hand:
A. K mount has a large flange distance
B. Pentax K mount DSLRs are not expensive, and coming out with a K module would only mean competing with your own product.
C. Pentax K glass is not lusted after in the same sense that Leica, Zeiss, etc glass is.

0 upvotes
EarthQuake
By EarthQuake (Nov 29, 2011)

Not to mention that if you really want to, you can simply use a M->M42 or M->K mount to use your Takumar or Pentax K glass on the Ricoh M module.

1 upvote
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Nov 29, 2011)

EarthQuake,

I agree about your point about film. Replace "actually" with "typically"

As for M-mount, most people are not interested. It's way too expensive, too limiting, and more difficult to use compared to modern cameras with fast AF. A K-mount module with full AF and AE would appeal to a much larger audience, and with the mechanism I suggested above it would compete directly with the fastest growing segment in the camera market - mirrorless cameras.

0 upvotes
EarthQuake
By EarthQuake (Nov 29, 2011)

While I agree that your idea is sound in theory, I believe the reality of producing such a product would be too complex and prone to failure to be viable for an entry level consumer product.

I also believe you are overstating the desire for a K mount mirrorless, I feel there would be much more interest for a mirrorless system with quality pentax lenses designed specifically for the system.

Also, many Pentax K AF lenses are in-fact screw AF driven lenses, making any sort of auto focus that much harder to engineer. The selection of internal-focusing K lenses certainly wouldn't make up for all the other problems you run into, and supporting the screw drive would be expensive and complex to engineer as well as much more prone to failure with a collapsible system as you suggest. Pentax's most attractive pancake lenses are screw mount as well.

If you end up with a product that has a full-K flange, screw drive AF support, I dont see why you wouldn't just use a Pentax DSLR.

0 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Nov 29, 2011)

Obviously the screwdrive motor itself should be part of folding platform, together with the mount. The size of such motors is very small so it shouldn't be too difficult to achieve this.

As for why K-mount? There are several reasons:
- Large enough installedbase of users who already own lenses and would be happy to mount them on a coat-pocketable camera
- AF and AE support without the need to pay royalties to another vendor or do any reverse engineering
- Best selection of pancake lenses

Why not DSLR?
- Size. Even with the tiniest pancake DSLRs are not coat-pocketable. The design I'm suggesting can be.
- Flipping mirror has many other disadvantages, hence the huge growth of the mirrorless camera market. Among these disadvantages - audible noise; mirror shake; cost of manufacturing; viewfinders are either small and dim or expensive and heavy; very inaccurate DOF representation (even with DOF preview) and so on and so forth...

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Nov 29, 2011)

This is not a matter of DoF, and to be frank, and not even of flange distance. The collapsing mount mechanism would twist itself under the pressure of heavier lenses, no doubt about it. Thus whole mount is always well secured, or in other words, a reinforced part of the body.

0 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (Nov 30, 2011)

Most of the lenses one would want to attach to such a GXR mount are not heavy, so "twisting" is not going to be an issue.

BTW, have you ever seen or held a Pentax Limited lens? They are extremely light.

0 upvotes
unlearny
By unlearny (Nov 30, 2011)

The limited pancakes are amazing lenses, but those would be the only ones you could use with it, and be pocketable. Forget pocketable. Even with a collapsable mount, they'd have to allow room for the aperture pin, which come down quite a ways. That aperture pin is the spoiler to your plan. Don't get me wrong, I own a GXR, and I would jump at a K mount (though a k to m adapter would serve me just as well). I think APS-c sensors can remain quite flat without much trouble versus film.

What I'd like to see, since nobody asked, is like the boroscope idea... only a bellows with m39 mount for using enlarger lenses: 35, 55, 75 for macro, 100, 127, 135 for portraits.

The module could include a motorized tripod mount for taking stacked images. The ultimate macro digital camera. I would take that over the LYTRO any day.

0 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Nov 29, 2011)

I wish they would also design a dedicated flash unit for each module. So I would be able to spend even more money for redundant gear. *LOL*

The term "NEW" obviously makes people buy almost everything.

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Nov 29, 2011)

I still use a great "L" lens carried over from the film era and used magnificently on the newest Full Frame sensor.

This lens had seen all sorts of 35mm film types and emulsions, witnessed the first Canon DSLR prosumer sensor, various sensors along the heritage of 20D to 50D and 7D and now mounted occasionally on a 5D2.

The sensors of some of those cameras were all long gone and sold (with camera of course)... but the lens remains.

Why would I get rid of my nice "L" lens just because the sensor is outdated?
Why would I buy similar new lenses because the sensor has been updated?

Weird concept.

Good luck on the sales...

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Nov 29, 2011)

What are you having difficulty grasping about the concept that makes it weird to you? Each Camera Unit is a camera, not a 'lens', so buy whichever one suits your needs as if you were buying a separate camera.

You want a camera you can use your L interchangeable lens on, get the M-mount Camera Unit and an adapter.

Ditto a fixed AF lens equivalent to the Leica X1 orr Fuji X100, get the A12-28mm or A12-50mm.

Ditto an 'enthusiast' compact equivalent of the Fuji X10, get the S10 Camera Unit.

You want a P&S travel zoom, get the P10.

And just like all the camera equivalents, you don't have to buy all the GXR Camera Units, just the one you want. A lot of people only have the M-mount for example.

And then swap your same camera back with controls, settings, SD card, battery etc instantly between any or all of your cameras.

What you're arguing is that you think it's weird you can't use your L lens on a Fuji X100. To me that's weird that you actually think that.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Nov 29, 2011)

It's a concept.
It weird you can't grasp that.
It's also an opinion.
Pretty much weird you can't grasp that too...

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Nov 29, 2011)

Well, that depends. If it's an opinion then it would apply across the board and you would believe that every fixed-lens digital camera from the exalted Leica X1 to every enthusiast compact to all the P&S cameras ever made are all a 'weird concept' becasue you can't mount your L lens on them.

I don't think you believe that for one minute, and so are just specifically applying your 'opinion' only to the four current fixed-lens GXR cameras (the enthusiast compact S10, the travel zoom P10 and the two fixed A12 primes) plus this new APSC zoom camera.

If it is the latter, then that's not an opinion, it's a misunderstanding. I suspect like many others, you approach it from the point of view of being an ILC and comparing the GXR 'body' to the NEX or similar 'body'. Put simply, that'll get you nowhere fast when it comes to understanding the GXR system because any potential NEX module would be the exact opposite - a GXR Camera Unit, not a GXR Body Unit.

0 upvotes
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (Nov 29, 2011)

It's interesting to see many people are craving for so called "mirrorless" K-mount camera and laying creamy praise for limited pancakes, knowing that:
1) there's tons of digital K-mount camera: K7, K5, Kx, Kr ... to name a few and they are great cameras.
2) A mirrorless K-mount would be almost as chunky as a "mirrored" K-mount.

2 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Nov 29, 2011)

2) Very true. m43 cameras are small not just because they got rid of the mirror, but because Oly and Panasonic shrunk the sensor, dramatically reduced the flange to sensor distance, and designed a whole new line of lenses to take advantage of those changes. A mirrorless K-mount would have to retain the same dimensions for both, buying you very little.

0 upvotes
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (Nov 29, 2011)

I think that more than a few people would be surprised by how compact the K-5 and K-7 bodies are. True, they are larger than a GXR, but with a sweet little Limited lens mounted, they are not the least bit cumbersome. So I'm not sure that a K-mount GXR would offer a huge advantage in terms of portability and usability.

Rob

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
longman
By longman (Nov 28, 2011)

We should call this 'Complaints' not Comments.
We dont need to hear comments like Jogger's little pathetic whine. Get a life.

3 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Nov 28, 2011)

why would anyone get this when the Sony 5n with kit lens is $700, probably tons of deals on it as well.

3 upvotes
iaredatsun
By iaredatsun (Nov 29, 2011)

Cheapness is only one reason for choosing one thing over another. There are other, equally if not more important, matters to be taken into account.

4 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Nov 29, 2011)

Show me a decent zoom for the NEX series starting at 24mm equiv...

1 upvote
Harold66
By Harold66 (Nov 29, 2011)

if you have to ask , you probably never have used a Ricoh

Harold

2 upvotes
Rule 34
By Rule 34 (Nov 30, 2011)

I hope I never do. I like my lenses and don't want to buy a new sensor and lens every time I want a camera upgrade.

Ricoh will probably do a better job with Pentax than Hoya did, though.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Nov 28, 2011)

Filling a gap in the market?

Better Ricoh fill up gaps in their reasoning. GXR system is the most ludicrous approach amongst mindless contributions to the depreciation of any camera value humankind has ever seen.

It wasn't enough we have millions of $100 P&S cameras with tiny sensors weld on lenses thrown each year — now we have $1,000 chips+lenses packages too!

If that was the price of not inventing their own mount, then they'd better be doing something else and actually inventing, like Fuji did with the X100 and invented the OVF/EVF hybrid.

Hope someone from Pentax will start opening windows in their new quarters now, to let in some fresh breeze of reason, start from anew. A mirrorless APS-C mount, a clever and less wasteful system that actually makes some sense for the future.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
WT21
By WT21 (Nov 28, 2011)

Yes, but how do you really feel about it ;)

1 upvote
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Nov 29, 2011)

Minor flaw in your logic - why would anyone throw a $1,000 chip+lens unit away? Ever heard of ebay?

0 upvotes
Archiver
By Archiver (Nov 29, 2011)

And meanwhile, a growing number of enthusiasts are buying the GXR system and fully enjoying the benefits. If you think someone from Pentax will let in some 'fresh air', take a look at the Q system. Interchangeable lenses? Check. Large sensor? Nope.

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Nov 29, 2011)

"And meanwhile, a growing number of enthusiasts are buying the GXR system and fully enjoying the benefits...."

Yep, a great benefit, having a shelf of weld CCD+Lens units to mount on a halved body. Once a CCD part is broken/outdated/whatever, what to do with the perfectly fine glass? Waste of money, time and good only for landfill. That's what happens when a company has no guts to be brave and envision, believe in their own mount.
But look at the Fuji — they are brave enough to go exactly that road and people respect that. Exactly an opportunity Ricoh has missed. And please, don't defer someone's obvious wasted opportunities and make them 'admirable traits' people are dying for.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Nov 29, 2011)

You misunderstand the concept of the GXR. It's an /interchangeable back/ system. So you don't really mount the 'lenses' onto the body, you mount the same back (LCD, battery, SD card & controls) onto different cameras.

You don't have to buy every GXR Camera Unit module, just the ones you want as if they were separate cameras (which they are). Take your beloved Fuji for example, buying the Fuji X100 fixed 35mm is equivalent to buying the GXR A12 fixed 28mm Camera Unit. Except that you can literally switch cameras by swapping the body/back from your P&S onto it to preserve your settings, controls and even card image sequence numbers.

How about two cameras? With your beloved Fuji again you have the GXR S10 Camera Unit is equivalent to the Fuji X10, so instead of buying two completely separate Fuji cameras, the X100 APSc and X10 'enthusiast' zoom, you buy the equivalent S10 and A12 Camera Units except with the ONE camera body between them to keep the same controls, settings etc.

3 upvotes
spacelounge
By spacelounge (Nov 29, 2011)

its your comment that seems mindless considering that the GXR is a brilliant camera that takes great pictures, has interchangable lenses and is cheaper than the x100(and x10), which is a shabby erratic mess as a camera.

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Nov 29, 2011)

I mentioned Fuji because they did two things right:
- OVF/EVF hybrid, which is a real invention.
- they have used best ideas of old RF camera designs, and made something substantial out of it.

Ricoh wasn't nearly that inventive. In the end, carrying two modules plus a body, or two bodies:
- weight is similar
- with two bodies one can instantly take one or the other, there's no disassembly-assembly procedure. They can even take shots at the same time.
- whoever has two cameras adjusts them already for the type of lens and type of photography intended. A setup in one camera doesn't affect the setup in second camera. So adjustment is needed to gain best results of a setup, which in case of Ricoh is nullified.

In Ricoh's case the unified control on one body is touted as 'an advantage', and everything else is sacrificed to that highly questionable perk.

I mean, someone must contribute to the pool of history's crazy ideas, and Ricoh has raised its hands high enough.

0 upvotes
Rule 34
By Rule 34 (Nov 30, 2011)

The lens-sensor modules are going to depreciate in value badly as their resolution / noise characteristics / etc become outdated... whereas a well cared for lens will be sold for 50-90% of its purchase price 20 years down the line depending on model and mount. I've purchased PK mount lenses from the late 1960s for a couple hundred dollars. 40 years from now there will be a few collectors with working "backs" for this system and most of the modules will be in landfills because nobody will be able to do anything with them.

Also,
Protip -- to all the people defending a brand on the internet: Just because 1) you spent a lot money on something and 2) that something happens to be completely idiotic, nobody is calling YOU stupid. You are not your camera.

0 upvotes
unlearny
By unlearny (Nov 30, 2011)

on the announcement of the m-mount I was sceptical, because I'd tried the m to 4/3 and m to NEX adapters, and always had trouble getting critical sharpness. Ricoh has the first non-rangefinder digital solution that doesn't have me blowing up the focus area to 100% to make sure it is in focused. That made it worth the 650 right there. Even with automated focus assist on NEX and M4/3, the method interupts compostition, you can focus, then you can compose, so don't use a very large aperture, because your subject is out of focus again, so check focus again, and compose. The Ricoh solution is a virtual rangefinder, only backwards. The area in focus highlights and you shoot. It is as though the camera designers at Ricoh also take photographs.

0 upvotes
unlearny
By unlearny (Nov 30, 2011)

I guess I needed to finish the thought. My RD1s is nice but large, and I worry about wearing it out, The M8 & 8.2 require filters and they are still quite expensive. The Ricoh M-Mount may depriciate, but I am enjoying using my M mount and m39 lenses now, not just waiting around to afford an M9. That is the niche, a need in the market which was not fullfilled prior.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Nov 28, 2011)

24-85mm equivalent? GREAT! I hate almost all zooms starting at 27-28 mm equiv. Instant get if, otherwise, the IQ is excellent and/or the bright 12-35 for m43 will be much more expensive and/or larger and/or of lower quality.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Nov 28, 2011)

It's amusing to see camera brands trying to start something "NEW" in terms of standards...
Ricoh GXR
Nikon 1
Etc.
It's also sad to see them crash and burn...
APS Film
Disk Camera
Memory Stick
Beta Max

1 upvote
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Nov 28, 2011)

there are differences though,
Nikon just shrinked the sensor size to make it more pocketable and advertise it as dslr quality,
Ricoh (like it or not) it s a new approach to interchangeable lenses.

crash and burn it's part of evolution, like in the animal kingdom tecnology is the same, 6/7 years ago there were a dozen memory cards, today only CF, SD and mSD.
so there is nothing wrong about it, it's always been there and always be, thank god.

6 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Nov 29, 2011)

It's amusing to see camera brands trying to start something "NEW" in terms of standards...
Beta Max

Bad example. Betamax actually came first in 1975 before VHS in 1976/77, so it was VHS doing the starting something "NEW' in standards, and winning. Which is the complete opposite of your argument.

3 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Nov 29, 2011)

spot on Anthony!

3 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Nov 29, 2011)

No. Betamax was something new.
VHS won the war.
Just like Blue Ray won the war.

0 upvotes
PG Thomas
By PG Thomas (Nov 29, 2011)

Beta was technicaly superior to VHS - but Sony (being Sony) didn't lease out the format, whilst Panasonic did, and won.

Pentax was similar to Panasonic, with quite a few brands using the K Mount (for which all us Pentax users are still gratefull). Nikon and Canon won by making better designed cameras with mote technical innovations in the 80's.

Now Sony are forging ahead with the NEX, and the market is running scared of the IPhone.
Technicaly the Sony 16MP chip is (to me) as good as I need on the APS-C K5 - and I guess Nikon users of the 7000 /5100 feel the same.

Ricoh / Pentax do now need to come up with something, and using that chip is obvious. The Q is a side line.

Fuji has winers with the X100 / X10 (The latter I have and it's great).

Pete T

2 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Nov 29, 2011)

Besides Blue Ray and HD-DVD were announced and released together,
there was never a real war, having Blue Ray got best Hollywood major contracts and much wider support from electronic companies from the real beginning, actually even before they were released.
And luckily for Sony, they didnt repeated the mistakes of distribution of the Beta, as Thomas mentioned.

1 upvote
sorinx
By sorinx (Nov 28, 2011)

So, you have to change all your lenses each 3-5 years when sensors become obsolete?
It is like a fixed lens camera only 3x more expensive. RIP ricoh. nobody will buy it.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Nov 28, 2011)

And in 3 years when you update to the new lens module to get the new sensor, you get to slap that on a (then) 5 year old control module with outdated LCD and processing!

I am sure it seemed like a great idea on paper.

1 upvote
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Nov 28, 2011)

There are also some upsides - with exception of the M-mount module all lenses have leaf shutter - the camera is nearly silent when taking the shot (may or may not be relevant for everybody). The lens modules (in particular the A12 28 and 50) are tuned and produce excellent results. To me the GXR system is very innovative and an interesting option to m4/3, Nex or Samsung. And it is nice to have options, isn't it.

EDIT: or the other way round - in 1 year you may put your perfectly working module on a new body with new viewfinder, LCD and (hopefully) even better controls. For about 250€. You can have the glass half empty or half full :)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Nov 28, 2011)

Well, _I_ will buy it if the module turns to be of excellent quality. I've long been waiting for a decent zoom lens starting at 24 mm equiv.

0 upvotes
Henrik Herranen
By Henrik Herranen (Nov 28, 2011)

Hmh, Menneisyys, do you mean that you've "long been waiting for a decent zoom lens starting at 24 mm equiv. for the Ricoh system"?

The reason I'm asking is that for the system I use, such high-quality zooms exist for both full frame and APS-C users. Canon FF users have for ages had the choice between two excellent options, the 24-70 f/2.8 USM and the 24-105 f/4 IS USM, while APS-C users have for two years had the very nice EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM.

I am sure that similar offerings must exist for other manufacturers, too. So, while this might be a first for Ricoh, it's not revolutiomal.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Nov 29, 2011)

It would make much more sense if the system was weather and dust proofed. Then a sealed system has more validity.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Nov 29, 2011)

"Hmh, Menneisyys, do you mean that you've "long been waiting for a decent zoom lens starting at 24 mm equiv. for the Ricoh system"?"

Well, I've been keeping an eye on mostly the Pentax, m43, Nikon1 and Sony NEX offerings. I don't like Canon's current DSLR lineup much because of the size and, in general, very bad video capabilities (moire, antialiasing, time-limited recording, inability to capture stills while making videos, very slow AF). Unfortunately, these systems don't have a decent zoom. (The m43 does have the 7-14 and 9-18, but they aren't as globally usable as a standard zoom lens: no IS on Pana cameras etc.)

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Zygonyx
By Zygonyx (Nov 29, 2011)

Well, regarding dust, the modules preserve the lensor from it y guess. But for moisture that would be a good idea. I would also like sensor or lens stabilisation, but this would increase the modules' cost significantly.

0 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Nov 28, 2011)

Ahhhh, so this appears to be what Ricoh meant when they said they would be 'filling a gap'? Not for me, but. Good to see they have now got the 16mp chip on board - a shame it didn't make it to the M mount.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Nov 28, 2011)

Since the M-mont has micro-lensing (I suppose the zoom will not - should not need it) I suppose it is simply additional work to be done. But surely sooner or later the M-mount will be updated (if it sells), but as it just started to sell I would not expect the update any soon (would probably make the current owners angry).

0 upvotes
Albino_BlacMan
By Albino_BlacMan (Nov 28, 2011)

What I suspect may happen (and hope) is that the next m-mount upgrade (in about 2 or 3 years) will be FF. This is assuming that pentax goes FF under ricoh which is rumoured to happen. But who knows

1 upvote
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Nov 29, 2011)

Not likely since this APSC zoom was announced a long while ago, whle the 'filling the gap' is only recent and so should refer to something else entirely.

In fact, if not for the floods in Thailand causing delay, this APSC zoom should have already been released even before the 'filling the gap' hint was made.

0 upvotes
Zygonyx
By Zygonyx (Nov 29, 2011)

Filling a gap in the market means no less than a FF mirrorless for me. Hopefully 100% K-mount compatible.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
VeijoM
By VeijoM (Nov 28, 2011)

The GXR mount A12 -module would be ideal opportunity for Ricoh and Pentax to introduce the bigger Pentax mirrorless mount (not K-mount) that they are working on. Having option to use GXR and different Pentax mirrorless bodies for the same lenses sounds good and would support each other. And more importantly, Ricoh can now do it, why would they not?

0 upvotes
exp1orer
By exp1orer (Nov 28, 2011)

best is K mount for mirrorless. just imagine using the limited pancake lenses that Pentax already has. the missing thing in Pentax is the compact and rugged mirrorless body...pancake lenses already exist.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Nov 28, 2011)

You really think Pentax would turn its back on its tremendous population of K-mount lenses and release a 3rd lens mount? (K, Q, and whatever you're talking about) I don't.

0 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (Nov 28, 2011)

I also admire Pentax's magnificent line of lenses, mainly the limited range that are mechanically and optically superb and also the ideal size and weight. Unfortunately for us all they simply can not be used directly on a mirrorless camera body, simply because they are designed to stay a couple of inches off the sensor to leave space for the mirror in a DSLR. The main idea with mirrorless cameras is to drop the mirror and place the lens directly in front of the sensor to make them more. As a result a new lens design is needed - rangefinder type lenses.
The best move for Pentax is to design a new mount and lenses system, but also release an adapter with electronic contacts to ensure AF of their DSLR lenses can be used. This way they will instantly have a superb line of lenses for their new cameras, while they develop new lenses to make use of the new mount and be more compact.

3 upvotes
EarthQuake
By EarthQuake (Nov 28, 2011)

Because of the flange distance, a K mount mirrorless would be pretty useless, I mean it would be the same size as a regular DSLR. If Ricoh/Pentax are going to put out a larger-sensor mirrorless system, its going to need a new mount, niether Q or K would be suitable.

Just look at a K mount adaptor for a Sony Nex or something and you'll understand.

A new lens mount, and an adaptor to K that supports AF for legacy lens users would make more sense.

If you want to use your K lenses, you're better off just using a full sized DSLR. a mirrorless camera with the same lens mount would be only marginally smaller.

0 upvotes
Albino_BlacMan
By Albino_BlacMan (Nov 28, 2011)

Disagree. Have you ever used a pentax mx? If they could keep the mirror (or maybe lose it, who knows) and get down to that size I feel like it would be a huge success. And that has a mirror thats even bigger than anything Nikon and Canon are currently using

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 28, 2011)

I have a Pentax MX. It has 5 mm from the film plane to the back of the camera. Try to make that with the GXR. Thats hard enough to match with an ordinary DSLR. But with the GXR its even harder. We need some innovative sensor mounts in order to make cameras smaller.

It also has an optical view finder that is bigger and better than any DSLR I ever have seen. Try to match that with the GXR.

0 upvotes
EarthQuake
By EarthQuake (Nov 28, 2011)

Disagree all you like, its basic math. The 45.5mm flange distance of K mount means a camera 20mm+ longer than any other compact mirrorless system.

The only way you'll ever see a DSLR the size of a Pentax MX is if someone designs an LCD screen + imaging sensor that is as thin as film. You're talking at min. an extra 10mm for screen + sensor, so 55mm is the smallest depth it would physically be possible to use the K mount. A pentax MX/ME is just a few MM deeper than the K's flange, but its simply not possible with a DSLR, at-least not with current technology.

Even then, you end up with a modular system that is basically the same depth as an entry level pentax DSLR. So who is this system for? The 3 people in the world who A. Have a GXR body. B. Own a lot of pentax K lenses and C. Do not already own a Pentax DSLR? Talk about niche.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Nov 29, 2011)

I have an MX and it's great, but I agree that any Pentax/Ricoh mirrorless body would have to be something other than K mount due to the flange distance. Thanks to the above people for pointing that out.

0 upvotes
Zygonyx
By Zygonyx (Nov 29, 2011)

There are solutions to paliate flange distance, amongst them magnifying glass or adapter...

0 upvotes
Rule 34
By Rule 34 (Nov 30, 2011)

Every time I see people talking about how something like a NEX with a PK adapter and pancake would be "too big" I picture a bunch of deformed 2' tall people running around with muscular distrophy and 1" long fingers.

Unfortunately I ate while I was growing up so a NEX is almost too small for me to hold. Not quite too small though, so I want one, but I'm wondering why some of the posters on here don't just buy a Minox and be done with it.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Nov 28, 2011)

I wish they would/could cram this sensor into the next GRD.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Nov 28, 2011)

Ricoh just needs to make an APS-C module with an AF capable k-mount now that they own Pentax. Not very many people want to re-buy a sensor with every lens, and the K-mount has lots of nice glass available for it. It could turn the GXR into a top contender in the market rather than a quirky niche product.

1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (Nov 28, 2011)

I could be into that, I have 3 nice primes from my K1000 days.

0 upvotes
B64
By B64 (Nov 28, 2011)

Not so sure about that... K-mount lenses would need a rather long distance to the sensor (which on the DSLR's is needed to make room for the slapping mirror), so it will be a rather ugly sight the lenses will be protruding quite a bit and the size differences with a low-end DSLR will me minimal. Low-end Pentax SLR's are quite small already

0 upvotes
tamras29
By tamras29 (Nov 28, 2011)

I still love my GX100 and have been waiting for Ricoh to give me a reason to upgrade. The GX200 just upped the pixel count to add more noise at low ISO, and the GXR 24-70 module uses the same sensor at a nonsense price. Lets hope they get it right this time or it may be the end of GXR - IMO!

1 upvote
dbateman
By dbateman (Nov 28, 2011)

I am hoping that the 24-85mm is a pentax lens, and that the modual has a K-mount.

0 upvotes
iaredatsun
By iaredatsun (Nov 28, 2011)

As it's a complete zoom lens integrated GXR module it won't have a mount of any kind.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 55 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Nov 28, 2011)

no mount of any kind? weird, I thought it would mount to the GXR body. cool paperweight though.

0 upvotes
Rule 34
By Rule 34 (Nov 30, 2011)

JackM: cool story bro.

0 upvotes
exp1orer
By exp1orer (Nov 28, 2011)

so Ricoh will continue to make a very niche camera. where is my 16mp APS-C rugged mirrorless Pentax?

1 upvote
spoorthy
By spoorthy (Nov 28, 2011)

i think a rugged pentax Q (obviously bigger) with a k mount will be the best camra on the market cause of limited lenses. it would be the smallest apsc camera system on the market

0 upvotes
B64
By B64 (Nov 28, 2011)

a rugged Pentax Q will no doubt have a Q mount, don't you think?

0 upvotes
PentaxNick
By PentaxNick (Nov 29, 2011)

Try using the Pentax K5 in Live View. It also comes with an optional Optical Viewfinder Mode ;-)

0 upvotes
Jarda_Houdek
By Jarda_Houdek (Nov 28, 2011)

I guess the aperture range will be the most decisive factor of it's success.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 28, 2011)

To keep it to a reasonable size, it's probably not far-fetched to guess at standard kit-lens territory (though that is strictly a guess).

2 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Nov 28, 2011)

My guess is it will be f/2.8-f/4 in range. :)

Carl

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Nov 28, 2011)

f2.8-4 means it would be even larger than a Sigma 17-70mm. I kinda doubt it.

0 upvotes
mfbernstein
By mfbernstein (Nov 28, 2011)

There's no mirror and the lens is collapsible, so it should be smaller than comparable focal-length APS-C zooms. How much smaller remains to be seen.

0 upvotes
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Nov 28, 2011)

Ricoh have made it clear that it will not be a GR lens therefore a compact size f3.5-5.6 is more the answer. More interesting is on whether it will be collapsible and whether it has inbuilt IS. Myself I think neither. Therefore a standard smallish tuned to sensor zoom, probably with an extending zoom body. Internal zoom would be nice but I guess this module will be made to price for the greatest marketability. Those that were screaming for this zoom module might be glad for the wait just to get the 16mp sensor on board.

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Nov 28, 2011)

It would be a hard sell having to pay for an APS-C sensor with a kit lens.

0 upvotes
pppp
By pppp (Nov 29, 2011)

It's not a "GR lens", so the aperture won't be large...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 136