Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Hands-on Preview
The ability to resuscitate classic manual focus lenses has been one of the unexpected side-effects of the development of mirrorless camera systems. Ricoh has responded to this trend by introducing the Mount A12 module for its GXR system. This module, featuring a Leica-style M mount, allows the fitting of a wide range of lenses onto a GXR body for the first time.
The GXR system may originally have aimed to offer optimized combinations of lens, sensor and processor, but the customer demand for the ability to mount other lenses was too much for Ricoh to ignore. There is, after all, a certain appeal to shooting a well-built metal lens on a small camera, but very few of us are willing to move back to film in order to experience it, or to spend considerable sums on a digital Leica. Ricoh clearly isn't content to sit on the sidelines as the mirrorless systems begin to respond to this pent-up demand.
The use of the Leica M-mount brings flexibility in two respects. In part because it is no longer under patent, and also thanks to its age, there are a wide range of lenses available for the M-mount. These include Zeiss, Voigtländer, Konica, Minolta and Rollei lenses, as well as native Leica designs. Just as crucially, because the M-mount has one of the shortest distances from the mount to the imaging plane, there's room to fit an adapter allowing the use of a vast range of other lens types.
The GXR Mount A12 module offers a 12MP APS-C CMOS sensor but, unlike the existing modules, it has a redesigned microlens layout designed to better cope with the wide range of lenses that could be mounted on the camera but, more importantly, it has no low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter. The company says it feels it is more important to convey the full characteristics of the lenses than to suppress moiré. The module's firmware also brings several new functions to the system, including two 'Focus Assist' modes that highlight high-contrast regions in the preview to allow fast focusing.
The ability to quickly and accurately focus manual lenses has been something of a challenge for cameras without an optical viewfinder. Plenty offer fast access to magnified live view but few offer the range of options of the GXR, which offers three levels of magnification, a choice of inset or whole-screen magnification, the two focus assist modes and a jump back to full preview when you half-press the shutter. For the manual-focus-only camera that this module creates, getting this right was essential and our initial impression are pretty positive.
Beyond this, the Mount A12 module also includes options for correcting geometric distortion, vignetting and 'color shading,' which, along with the lens name and details, can be stored as custom settings to the camera or off to a memory card. These custom settings can then be manually recalled next time you re-mount a specific lens. The lens name and details are also included in EXIF image metadata.
Also unique to this module is an electronic shutter option, for completely silent shooting at up to 1/8000th of a second. The sequential read-out from the sensor means this mode isn't ideal for fast moving subjects (it also can't be used in Bulb or Time modes), so is available only as a scene mode.
Ricoh GXR Mount A12 specification highlights
- 12MP CMOS sensor with no anti-aliasing filter
- ISO 200-3200 in 1/3EV increments
- Focus assist view for manual focusing
- 1/4000 - 180s shutter speed (1/8000th - 1s in electronic shutter mode)
- 720p30 HD movie recording
- User-defined distortion, vignetting and corner color correction, recordable for multiple lenses
|Owens Valley Milky Way by ed rader|
from Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..
|Break by Hank3152|
from Motion blur
|Camp by T bird|
from A Big Year - birds
|The Maasai Shepherd by cgravel|
from - African Man - (Portrait in Black and White + A Border)
In this terrifying video, Iraqi journalist Ammar Alwaely narrowly misses a sniper's bullet, which takes out his chest-mounted GoPro. Warning: strong language. Watch the video
A new report expects action camera growth to increase about 15% by 2021, with Ultra HD cameras driving demand. Read more
Profiles for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom have been released for Irix's ultra-wide 11mm and 15mm primes. Like all profiles, these correct for distortion and vignetting.
An upcoming firmware update from DJI will cripple its drones unless they are 'activated' on the company's website. Live streaming will be turned off and flight radius/altitude will be limited.
Brent from ShareGrid rounds up the 10 most common products filmmakers are renting from one another for productions; chances are good you own one or more of them.
DaVinci Resolve is making strong moves to compete with Premiere and Final Cut Pro, including affordable control panels for colorists. According to Premium Beat, they're really good.
If you are not planning to fly your drone commercially you are not required to register it with the FAA anymore. This decision was handed down by a federal court in Washington, D.C.
Whether you're syncing a flash, wondering why banding is appearing in your image or getting strange images from your camera's silent shutter mode, the way your shutter works has a role to play. Here's what happens when you press the shutter button. Read more
William Vazquez travels all over the world documenting humanitarian work. He spoke to us about the challenges of his work, the importance of research and why a multitool and duct tape are your best friends in the field. Read more
These ten film cameras stand the test of time. They are easy to find, affordable and capable of excellent results. Read more
Photographer Aydın Büyüktaş uses a drone, 3-D rendering and Photoshop to create mind-bending landscapes.
They're offering tips for composing selfies and converting to black and white.
Whether you're seeking ultra-high resolution, first-rate autofocus or 4K video capture, there are some supremely capable 'semi-pro' cameras available. Find out which models we liked best in our updated semi-pro camera roundup. Read more
With composition specified by the director, drones may one day be able to navigate a movie set on their own.
Canon has made the previous version, 1.1.0 available for download again.
Impossible? Not if you have a fast lens and 5 stops of stabilization.
This 'strictly limited edition' is a refurbished original Polaroid 600 redesigned with a custom two-tone paint job.
Nikon today announced a reorganization of its corporate structure which will see several divisions and business units closed or merged. Read more
High school students from New York got he chance to shoot along with award-winning photojournalist Ron Haviv in Morocco.
VentureBeat reports that Monday's Surface Pro announcement will bring evolutionary updates to Microsoft's high-end Windows 10 tablet.
The Japanese Camera Journal Press Club has awarded Olympus three out of its four annual prizes after voting by photographic magazine editors and readers.
The photos are great, but whether drones should have been flying in a couple of these places is debatable.
It's not dead yet! A few years ago several high profile filmmakers convinced Kodak to keep making motion picture film. Now they need more facilities to process it.
We made a vlog about vlogging with the M6 (which we used to make the vlog).
A video from space!
The NY Times magazine takes a look at the history of food photography, including the requisite bullet-thru-an-apple shot.
Regardless of your feelings about colorizing iconic black-and-white photos, the results are pretty impressive.
Need we say more?
Canon has issued a service notice for a collection of lenses with specific serial numbers that need to be checked for faulty focusing systems.