Ricoh GXR Review

Review posted 02/09/2010

Quick Take
Excellent image quality; Optimal camera unit for different situations; 720p HD video capture; Complete Manual Controls; 3.0-inch LCD with full sRGB color replication; Lots of optional accessories; Easy to change Camera Units; Good high ISO performance up to ISO 1600 on A12 unit
Very Expensive; Dark and grainy video; Weak built-in flash
Bottom Line
The Ricoh GXR is an innovative camera unit system with outstanding image quality and total control for the more advanced photographers, but can be used by anyone. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
Ricoh's GXR is a very unique idea that takes an interchangeable lens camera system to a new level. Not only are you able to change lenses to suit the shooting situation, but when you change the lens, you also change the imaging sensor and processor. These two items have been built into the seperate "camera units" that are available for the GXR body. Each body has been designed and equipped for optimum performance for its lens. Currently there are two camera units available with a slue of accessories for the package.

The GXR is the smallest digital camera with an interchangeable lens system on the market today. It is also the only interchangeable lens system that does not openly expose the imaging sensor and other internal components of the camera when changing the lenses. Each camera unit slides on and attaches via a specially designed slide mechanism.

The First of the two available camera units is the A12, which is a 50mm F2.5 fixed lens system with a 12.3-Megapixel CMOS imaging sensor and GR Engine III image processor. This lens gives a very similar field of view to the human eye, making it great for capturing exactly what your eyes see. The combination of the large imaging sensor and high quality lens are fantastic for large format prints. This unit also has the ability to capture 720p HD videos.

Next, the S10 camera unit features a 3x, 24-72mm lens, 10.0-Megapixel CCD imaging sensor, and Ricoh's Smooth Imaging Engine IV imaging processor. The 3x optical zoom gives this unit more versatility that the A12, allowing for wider shots for landscapes, etc., while the mid-telephoto end is great for portraits and other framing options. Built in to the S10 lens is a Vibration Correction system developed by Ricoh to help reduce camera shake and image blur when shooting without a flash in low-light situations. There are also several lens accessories to increase the versatility such as a 19mm wide and 135mm telephoto conversion lenses.

Ricoh GXR Body Features:
  • Interchangeable Camera Units
  • Built-In pop-up flash
  • Slide Mechanism for attaching camera units
  • Vivid, Standard, Natural, B&W image settings
  • Quick Shoot - skips the AF and captures the image based on a pre-set focal distance
  • Pre-AF allows for faster focus
  • 30, 24, or 15 fps Hi-Speed shooting for up to 2 seconds (depending on speed and camera unit)
  • Built-in camera level
  • 3 grid settings for composing your images
  • Noise Reduction
  • Distortion Correction
  • AE/AF Target Selection
  • Auto, White Balance and Color Bracketing
  • Manual Flash Control
  • Body and Camera Unit settings memory
  • Direct Screen for quickly changing shooting settings
  • 8-way controller for lateral and diagonal movements
  • 3-inch, 920,000 dot LCD screen
  • Optional EVF (Electronic View FInder)
  • HDMI output

Ricoh A12 Camera Unit Features:
  • 12.30-Megapixel, 23.6x15.7mm imaging sensor
  • 50mm fixed lens with 8 groups and 9 elements
  • F2.5 aperture
  • GR Engine III
  • 1/2 Max magnification for close-up photography
  • 720p HD movie capture @ 24fps
  • 30fps continuous shooting
  • Up to 320 images (CIPA)
  • Macro focus from 7cm
  • ISO 100-3200

Ricoh S10 Camera Unit Features:
  • 10-Megapixel, 1/1.7-inch imaging sensor
  • 24-72mm zoom lens with 7 groups and 11 elements
  • F2.5-4.4 aperture
  • Smooth Imaging Engine IV
  • 1cm Macro Focus
  • ISO 100-3200
  • Vibration Correction
  • Optional Lens Accessories
  • Up to 30fps continuous shooting
  • VGA movies
  • Up to 410 images (CIPA)

The Ricoh GXR is available for sale with the A12 camera unit for $1,185.79 or with the S10 camera unit for $836.74.

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