By >Daimaou - G.G-B
[Review] Ricoh GXR, a Great Idea with Impressive results
In the world of Cameras there are many names/ brands available on the market but if you ask around, the names Canon & amp and Nikon may often come if it is for serious photography. Yes, for sure Canon and Nikon offer some amazing products, but there are other companies, less known to the public and yet offering some impressive cameras, like for example Ricoh and its new GXR compact shooter.
Ricoh GXR Specs
-3.0″ transparent LCD; approx. 920,000 pixels
-Picture quality Fine, Normal, RAW (DNG)
-Storage SD/SDHC memory card, internal memory (approx. 86 MB)
-Dimensions (W x H x D) 113.9 mm x 70.2 mm x 28.9 mm (excluding projections)
This is not the first time I had the chance to play with a Ricoh, and just as with previous models, the GXR is extremely well-built, with meticulous attention to details and made from a strong material giving you the feeling of holding a premium or professional camera in your hands. And actually yes, the GXR is indeed a Premium compact shooter designed for people in search of raw power in the most compact body possible.
But the most important aspect of the GXR is without doubt its removable Lens and Censor Unit. Unlike for example a DSLR where you can change lenses at will, but where the sensor stays on the Body, the GXR has both its Sensor and Lens mounted together on the same module leaving the Body with only Electronics, Image processing and LCD.
Even If this kind of solution may look strange at first, I am now convinced that this kind of design is the future of Photography.
First of all, as the case with a DLSR, you now have the possibility to change and adapt your lens to your needs on a compact camera. Having the censor and lens mounted together in a close module means not only that you won’t have to clean your censor or camera each time you are changing lens, but also to give Ricoh a better lens-sensor optimization for optimal image quality that cannot be achieved on a DSLR for example…
Another interesting aspect here is the infinite potential offered by this solution where it is not only possible to mount lenses on the body but also to feature modules including a printer, a video projector or whatever you dream of, and have always with you the possibility to do just more than taking pictures.
Once you started to grasp the full potential of this camera, you have also to give credit Ricoh for its beautiful and sharp LCD as well as its great UI that is clear and easy to use.
Let’s Shoot Baby
Convinced by the Lens+Censor module design, Ricoh just had to offer me impressive pictures to win me over… And guess what… They did!
I knew that Ricoh was capable like Sigma and its DP1 & DP2 capable to offer amazing pictures, and oh boy they did not disappoint… I believe that I have never seen such quality ever in a compact camera or a DSLR, even on a Nikon D90… Just look at the picture below (100%crop), the result is flawless, amazingly precise and sharp… Something that even the already impressive DP-2 is not capable of. By just holding this Mp3 player in one hand and the GXR in the other hand with no other means of stabilization, I shot a fantastic picture.
More comfortable for portrait or close up picture, the GXR with its 50mm lens is not always the perfect camera and will require much more attention than your average DLSR to shoot great photos. First the GXR AF is not as fast as a DLSR and some point & shoot could be even faster. The GXR is very sensible to light, and if you ever happen to use it in house or at an event, make sure to use a flash or a Tripod.
But once you know your GXR limitations you will quickly adapt your shooting style. I personally did enjoy quite a lot the “Auto” mode of the GXR and was stuck at ISO 200 all the way shooting pictures like crazy and succeed in capturing many good memories with it.
Well built, offering you great pictures as well as an innovative Lens+Censor unit design, the GXR is a camera worth to check if you want to add a compact shooter to your collection next to your DLSR.
Yes, the GXR has a slower AF than your average DLSR, yes jumping to this Lens+Censor thingy demand a leap of faith since only Ricoh so far is offering this kind of a solution, but hey, no pain no gain, and like a DP1 or DP-2 for example, the GXR is not made for everyone, but for people who love photoes and the art of photography where the GXR will not disappoint you in any way.
Oh I was almost going to forget, the GXR is also capable to shoot videoes, too but well, let’s just put this aside and forget about it.