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November 09, 2009

New Ricoh GXR small interchangeable lens system leaked: sensor+lens changeable blocks

One of our anon-readers pointed us to this hot thread in the dpreview forums where it appears the new Ricoh GXR interchangeable-lens+sensor system has been leaked from two separate sources!

UPDATE!: The camera is now officially announced! Please check the official GXR announcement for the latest updates! UPDATE!

+ video preview
+ dpreview Ricoh forum
+ Wouter 28mm blog
+ RicohForum forum
+ the You/Tube video has now been set to private (update)
+ Color Blind Photographer
+ more threads springing up in the dpreview Ricoh forum
+ video-preview also here at Dmitry's DSLR blog
+ Serious Compacts spotlights reaction-comments to this leakage
+ Tom Caldwell of the dpreview forums had been advocating a cartridge mount

Ricoh GXR system from video preview

The "Body"
It can take an optional external EVF mounted on the hot-shoe. Smaller than Micro Four Thirds camera bodies. Has pop-up flash in the top left corner.

The Ricoh GR A12 block
It has a 50mm f2.5 macro GR lens, focus ring, distinguishing red ring. It has a 12.3mp CMOS sensor that records HD video. No sensor size details. This bears the "GR" name. We do not know what the reference point for the focal-length is. However, the video preview called this lens good for portraits which may be a hint.

The Ricoh S10 block
It has a 24-72mm f2.5-4.4 VC lens with a 10mp CCD sensor (of unspecified size) that shoots 5fps in RAW. It shoots The lens cap is self-retracting. This does not have the GR name, but "VC" may be vibration correction. We do not know what the reference point for the focal-length is.

Defining Characteristic
This system does not have interchangeable lenses like an SLR/M43rds camera, but lens+sensor blocks. That's right, the lens and the sensor are glued together as one interchangeable unit!

The UK prices are GBP 420 for the main unit, GBP 600 for the macro lens+sensor block, and GBP 300 for the zoom lens + sensor block.

Not quite as modular as the RED fantasies, but could prove quite practical in certain circumstances. And Ricoh is much more likely to actually ship products, not produce pretty diagrams and revise them every few months (RED) :)

One benefit of this is making small-ish lenses that require sensors of different sizes and types. For example, a superzoom lens would require a smaller sensor in order to be small, while primes/pancakes of certain focal lengths could take a much larger sensor and still remain relatively small in size.

Considering the prices of the two lens+sensor blocks, the macro prime could be using the 12mp Sony CMOS APS-C sensor that is causing Beatle-mania among noise-fans, while the zoom lens may be using the same/similar sensor found in their GRDIII et al.

Some are specu-lobbying for a Foveon sensor. In our opinion, if Sigma is smart, they should create Foveon lens-blocks for this system.

New flickr group created
It didn't take long! A new flickr group has just been created to talk about the GXR system!

Opinion Poll
Now that we have a few hours to "digest" this, time for an opinion poll. This is a multiple-answer poll, so you can vote for as many options as you like.

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