Ricoh’s GXR is a unique digital camera system that integrates the image sensor and the lens into a lens unit. By integrating the lens, image sensor and the image processing engine into a lens unit, Ricoh developed a single optimized unit with interchangeable lenses. Naturally, the image sensor is not exposed when lenses are changed and since the lens unit is self-contained it is inherently difficult for dirt and dust to enter. Image quality is enhanced by coupling the right image sensor to the right lens. There are two lens units: GR LENS A12 50mm F2.5 MACRO and the RICOH LENS S10 24-72mm F2.5-4.4 VC.
The GR MACRO lens unit sports an APS-C CMOS sensor with a 23.6 x 15.7 mm dimension, 12.3 megapixels and can shoot HD video. The zoom lens unit features a 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor with 10.0 megapixels and shoots VGA video. Based on this innovative design, Ricoh is able to tightly couple the lens and image sensor for optimal photographic quality. Availability is slated for December. There are several sample pictures at Ricoh and DPReview; the pictures look fantastic.
Ricoh might have priced its GXR a bit too high. For instance, the body alone is $549. And remember this isn’t your regular body; it doesn’t have a sensor. The 50mm macro lens will set you back $830 (also remember that this includes a APS-C image sensor) while the zoom lens will cost $440 (with a tiny CCD sensor).