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Leica M8 / M8.2 / Ricoh GXR Smaller than full frame digital Leica M mount cameras. The Ricoh is included as a less expensive and viable digital Leica M lens platform.

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New Ricoh Leica M mount GXR Press Release!
Old 02-01-2011   #1
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New Ricoh Leica M mount GXR Press Release!

this Press Release was in my inbox this morning!
Stephen


PHOTO IS OF A PROTOTYPE SHOWN AT A JAPANESE CAMERA SHOW! NOT FINAL PRODUCTION CAMERA!

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.
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Old 02-01-2011   #2
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Just saw this on Dpreview. Its incredible the choice Leica M lens owners have now for digital.
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Old 02-01-2011   #3
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Another expensive gadget for the gizmo-lovers.
Crop factor plus lack auto-diaphragm in M lenses make this utterly impractical except for slow, controlled studio use. For which there are better alternatives. Stop the lens down and watch the image get darker on the screen. Can't imagine this thing will have a viewfinder, and if you can add one, you certainly will not be able to focus through the viewfinder. I know they climbed the mountain because it was there, but....
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Old 02-01-2011   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
Another expensive gadget for the gizmo-lovers.
Crop factor plus lack auto-diaphragm in M lenses make this utterly impractical except for slow, controlled studio use. For which there are better alternatives. Stop the lens down and watch the image get darker on the screen. Can't imagine this thing will have a viewfinder, and if you can add one, you certainly will not be able to focus through the viewfinder. I know they climbed the mountain because it was there, but....
I think you are a little off on some of your info...
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Old 02-01-2011   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
Another expensive gadget for the gizmo-lovers.
Crop factor plus lack auto-diaphragm in M lenses make this utterly impractical except for slow, controlled studio use. For which there are better alternatives. Stop the lens down and watch the image get darker on the screen. Can't imagine this thing will have a viewfinder, and if you can add one, you certainly will not be able to focus through the viewfinder. I know they climbed the mountain because it was there, but....
Oh, come on. I once tried a non-auto-diaphragm 300/4.5 on an ancient Zenit. You'd set exposure, then focus at f/4.5, close the aperture to f/8 or whatever you wished, it'd get dark in the viewfinder, hit the shutter. The mirror was not of the convenient auto-return type, either - and yet, with a bit of determination, you could take action shots and get decent focus/exposure.

With a modern mirrorless camera and legacy lens you can get aperture priority AE, on-demand live zoom for critical focus, choice of screen or electronic viewfinder, and I guess you could make the screen brightness automatically go up to compensate for when you stop the lens down. This is just sheer convenience.

I think this is very good news for the GXR system since it provides people access to lenses like 50/1, that would be utterly impractical for Ricoh to manufacture.
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Old 02-01-2011   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
Another expensive gadget for the gizmo-lovers.
Crop factor plus lack auto-diaphragm in M lenses make this utterly impractical except for slow, controlled studio use. For which there are better alternatives. Stop the lens down and watch the image get darker on the screen. Can't imagine this thing will have a viewfinder, and if you can add one, you certainly will not be able to focus through the viewfinder. I know they climbed the mountain because it was there, but....
It may be interesting for people like me who use very often ultra wides (12 & 15mm) with an external viewfinder and hyperfocal settings.
But if you use fast lenses, I'm sure you can focus quickly with the optional EVF, maybe easier than a M9 in dark situations, because the EVF increases the ambiant light.
More, on my GH1 there's a magnifier function, maybe there's the same in the Ricoh EVF…
Now we must wait and see… the price : if GXR + M modul + EVF is more expensive or equal than a second hand M8, I prefer a M8!
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Old 02-01-2011   #7
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I use my ZM 50 C-Sonnar on my G1 (m4/3) and I have no trouble focusing at small f/#'s....
It isn't that much slower than using a MF SLR...
If, Ricoh uses an automatic gain in brightness as the lens is stopped down (like the G1/G2), even better.

It is an interesting chose to use the M mount. Plus a 1.5x crop sensor....No, not a RF like the Epson R-Dx, but, another choice to use that Leica or other glass on it... And a Focal plane shutter... Uhhhh.. should have a leaf shutter.... I'm sure plenty of people would like a camera to sync at all shutter speeds with flash (not me, I don't use flash 99.9% of the time).
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Old 02-01-2011   #8
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you can already get 1.5x crop with Leica M lenses on the Sony NEX series....
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Old 02-01-2011   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
I think you are a little off on some of your info...
Then please provide the correct into, I'm curious. Can you focus in the VF?

Of course this thing might be useable and capable of very high quality images, but without AF or some other fast viewfinder based manual focusing method it's not much use to may folks who need to work fast. Manual focusing on the screen in back is not really an option for many of us.

Nothing against Ricoh, my GRD3 is very capable.
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Old 02-01-2011   #10
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Quote:
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Manual focusing on the screen in back is not really an option for many of us.
You forgot the optional EVF!
See my post above!
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Old 02-01-2011   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gekopaca View Post
But if you use fast lenses, I'm sure you can focus quickly with the optional EVF, maybe easier than a M9 in dark situations, because the EVF increases the ambiant light.
Is there an EVF?
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Old 02-01-2011   #12
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you can already get 1.5x crop with Leica M lenses on the Sony NEX series....
Exactly... In a smaller, less expensive, and less complex package.

They really didn't think this one through...
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Old 02-01-2011   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxshooter View Post
you can already get 1.5x crop with Leica M lenses on the Sony NEX series....
- IMO Ricoh cameras are more solid and ergonomic than Sony Nex (external buttons…).
- The GXR M modul is specially done for M lenses (mount, sensor, shutter…), not the NEX.
- May I ask if there is an Electronic viewfinder for the Nex?
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Old 02-01-2011   #14
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Quote:
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Is there an EVF?
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Old 02-01-2011   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
Then please provide the correct into, I'm curious. Can you focus in the VF?

Of course this thing might be useable and capable of very high quality images, but without AF or some other fast viewfinder based manual focusing method it's not much use to may folks who need to work fast. Manual focusing on the screen in back is not really an option for many of us.

Nothing against Ricoh, my GRD3 is very capable.
The GXR has a EVF available. I would imagine Ricoh will allow one to use it to focus an M mount lens...why wouldn't they?
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Old 02-01-2011   #16
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Originally Posted by saxshooter View Post
you can already get 1.5x crop with Leica M lenses on the Sony NEX series....
Yes, and you can also get a 40" LCD TV from Sony, that doesn't mean that competitors can't make 40" LCD tvs.
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Old 02-01-2011   #17
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Originally Posted by bensyverson View Post
Exactly... In a smaller, less expensive, and less complex package.

They really didn't think this one through...
And the results are fantastic! Referring to the NEX.
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Old 02-01-2011   #18
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Yes, and you can also get a 40" LCD TV from Sony, that doesn't mean that competitors can't make 40" LCD tvs.
sorry, your comment makes no sense to me. The Nex works beautifully with M Mount lenses and is much much cheaper than the Ricoh, so it has definite pluses. just saying
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Old 02-01-2011   #19
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Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
sorry, your comment makes no sense to me. The Nex works beautifully with M Mount lenses and is much much cheaper than the Ricoh, so it has definite pluses. just saying
That may be true. However, it isn't optimized for m-mount lenses so, theoretically, the GXR M-Mount module could work even better right? The Sony is cheaper, but it also feels cheaper...

The GXR isn't for everyone (just as the NEX isn't). However, for those of us that do like them and also use M-Mount lenses, this module will come in handy. Cheap isn't everything in this world.
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Old 02-01-2011   #20
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Quote:
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The GXR has a EVF available. I would imagine Ricoh will allow one to use it to focus an M mount lens...why wouldn't they?
Ah, thanks.
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Old 02-01-2011   #21
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I sold my M8 and ended up with an NEX-5. Gorgeous LCD screen and I'm very happy with the images it produces (I was never happy with color images from the M8 and had no patience for working the RAW files)

Since the NEX mount is highly adaptable, I'm also using my legacy Pen F lenses, Nikon F lenses, Canon EF lenses, m39 LTM lenses, C-mount lenses... it's a lot of fun. via $30 adapters found on ebay. I find the kit 16mm 2.8 (24mm equiv) Sony pancake lens adequate, and I'm using Leica lenses from 21mm to 135mm with no problems.

This development with Ricoh is a good thing, but we are talking Fall 2011. I hope the NEX series has an EVF by then but for now I'm good with using the LCD screen.

If Ricoh made a FF sensor module for M lenses, that would be a game changer!

I also find it interesting that B&H Photo doesn't stock this system?
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Old 02-01-2011   #22
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I know it sounds terrible, but looking at the responses from most people in this thread, it looks like this product is an answer to a question that very few people are asking...
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Old 02-01-2011   #23
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I also find it interesting that B&H Photo doesn't stock this system?
I only know of three places that do carry Ricoh in the US... popflash, adorama, and amazon. Apparently, Ricoh does very well in Japan but it is a niche within a niche in the US. It's too bad... because they are high quality cameras. I like my GXR a lot and am excited for this module. The M-mount module was most likely a labor of love, so I think that is fair to say hipsterdufus.

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Old 02-01-2011   #24
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As others have suggested, ricoh needs a new compact grx body with an integrated high resolution evf just to keep pace with some of the other manufacturers that will be able to accommodate m-mount lenses, i.e. the nex 7 and the next generations of the 3 & 5.
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Old 02-01-2011   #25
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I know it sounds terrible, but looking at the responses from most people in this thread, it looks like this product is an answer to a question that very few people are asking...
I couldn't disagree with you more.

Leica M shooters are actively looking for alternatives to the ultra expensive M9 camera. the Ricoh will be one of those alternatives.

All we have at the moment is a press release of Ricoh's FIRST effort into that arena. We have no reports of working prototypes, much less the final specs or capabilities.

Only time will tell how well the Ricoh GXR Leica M (and its successors) compare to the like of the present and future M43 and NEX cameras taking Leica M lenses via adapters.

Great news indeed!

Stephen
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Old 02-01-2011   #26
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As others have suggested, ricoh needs a new compact grx body with an integrated high resolution evf just to keep pace with some of the other manufacturers that will be able to accommodate m-mount lenses, i.e. the nex 7 and the next generations of the 3 & 5.
Well, until those models come out it is pure speculation. Also, I would imagine Ricoh is not banking on selling tons of these units.
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Old 02-01-2011   #27
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sorry, your comment makes no sense to me. The Nex works beautifully with M Mount lenses and is much much cheaper than the Ricoh, so it has definite pluses. just saying
I'm sorry if my comment makes no sense to you. My point is quite obvious. For most electronic products there are various similar models from different manufacturers. It's called competition. Just because one manufacturer sells a product doesn't mean others don't want a piece of the pie. Ricoh obviously thinks they can sell this product and why shouldn't they? For all of their GXR modules there is probably a camera from another manufacturer that has a similar sensor and lens but people still seem to buy them.

Why do people on RFF always have to whine when a manufacturer brings out a product they don't want to buy? No one's forcing them. Sony just released a couple of Cybershot cameras. I don't want or need them. So what.
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Old 02-01-2011   #28
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It's not a good looking camara IMO ... kind of clunky!
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Old 02-01-2011   #29
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The GXR is like inkjet printers, the ink costs a lot more than the printer itself.
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Old 02-01-2011   #30
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It's not a good looking camara IMO ... kind of clunky!
Do you mean the mock up? Which is not the final camera.
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Old 02-01-2011   #31
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The GXR is like inkjet printers, the ink costs a lot more than the printer itself.
Nonsense. Many people confuse the GXR with a SLR system and calculate how much it would cost to own the entire line of modules. Thats not what the GXR is about. Chose the universal back, chose the modul that fits your type of application and use both as a high quality compact.

The GXR is not about carrying a bunch of modules.

No one would complain anyway if Ricoh glued back and sensor together. But make them available separately and people start to complain... ridiculous.
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Old 02-01-2011   #32
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Well, until those models come out it is pure speculation. Also, I would imagine Ricoh is not banking on selling tons of these units.
No one, including Leica, sells "tons" of any Leica product.
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Old 02-01-2011   #33
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I'm about two whims and a passing fancy from selling a bunch of stuff and buying into the GXR. I've spent too much money buying good hardware I think I ought to use frequently and with enthusiasm, but don't. Little cameras and little lenses are more in tune with how I actually play the photography game.
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Old 02-01-2011   #34
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Because of the APS-C sensor, this is an alternative for the M8, not M9.

Though I don't care for an M8, I'd probably go for a real Leica rangefinder rather than the Ricoh module (which, I'd still prefer than the NEX).
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Old 02-01-2011   #35
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Okay. Let's Dream Here.

The Ricoh system basically separates the sensor and lens mount into a module that fits onto the camera body, which provides display, memory storage, controls, etc.

So they have a module that includes the sensor and M-Mount. Seems to me, they could put a rangefinder into it.
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Old 02-01-2011   #36
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A ton of these would be about what, a 1000 units in boxes with accessories?

So the M9. I think we're well into tons of sales.
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Old 02-01-2011   #37
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So they have a module that includes the sensor and M-Mount. Seems to me, they could put a rangefinder into it.
I dont think there is any room (physically) for a mechanical rangefinder, given the way the modules slide into the LCD back. The GXR has an accessory shoe that can take external finders. Onfortunately it is not on the optical axis of the lens though.
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Old 02-01-2011   #38
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It will be a side-mounted Kalart Rangefinder.
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Old 02-01-2011   #39
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I have great respect for Ricoh's heritage and chutzpah. And I think any new products that support the base of rangefinder users are welcome. However, Ricoh never should have let the GXR happen. It's simply a bad idea that's not getting any better with age.

The core concept is that for certain applications—such as extreme zoom in a small package—a small sensor is fine. DOF doesn't matter. For other situations, you want a big light gathering sensor. Furthermore, there are lens, sensor and software optimizations you can perform if the lens and sensor are in one monolithic unit (as in a point and shoot). So why not let the user swap out the lens and sensor unit, but keep the camera body? Sounds great.

The problem with this idea is that the camera body is cheap to make, but the sensor and and lens are not. This is clearly evidenced by the prices of the GXR modules, which are as expensive or more expensive than their closest competition. For example, the 50/2.5 APS-C module costs about as much as a brand new Canon DSLR, which actually lets you change the lens. So the only consumer advantage of the GXR system is the theoretical environmental benefit of not manufacturing a new body for each new camera.

Ricoh users who want to put an M lens up to their eye could potentially pay $350 for the body, $250 for the EVF, and lets say $600 for the M module. At $1200, you could have bought a used RD-1. But even assuming you already had the body and EVF, a NEX is still cheaper—albeit without the EVF option.

It's like a laptop that lets you swap out the motherboard depending on whether you want great battery life or high performance. It's an admirably crazy idea, but in the end, consumers (even geeks) just want to carry one thing that does most of what they need.
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Old 02-01-2011   #40
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you can already get 1.5x crop with Leica M lenses on the Sony NEX series....
And 2x crop on the micro-4/3 with M lenses.
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