In what has to be the oddest new camera technology announcement of 2009, Ricoh unveiled its GXR system. It's not a mirrorless interchangeable lens (dare I say EVIL?) system, as was rumored around the blogosphere, but what the company catchily calls an "Interchangeable Unit Camera," where the "Unit" in question is a lens/sensor module which slides into a housing that includes the rest of a point-and-shoot's pieces--920,000-pixel 3-inch LCD, controls, hot shoe, and flash. A tiltable EVF that fits in the hot shoe will be optional.
When it ships in the beginning of December, Ricoh plans to have the body and two camera units. Also, according to the company, it promises to deliver a new camera unit every quarter, starting with a nonspecific telephoto in the second quarter of next year.
One of the initial modules consists of a 24-72mm-equivalent f2.5-4.4 lens coupled with a 10-megapixel 1/1.7-inch sensor-shift-stabilized CCD; it supports ISO sensitivities from ISO 100 to ISO 3,200, VGA movies, and a raw burst speed of 5 frames per second for an unspecified number of frames. Essentially, with this unit the camera becomes a slightly updated version of the GX100, with the better sensor from the GR Digital III and a bump up in LCD-screen size.
The second module is a 50mm-equivalent f2.5 macro lens coupled with an APS-C-size (23.6x15.7mm) 12.3-megapixel CMOS that supports 24fps 720p video. … Read more