Want to use your Ricoh GXR camera with some classic Leica lenses? or maybe some incredible voigtlander, Bessa or Carl Zeiss glass you’ve got laying around? Richoh think you might want to do that too… so they built this thing! Totally. Freaking. SWEET!
Also featured are a bunch of other prototypes and “maybe” units to show off the real cleverness of what I once thought was a camera system that was all kinds of HUH-WHAT-WHY? … I was stupid and wrong, this is a very clever design.
You can check out more about the, frankly, kinda weird RICOH GXR here;
The Ricoh GXR is a compact digital camera but unlike conventional cameras which either have a fixed lens and sensor or interchangeable lens and a fixed sensor, the GXR takes interchangeable units, each housing a lens, sensor and image processing engine. This allows each unit to have these features optimised to one another and a specific task, where as with conventional interchangeable lens cameras each different lens must use the same sensor and engine.
The sealed units also prevent dust from reaching the sensor which can be a problem with other cameras where the sensor is exposed whilst a lens is being changed. A significant disadvantage of this system is the extra cost involved in having to buy a whole new sensor with every new lens.
The body holds a built in pop-up flash as well as a hot shoe on top for an external flash unit. Alternatively Ricoh’s ‘VF-2’, an external electronic viewfinder can be attached to the to the hot shoe which offers 920,000 dots and 100% field of view. The separate units slide onto the body via a stainless steel rail and lock into place. They can then be released by a lever on the camera’s body. Both the body and lens unit use magnesium alloy exterior. Each lens unit has its own unique specifications relating to its sensor and optics meaning that different lens units will change the features, behavior and performance of the camera body to varying degrees when attached.
“The unprecedented new camera system. GXR. The compact and versatile interchangeable unit camera system.
GXR is a new camera system that consists of a body and camera units. Each camera unit contains a lens (focal lengths differ between units), an image sensor of optimum type and size for the unit, and an image processing engine. By changing units, the photographer can handle a diverse range of scenes in a way that satisfies sophisticated requirements for photo expression. The slide mechanism adopted for attaching and removing camera units enables changes to be made quickly and securely.