Previous news story    Next news story

Ricoh M-mount GXR Mount A12 module announced and previewed

By dpreview staff on Aug 5, 2011 at 06:05 GMT

Ricoh has announced a Leica M-mount unit for its modular GXR camera system. The GXR Mount A12 features a 12MP APS-C CMOS sensor with the ability to fit a wide range of M-mount lenses or a still wider choice if used in combination with an adapter. And, unlike the majority of digital cameras, it features no low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter. The Mount A12 module includes all the usual GXR features (such as toy camera and miniature processing modes), but also gains a silent electronic shutter mode, several manual focus assist options and a series of lens correction parameters. The module will be available from early September, at an MSRP of $649. We've been using a pre-production Mount A12 module for the past few days and have prepared an hands-on preview with real-world samples.

Click here to read our brief hands-on preview of the Ricoh GXR Mount A12 module

Jump to:

Press Release:

Ricoh announces GXR MOUNT A12

A GXR lens mount unit featuring an APS-C size CMOS sensor

Tokyo, Japan, August 5, 2011—Ricoh Co., Ltd. (president and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announced the development and planned September 9, 2011 release of the new product GXR MOUNT A12, a lens mount unit exclusively for the GXR interchangeable unit camera system. The body color will be black only, and the planned monthly production volume is 3,000 units.

Introduced in December 2009, the GXR is a revolutionary interchangeable unit camera system in which lenses can be changed by mounting camera units that integrate lens, image sensor, and image processing engine into a single unit. In addition, utilizing its unique ability to accommodate interchangeable units other than camera units, the system can be expanded to include a variety of other devices.

The new GXR MOUNT A12 is a lens mount unit made especially for the GXR. Featuring an APS-C size CMOS sensor and a newly developed focal plane shutter, this unit makes it possible to mount lenses such as Leica M lenses, and it provides various types of compensation and correction functions.

Main features of GXR MOUNT A12

1) The newly adopted APS-C size CMOS sensor expands possibilities for high resolution and imaging power.

  • The adoption of a CMOS sensor with an optimized micro lens layout makes it possible to secure sufficient brightness levels even in the peripheral areas of the image.
  • The CMOS sensor used is 23.6mm × 15.7mm (APS-C size). It enables the shooting of high-quality images with smooth tone gradations as well as high definition and low noise.

2) Compatibility with a wide variety of lenses, including Leica M mount lenses.

  • Compatible with the Leica M mount, GXR MOUNT A12 can, of course, handle M-mount lenses, and if a conversion adapter is used many more types of mounts can also be accommodated.
  • A checking device is included for use in confirming whether or not your lenses are physically compatible.

3) Diverse new functions maximize the potential of the lens itself

  • In order to accommodate the photographer’s own preferences by adjusting for the distinctive characteristics of many different lenses, GXR MOUNT A12 can independently correct coloring at the corners. Color shading correction is possible in a -4 to +4 range for both R and B.
  • Peripheral illumination correction is possible in a -3 to +3 range.
  • A distortion correction function is provided to correct for the distortion that tends to occur in the lens periphery. The photographer can select barrel and pincushion distortion and specify “strong,” “medium,” or “weak” for each.
  • A glass optical filter was adopted and made as thin as possible. It increases periphery image quality and suppresses field curvature.

4) High-precision focusing

  • A focus-assist function has been included in an effort to raise the accuracy of manual focusing. The photographer can select from two modes and check the focus by strengthening outlines and contrast.
  • Magnifying the screen image while shooting is an effective technique for focusing. The magnification can be done not only in the center but throughout the image. In addition, the image quality for 4x and 8x magnification has been further enhanced. The area to be magnified can be moved using the directional pad.

5) Two shutter methods are featured: newly developed focal plane shutter and electronic shutter

  • With the focal plane shutter, settings of 1/4000 sec. to 180 sec. are possible.
  • With the electronic shutter, settings of 1/8000 sec. to 1 sec. are possible, and the  photographer can shoot without worrying about shutter noise and vibration

6) The wide range of functionality that characterizes the GXR series

  • My Settings enables a wide range of shooting functions to be specified in an instant. For the setting information storage, six patterns can now be stored in the body’s My Settings Box and six patterns can be stored in the SD card. This, along with the ability to change shooting conditions, further expands the photographer’s world of photo expression.
  • In manual exposure mode, the shutter speeds B (bulb) and T (time) can be selected. With B, the exposure continues while the shutter release button is pressed, and with T, the shutter release button is pressed to start and end the exposure. For both B and T, the exposure is automatically ended when 180 seconds have elapsed.
  • Information on the lens used can be put in the EXIF information. In the editing of My Settings information, lens name, focal length, and F value can be entered.
  • New scene mode options have been added for the easy enjoyment of a wide range of photo expression. The five new options are soft focus, cross process, toy camera, miniaturize, and high contrast B&W. The photographer can create a unique image by just pressing the shutter release button.
  • An electronic level utilizing an acceleration sensor.
  • An image flag function to enable the quick display of specific images from among those in the camera. Up to 20 images can be flagged.
  • For the exterior, we utilized die cast magnesium, which has a strong track record in the GR series, and we covered the surface with a corrosion-resistant "pear-skin" coating. The end result is a body with durability, light weight, and a superior feel in hand.
  • It is possible to shoot 1280 × 720 pixel HD movies.
* Note: When shooting movies of 1280×720 size, the use of an SD/SDHC memory card with an SD speed class of Class 6 or higher is recommended.

7) New options added

  • We have created the new soft cases SC-75B and SC-75T, which are easy to open and close. With SC-75B, it is possible to shoot with the case attached to the GXR body.
33
I own it
5
I want it
6
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 47
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Sep 9, 2011)

hey ricoh, if you ever get bored making the best camera system beside nikon f-mount, i made a concept for a super16mm film module for the GXR, that i pülan to buy from you in the future :

http://inevitablecrafts.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/ricoh-super16/

thank you and youre welcome.

btw irecently found out, it could be cooler if you make the "tilt module" as an option, to attach all GXR modules like the one i made, and make the super16 module like a cube, without tilting mechanism

0 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (Aug 19, 2011)

A lot of users (me too) bashed GXR idea some time ago...But the time answers to us: the idea is not bad and GXR is alive. For me - it's very interesting version to use M-lenses. NEX - I don't like body and controls of this camera.
I'm a fan of sharpness, no AA is cool...

0 upvotes
Salvatore Castrovinci
By Salvatore Castrovinci (Aug 9, 2011)

UUHHH !

If this module may have a FOVEON X3F Imager I am ready to buy RICOH and sell most of my "tools" !!!!

Salvatore

2 upvotes
markdavisphotography
By markdavisphotography (Aug 9, 2011)

How does this system fare regarding moisture and dust intrusion? Is the adapter to body joint well sealed?

0 upvotes
VladimirV
By VladimirV (Aug 9, 2011)

Very well sealed in my experience. I used the GXR in snow, rain and dusty conditions and never had any problems. I just carry it in either a normal bag or jacket pockets.

1 upvote
DVT80111
By DVT80111 (Aug 7, 2011)

Dear Ricoh, I have multiple old manual but fine lenses and I want to continue shooting with them. Other manufacturer don't care for my need because they just want to sell newer lenses. I already paid about $200 for multiple chipped adapters but they are somewhat hit and miss. I am looking to mount my old lenses on this A12.

My friend also has many old lens too.

We are excited. Hope it won't disappoint us.

0 upvotes
grahamdyke
By grahamdyke (Aug 6, 2011)

Well this confirms it then the original GXR concept was completely hamstrung by its tiny compact camera sensor sizes, so lets make it into an APS-C ILC instead. Only diference is this will cost you over twice as much as a Panasonic GF1/2/3 with a lens attached.

I suppose one advantage would be that you may be able to but new "A" ILC modules with diferent APS-C sensors as time goes by. Trouble is each one will cost you more that the price of a new APS-C ILC camera anyway.

Whats the point?

0 upvotes
sphexx
By sphexx (Aug 7, 2011)

"... by its tiny compact camera sensor sizes ..." If you know so little about the GXR why bother to comment?

3 upvotes
ogl
By ogl (Aug 19, 2011)

Is it JOKE? GXR body is approx.USD350-400 + A12 (M-mount)USD650 = ~ 1000 USD. APS-C sensor without AA filter with 12 MP.

0 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (Aug 6, 2011)

wonderful crispness, sharpness and clarity in the samples and yes the moiré is apparent on the building shot. Would make an excellent portrait cam.

2 upvotes
liin
By liin (Aug 5, 2011)

Want it just on "handsome" factor alone.

I can't afford Leica M. Can we get a M42 module? That will be super fun.

0 upvotes
liin
By liin (Aug 5, 2011)

Edit. Maybe I'll just get this with Zeiss 50 f/2 M mount.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Aug 6, 2011)

M mount has a really short mount depth, so you can adapt almost anything to it. M42-Leica M adapters even already exist, - check ebay. The only downside to mounting DSLR lenses, is that the adapter has to pad the mount depth to what the lens is expecting. So you end up with a 1-2" thick adapter on the back of a lens and it can get pretty cumbersome for a compact camera body like the GXR.

2 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Aug 5, 2011)

Great....like it wasn't hard enough already to buy M mount lenses for my M8...now there will be even more demand. Looks like a cool idea though, I will be interested to see how the quality compares to my M8.

0 upvotes
Pangloss
By Pangloss (Aug 5, 2011)

To Richard Butler:
First, thanks for the rather detailed preview. As usual, very well written and informative.
Now there is one point which is not clear in the preview. You indicate Ricoh removed the Anti-Alias filter in front of the sensor, and yet their own press release states: "A glass optical filter was adopted and made as thin as possible. It increases periphery image quality and suppresses field curvature."
Just as a reminder, the two previous A12 modules do have a weak, optimized anti-alias filter, according to Ricoh's own optical engineers.
Could you clarify what this "glass optical filter" is and whether it is effectively a low-pass (anti-alias) filter or not?
Regards,
Andrew

0 upvotes
Faintandfuzzy
By Faintandfuzzy (Aug 5, 2011)

The samples looked incredibly sharp and detailed. can't wait to see how this look in a review.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 5, 2011)

In a discussion with Ricoh they said it had no low-pass filter. I asked them to confirm and asked whether they were worried about moiré and they said it was more important to convey the character of the lens. This leads me to believe we were talking about the same thing.

It should become clearer if we're able to get a production version to shoot some resolution charts with.

0 upvotes
Mattoid
By Mattoid (Aug 5, 2011)

Why not make a full frame one? Everyone would by it then. At the moment it only has the lack of filter and silent shutter over the nex. But the nex has video and focus peaking. But the nex will never be full frame, so the direction to go is obvious.

1 upvote
Mattoid
By Mattoid (Aug 5, 2011)

buy*

0 upvotes
VladimirV
By VladimirV (Aug 5, 2011)

Guess to get a custom FF sensor would cost too much or make the module too big (the M9 is twice the size and a 5D is 4x the size of the GXR).

As for focus peaking, the Ricoh has this, too.

0 upvotes
Harold66
By Harold66 (Aug 5, 2011)

This FF claim has no realistic ground whatsoever. As many GXR users I am perfectly aware that a 35mm sensor would mean a bigger body and MUCH larger optics for AF lenses
not to mention the cost of developing such a sensor.

0 upvotes
Mattoid
By Mattoid (Aug 5, 2011)

It already has a full frame mount with a full frame flange focal distance. A full frame sensor is 36mm x 24mm. The size of the module is 68.7 mm x 57.9 mm. So there is enough room in there as well. All they have to do is make the sensor it and put it in. Just a matter of time surely?

1 upvote
dbateman
By dbateman (Aug 5, 2011)

Well now with Pentax under their belt. It would be amazing and a show stopper to have a 36mm x 24mm sensor with the K-mount!! The number of Pentax full frame lenses are huge and this camera could be amazing.

1 upvote
Vobluda
By Vobluda (Aug 5, 2011)

Oh no, not you gillavi again :/

0 upvotes
gillavi
By gillavi (Aug 5, 2011)

Maybe will finally see a Leica M body that can actually save the pictures it takes

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Leica_admits_SanDisk_SD_card_compatibility_problem_news_308987.html

http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2011/08/leica-m9s-plagued-sandisk-failures

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Aug 5, 2011)

Well, maybe my Summicron 35 will finally see some action ... Why didn't Leica do it?

0 upvotes
MP Burke
By MP Burke (Aug 5, 2011)

I thought the whole point of the GXR was that lenses were integrated with the sensors. A "module" that allows interchangeable lenses seems to go against that principle and allow dust access to the sensor. Furthermore, it doesn't solve one of the big problems of the GXR, tha lack of ultra-wide lenses. We still await a real alternative to the M9, a camera that can use Leica M lenses on a full frame sensor.

0 upvotes
VladimirV
By VladimirV (Aug 5, 2011)

This is a misconception or maybe poor marketing from Ricoh but the GXR concept was always about being able to create any kind of modules one wants, the first camera modules had lenses integrated with sensors but this was never a requirement for the GXR system.

2 upvotes
Eurostar
By Eurostar (Aug 5, 2011)

Well, this module, plus an M to Nikon or Canon or Sony or Pentax adapter, and a Sigma 8-16 mm let's go as much as wide is possible.

And surely much cheaply than to have to buy a FF sensor module.

0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Aug 5, 2011)

The Poor Man's NEX.

0 upvotes
RKGoth
By RKGoth (Aug 5, 2011)

Poor?!?

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Aug 5, 2011)

More like the richer man's NEX with a decent interface and controls. :)

9 upvotes
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Aug 5, 2011)

if the sensor is good then even I want one.

0 upvotes
patoth66
By patoth66 (Aug 5, 2011)

I will buy one as soon as it comes out!!))

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 5, 2011)

Why not buy a NEX with a Leica adapter instead?

Does the GXR module give any extra features?

Moreover - APS-C Leica camera is not FF Leica camera.

2 upvotes
VladimirV
By VladimirV (Aug 5, 2011)

It does, an electronic shutter, optimized settings for each lens plus lens information in EVIF, better handling and controls being just a few of the advantages.
Another is also the ability to just use one of the other A12 modules on it and have access to some very good and compact 50mm f2.5 macro and 28mm f2.5 lenses which the NEX does not have.

While it's not FF the high ISO of this will be much better than the noisy M9 sensor.

3 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 5, 2011)

Hmmmm ... nothing I would care about.

So .. a NEX seems more interesting.

2 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Aug 5, 2011)

Better handling and features aren't things you would care about eh. You'd prefer to use a bar of soap than a photographic instrument- all power to you.

6 upvotes
dstate1
By dstate1 (Aug 5, 2011)

Umm...no. The GXR has no AA filter so it will be sharper. It also has microlens corner correction so wide angle lenses will work properly...the do not on the NEX.

4 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Aug 5, 2011)

If this does well, we may see AA filters start to go away at last or at least be removable, I hope.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 6, 2011)

Better handling and features? Everything is in the eye of the beholder. Both cameras probably have features that the other one lacks. And you are putting too much words in other posters mouths. And personal attacks on people that disagree with you seems rather unnecessary.

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Aug 5, 2011)

they should have made a generic mount with a short flange distance and included adapters for m, nikon, canon, etc. with this approach, you need to buy a new module for each type of lens you want to put on it simply because the mount is different, the internals may be pretty much the same.

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 5, 2011)

I think SLR lenses are too big for the GXR anyway. Plus, being M mount, there are actually M to Nikon / Canon / Pentax / M42 / M39 etc. adapters already (ebay). Basically this IS a generic short flange mount. Just nobody cared to use a Nikkor on their M9 before.

0 upvotes
Eurostar
By Eurostar (Aug 5, 2011)

Well, a M9 has not an EVF, nor live view, so using a Nikkor on it, means you must focus just by iperfocal.

0 upvotes
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Aug 5, 2011)

Poor man's Leica - praise indeed

6 upvotes
F-onefour
By F-onefour (Aug 5, 2011)

The Poor Man's APS-C Leica.

4 upvotes
sedentary_male
By sedentary_male (Aug 5, 2011)

It's official - finally ! Role on September 09th
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln91Hk_gccE

1 upvote
Total comments: 47