The Ricoh GXR modular camera looks pretty interesting

Allan Weitz at B&H Insights has a hands on review of the Ricoh GXR modular digital camera body and a few of its “camera units”.

If you have never seen or heard of the GXR system it essentially consists of a camera body which houses the battery and memory card slots, shutter release, mode dial, built-in flash, 3.0″ lcd display and some other buttons and interfaces.

The other part of the system, the camera units, house the imaging sensors, RAW image processors and the lens and lens mechanisms (image stabilizer, AF motor, shutter and aperture).


The sealed camera units are interchangeable with the body (just like a standard camera lens) and currently come in multiple focal lengths and zoom ranges.

It’s definitely an interesting approach that Ricoh took when designing this system because one of the major distinguishing factors is that each camera unit, in addition to housing its own specialized lens, also houses a specialized imaging sensor.

Ricoh GXR Modular Camera System with lens

Ricoh GXR Modular Camera System with lens

For example, the two prime units (a 28mm, F2.5 and 50mm, F2.5 Macro) each have a 12.3MP, 23.6 x 15.7mm CMOS sensor while the 24-72mm zoom uses a 10MP, 1/1.7″ CCD sensor and the 28-300mm zoom has a 10MP, 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor.

This approach seems like a good idea in that Ricoh can ensure their optics are mated with the most appropriate sensor for optimal image quality and performance.

It also makes for a smaller and lighter camera system so it could be ideal for something like street photography.

The potential downside I see is the higher price per camera unit since they contain both the optics and the sensor.


Check out the Ricoh GXR review and the samples and let us know what you think.  Go to Ricoh’s website for much more information.

If you have one or have used one, what are your impressions?



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