Ricoh has announced today a new “Interchangeable Unit” camera where you change the lens and image sensor as an integrated unit. The non-interchangeable body shell consists of the handgrip, battery compartment, memory card compartment, LCD, flash and controls.
In the Ricoh GXR, each unit “optimizes” the sensor used for the particular lens. For example, there is a unit that uses a large APS sensor and fixed focal length lens. Each unit also comes with its own shutter mechanism, aperture, and image processing engine.
Units currently available are:
- A12 – 50mm F2.5 Macro lens with a 12.3MP (23.6 x 15.7mm) CMOS sensor
- S10 – 24-72mm F2.5-4.4 lens with a 10MP (1/1.7-in.) CCD sensor
Currently, only the A12 50mm unit uses a large APS-size sensor. The S10 24-72mm unit uses a tiny 1/1.7-in. sensor with a meagre 3x optical zoom. You might as well get the A12 and crop to get the “zoom”.
If future units feature zoom lenses using the same large APS-size sensor, then the question becomes, Why pay twice for the same sensor (and processor and shutter) when you are just swapping lenses?
If some European magazine or association gives this camera an award, I’m going to scream… 😀
Seriously, some reviewers like this idea very much and if you do, too, then go for it! Certainly it gives you one body and controls to get used to. I’m just a bit skeptical about the whole value proposition, preferring an interchangeable lens system with a large sensor irrespective of the lens attached to the camera.
According to Imaging Resource, Minolta first came out with that [not so] brillant idea and IR concluded the Minolta Dimage EX1500 Zoom could well be “the first ‘obsolescence proof’ digital camera!” — and, umm, the camera is nowhere to be seen today and we all know what happened to Minolta. Ricoh should be careful not to repeat history.
Ricoh Announces the GXR Interchangeable Unit Camera System
Lens, image sensor, and image processing engine integrated into a single interchangeable unit. World’s smallest and lightest*.
Tokyo, Japan (PRWEB) November 10, 2009 — Ricoh Co., Ltd. (president and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announced the development and release of the GXR interchangeable unit camera system featuring the world’s smallest and lightest* digital camera with the ability to change lenses.
The new GXR is an interchangeable unit camera system in which lenses are changed by using a slide-in mount system to attach camera units to the body. The lens, image sensor, and image processing engine are integrated into the camera units so the body itself does not contain an image sensor.
With world-leading small size and low weight* enabling easy carrying, the GXR interchangeable unit camera system features a highly rigid magnesium alloy body and multiple camera units that can be changed to best fit the scene to be photographed. You can enjoy easy lens changes as well as amazing image quality and shooting flexibility. Concealing infinite possibilities in its small body, the GXR is a revolutionary camera system that pioneers a new realm of photography.
- Lens, image sensor, and image processing engine comprise an integrated unit which can be changed to match the scene being photographed
- World’s smallest and lightest* digital camera with interchangeable lenses
- System potential expanded through use of interchangeable units
* Internal flash, interchangeable lens digital cameras with lens attached.
As of November 10, 2009, Ricoh research.
For more information: http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/gxr/