4 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 4 reviews of the Ricoh GXR A12. Experts rate Ricoh GXR A12 8/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Ricoh GXR A12 and Ricoh Digital cameras.
When Ricoh presented its GXR system—which sees various sensor/lens modules slotted into a standard camera back—some fans started getting excited about the possible launch of module equipped with a sensor and a lens mount, so instead of having a built-in lens, you'd be able to hook up any lens you like. This effectively splits the camera body, the electronics and the lens into separate entities that can then be assembled freely, like a medium-format camera. And that's exactly what Ricoh has done with the GXR A12 M Mount module, which has a 12-Megapixel APS-format CMOS sensor and an M-type lens mount, typically used for rangefinder lenses. The design, build and layout of the Ricoh GXR are only too familiar—this is a GR Digital camera through and through. There's no point repeating ourselves too much in this part of the review, but basically, it's well designed, handling is honest and straight-forward, and the control layout should be held up as an exemplary model of man-and-machine interaction. The GXR camera back (the body) is well-made, well-assembled and has plenty of customisable controls. With a quick visit to the customisation menu, you can modify the function of the Fn buttons, the clickable Adj thumb wheel (for access to four settings), the +/- buttons and the zoom control.
The Ricoh GXR ($349 list, body only) is a throwback to a bygone era. Its interchangeable sensor concept harkens back to a day when all cameras had them—we just called it film. You could trade out a roll to best suit your needs. Shooting an event in available light? Best to reach for a high speed stock like Superia 1600. Going for shallow depth of field on a bright day? Kodachrome 25 will do nicely. While it's not practical to remove an image sensor as you would a spent roll of film, Ricoh came up with a solution: a sealed, modular lens module that contains both an optic and sensor. The addition of a Leica M mount sensor module has turned the GXR into a camera that should excite enthusiasts—but it does lack some of the more consumer friendly features found in the camera that remains our Editors' Choice for compact interchangeable lens cameras, the Sony Alpha NEX-C3 ($649.99 with lens, 4.5 stars). Lens Modules, Design, and Features I tested the GXR with along with three of the available modules—the GR Lens A12 50mm F2.5 Macro, the GR Lens A12 28mm F2.5, and the GXR Mount A12.
Preview based on a pre-production GXR Mount A12 with firmware 01 The ability to resuscitate classic manual focus lenses has been one of the unexpected side-effects of the development of mirrorless camera systems. Ricoh has responded to this trend by introducing the Mount A12 module for its GXR system. This module, featuring a Leica-style M mount, allows the fitting of a wide range of lenses onto a GXR body for the first time. The GXR system may originally have aimed to offer optimized combinations of lens, sensor and processor, but the customer demand for the ability to mount other lenses was too much for Ricoh to ignore. There is, after all, a certain appeal to shooting a well-built metal lens on a small camera, but very few of us are willing to move back to film in order to experience it, or to spend considerable sums on a digital Leica. Ricoh clearly isn't content to sit on the sidelines as the mirrorless systems begin to respond to this pent-up demand. The use of the Leica M-mount brings flexibility in two respects. In part because it is no longer under patent, and also thanks to its age, there are a wide range of lenses available for the M-mount.
While the current trend is for compacts with interchangeable lenses—offering the advantages of an SLR but with a much reduced form factor—Ricoh has taken a different approach to things by building a basic camera body that can be fitted with various 'modules', each equipped with a different sensor and lens combo (see sidebar). The fourth module for the Ricoh GXR, the A12 28 mm, has an APS-format CMOS sensor (similar to that seen in the Pentax K-r, for example) and a fixed focal length equivalent to 28 mm. It's therefore lined up to rival compact cameras with interchangeable lenses, notably those equipped with a pancake lens. The name GXR will sound fairly familiar to most people who've used a Ricoh compact. The GX and GR ranges are the brand's classic expert compacts, often held up as examples of fantastic handling among experienced users. For more information about the GXR body, please go to our review of the GXR with P10 28-300 mm module. Basically though, it's an expert compact camera body as we like them, with plenty of settings, an excellent screen and advanced customisation options (you can pick which options go in the ADJ menu and save custom settings in three different modes).
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