November 10, 2009
Well, I think it’s a brilliant idea. The sensor should be coupled with the lens. It makes sense if it’s going to be digital. The sensor won’t get dirty this way. The black and White back is a nice idea. The leading companies like Leica, Canon, and Nikon have their legendary lenses that seem to hold back camera designs. The Leica M9 is a good example. Ricoh has some heritage in older equipments but is not held back by it. In the future when sensors improves, the body still works and if you want to shoot with older sensor for a retro look that’s cool too. It’s like going back to the film cameras of the 80s or 70s.
In fact this should have been the very first design of the digital camera because the sensor technology has improved increasingly. This would have save us some money and let us upgrade only the lens and sensor and allow us to get used to the body and it’s menus and buttons. It seem a little bit too late in the game because sensors are so superb now. Ideally, the new camera should have interchangeable sensor separate from body and lens, like the medium format camera such as the Hasselblad. This is why it’s possible to shoot with a 50’s Hasselblad with the new digital back. It’s a good start to move away from film based camera of the SLR. But this move seems like it could harken back to the medium format cameras.
I would thought that the next progression is for an interchangeable sensor. It doesn’t seem far fetch. It makes sense to have the body separated because the digital technology has maxed out at 3 inch for the display screen. Any bigger would be bulky and 3 inches seems the right size to view images.
The digital view finder also flips to 90 degrees which is like the medium format style of shooting at waist level.
Update: Recently, Ricoh have added the module which allows the Leica M Mounts. So the resurgence of the GXR is back. The only reason I knew about the M mount module is through Tomas Van Houtryve. National Geographic asked their photographer what’s in the bag. Here is his gear. His book on Lao is here: