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The DJI Air 2S is exactly what many drone enthusiasts have been asking for: a consumerdrone with a 1"-type camera sensor that's budget-friendly. Does it live up to the hype? In our opinion, yes.
This is the first of two reviews of the GXR; as each module is effectively a completely different camera we've decided to treat them as such and produce separate reviews. This review covers the GXR with the A12 50mm equiv f2.5 (12MP APS-C sensor) module, the next will cover the GXR/S10 24-70mm equiv (10Mp 1/1.7" sensor) combo. The first half of both reviews is the same, covering the GXR camera body and system.
In the short, frenetic history of the digital camera it has often been the smaller, less high profile manufacturers who have taken all the risks and experimented with more unconventional designs and solutions. For despite all the technological advances in the last decade the majority of digital cameras have designs that follow the same basic blueprint as their analog predecessors: they're essentially the same cameras with a sensor in the place of film.
This is especially true in the interchangeable lens camera sector, where the big players (coincidentally those who led the market in the days of film), hampered by the need (desire) to retain compatibility with their legacy analog systems, produce digital SLRs that would feel reassuringly familiar to any photographer from the late '80s or early '90s who by choice or circumstance had missed out on the digital revolution.
Last year saw the first serious challenges to the dominance of the single lens reflex (a design that can trace it roots back over 100 years, and that hasn't changed fundamentally since the 1950s) in the interchangeable lens camera market - thanks to the introduction of Micro Four Thirds by Olympus and Panasonic. Since then Samsung has also introduced a very similar system ('NX') which is based on a larger APS-C sensor.
So when we first heard from Ricoh that they wanted to come and show us a new system camera we presumed it too was going to be variation on the 'mirrorless' design. Then we started to get hints that it was actually a totally new idea (or, as mentioned at the bottom of this page, a very old idea resurrected).
Where Micro Four Thirds and similar systems aim to cut bulk by removing the mirror box, which slims down the camera body and somewhat reduces the size of the lenses (though by how much depends on the sensor size used), they still end up pretty big once you add zoom lenses (and if we're talking about long zooms or telephotos the advantage is all but lost - large sensors require large lenses). Thus the idea that these 'hybrid' cameras can offer SLR quality and versatility combined with compact camera size is simply not possible.
Ricoh's answer to this problem is, to say the least, novel. Rather than selling a camera body with a fixed sensor, the GXR system uses interchangeable lens/sensor units - every lens comes in a sealed unit complete with sensor, shutter, aperture, processing engine (there's also one in the camera body) and the motors necessary to focus the lens (and drive the zoom mechanism if present). You are, essentially, buying a new 'camera' every time you buy the lens: the GXR body is little more than a shell containing the screen, card slot, controls and flash. This radical rethink of the 'interchangeable lens' has some important consequences:
|The GXR lens unit slides into the body and clicks into place|
|The GXR launched with two very different optional lens modules. Although the body is very thin, how pocketable the camera is depends entirely on the lens module mounted: the 24-70mm-equivalent zoom unit maintains the low profile when not in use (it collapses when powered down) but the A12 50mm-equivalent prime is a fairly large unit.|
The GXR body (which is like a slightly over-sized GR or GX model) can thus be anything from a high speed compact super zoom (a la Panasonic TZ series) to an APS-C compact with a fast prime lens (think Sigma DP2 or Leica X1) simply by swapping lens units. By replacing the lens unit with a compact projector, printer or high capacity storage device it could stop being a camera completely, at least that's the theory.
The standard components of an interchangeable lens camera are split between the GXR body and the lens unit in such a way that the performance of the camera (focus speed, image quality and so on) is to a large degree defined by the latter, with the body taking care of operational aspects and the actual process of taking the picture. Both camera and lens unit have their own Ricoh Smooth Image Engine processor (complete with RAM), though it appears the one in the lens unit is only used for capture and to get raw data off the sensor and convert it from analog to digital before it is sent to the body for processing and file creation. A fast, wide data bus connects the two halves together. To get a rough idea how the components and tasks are split see the table below (or check out the block diagram on the next page).
|GXR body||GXR lens unit|
|Controls and menus||Lens|
|JPEG processing and file creation||Shutter & Aperture|
|Raw file creation||Sensor (CCD or CMOS)|
|Live view processing and display||AD conversion|
|AV and PC interfaces (external I/O)||Raw file processing (incl noise reduction if used)|
|Flash, audio||Autofocus motor|
|Battery / power||Image stabilization (gyro and sensor shifting)|
|Internal memory and SD card||Raw buffer|
|LCD screen and EVF (if attached)|
|All playback functions|
Each lens unit contains instructions and parameters specific to its own sensor and optics, meaning that different lens units will change slightly the features, behavior and performance of the camera body when attached. Some of the lens unit dependant attributes (that we currently know of or can deduce) include:
Essentially, as mentioned elsewhere, with each lens unit you're getting a completely new camera with very different capabilities. Whether this is a good thing or not is going to depend on how well Ricoh does with its stated aim of using highly optimized lens/sensor combinations, and how much it is prepared to invest in producing a range of options that's compelling enough to tempt buyers away from more conventional systems such as Micro Four Thirds.
In the first part of this review (pages 1-12) we will have a close look at the GXR's body, features and user interface. In the second part (studio and real-life tests) we focus on the GXR with the A12 50mm module. The tests with the S10 module will be published in a separate review.
Mar 24, 2011
Mar 2, 2010
Nov 10, 2009
Feb 14, 2013
The Sony Alpha 1 is Sony's flagship mirrorless camera for, well, just about anything. With a 50MP sensor, it gives you tons of resolution, but it also lets you fire off burst images at 30 fps for fast action sports. Add in 8K video capture and you have a really impressive package.
There are a lot of photo/video cameras that have found a role as B-cameras on professional productions or A-camera for amateur and independent productions. We've combed through the options and selected our two favorite cameras in this class.
What’s the best camera costing over $2500? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2500 and recommended the best.
If you want a camera that you can pick up and use without having to page through the manual first, then this guide is for you. We've selected seven cameras ranging from compacts to full-frame, all of which are easy to operate.
Family moments are precious and sometimes you want to capture that time spent with friends or loved-ones in better quality than your phone can manage. We've selected a group of cameras that are easy to keep with you, and that can adapt to take photos wherever and whenever something memorable happens.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that might be a bit older but still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
|Bullfight by Jorgen K H Knudsen|
from The “can we travel again soon ?” series - Spain -
|At the Munich Zoo by gordzam|
from Alpacas and Llamas
|Frey Wille by Wilfried HKG|
from Macro - Jewelry
|City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia by bombelpl|
|Teeth Bared by OSP2017|
from Snow Sports
|Beautiful Dahlia Flower by mreservices|
from Flower - Macro Challenge
|Stork in front of rising full moon by PeLue|
from A Big Year - Birds 2021
The lens remains the widest shift lens for full-frame cameras, with the new Leica L and Pentax K mount versions rounding out the Canon EF, Canon RF, Nikon F, Nikon Z and Sony E mount options from launch.
Award-winning videographer Vadim Sherbakov created an aerial film, 'The Noor,' with a DJI Mini 2 in zero degree (-18ºC) temperatures.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV is an entry-level mirrorless camera that's feature-packed, and will appeal to beginners as well as more experienced users. Read about the ins and outs of this image-stabilized, low-priced camera here.
Canon's Larry Thorpe has seen lot of changes over his 60-year career in the industry. We spoke to him after his recent retirement, and in this interview he highlights some of the technological advancements he's seen during his career and discusses the convergence between stills and video.
Nikon's Z6 II is a really pleasant camera to use – so pleasant, in fact, that one of our editors took it on a road trip vacation down the west coast to the California redwoods. Check out some coastal scenes in our updated sample gallery here.
Leica has introduced its Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70mm F2.8 ASPH lens for full-frame L-mount bodies. The lens has three aspherical elements, a stepping motor for autofocus and an 11-blade aperture. It's now available for $2795.
Days Inn by Wyndham has brought back its 'Sunternship' program for 2021. This August, a selected photographer will be paid $10,000 and have their travel expenses covered during a customizable two-week trip within the United States.
Star Stacker, an astrophotography app available for iOS, allows users to create star trail images and timelapses.
DPReview TV's Jordan Drake thinks the iFootage Cobra 2 is the best monopod ever created in the history of mankind. Find out why he calls it 'the monopod that changed my life'.
Photographer Andy Mumford believes his landscape photography would've progressed faster if he had learned a few key things early on. To help other photographers avoid the same pitfalls, he's shared a new video outlining three things he wishes he'd learned sooner.
We've updated our 'best cameras for videographers' buying guide, with the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H being our choice for high-end video shooters, and the Sony a7S III selected as the best "run-and-gun" option.
Sony’s three remaining A-mount DSLR cameras have disappeared from its website, suggesting the cameras have been discontinued, rendering the A-mount system all but obsolete.
The update improves autofocus capabilities and adds a collection of new and improved video features to Leica's 24MP full-frame camera system.
Law firm Hagens Berman has filed a suit against Samsung in US District Court. The lawsuit alleges a widespread defect in Galaxy S20 smartphones that causes the glass covering the rear cameras to shatter.
In this video, we head into the heart of wine country in the company of photographer James Joiner and the Fujifilm X-E4. James is meeting vintner Charles Bieler to shoot some imagery for a new wine label.
DJI released a statement today confirming that there are issues with the batteries that power its Mini 2 drone.
The fully-manual lens, which offers roughly a 50mm full-frame equivalent field of view, is available for Canon RF, Fujifilm X, Nikon Z and Sony E mount camera systems.
This 'retro-style' DIY digital camera is built around a Raspberry Pi Zero W connected to a Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera module.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-G100 (G110 in some regions) is a mirrorless camera designed for vlogging. Its 20MP Four Thirds sensor is paired with clever tracking audio technology, but we have our reservations.
Brian Emfinger from Live Storms Media got close to a tornado with his drone before losing it. Here is some footage he managed to pull from the DJI GO 4 app.
The video was captured by a photographer/pilot duo who used an Insta360 Pro 2 attached to a DJI Matrice 600 drone to capture the close-up visuals of Iceland’s Mt. Fagradalsfjall volcano.
Canon's EOS M50 Mark II is a compact, easy-to-use mirrorless camera. Check out our sample gallery for a large selection of tulip photos, with a few other subjects thrown in for good measure.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV is a compact, stylish and low-priced Micro Four Thirds camera with a 20MP sensor and in-body stabilization. Chris and Jordan put it through its paces in the latest episode of DPReview TV.
Our team at DPReview TV just wrapped up their review of the Olympus E-M10 mark IV. As Chris explains, it's now 'third winter' in Canada, so don't be surprised to see some snow in this sample gallery.
Nature photographer Erez Marom shares the story of his recent trip to Fagradalsfjall Volcano in Iceland
Michael Collins, an Apollo 11 astronaut known as the 'loneliest man in history,' passed away at age 90 from cancer.
The dog food company, Iams has launched a new app, NOSEiD, that photographs and scans dog noses to identify lost pups and help reconnect them with their owners.
CIPA's March 2021 data is out, showing the industry is starting to stabilize after a tumultuous 2020 that saw the COVID-19 pandemic affect nearly every corner of the industry.
Looking to get into film photography? Whether you're hunting for a pocket-sized companion, a camera to learn and grow with, or something capable of the best image quality possible, we've got advice for you.
As Hubble hits 31 years old, NASA releases a truly astonishing picture of the giant star AG Carinae blowing itself apart.