Ricoh GXR – a compact digital camera with world-first interchangeable lens system

The Ricoh GXR camera employs a world-first technology. Not only is it the first compact camera to offer an interchangeable lens system, it goes a step further. The lens system includes the lens, the image sensor and the digital signal processing chip. This makes the body of the camera a virtual ‘dock’ and with each change of lens the sensor and processing chip is included. This makes the Ricoh GXR the ‘world’s smallest and lightest digital camera with the ability to change lenses’.

At launch there will be two lens units available, which Ricoh describe as:

  • a 12 megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor and GR Engine III, ideal for portrait and macro photography
  • a 3x wide-angle zoom RICOH lens matched with a high performance 10 megapixel CCD sensor and Smooth Imaging Engine IV, perfect for a diverse range of scenes including wide landscapes and snap shooting

Because the lenses are self-contained in the cartridge with the image sensor and image processing chip, it is easier for them to stay dust-free. In early 2010 a third lens unit will be added to the range, adding a high magnification zoom telephoto lens to the range. The docking mechanism will also allow Ricoh to build other devices for the GXR. A prime candidate for instance would be a storage device – get the photos off the camera and onto a docking hard drive for quick back-up while you’re out and about.

Main features

  • automatic exposure modes include program shift mode, shutter priority mode, and aperture priority mode
  • ISO 3200 facilitates shooting in low light conditions
  • Pre-AF function accelerates focusing speed by adjusting the focus to match subject movement
  • shooting subjects up close, the camera automatically switches to macro mode so macro photography can be enjoyed without having to worry about switching modes (Auto macro setting)
  • high-definition 3.0-inch 920,000-dot VGA LCD picture display
  • camera body is composed of die cast magnesium

Price and availability

The Ricoh GXR will be in stores in early December. There are no firm prices right now, but Ricoh has supplied indicative pricing:

  • GXR camera body AU$600 + GST
  • GR Lens camera unit AU$1100 + GST
  • Ricoh Lens camera unit AU$600 + GST

The camera will initially only be sold at what Ricoh call “Ricoh Pro G Dealer Network”, meaning certain specialised camera stores – for stockists call 02 9938 3244.