Ricoh announces Leica M mount for GXR series

Although it sounds like putting a Lomo lens on a D3s, you'll be able to use Leica lenses on a GXR.

Ricoh

Despite the news that it's acquiring Pentax , and likely specifically for its interchangeable-lens cameras (encompassing both the as-yet unshipped Q and its dSLRs), Ricoh seems to be moving on with support for its sort-of competing GXR series.

For those unfamiliar with the GXR--likely quite a few of you--it's Ricoh's twist on interchangeability; instead of swapping lenses, though, you swap modules containing both the sensor and lens. The latest announcement, for a module dubbed "A12" sort of turns the GXR back into a plain old ILC: it's composed of a 12.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with a Leica M mount.

I reviewed one configuration of the GXR, the S10, and was not overly impressed. But I suppose if you've got a stock of M lenses it would be fun to have a (relatively) cheap alternative on which to use them. I'm assuming cheaper, but Ricoh hasn't announced pricing for the module, which is slated to ship on September 9.

The Pentax Q Lori Grunin/CNET

Of course, just because it's delivering (or at least announcing) a new module doesn't mean the company's completely committed to keeping the GXR system alive once the Pentax acquisition goes through. I can't see it keeping all three systems alive, and while I'm not a huge fan of the tiny Q because of its small sensor, I think it still has a better chance of providing the leverage Ricoh is looking for to increase its digital camera market share than the older GXR. Ricoh had been discussing adding a Leica mount module for several months and it was likely too far along to bother stopping.

Module specs include 1,280x720 video (no word on frame rate or bit rate), ISO sensitivity max 3,200, focal plane and electronic shutter, and some lens correction algorithms. You can find the complete specs on Ricoh's site.

 

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