Ricoh GXR/A12 50mm Review
Interchangeable lens units
The GXR is a totally new style of camera in which the image sensor, lens, and image processing engine are part of the interchangeable units, so there is no image sensor in the body itself. According to Ricoh this brings several benefits over conventional SLR designs (and their newer 'mirrorless' equivalents): Portability, Image quality (optimum lens/sensor combinations) and Expandability (the possibility to add other units to the body, such as a compact projector or high capacity storage unit). Having a totally sealed unit also means that dust ingress simply cannot be a problem.
It's not a totally new idea - back in 1998 Minolta launched an interchangeable lens unit camera (the Dimage EX-1500), but it's certainly like nothing else on the market today. The key points are simple: the lens and sensor are bought together in a single, interchangeable sealed unit, with different units containing different sensors, up to a maximum APS-C (the same as most mid-range digital SLRs) - smaller sensors for zooms, larger sensors for primes. You're basically buying a new camera with every lens (tempting me to start referring to the GXR as an 'interchangeable camera' camera).
The first lens units
The GXR body doesn't even qualify as a camera without the addition of a lens unit, and at launch Ricoh is offering two of them; one sporting a 50mm (equivalent) F2.5 macro prime and a 12MP CMOS APS-C sensor and the other a 24-70mm (equiv) F2.5-4.4mm with a small (1.175") 10MP CCD (at which point it's pretty close to being a bigger, more expensive version of Ricoh's own GX200 compact). It's also promising two more to be released during the course of 2010 - a 28-300 mm-equivalent F3.5-5.6 VC which uses a back-illuminated CMOS sensor, and a 28mm-equivalent F2.5 wideangle with a a 12Mp APS-C sensor.
Because the units contain both lens and sensor, they're designated in a fashion which describes both. The naming convention is fairly simple once you know how:
- The sensor is described using a letter for its size (A for APS-C, S for 1/1.7", and P for 1/2.4", at least so far) plus a number for its megapixel count.
- Next comes the lens's focal length, expressed as a 35mm-equivalent (which is sure to annoy the pedantic, but allows easy comparison between units), followed as usual by its aperture.
Hence the A12 50mm F2.5 Macro uses a 12Mp APS-C sensor and a 50mm-equivalent F2.5 lens (which actually has a real focal length of 33mm).
Below you'll find the specifications of the two initial lens units (note that these specifications are only applicable when the unit is actually attached to the camera, as some functions are controlled / defined by the body):
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Specifications
- 4 Body & Design
- 5 Body & Design
- 6 Body & Design
- 7 Operation & Controls
- 8 Operation & Controls
- 9 Operation (live view)
- 10 Displays
- 11 Menus
- 12 Menus
- 13 Performance
- 14 Photographic tests (RAW)
- 15 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 16 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 17 Photographic tests (DR)
- 18 Photographic tests (Lens)
- 19 Photographic tests
- 20 Movie Mode
- 21 Compared to
- 22 Compared to (JPEG)
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (JPEG)
- 25 Compared to (RAW)
- 26 Compared to (RAW)
- 27 Compared to (RAW)
- 28 Compared to (RAW)
- 29 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 30 Compared to (Resolution)
- 31 Compared to (Resolution)
- 32 Conclusion
- 33 Samples
Mar 24, 2011
Mar 2, 2010
Nov 10, 2009
Mar 1, 2013
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