Summary: The Ricoh GXR/A12 50mm F2.5 Macro offers excellent, DSLR-like image and build quality in a fairly compact package. However, the camera is slightly let down by its sometimes slow and/or unreliable contrast detect AF.
Pros: Very good detail and sharpness at base ISO, Good dynamic range with smooth highlight roll-off, Very good performance in low light, low noise levels and good retention of detail at the same time, Excellent build quality and handling, Compact dimensions (for a camera with an APS-C sensor), Highly customizable and flexible user interface with a large number of external controls, Very nice 3.0 inch, 920,000 pixel TFT screen, Good operational speed (but AF slow in low ligh...
Cons: Contrast detect AF slow, hunting and occasionally unreliable in anything but good light, No image stabilization, Battery life not great, Comparatively low-spec video mode (720p but no manual controls, no focus, no external mic), Fastest shutter speeds not available at largest apertures, Some minor glitches in the user interface (see operations and handling summary on live view page), Tripod mount not in the center of the lens, Price
Conclusion: The Ricoh GXR offers the unique ability not only to swap lenses, but also image sensors. It has a wealth of physical controls, making it an exciting camera for enthusiasts, but its benefits are offset by slow autofocus and minimal video functionality.
Pros: Sharp photos. Intuitive control layout. Good high ISO performance. Sharp rear LCD. Optional EVF available. Good lens module selection.
Cons: Slow autofocus and startup. Some lens modules are pricey. Very limited video support.
Summary: It's fair to say that Ricoh has had mixed fortunes in the digital market, with success and absolute image quality varying across the product range. In the GXR A12 lens units, the company seems to have got things right.
The GXR system is still awkward to understand, but with the introduction of the Mount A12 for M and L lenses the appeal should be much clearer.
Excerpt: The Ricoh GXR A16 15.7-55.5mm Lens / sensor unit, is the latest unit for the Ricoh GXR system, and slots into the cameras body as shown below. It features an APS-C sized sensor, as well as a wide-angle 15.7-55.5mm lens equivalent to 24 to 85 mm in 35mm terms.
Pros: Wide angle 24mm lens, Silent shutter, Low noise, Excellent build quality, Good camera body, screen, menu system, and handling, Regular, Good battery life, Electronic level
Cons: Lens blocks built in flash, regardless of zoom amount, Larger than other mirrorless camera systems, More expensive than other mirrorless camera systems, Strong barrel distortion (built in correction helps resolve this), Lacks image stabilisation, 720p video