There is no sensor in the body itself. The new model, which resembles the company's GR Digital compact in size and styling, is easily the smallest digital camera in the world with interchangeable lenses.
At an exclusive launch in London, the GXR's Product Manager Susumi Katagiri explained that Ricoh's innovation ‘enables the three factors that determine image quality - the sensor, lens and processor - to always be perfectly matched for optimum results, or specific needs. It also means that the delicate rear element and sensor are not exposed, thus protecting them and preventing the possibility of dust getting onto the sensor.'
There is currently a choice of two lens units available: a 24-72mm (equivalent) f/2.5-4.4 VC 3x zoom lens, paired with a 10.4 megapixel CCD sensor with sensor-shift image stabilisation; and a fixed 33mm (50mm equivalent) f/2.5 macro lens paired with a 12.3MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor. A telephoto lens with a high speed CMOS sensor is due to be added next year, and other units are set to follow. Ricoh hinted that that the design offers diverse possibilities for the GXR that go beyond being just a camera.
The camera is built from tough die-cast magnesium with a corrosion resistant coating. It offers the full range of manual P,A,S,M control settings, in addition to five scene modes and movie mode (720p HD movies in the case of the macro lens unit).
Image viewing is via a high definition 3.0inch 920,000 dot LCD screen and a high resolution (920k dot) electronic viewfinder is also available, which fits into the hotshoe and has a hinged eyepiece that can be positioned vertically. The GXR has an internal flash which offers optional manual control, and is also compatible with the GF-1 accessory flashgun.
The system will be available from December.
Prices for the system are:
GXR Body: £419
50mm f/2.5 macro:£600
24-72mm f/2.8-4.4 zoom: £330
Electronic Viewfinder: £219
GF-1 Flashgun: £239
Watch our exclusive hands-on preview video of the Ricoh GXR: