GR Digital V has an APS-C sensor

Started Jan 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 34,181
Re: We can always hope...

Prognathous wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

I hate to keep squawking about this like some frenzied parrot but Ricoh has already got a whole range of aps-c modules on the market. A couple more in areas not already addressed could do no wrong.

For sure they should continue to develop the GXR, and IMHO focus on additional APS-C lens mounts and only go lensor when there's a good justification (e.g. small-sensor ultrazooms like the P10).

However, regardless of what they do with the GXR, it will never be as small as the GR-D, and there's obviously market for that.

What would bring them all into play as a replaceable lensed ("thicker" perhaps) "GRD" - size camera back with mount rails. I would wonder why Ricoh might try and squeeze out another Sigma DP or Sony RX1 when it has a presently neglected but very prospective modular mount system to flesh out?

One good reason is that there's a market for one. If a pocketable APS-C GR-D can sell better than the GXR, it would make sense for Ricoh to release one first. It's not like the DP or RX1 represent perfection. Both are seriously flawed and Ricoh can do better.


Prog, I hink you would agree that Ricoh has done very well by making a series of high quality compact cameras with small sensors.  Once regularly called "the compact camera that Leica didn't make".

If there is anything more reliable than my odd fantasies then it is the desire to put an aps-c sensor into a GRD body.  It has been going on for years, from even before a Sigma DP1 could be bought.  Sigma showed that if you wanted a bigger sensor you had to sacrifice the wide prime for something less wide and slower.

Things march on and lens correction by firmware is now accepted without any adverse comment, in fact barely mentioned at all.  And yet we are still amazed by exquisite images posted up here and in other places which were taken by revered lenses which rely on build and optical quality alone.

Somehow if a larger sensor is fitted then by logical inference everything else pales into insignificance.

(Slightly) larger body, slower lens that is firmware corrected to resemble perfection, more money .... pant pant, where is my credit card?

Where I am coming from is a possible scenario:  Ricoh always intended the GXR mount rail system to be their universal solution to produce a range of cameras on a tight small camera division budget.  Hence the "CX" and "GX" modules.  Also by making the aps-c modules that might enhance what a "GRD" might be able to do.  However to get the product to market they used an easier, less tightly packed camera back that was released as the "GXR" which might "make do" as a porky but faux CX and GX with appropriate modules.  This did not fool the consumer one bit and the P10 and S10 seem to be little accepted despite being the CX and GX on steriods and quite acceptable travel cameras.

The "GRD-back" and an "EVIL-type back" with built in evf were probably always on the agenda.  However shortage of the necessary components and practical difficulties in getting a GRD-size back together must have left Ricoh with a substantial void in their production schedule.  There is just so many modules that can be produced for the GXR on it's limited market. When the opportunity came to buy the Pentax assets it must have looked pretty good - sell Pentax product whilst Ricoh sorts out the issues with a small "GRD-back".

I think if Ricoh was not pursuing something in this regard then we would have seen another CX model before now.  With a smaller back the P10 module regains it's original significance, we have our "GX300" in the S10 and also an immediate aps-c GRDV equivalent from an existing prime module.   Buy a new camera back and you shrink your existing GXR cameras!

The logic is that there will be complaints that the P10 and S10 are "dated".  Good point, despite being an instant fillip to those buying a new "GRD-back" who already own these modules  Ricoh would be surely remiss if it did not bring out (say) a 1" sensor powered folding lens zoom to supplement the existing P10 and S10.  I think everyone would be happy.  Add a prime lens 35mm equivalent with an A16 aps-c sensor and the usual Ricoh firmware makeovers and the Ricoh flame will truly be burning.

One must wonder why they would bother trying to re-engineer yet another DP or RX-1 to result in head on rivalry when they could carry on down the sweet exclusive road that they have already rough-hewn.

If the GRDV is an all in one complete camera with an aps-c sensor and folding lens then it will be no more than a re-engineered single purpose 28mm aps-c module.  Whilst they were trying to get that package down to acceptable size they might as well have simply engineered a similar small camera back to take GXR rails and they would have made a whole new range of cameras.

Of course my unfounded guessed speculations have always been wrong in the past, no reason yet why my crystal ball should start talking in real world terms.

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Tom Caldwell

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