Ricoh GXR Camera – a new compact camera with interchangeable lens system

Ricoh GXR cameraThe Ricoh GXR claims to be the world’s smallest and lighest interchangeable lens camera system.

Ricoh GXR combines the compact size of a point-and-shoot digital camera with DSLR great features into 1 single interchangeable unit. It sounds so cool for having a compact digital camera but being able to change the lenses like those big DSLR cameras!

Below is the official press release from Ricoh.

Ricoh launches the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera system

In a world-first design, Ricoh integrates lens, image sensor and image processing engine into a single interchangeable unit

Tokyo, Japan, 10 November 2009: Ricoh has announced the development and release of the GXR interchangeable unit camera system featuring the world’s smallest and lightest* digital camera with the ability to change lenses.

The revolutionary GXR is an interchangeable unit camera system in which lenses are changed by using a slide-in mount system to attach camera units to the body. In a world-first design, the lens, image sensor and image processing engine are integrated into the camera units so the body itself does not contain an image sensor.

The GXR represents a further evolution of Ricoh’s award-winning GR Digital and GX compact digital cameras. Like its predecessors, the GXR offers an irresistible combination – the superior image quality and advanced manual control of a SLR, with the pocketability and handling of a compact. With the innovative slide-in mount structure, camera unit changes are as quick and easy as changing a memory card.

Designed to provide true shooting flexibility and outstanding image quality, the GXR provides photographers with the initial choice of two camera units – the first, an acclaimed GR prime lens coupled with a 12 megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor and GR Engine III, ideal for portrait and macro photography; the second, a 3x wide-angle zoom RICOH lens matched with a high performance 10 megapixel CCD sensor and Smooth Imaging Engine IV, perfect for a diverse range of scenes including wide landscapes and snap shooting. A third camera unit featuring a high magnification zoom telephoto lens will be released in early 2010.

Like lenses, image sensors have their own strengths and a wide variety of creative characteristics that relate to their size and type. Therefore the main benefit of this design is greater power of expression with each lens finely tuned to its respective sensor and image processing engine. This unique structure also makes it inherently difficult for dirt and dust to enter the camera and impact sensor performance – a common problem encountered by DSLR camera users.

Concealing infinite possibilities and a host of advanced features in its small body, the GXR pioneers a new realm of photography.

Available from 5 December 2009, the GXR will be sold exclusively through the Ricoh Pro G Dealer Network. A select few stores will feature a ‘touch and try’ area, providing customers with the opportunity to complete a hands-on review and pre-order prior to the worldwide release. For store locations and other customer enquiries contact Ricoh’s Australian distributor, Tasco on 02 9938 3244 or visit

Ricoh GXR Price guide – indicative only

  • GXR camera body AU$600 + GST
  • GR Lens camera unit AU$1100 + GST
  • RICOH Lens camera unit AU$600 + GST

* Internal flash, interchangeable lens digital cameras with lens attached. Correct as of 10 November 2009, Ricoh research. Minimum weight with camera unit attached: 325g (RICOH lens camera unit, not including battery, memory card, neck strap, connector cap or lens cap)

Ricoh GXR Main Features

Ricoh GXR Camera Back screenshot

1. Ideal form for an interchangeable lens camera: The interchangeable unit camera system

  • By integrating lens, image sensor, and image processing engine into a single optimised unit, Ricoh was able to created a compact camera with interchangeable lenses.
  • The adoption of this new system has made it possible to achieve both “pocket size for go-anywhere portability” and “the highest image quality for every photographic situation and subject.”
  • Since the image sensor is not exposed when lenses are changed, the camera’s structure makes it inherently difficult for dirt and dust to get inside.

2. Features of the GR LENS A12 50 mm F2.5 MACRO camera unit

  • This camera unit uses a 23.6mm x 15.7mm (APS-C size) CMOS sensor with approximately 12.30 megapixels. In combination with image processing engine GR ENGINE III, it achieves high quality photography with high definition, low noise, and smooth tonal gradations.
  • A newly developed GR LENS with an 8-group, 9-element configuration (aspherical lens: 1 element, two surfaces) is featured. Representing a further advancement in the GR tradition of high image quality, the lens thoroughly corrects for various types of aberrations. Despite the compact size, it is also a full-fledged macro lens with a floating lens structure. At shooting distances from infinity down to the 1/2x maximum magnification macro range, it achieves strong imaging power all the way to the edge of the frame. In addition, the low level of vignetting means that the photographer can enjoy rich and genuine bokeh effects.
  • The manual focus ring is perfect for use in macro photography as it makes highly precise focusing possible. It can also be used to make fine manual adjustments to the focus after auto focus is done.

3. Features of the RICOH LENS S10 24-72 mm F2.5-4.4 VC camera unit

  • This camera unit uses a 10.00 megapixel 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor boasting high-sensitivity capabilities enhanced through the adoption of a new process. In combination with advanced image processing engine Smooth Imaging Engine IV, it achieves high quality photography with high definition and low noise.
  • The lens is a 24mm to 72mm high performance 3x wide-angle zoom with superior usability. Utilising a 7-group, 11-element configuration (aspherical lens: 4 elements, 4 surfaces) that includes special low-dispersion lenses, this lens achieves high dimensions of both compactness and imaging power.
  • A camera shake correction function (image-sensor-shift type) is used to reduce hand- motion blur.
  • The self-retaining lens cap has been a popular GX series option, and a GXR version is available as option LC-2.

4. Even greater power of expression

  • The automatic exposure modes include program shift mode, shutter priority mode, and aperture priority mode.
  • Picture settings can be customised with nine setting levels for easy creation of a diverse range of images.
  • ISO 3200 facilitates shooting in low light conditions.

5. Enhanced rapid shooting capabilities help capture fleeting shutter chances

  • The Pre-AF function accelerates focusing speed by adjusting the focus to match subject movement.
  • The full press snap function shoots at a preset distance for a one-push full-press of the shutter-release button.
  • When shooting subjects up close, the camera automatically switches to macro mode so macro photography can be enjoyed without having to worry about switching modes (Auto macro setting).

6. Wide range of functions

  • Tilt indicator utilising an acceleration sensor.
  • Three grid guides useful for framing images while shooting.
  • Image flag function to enable the quick display of specific images from among those in the camera. Up to 20 images can be flagged.
  • The new DIRECT screen enabling current settings to be displayed and changed.

7. High-definition 3.0-inch 920,000-dot VGA LCD picture display

  • The high-resolution LCD picture display provides a wide viewing angle and high contrast. The screen has a fluorine coat to prevent soiling, a hard coat to prevent scratches, and an anti-reflection coat to give excellent visibility even outdoors in bright sunshine.
  • With 100% sRGB coverage for colour reproduction, the picture display vividly reproduces image colours.

8. Elegant design

  • For the exterior, Ricoh utilised die cast magnesium, which has a strong track record in the GR series, and covered the surface with a corrosion-resistant “pear-skin” coating. The end result is a body with superior levels of durability, light weight, and feel in hand.
  • Building on the operation control designs of the GR series and GX series, the GXR has several types of customisable buttons as well as the new DIRECT button, which the photographer can use to see many current settings at a glance. Sophisticated shooting settings can now be made faster than ever before.
  • The directional pad, the three My Settings, the ADJ.lever, and the function buttons all contribute to the even greater operability achieved by the GXR.
  • The grip form allows the GXR to be firmly held despite its small size, and the suitably yielding rubber material on the grip surface enables the camera to feel like an integral part of the hand.

9. Functions expanded using firmware

  • Function-enhancing firmware releases for the GR DIGITAL series have proved very popular, and this practice will be continued for the GXR. By updating their firmware, GXR owners will be able to use the latest functions.

10. New options enhance series expandability

  • Two soft cases, one for each camera unit.
  • The GXR can use the GR DIGITAL III external flash (GF-1), which can do TTL flash using auxiliary flash.
  • Convenient for shooting in bright outdoor situations, the newly developed 920,000-dot- equivalent high-definition LCD viewfinder is removable and can be tilted up to 90 degrees. With a 100% field of view, it displays information in the same way as the picture display, thus enabling the photographer to shoot in a film camera style.

Looks like another compact digital camera with some great DSLR features built into it. I don’t think it’ll be long before we have light and compact true DSLR cameras! Wish I can review this camera and provide you with some sample photos taken with it.

About Michael Aulia

Owner of, Michael is a tech enthusiast who blends a love for gadgets with a passion for gaming. With insightful articles and professional reviews, he navigates the digital landscape, offering expertise on consumer electronics and gaming trends.

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