Feb 012011
 

Some of you may have already heard but Ricoh has just announced that they are releasing a Leica M mount unit/module for their GXR camera system (see my review here). There have been rumors for quite some time about this and I knew they were working on it but had no idea  they were going to announce it already. The GXR system will be a nice little camera to pair up with some Leica glass. Ricoh has said “It will have as its image sensor a 23.6×15.7mm (APS-C size: total pixels approx. 12.90 million) CMOS sensor, and it will feature a newly-developed focal plane shutter.” So this is good news for not only Leica fans but Ricoh GXR owners. I’m happy to see them continue to work on this “module” system. As soon as they release this module I will review it! From what has been floating around this will not be until Autumn.

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THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

Ricoh announces development of expansion unit for the

GXR interchangeable unit camera system

Tokyo, Japan, February 1, 2011—Ricoh Co., Ltd. (president and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announced the development of expansion unit for the GXR interchangeable unit camera system, which went on sale on December 18, 2009.

The GXR is a revolutionary new interchangeable unit camera system in which lenses can be changed by mounting camera units that integrate lens, image sensor, and image processing engine into a single unit. In addition, fully utilizing its unique capabilities, the GXR line will expand to include a variety of devices through the addition of interchangeable units other than camera units.

The GXR line now includes four camera units, but the newly developed unit being announced here is an expansion unit.

Development model name: GXR Lens Mount Unit

・With this lens mount unit, photographers can mount lenses such as Leica M lenses and use them for shooting with the GXR.

・The lens mount unit is being designed to make the best use of the optical characteristics of the lenses mounted. It will have as its image sensor a 23.6 mm × 15.7 mm (APS-C size; total pixels: approx. 12.90 million) CMOS sensor, and it will also feature a newly developed focal plane shutter.

・Release is planned for the autumn of 2011.

There are plans to display a design mock-up of the GXR lens mount unit at the CP+ CAMERA & PHOTO IMAGING SHOW to be held from February 9 (Wed.) to 12 (Sat.) at Pacifico Yokohama.

*The development model name, specs, and introduction timing indicated above are subject to change.

  28 Responses to “OFFICIAL: Ricoh GXR will be getting a Leica M mount module/adapter!”

  1. I don’t see them specifically mention that it will be an M-only mount, rather they mention it as an example… perhaps it’ll be a combination of a sensor+mount+couple of adapter rings?

  2. Steve, are you using the EVF for the GXR, if so what do you think to it

  3. what would the effective digital crop factor be? Like the x1.33 M8 or like the x1.5 NEX-5 with an Leica M-mount adapter?

  4. Sorry. I saw the link and was about to go by a GXR and then I saw it was a crop. They REALLY should have released it with a FF sensor. I would have paid almost $3000 for a FF module. Personally, I think they missed out with the crop, because, the NEX does this so well.

    • What else to say… I totally agree with you Jonathan!

      • Re NEX I beg to differ. Granted, it producee nice files with m-mount lenses, but
        the camera has been designed with the consumer in mind, the GXR is made for photographers. So user interface, handling, haptics of the two are very different (have both, but the NEX will be sold shortly).

  5. Well I’m guessing it’s going to be a 1.5x crop factor as it’s an APS-C sensor (as opposed to the Leica M8′s 1.33x crop factor) so surely anybody wanting to use Leica lenses on a digital camera is best off getting an M8, no? The solutions has already existed since 2006! LOL :)

  6. Great News, it will be much like the NEX 5 with M mount adaptor but better handling, I wonder how well the image quality will compare with M8 and NEX 5

    • “wonder how well the image quality will compare with M8 and NEX 5″

      I’m sure Steve will enlighten us… I’m curious as well. Have been putting off buying anything. Which is a first for me!

    • At base ISO, I guess it is going to be very similar to NEX and M8: the NEX 14Mp sensor with weak AA filter more or less matches the M8 10Mp sensor without AA filter for what details concerns, in my experience. I guess the GXR will be close.

      At high ISO, the GXR will no doubt be much better than the M8 (as is the NEX).

      Ergonomics aside, the M8 has two advantages: smaller crop factor (1.33 vs 1.5) and probably better behaviour with wide angle lenses (offset microlenses and built-in correction for coded lenses).

  7. I wonder how Ricoh will solve the focusing without AF and lens-coupled rangefinder?

    • live view on the LCD maybe?

    • The same way Sony did on the NEX and Olympus/Panasonic did on the m43 cameras: focusing in (magnified) live view on the rear LCD or EVF if available.

      Advantage: can be super-precise and can be done at shooting aperture -> focus shift is no longer an issue.

      Disadvantage: magnified live view is shaky with longer lenses, focusing is typically slower than with a rangefinder, ergonomics are debatable.

  8. This seems to have gotten lost so I will try it again.

    Much buzz about this on DPReview Ricoh Talk forum, lots of excitement. I know – is taking pre-orders. Talk about jumping on this quickly, they must know something about how desirable it will be, them being a Leica dealer.

  9. I did not realize you have issues with them, and I did not post a link, just mentioned the name. Sorry if it was my reference was offensive, I only made the reference that they have always treated me extremely well.

    • It was posted as a link which is why I removed it. Thanks, and no problem at all!

      • I never posted anything as a link, would not do that, easy enough for others to find if they wish. I am certain of that, sorry if our memories differ. Not trying to be confrontational with you, just wanting to make sure it is clear, never posted as a link. I am sure you can go back and take a look.

  10. Hi Steve,

    great review of the Ricoh GRX and the soon to come Leica M mount module. I have 4 Leica screw mount lenses. Will they work on the GRX with an adapter?

    Thanks,

    Robert

    • After re-reading the above comments and with the new announcement finally made this is a dedicated M mount module so it is very different from the NEX and other cameras with adapters. You an use any lens that accepts and M adapter but that is the way it is designed. Shooting at 3:2 the crop factor is around 1.5. If you have not pre-ordered I would suggest you do if you want this module. Good luck all.

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