Hands on: Ricoh GXR review

When it comes to handling, the camera is heavier than expected but the extra weight is warranted due to the size of the lenses the small body is carrying.

Delve into the GXR's menu system and regular Ricoh users will find that there's an air of familiarity to proceedings.

In fact, the GXR is best looked at as a hybrid of the company's GX compact range and its XR DSLR range – swiping the body from the former and the imaging features of the latter.

The LCD on the back is an ultra-bright and responsive 920,000 VGA display and the amount of features available are varied enough – ranging from auto exposure tweaks to shutter priority, alongside myriad shooting modes.

Ricoh gxr

Will Ricoh's new interchangeable unit camera system be a game-changer? It's hard to tell. While first impressions of the GXR show promise, it doesn't seem to have as much scope for bringing DSLR capabilities to compacts as the MicroFour Thirds system does.

One of the main reasons for this is that Ricoh seems intent on making its new idea proprietary for the time-being, meaning it's Ricoh or nothing when you buy the GXR.

And while the 'unit' idea is inspired, bundling lenses with sensors could pose a problem in the long run depending how quickly the sensors are superseded. Ricoh is currently pricing the units between £329 and £599 – a big price to pay for something that is essential to the working of the camera.

Ricoh gxr

With the company hinting at making the device more a camera, however, there's definitely room for scope.

Think of it like this: you buy the camera kit, then Ricoh releases a projector add-on for the GXR's body, essentially turning the camera into a go-anywhere gadget for instantly projecting the high-quality photos you have been taking.

While this can be filed under 'rumour and speculation' at the moment, it does show that the GXR has the potential to become something very interesting indeed.

With a release date of December, the GXR body will cost £419. Depending on which lens/sensor unit suits you, the GR Lens will set you back £599 and the Ricoh Lens will cost £329.

Go to www.ricoh.co.uk for more details.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.