Ricoh goes Micro Four Thirds...

Started Nov 11, 2009 | Discussions
oluv Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Ricoh goes Micro Four Thirds...

...well, would be lots of fun. they could combine the best of both worlds: include in body IS and a speedy AF. besides their body is quite nice and ergonomic, has a great display etc. they can let others build the lenses and concentrate more on sensor etc.

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efix Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: Ricoh goes Micro Four Thirds...

Nice picture!

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Brian Mosley Forum Pro • Posts: 20,741
Cool illustration...

We can but dream

Cheers

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MadsR Senior Member • Posts: 2,235
Re: Ricoh goes Micro Four Thirds...

oluv wrote:

...well, would be lots of fun. they could combine the best of both worlds: include in body IS and a speedy AF. besides their body is quite nice and ergonomic, has a great display etc. they can let others build the lenses and concentrate more on sensor etc.

Uhm well no, since the sensor and lens is in the same replaceable unit, so they can't concentrate on sensors. They can concentrate on the screen, EVF, processing and storage...

The design is somewhat strange to me. Unlike any other systems where you can (with more or less trouble, the µ4/3 being lot less trouble) change lenses between formats. This system you will invariably have much much more expensive "lens" units, because you have to have a full sensor for each. Transportation would seem to suffer aswell, as the large square block behind the actual lens is not as easy to pack as the lens itself.

On the other hand, you can create lenses specialized to the sensor, much like compacts, and indeed their kit lens and sensor is a compact p&s design.

It will be interesting to see how it fares.

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OP oluv Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Re: Ricoh goes Micro Four Thirds...

i would even buy 2 or 3 mFT "backs"

this way a lens-change would be just a slide-out slide-in, without the need of additional lens backcaps etc.

just kidding. mFT will never come, ricoh wants their own lenses and modules to be sold!

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Brian Mosley Forum Pro • Posts: 20,741
I'd love to see...

The Sony R1 lens with the latest Sony APS-C sensor as an 'imaging module'... I seem to remember that lens was brought physically very close to the sensor - and resulted in superb IQ. I'd rather have that than a tiny P&S sensor on a compact zoom lens (although I can see the logic - I'd rather have the IQ at least as an option)

Kind Regards

Brian
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Brian Mosley Forum Pro • Posts: 20,741
I know you're kidding oluv,

But it's nice to dream

Cheers

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Monkeymagic Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: I know you're kidding oluv,

Thats the first picture with no lens attached to the module and it does look like an interchangeable mount?!?!

Does this mean some of the units will accept different a different lens?

Monkeymagic Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: I know you're kidding oluv,

Monkeymagic wrote:

Thats the first picture with no lens attached to the module and it does look like an interchangeable mount?!?!

Does this mean some of the units will accept different a different lens?

I've woken up now!!!! Nice illustration though!!

Brian Mosley Forum Pro • Posts: 20,741
Quick, have a laugh...

And someone send it to 43rumors! lol

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david martyn Regular Member • Posts: 293
Would I use this?

I've been looking at this system for a couple of days now & thinking under what possible scenarios I would use a system like this. So far I haven't come up with a single one.
While I applaud innovation several things occur to me.

1) How robust will the system be? Changing lens/sensor modules on a repeated and long term basis, in often difficult conditions would put a tremendous strain on the kit.

2) Say Ricoh come up with a tremendous sensor/lens combination, wouldn't we all want to use other lenses with that sensor? Including zooms?

3) They have stated that APS-C is the maximum size they are going to provide. So no full-frame.

4) The next lens is apparently scheduled to be a long-range zoom. Since their plan seems to be to keep zooms with the smaller sensor, presumably that will be a small retractable one.

5) Are there some exciting primes lens/sensor combinations waiting to burst upon us & what is the time frame? If its going to take a while to roll out the "good stuff" its not going to be a viable system anytime soon.

6) Does it offer anything that m4/3 doesn't already? One prime standard lens isn't an extensive lens range, whereas m4/3 has the most extensive lens range of any camera system. (via adapters)

7) Say Ricoh improve their sensor dramatically two years down the line. With their system you can't use your existing lenses to take advantage of that. The lens/sensor module that you have will then become.... what ??????

8) Oluvs illustration is great, but then it becomes a m4/3 camera. Does this mean that you can use m4/3 lenses on an APS-C sensor or does it mean that the size of the image has to be cut down?

9) Can you see Ricoh providing sensor modules for other manufacturers lenses?

10) To make this a viable system they are going to have to sell in quantity. What market are they aiming for? If someone is looking for a simple, all-in-one camera, will the Ricoh look like a good option?, particularly considering its price. The camera + zoom module is pretty expensive for what it is & there are plenty of other, cheaper options from more well-known companies with more MP's on the label.

11) If they are going for a market that is looking for a system, when will they have that system in place?

12) How much will it cost? If the standard lens/sensor is as stated, how much for a wide-angle/sensor combination for example? What are they going to do about longer lenses? Since the aim is to keep the system small, will they pair a telephoto lens with the smaller sensor? or will it be bigger, thus defeating the object of the exercise.

13) After looking at the results with the APS-C sensor, who is going to want to use the smaller sensor?

14) If Ricoh have a good APS-C sensor, and a good EVF which it seems they do, why didn't they make an E.V.I.L camera?.

When I first saw this announced, my initial reaction was "This is interesting" but the more I think about it the more I come up with the idea that this is not really going to lead to anything that I would want to use. It seems too restrictive, too limited to make me want to use it.

Of course it may become the must have camera for 2010 & fly off the shelves. It deserves to do well, because of Ricoh's left-field approach & I always like companies who take risks. Time will tell.

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dbateman Contributing Member • Posts: 779
Re: Cool illustration...

You got it right! Too bad they didn't. With this illustration you can easily upgrade the sensor, lens and LCD to your liking! This is how it should be, just like a MF digital camera, but at 1/100 the cost.

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keithwwalker Regular Member • Posts: 384
Re: Cool illustration...

The GXR begins to make a little more sense with a MFT mount. Although I am still wanting for the following mounts:
laser cannon

flowbee

shamwow!

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AdamT
AdamT Forum Pro • Posts: 62,252
Anything is possible ?

even a Leica version or Heck, a Pentax or EOS mount (complete with FF sensor) but these DSLR options would still need the sensor to rear-Element distance of an SLR so would be bulky .....

I can't see a reason why they can't make an M43 (or even 4/3) mount unit for the GXR

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OP oluv Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Re: Anything is possible ?

AdamT wrote:

I can't see a reason why they can't make an M43 (or even 4/3) mount unit for the GXR

because they want to sell their own modules and lenses... technically it should be easily possible to build a mFT module, but they won't i am sure.

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xavozin Contributing Member • Posts: 705
very inspiring....

... imagine if the sensor and the lens mount are cartridged the Ricoh way, the lenses conventionally interchangeable like all other systems and the body with the remaining components like the new Ricoh body, there you have sensor interchangeability, and if all manufacturers would stick to the same cartridge standard for mounting the sensor unit that would open endless possibilities: get the ergonomics (body unit) from mfr A, while the lenses (sensor/mount unit + lenses) from mfr B, that's a very wild dream i admit, but at least with this idea Ricoh can introduce a lens mount and conventionally detachable lenses within their new GXR system in the future.

oluv wrote:

...well, would be lots of fun. they could combine the best of both worlds: include in body IS and a speedy AF. besides their body is quite nice and ergonomic, has a great display etc. they can let others build the lenses and concentrate more on sensor etc.

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mattmtl Contributing Member • Posts: 968
Re: Would I use this?

david martyn wrote:

I've been looking at this system for a couple of days now & thinking under what possible scenarios I would use a system like this. So far I haven't come up with a single one.

The saving grace of this system seems to be the possibility of modules other than lens/sensor combos -- mass storage, projector, etc. -- and the remote-control feature (not sure how it works, but apparently they have demonstrated a clever remote-control setup).

So, for some people (key word, some) this system will provide wonderful flexibility even though many more people will find it either constraining or simply too expensive. But that's OK, they don't need to appeal to many or most, just a solid number of "some people."

I agree with most of your reservations, no need to address all of your points, but a few comments...

6) Does it offer anything that m4/3 doesn't already? One prime standard lens isn't an extensive lens range, whereas m4/3 has the most extensive lens range of any camera system. (via adapters)

Viewed strictly as an interchangeable-lens camera system, no, it doesn't offer anything you can't have with m4/3. But I don't think it's really intended to go head-to-head, feature-to-feature.

What it offers right now is the possibility of putting together a kit consisting of a relatively small APS camera (X1/DP1/DP2-level) and an LX-3/G11-level compact using a single body, plus the various non-lens modules they've announced.

I don't know about you, but I've noticed that there are a lot of people out there who carry both a high-end compact and an SLR, or have both and often can't quite decide which to carry at any given moment. Some of them will wind the Ricoh system to be a dream come true.

7) Say Ricoh improve their sensor dramatically two years down the line. With their system you can't use your existing lenses to take advantage of that. The lens/sensor module that you have will then become.... what ??????

Not really a problem IMO. A lens/sensor module bought today will potentially take hundreds of thousands of good photos, no matter what comes out tomorrow -- just like any other camera on the market.

So what happens is that Ricoh launches new lens/sensor modules with the new-and-improved sensor (and probably lens types it hasn't previously released), and you still have a platform to use your old 2009-vintage lens/sensor module.

True, you don't get the benefit of the improved sensor with your whole lens collection as users of conventional systems do by getting a new body, but it still doesn't mean that your 2009 modules suddenly become junk.

9) Can you see Ricoh providing sensor modules for other manufacturers lenses?

Not for a good long time, if ever. Their top priority will be to sell their own modules, not attract users of other systems who will buy the body, a lens-mount/sensor module and that's all.

10) To make this a viable system they are going to have to sell in quantity. What market are they aiming for? If someone is looking for a simple, all-in-one camera, will the Ricoh look like a good option?, particularly considering its price. The camera + zoom module is pretty expensive for what it is & there are plenty of other, cheaper options from more well-known companies with more MP's on the label.

I think they're looking for the enthusiast who carries both an SLR and a high-end compact. The question is whether the size savings, appeal of a single interface for the various "cameras", and special features like remote control and special-purpose modules will draw enough people.

While "quantity" is obviously a necessity, I don't think it needs to be a huge mass-market hit. The major SLR platforms do quite nicely on fairly small unit sales compared to the compact-camera market, so it's likely that Ricoh needs only to attract a respectable number of enthusiasts, not a huge number.

12) How much will it cost? If the standard lens/sensor is as stated, how much for a wide-angle/sensor combination for example? What are they going to do about longer lenses? Since the aim is to keep the system small, will they pair a telephoto lens with the smaller sensor? or will it be bigger, thus defeating the object of the exercise.

This seems fairly evident: long lenses will be designed for smaller sensors and brightly lit conditions; shorter primes will be mated to bigger sensors. But the big virtue of the system is that other combinations are possible if demand warrants -- a tiny ultra-wide prime on a small sensor, for example.

Seems likely that all of it will be what most people would consider expensive.

13) After looking at the results with the APS-C sensor, who is going to want to use the smaller sensor?

The smaller sensor offers the advantages of a smaller zoom lens, vs. a bulkier prime, so presumably people will want to mount this combo for sunny-day street photography, for one obvious application.

14) If Ricoh have a good APS-C sensor, and a good EVF which it seems they do, why didn't they make an E.V.I.L camera?.

Well, they did. It's just that they drastically re-imagined where to put the "Interchangeable" part.

I have no idea whether this will fly or flop, but it is intriguing and I can see how some people will adore it.

Ranger 9 Regular Member • Posts: 160
Re: Would I use this?

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:

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A module with a wide aperture "medium tele" lens and a high-ISO-optimized sensor, for people who want to take pictures of their kids' dance and theater performances, indoor sports, concerts, etc. (situations in which a regular compact camera's lens is too slow);

-- A module with a small sensor, a long-zoom lens, and very powerful stabilization, for photographing outdoor sports from the stands;

-- Pushing the envelope, but why not: A module with a compact, very wide lens and a small front-facing LCD monitor for taking group self-portraits ( a la the new Samsung compacts.) This may not sound very useful... unless you go to a lot of family reunions. And have you ever noticed that teenage girls take HUGE numbers of photos by holding the camera at arm's length and snapping themselves hugging their friends?

So: not a single-purpose camera... not a multi-purpose camera... but a two-or-three-purpose camera. I'm not sure how Ricoh will explain the concept, but it's not such a dumb idea!

BearCatCow Regular Member • Posts: 124
Re: Anything is possible ?

oluv wrote:

AdamT wrote:

I can't see a reason why they can't make an M43 (or even 4/3) mount unit for the GXR

because they want to sell their own modules and lenses... technically it should be easily possible to build a mFT module, but they won't i am sure.

Actually in their press releases or interviews they expressed that they are open to making or allowing other companies to make mounts for other existing lens formats although they have not yet had talks with anyone to do so.

the amaeteur photographer UK site has some info about this.

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Ricoh_GXR_camera_Interview_pictures_and_first_look_update_news_291580.html?offset=&offset=2

Question is also whether the other companies will want this to happen. Forgive me if I'm wrong but Micro 4/3 is a closed consortium by invite only if I recall correctly.

Brian Mosley Forum Pro • Posts: 20,741
Sigma would seem to be a good choice of partner.

The Sigma DP1/2 have fantastic lenses, and foveon sensors... the Ricoh user interface would be a real bonus I think.

Who knows whether this would be a possible partnership - politics could prevent it, but it seems like a good match to me.

Cheers

Brian
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