Ricoh GXR review

£678
Price when reviewed

The system is at least easy to use though, with a nicely balanced combination of dedicated controls along with easy-to-use methods of directly changing settings through on-screen menus.

A few sums, however, reveal the nub of the problem. The cheapest combination of GXR plus both lenses will currently cost you £1,021 exc VAT. For that you could buy a Canon IXUS 120 IS compact, an Olympus E-P1 (web ID: 263374) with both 14-42mm and 17mm lenses plus optical viewfinder, and have almost £300 left over to put towards a new high-end lens for your DSLR. Granted, the absolute level of image quality of the GXR with A12 lens will pip the E-P1 to the post, but only in situations where a fixed 50mm lens will give you the shot you want.

With the A12 lens unit fitted the GXR is certainly a capable, if very expensive, fixed-focal-length digital camera. With the S10 fitted it’s merely an exceptionally overpriced compact. Plus, where a DSLR system gives you dozens of lenses to choose from, only two are currently available for the Ricoh. On top of that, operation is enormously slower than a DSLR with that contrast-detect autofocus making the GXR system near-useless for action, wildlife or sports photography.

It’s certainly an interesting development, and one that generated keen interest among everyone we showed it to. But the GXR concept is a solution to a problem that doesn’t appear to exist. If you’re desperate to be different you might consider it. For most people, though, it’s far too expensive and offers no compelling benefit over competitors at half the price or less. And with the limited choice of lenses, and no word on when the range might expand, that theoretical flexibility doesn’t give you much real flexibility at all.

Details

Image quality 5

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating 12.3mp
Camera screen size 3.0in
Camera optical zoom range N/A
Camera maximum resolution 4288 x 2416

Weight and dimensions

Weight 460g
Dimensions 115 x 77 x 70mm (WDH)

Battery

Battery type included Lithium-ion
Charger included? yes

Other specifications

Built-in flash? yes
Aperture range f2.5 - f2.5
Camera minimum focus distance 0.07m
Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent) 50
Longest focal length (35mm equivalent) 50
Minimum (fastest) shutter speed 1/3,200
Maximum (slowest) shutter speed 3 mins
Bulb exposure mode? no
RAW recording mode? yes
Exposure compensation range +/-4EV
ISO range 100 - 3200
Selectable white balance settings? yes
Manual/user preset white balane? yes
Progam auto mode? yes
Shutter priority mode? yes
Aperture priority mode? yes
Fully auto mode? yes
Burst frame rate 3.0fps
Exposure bracketing? yes
White-balance bracketing? yes
Memory-card type SD, SDHC
Viewfinder coverage N/A
LCD resolution 920k
Secondary LCD display? no
Video/TV output? yes
Body construction Magnesium Alloy
Tripod mounting thread? yes
Data connector type mini-USB

Manual, software and accessories

Full printed manual? yes
Software supplied Ricoh software
Accessories supplied None

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