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10-18-2016, 07:15 PM   #1
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Open letter to Ricoh: Ultimate pocketable camera (GRx) Concept

Hi Ricoh,
In a recent interview at Photokina 2016, you mention Visual Revolution is your current objective. You also mention that you need to listen to customers on where the GR lineup should go.

I have been a long time user of your Ricoh GR (2013) and hereís some conclusions Iíve reached about it.

Itís Positives:
- Itís truly pocketable. This means I donít have to carry a DSLR/lens and always Ďbe in photographer mode.í I can just know that in my pocket, I have a tool which captures the data I need to create great images.
- Itís 28mm equiv lens seems to outresolve the sensor in resolution and is uniformly sharp across the image even at f2.8.
- The cameraís full manual control capabilities, menu depth and user customisability is all that I could ask for or ever need.

Itís Negatives:
- 28mm Equivalent is quite limiting for many types photography.
- Individually, the 12bit raw dngs seem a little bit brittle and donít hold up too well when recovering Highlights, 14bit files from my APSC DSLR are more robust when post processing.
- 16mp doesnít allow much cropping room. 24mp seems optimal for APSC
- Manual focussing is not well implemented. A traditional on-lens focus ring would be better.

Overall, I love the GR and use it all the time while my DSLR collects dust.

Ricoh GRx concept:

The GRx would be a dual sensor/dual lens pocketable camera with the following features:

- 1x 24mp APSC sensor with a 28mm equiv lens on one side of the camera. An identical 24mp sensor with a 50mm equiv lens parallel facing. Both lenses are prime and retractable into the camera body with their own Leaf-Shutter mechanisms.
- 14bit lossless raw
- Manual focus rings on each lens
- Highlight Priority Metering
- 3 stop ND filters in the lenses
- Sensor Shift stabilisation and Pixel Shift Super Resolution (Like seen in the K series DSLRs)
- Tiltable rear screen
- Dual SD or XQD card slots
- To be able to keep the retail price under $1400US

Everything else could happily be the same as the current GR but remove video and make it a pure photographers tool.

Such a camera would be extremely capable and versatile. If 28mm is not wide enough, one can stitch multiple images for wider FOV. The 50mm lens would be
very useful for landscape. The camera might need to be slightly larger to accommodate the dual lenses/sensors and a battery.

10-18-2016, 11:23 PM - 1 Like   #2
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- 2 lenses
- 2 sensors
- pocketable
- no video
- tiltable screen
- SR
- under 1400$

One or more of these things don't add up together.
You're right, this would be a cool concept, and a concept it would stay.
10-19-2016, 12:11 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
- 2 lenses
- 2 sensors
- pocketable
- no video
- tiltable screen
- SR
- under 1400$

One or more of these things don't add up together.
You're right, this would be a cool concept, and a concept it would stay.
It would have to be a little larger than the current GR. But the whole idea is that prime lenses beat zoom lenses in terms of optical performance/size. I don't believe that there's any pocketable APSC with a zoom lens.
The current 28mm is great but just cant do landscapes.
10-19-2016, 02:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jdelavaulx Quote
Overall, I love the GR
Yup, they've got so many things right with this little camera!

I think pocketability is the main success factor for the GR. That, and the ingenious controls for one-handed use. If any of those are compromised I'd not be interested any more.

That said:
- Tilt-screen would be brilliant, unless it increases size
- SR would be nice, but I suspect it will increase size, weight, and battery drain.
- 14 bit raw would be good.
- 24 MP sensor, sure, unless it means increased battery drain. I find 16 MP sufficient for my use.
- On-lens focus ring, yes please! Unless it means increased size - I'd rather have less-than-ideal MF than a camera left at home
- Video? Wouldn't care much either way. Nice to have if you want it, easy to ignore if not, so might as well keep it - as long as no dedicated buttons are wasted on it!

As for a dual lens contraption, I think a more viable solution would be to make a separate 35mm (~50mm equiv) version of the GR. Not very daring, I know, but I might well buy one if they make one.

QuoteOriginally posted by jdelavaulx Quote
The current 28mm is great but just cant do landscapes.
I don't agree. The focal length might not suit you, which is fine, but what makes a good landscape lens is mainly dependent on your shooting style. Used the right way you can get wonderful landscapes from the GR. Just as you can get stunning landscapes with a 300mm.

10-19-2016, 02:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
Yup, they've got so many things right with this little camera!

I think pocketability is the main success factor for the GR. That, and the ingenious controls for one-handed use. If any of those are compromised I'd not be interested any more.

That said:
- Tilt-screen would be brilliant, unless it increases size
- SR would be nice, but I suspect it will increase size, weight, and battery drain.
- 14 bit raw would be good.
- 24 MP sensor, sure, unless it means increased battery drain. I find 16 MP sufficient for my use.
- On-lens focus ring, yes please! Unless it means increased size - I'd rather have less-than-ideal MF than a camera left at home
- Video? Wouldn't care much either way. Nice to have if you want it, easy to ignore if not, so might as well keep it - as long as no dedicated buttons are wasted on it!

As for a dual lens contraption, I think a more viable solution would be to make a separate 35mm (~50mm equiv) version of the GR. Not very daring, I know, but I might well buy one if they make one.



I don't agree. The focal length might not suit you, which is fine, but what makes a good landscape lens is mainly dependent on your shooting style. Used the right way you can get wonderful landscapes from the GR. Just as you can get stunning landscapes with a 300mm.
@Savoche,

I have taken hundreds of landscapes with the gr; mostly as panoramic stitches shot in portrait to increase FOV and resolution for large prints. Invariably in my experience though, 28mm equiv will (out in the countryside) include grass or rocks or shrubs in the foreground and a large amount of sky. This is where the 50mm would come in useful. Being able to focus on some distant objects and reduce Parallax, always having the option to shoot panoramic to increase FOV.

Having 2 or maybe even three cameras with different focal lengths might be cumbersome to carry around. Possibly an interchangeable lens GR with small insert lenses and their own carry pouch but the single camera idea still seems most ideal to me.
10-19-2016, 02:36 AM   #6
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I like many of the ideas here. But I think it will be difficult to sell a dual camera like this. I will suggest two possible varieties:
- A lens mount and 28 + 50mm lenses
- Two cameras, one with 28mm and one with 50mm. Sure it will take more space totally, but it will also be lighter to hold one camera at a time. I also think it will be easier to sell, and due to the scaling of costs I think the price might be the same as the dual camera despite it needs two batteries, screens, processors and so on.
10-19-2016, 03:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jdelavaulx Quote
Hi Ricoh,
In a recent interview at Photokina 2016, you mention Visual Revolution is your current objective. You also mention that you need to listen to customers on where the GR lineup should go.

<snip>

Everything else could happily be the same as the current GR but remove video and make it a pure photographers tool.

Such a camera would be extremely capable and versatile. If 28mm is not wide enough, one can stitch multiple images for wider FOV. The 50mm lens would be very useful for landscape. The camera might need to be slightly larger to accommodate the dual lenses/sensors and a battery.
Great idea - and you almost got the name right. Ricoh has already tried this - 7 years ago. They called it the Ricoh GXR, and it had interchangeable modules for the lens, sensor and processor engine. You could mix and match them to your heart's content.... and you can still buy it on Amazon.
10-19-2016, 03:18 AM   #8
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Didn't the GXR system offer something quite close to what is described here? You could get a 28mm and 50mm unit with very sharp prime lenses. It had Ricoh ergonomics and EVF was an option.

---------- Post added 10-19-16 at 07:22 PM ----------

Someone beat me to it! I'm still tempted to get one, because I love the feel and the look of the files.

10-19-2016, 03:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jdelavaulx Quote
It would have to be a little larger than the current GR. But the whole idea is that prime lenses beat zoom lenses in terms of optical performance/size. I don't believe that there's any pocketable APSC with a zoom lens.
The current 28mm is great but just cant do landscapes.
The 28mm is there because this camera series traditionally sold to street photographers. Maybe we'll see one with a wider lens too at some point, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
24MP sensor is almost guaranteed for the next generation GR, and IMO 14bit raw as well.
I don't think they'd add anything that increases the body size more than just slightly.
10-19-2016, 12:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jdelavaulx Quote
Hi Ricoh,
In a recent interview at Photokina 2016, you mention Visual Revolution is your current objective. You also mention that you need to listen to customers on where the GR lineup should go.

I have been a long time user of your Ricoh GR (2013) and hereís some conclusions Iíve reached about it.

Itís Positives:
- Itís truly pocketable. This means I donít have to carry a DSLR/lens and always Ďbe in photographer mode.í I can just know that in my pocket, I have a tool which captures the data I need to create great images.
- Itís 28mm equiv lens seems to outresolve the sensor in resolution and is uniformly sharp across the image even at f2.8.
- The cameraís full manual control capabilities, menu depth and user customisability is all that I could ask for or ever need.

Itís Negatives:
- 28mm Equivalent is quite limiting for many types photography.
- Individually, the 12bit raw dngs seem a little bit brittle and donít hold up too well when recovering Highlights, 14bit files from my APSC DSLR are more robust when post processing.
- 16mp doesnít allow much cropping room. 24mp seems optimal for APSC
- Manual focussing is not well implemented. A traditional on-lens focus ring would be better.

Overall, I love the GR and use it all the time while my DSLR collects dust.

Ricoh GRx concept:

The GRx would be a dual sensor/dual lens pocketable camera with the following features:

- 1x 24mp APSC sensor with a 28mm equiv lens on one side of the camera. An identical 24mp sensor with a 50mm equiv lens parallel facing. Both lenses are prime and retractable into the camera body with their own Leaf-Shutter mechanisms.
- 14bit lossless raw
- Manual focus rings on each lens
- Highlight Priority Metering
- 3 stop ND filters in the lenses
- Sensor Shift stabilisation and Pixel Shift Super Resolution (Like seen in the K series DSLRs)
- Tiltable rear screen
- Dual SD or XQD card slots
- To be able to keep the retail price under $1400US

Everything else could happily be the same as the current GR but remove video and make it a pure photographers tool.

Such a camera would be extremely capable and versatile. If 28mm is not wide enough, one can stitch multiple images for wider FOV. The 50mm lens would be
very useful for landscape. The camera might need to be slightly larger to accommodate the dual lenses/sensors and a battery.
Found this on a Pentax Rumor site... They must already be in development. Man, they are really listening to the fans!!!
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10-19-2016, 01:31 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blacknight659 Quote
Found this on a Pentax Rumor site... They must already be in development. Man, they are really listening to the fans!!!
Mucho sarcasm here. Hasn't Pentax been making binoculars since forever?
10-19-2016, 02:05 PM   #12
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Ricoh sells a supplementary wide angle lens for the GR - a 21or 24mm conversion, if memory serves me correctly. I can't imagine it would be all that difficult to design another (or several) to yield a narrower field of view. The wide angle supplementary was probably more challenging optically than a narrow one would be. Of course, it's something extra to carry, but still pocketable. The hood for the existing supplementary was quite large, but the DA21 style of hood would make it smaller, and a flexible hood for the longer FL supplementaries wouldn't be a burden.
10-19-2016, 07:02 PM   #13
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The GXR shows why Ricoh is the right company for this sort of innovation. But the GXR with the A12 28 or 50mm equiv lenses doesn't seem like a pocketable solution. Their sensors are also technology from some years back.
Maybe the dual lens/sensors is pocketable with a slightly longer body or maybe they should release a trio of cameras like 21mm, 35mm, 55mm similar to Sigma's DP series.
10-19-2016, 09:32 PM   #14
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Yes, I do think that Ricoh is the right company to innovate this. However, something did not go as anticipated with the GXR - and the measure is sales. I have no idea if the intended user base did not know about it, or marketing was off the mark, or price, or some other aspect. Just going to assume that it did not meet Ricoh's expectations - since there has been no real follow-on to date.

11-29-2016, 08:06 AM   #15
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While I was waiting successor of Caplio GX200 , and it never ever arrived, I felt I must go to the other manufacturer - Olympus.

And I bought Pen Ep5. It was a perfect step up, but then again,

Caplio is trully pocketable, Oly is bigger, specially with zoom lens.

I still have Caplio, and I'm still loving it.

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