Ricoh goes Micro Four Thirds...

Started Nov 11, 2009 | Discussions thread
VLampa Senior Member • Posts: 1,030
Re: Would I use this?

Ranger 9 wrote:

I've thought of one user scenario in which Ricoh's concept makes perfect sense. Hint: It's NOT for avid photographers!

Suppose you're someone who isn't a photography hobbyist, but who is comfortable with gadgets and likes to take good pictures. Mostly your needs would be served perfectly well by a general-use compact camera such as the Pana LX3 or Canon G11.

But... you've also got a somewhat specialized hobby, such as stamp or action-figure collecting, or flower gardening, or whatever. You'd like to take some pictures of your hobby, but you don't want to bother investing in a DSLR camera and specialized lenses, or on spending the time learning how to use them.

So... Ricoh lets you buy a general-use compact camera that's not much different from anyone else's. Except: you can also turn it into a "specialized" camera for your particular interest by swapping on a different module. You get a lens and sensor optimized for your special use, and you still get to use the controls and features of the camera you already know how to use.

Ricoh's initial pair of modules exactly makes sense for the above scenario: the casual user who wants to make good macro pictures occasionally. I also can think of a few other obvious special-use profiles:

I have doubts about this. At around $2000 for the body and two modules, only well-heeled people would even consider it for the use you mentioned, especially considering that the target audience for your scenario are non-photographers.

I suspect people wanting to take nice photos of their main hobbies (and not interested to branch out into photography as a hobby) are already happy with the current crop of point and shoots, with most of them having a macro mode (focuses to 1 cm for a number of them) to satiate the needs to take close-up shots of stamps, etc. Even just the main body and compact module would run them close to a grand, which I suspect they'd rather invest into procuring stuff for their hobby.

Should they crave for the flexibility, I suspect they'd rather buy DSLRs. Much cheaper to assemble a similar system compared to Ricoh, and size won't be a big issue since they most likely have a P&S they can tote around everyday.

Also, outside of Japan, I think only photography enthusiasts know that Ricoh makes high-quality cameras. It would be a hard sell for Ricoh when the average non-photography enthusiast sees the GRX alongside the GF1 in stores. He/she would probably know Ricoh more as makers of office equipment while the Panasonic is a brand they can easily associate with cameras.

I wish Ricoh well, though. I appreciate and welcome innovation, and I'm as curious as you are in how the buying public receives the GRX, as well as Ricoh's future developments for this product line.

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