Ricoh GXR/A12 50mm Review
Nowadays hardly any new DSLRs are announced without a video mode and therefore it only makes sense that the GXR would come with this feature as well. After all video is much easier to implement on a mirrorless camera than on a DSLR (you don't need to flip a mirror out of the way to record). Having said that, the GXR does not offer the fast AF (in fact there's no focus at all in movie mode) or the same degree of control over video capture as a dedicated camcorder. However, a relatively compact camera that offers the ability to shoot movies with a large sensor and therefore a cinema-like, shallow depth of field will be an attractive option for many budding video-shooters.
The A12 50mm camera module comes with a rather inconspicuous video spec. The recorded footage has a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 (720p) at 24 frames per second and is stored in the somewhat outdated Motion JPEG format (the files are high quality but also very large). Monaural sound is recorded via a built-in microphone, there is no connector for an external mike, nor is there a wind-cut function. Video recording is completely automatic, you cannot intervene manually.
|Sizes|| 1280 x 720 (720p) at 24 fps
640 x 480 (VGA) at 24 fps
320 x 240 (QVGA) at 24 fps
|Audio||Mono (Internal Mic)|
|File size||3.44 MB/sec (720p)|
|Max file size per clip||4.0 GB|
|Running time||90 min or until SD card is full|
Using Movie Mode
There is no dedicated video-button on the GXR body but you can access the movie mode pretty quickly by rotating the mode dial to the 'Scene' position. Movie mode is the default scene mode and you can start recording video immediately by pressing the shutter button. A second press of the button ends recording. While recording you cannot change any settings at all. Shutter speed, aperture and ISO are all selected automatically and you can't apply any exposure compensation either.
Before starting the recording you have to prefocus. This can be done using the AF or manually. During recording you cannot focus at all - not even manually. You can use the digital zoom but we would advise against it as it is very jerky.
When you are in movie mode the shooting menu options are significantly reduced. You can set the movie quality, focus mode (for pre-focusing), white balance and white balance compensation. In contrast to some recently launched DSLRs you cannot take a stills shot while recording a video. All in all the A12 module's movie mode is very simple and easy to use but it also offers very little flexibility. The fact that in movie mode you cannot even focus manually means that you have to make sure the subject distance doesn't change while shooting, otherwise you'll end up with out-of-focus footage.
Video quality comments
The video footage recorded with the A12 50mm camera module is not quite as detailed as the 1080p output of some mid-range DSLRs or the mirrorless camera with arguably the best video output - the Panasonic GH1 -but is certainly on par with the results from other APS-C/720p cameras.
The A12 50mm's sensor is APS-C size and therefore you can't quite create the same depth of field effects as on a full-frame-DSLR such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II but you still get a much shallower, more cinematic depth of field than with any digital compact camera. When recording video pretty much all functions are automated and inevitably the use of higher sensitivities in low light leads to grainy footage. However, the Ricoh is not noticeably worse in this respect than the competition.
What's more of a problem is the lack of image stabilization. At an equivalent focal length of 50mm you can probably live without this feature for stills photography but in video mode you inevitably end up with slightly jerky footage.
Like pretty much all cameras that record video on a CMOS sensor the A12 50mm suffers from distortion caused by its rolling shutter. The readout of the sensor means horizontal lines of the image are scanned, one after another, rather than the whole scene being grabbed in one go. The upshot is that verticals can be skewed if the camera (or the subject) moves too fast - the top of the image has been recorded earlier than the bottom, so vertical lines can be rendered as diagonals. The GXR is pretty bad in this respect. The effect is clearly visible even in fairly slowly panned shots (see sample video below).
When changing the framing from dark to bright scenes or vice versa the exposure adaptation (via change of aperture and/or gain) is less smooth than we've seen on other large-sensor cameras. Below you'll find some examples of videos taken with the GXR and A12 50mm for you to download and draw your own conclusions.
Sample video 1
|, 24 fps. AVI (MJPG) file. 12 sec. 44.8 MB|
Sample video 2
|, 24 fps. AVI (MJPG) file. 4 sec. 17.5 MB|
Sample video 3
|, 24 fps. AVI (MJPG) file. 8 sec. 30.7 MB|
Sample video 4
|, 24 fps. AVI (MJPG) file. 5 sec. 20.5 MB|
Sample video 5
|, 24 fps. AVI (MJPG) file. 5 sec. 20.8 MB|
Sample video 6
|, 24 fps. AVI (MJPG) file. 9 sec. 35.6 MB|
- 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
|Fangorn Forest by cand1d|
|Yosemite Falls with Moonbow by Jonathan Shapiro|
from Best Landscape of the Week 4
Sony addresses a variety of bugs and stability issues with firmware updates for a range of E-mount lenses and an adapter.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
DPReview editors Rishi Sanyal and Carey Rose hosted a Facebook Live discussion to share their impressions about the Sony a9 so far. Watch the video
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more
Sony's newest G Master telephoto zoom, announced alongside the a9, is the first of the company's FE lenses to reach 400mm natively. We had one in California and photographed horses, portraits, and landscapes - check out how it did. Read more
Garmin has entered the 360-camera market with the VIRB, which captures 5.7K video at 30p as well as 15MP stills. Read more
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.
Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, has announced that it will become an annual event beginning in 2018, and expand its focus to additional areas of imaging technology. Read more
No mic socket? No problem. In this video, Daniel Peters at Photo Gear News shows you how to make a lapel microphone using just a smartphone and a pair of earbuds.
How does the iPhone 7 Plus stack up against the Arri Alexa cinema camera? Watch this short video to find out.
Canon Australia's video series "The Lab" is designed to make photographers experiment and think outside the box. In the latest video a group of photographers create images based on their sense of taste.
The GH5 is expected to get a firmware update this summer to support 400Mbps internal recording. NewsShooter explores what memory cards you'll need to make it work.
Microsoft's new Surface Pro offers Intel's latest processor generation and improved battery life.