So we got a review unit of the new Ricoh GXR together with two of the 3 available lenses — the P10 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and the S10 24-72mm f/2.5-4.4 VC lens module.
Yup, you read it right — the P10 lens system is 28-300mm and 10.7x zoom. The sensor is a 10MP 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor. The S10, on the other hand, is a little smaller with a 1/1.7″ sensor and 3x zoom. Notice that each lens system has a different sensor size.
The camera is compact, almost the size of the LX3, with a pretty solid body that I think can take a beating. It’s got automatic/preset settings and can go full manual. Settings like ISO, shutter speed and aperture are all set on the display but the presets can be easily switched using the settings dial.
The nice feature of this lens system is that the sensor comes included with the lens and not the camera body. That makes the body much more affordable (around Php15k) and you get to pick which sensor and lens you want for the kit. Drawback though is that there’s very limited options for the lens. The P10 is the way to go, IMO, primarily due to the range it covers (28mm to 300mm) and the optical zoom.
The camera has a small built-in flash that pops out from the top but you can also use an external flash unit using the hot-shoe mount (I was able to use my Canon 580EX II with it).
The P10 lens unit can also go macro — up to as close as 1 centimeter from the subject. Here’s one shot I took using the lens (just click on the image to see the original photo):
The camera controls are pretty easy to use and mostly self-explanatory. If you’re familiar with how an entry-level dSLR, like say a Canon 350D, is set with all the manual settings on the display screen, the GXR isn’t far from it.
Here’s the rest of the set of photos I took using the GXR P10 and GRX S10 so you can all see the quality of pictures this unit can capture (just click on the thumbnails to view the large original photos):
Ricoh’s concept of the interchangeable lens system is something new and offers a safer way to change lenses without the worry of having dust and dirt getting into the body of the camera. Like the other hybrids (of sort) in its category, the GXR is looking to compete with the likes of the GF1 or the Olympus Pen. With the camera kit having a suggested retail price of about Php25,000, it’s a good and affordable alternative.