In deep Ricoh GXR review by Thom Hogan

Thom Hogan (Click here) tested the Ricoh GXR and all the available modules: “An oddball in the “mirrorless” sweepstakes is the Ricoh GXR. I include it in the mirrorless end of things, because, well, it’s mirrorless and it has interchangeable lensors (more on that term in a moment).”

What does he think about? “I actually like the GXR. It’s not quite a pocket camera with the APS modules (though it may be with the P10 module if you’ve got largish shirt pockets). But it’s definitely a jacket pocket camera, and a very rugged one, at that. The two APS modules perform extremely well in terms of image quality, on par with most 12mp DSLRs. I find that I actually strongly prefer the GXR with the two APS modules to carrying a D3100 with the Voigtlander 20mm and Nikon 35mm f/1.8G lens (the closest I can match to the Ricoh’s focal lengths)” and “In the end, we’re still waiting. The 24-70mm and Leica M-mount modules promise to make the GXR a much more interesting beast, though I’m getting a little tired of buying the same sensor over and over. Especially considering how the 12mp Sony sensor is now a generation behind the times. Still, 12mp is good enough for my carry-all-the-time camera, so the two future APS modules may be just what the doctor ordered. Overall, I think you have to think of the GXR as an odd little DSLR substitute, especially if you use the EVF. As I noted, I like it better than carrying a D3100 around with a few prime lenses.

Check out the current GXR price at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

Ricoh GXR firmware update (+ Japan mirrorless sales)

As you see from the graph above (Source: Itmedia.jp) five of the TOP 10 most sold system cameras are mirrorless. The data do referr to the last week sales in Japan.

Ricoh announced a new firmware for the GXR system camera. You can download it here: ftp://download.ricohpmmc.com/DC/. The firmware adds new AF and AE tracking systems, along with new scene modes (via Amateur Photographer).

Nikon, Sony and Panasonic new April product announcements to be delayed?

Nikon Sony and Panasonic are the three companies that should announce new mirrorless products in April. But the earthquake disaster may will force them to delay the new product announcement.

Nikon officially suspended the operations at the Nikon plant at Natori in Sendai “We are unable to announce how soon the operation will resume due to the regional interruption of life-lines although endeavor for restoration are under the way by some of our maintenance personnel.“. And “Injury is reported to some of our group employees. We are currently continuing to gather safety information of our personnel and its family members.

Panasonic said that “A few employees working at the Fukushima factory, the Sendai factory of AVC Networks Company and at the Koriyama factory of Panasonic Electronic Works received minor injury. Some part of the ceiling and wall were damaged, but there has been no fire or collapse. As regards the impact on our business operations we are in the process of investigation

Sony halted and evacuated six factories in northeastern Japan: “The company is assessing the impact of power outages and damage to its facilities in the region, which make Blu-ray discs, magnetic heads and batteries.

Olympus data shows the worldwide mirrorless share (via Megapixel)


Image courtesy: Megapixel

At a presentation in Israel Olympus disclosed some nice graphs. First of all they did show the graph above with the worldwide Mirrorless shares (Olympus calls them “Pen-type”). And as you can see on Megapixel (Click here) Mirrorless cameras are very popular in Asia.

Olympus clear message is that Mirrorless is THE future and classic DSLR will be a niche within 5-10 years. One more thing, a PRO pen camera will hit  the market in 2-3 years only!

More about the mirrorless success (Amateur Photographer and Photoscala)

Amateur Photographer published new data about the mirrorless market in UK:
– Almost a quarter of all interchangeable lens cameras sold in the UK during January are mirrorless
– That’s a 160% rise on the same month the previous year
– In 2010, mirrorless accounted for 11% of all interchangeable lens camera sales (one million units sold).

Photoscala analyzed the worldwide camera sales:
– sales of digital cameras is the world’s first nine months of 2010 greatly increased
– Digital cameras are booming in emerging markets
– The Japanese camera maker could surpass the predicted total delivery volume for 2010
– The share of system cameras (Mirrorless+DSLR) is constantly increasing at the cost of fixed lens compact cameras (from 6% in 2005 to almost 11% in 2010).
– 80.000 of all 960.000 system cameras sold in Germany are mirrorless.

Those are the market shares in Japan:
Compact camera is lead by Canon 19.0%, followed by Casio 15.2% and Panasonic 13.9%
DSLR cameras is lead by Canon 32.0% followed by Nikon 29.4% and on third place we have Sony 13.1%.
Mirrorless is lead by Panasonic 38.7% followed by Sony 32.2% and Olympus 29.1%

In summary: Compact cameras will loose market share in favour of cellulars and interchangeable lens systems. The growth of system cameras sales is lead by the mirrorless success.