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07-07-2012, 12:09 AM   #1

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Ricoh patent: 28mm equiv. lenses - Future of GRD and GXR?

Yesterday, a Japanese blog reported on a Ricoh patent which could be significant. (If this thread belongs in the "Other brands" forum, please feel free to move it.)

???????????14mm F2.5?4/3???19mm F2.5?APS-C????????? - ????info

The linked page describes a patent for a 14mm f2.5 lens covering a 4/3 image circle and a 19mm f2.5 lens covering an APS-C image circle. Both of these would equate to 28mm equivalent FOV. The lenses have excellent distortion characteristics and their image quality would not need to be compromised by software distortion correction.

The latter lens could just be the GXR 28mm APS-C unit, which is also f2.5. However, the author suggests that it is for a future GR Digital update. And the author also speculates that a m4/3 GR Digital is more plausible now that Sony is making 4/3 sensors for Olympus.

A 4/3 GR Digital seems very attractive to me. I would hope it could be made in a similarly compact form to the current model. A move to a larger sensor seems logical and necessary, given what competing brands are doing with they premium compacts, like the Sony RX100, Canon G1X and Fuji X100.

07-07-2012, 04:35 AM   #2
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µ4/3 mountor for the GXR would be nice
07-07-2012, 08:04 PM   #3

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The GXR would be just the right size for a Micro 4/3 mount unit. I don't think it's likely, though. I liked the idea and implementation of the GXR, but there do seem to be a lot of question marks over it now.
- The body is long overdue for an update - getting on for 3 years.
- Most of lens units are now using older sensors, especially the small sensor zooms.
- There is nothing left on their roadmap that they haven't delivered.
- They still haven't committed to making a K-mount or Q-mount unit. They just said that if they do, the K-mount would take priority over Q-mount.
- Part of the original concept of the GXR was to have storage and projector units, but they have said they won't do that now. This is because memory cards are so cheap now and they don't think they would sell.
- This hypothetical new GRD would make their 28mm APS-C unit less attractive

On the other hand, the GXR seems to have a pretty strong retail presence in the big Japanese retail stores recently. I see people using them quite a lot too - not as often as Sony NEX or Olympus Pen, but often enough.

Also, Ricoh seems to be good at keeping secrets, so they might have more GXR modules in planning. They don't seem to be in the business of 'leaking' information like the other manufacturers do.

It will be interesting to see what Ricoh-branded products they show at Photokina.

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