Ricoh recently introduced a unique, if not revolutionary, interchangeable lens unit camera system. The Ricoh GXR is currently the smallest interchangeable lens digital camera on the market. The GXR consists of a sensor-less camera body and separate “camera units.”
Yup, you read that right.
Each camera unit has its own lens, image sensor and image processing engine, which slides directly into the camera body. Each unit has a different focal length and may have a different type sensor than found in another unit.
Currently, there are two lens units available. The 24-72mm zoom lens has an aperture range of f/2.5-4.4 and a 10 megapixel CCD built-in sensor and VGA video. The single focal length 50mm f/2.5 macro lens has a 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor and High Definition video.
No sensor cleaning
Unlike a digital single lens reflex camera, the GXR sensor doesn’t have to be cleaned since it is built right into the same unit as the lens. However, the connectors on the body and units need to be protected from dust when not attached by using connector caps.
The camera body has what photographers come to expect on a digital camera: function buttons on the back of the camera, a built-in flash and microphone, a hot shoe for an external flash and a large three inch, high resolution LCD.
Ricoh offers a variety of accessories for the system such as an external flash, conversion lenses, an external viewfinder, lens hoods and a cable switch. Not surprisingly, they have custom soft cases for the camera units.
If you’re the adventurous type photographer looking for a small interchangeable lens camera, the GXR is something to consider though it is not at all cheap. However, there are some skeptics that the camera will not catch on so you may want to wait and let the dust settle before purchasing the system.
For detailed information about the GXR, visit the Ricoh website.