The following was written in response to this thread:-
I've been looking at this system for a couple of days now & thinking under what possible scenarios I would use a system like this. So far I haven't come up with a single one.
While I applaud innovation several things occur to me.
1) How robust will the system be? Changing lens/sensor modules on a repeated and long term basis, in often difficult conditions would put a tremendous strain on the kit.
2) Say Ricoh come up with a tremendous sensor/lens combination, wouldn't we all want to use other lenses with that sensor? Including zooms?
3) They have stated that APS-C is the maximum size they are going to provide. So no full-frame.
4) The next lens is apparently scheduled to be a long-range zoom. Since their plan seems to be to keep zooms with the smaller sensor, presumably that will be a small retractable one.
5) Are there some exciting primes lens/sensor combinations waiting to burst upon us & what is the time frame? If its going to take a while to roll out the "good stuff" its not going to be a viable system anytime soon.
6) Does it offer anything that m4/3 doesn't already? One prime standard lens isn't an extensive lens range, whereas m4/3 has the most extensive lens range of any camera system. (via adapters)
7) Say Ricoh improve their sensor dramatically two years down the line. With their system you can't use your existing lenses to take advantage of that. The lens/sensor module that you have will then become.... what ??????
8) Oluvs illustration is great, but then it becomes a m4/3 camera. Does this mean that you can use m4/3 lenses on an APS-C sensor or does it mean that the size of the image has to be cut down?
9) Can you see Ricoh providing sensor modules for other manufacturers lenses?
10) To make this a viable system they are going to have to sell in quantity. What market are they aiming for? If someone is looking for a simple, all-in-one camera, will the Ricoh look like a good option?, particularly considering its price. The camera + zoom module is pretty expensive for what it is & there are plenty of other, cheaper options from more well-known companies with more MP's on the label.
11) If they are going for a market that is looking for a system, when will they have that system in place?
12) How much will it cost? If the standard lens/sensor is as stated, how much for a wide-angle/sensor combination for example? What are they going to do about longer lenses? Since the aim is to keep the system small, will they pair a telephoto lens with the smaller sensor? or will it be bigger, thus defeating the object of the exercise.
13) After looking at the results with the APS-C sensor, who is going to want to use the smaller sensor?
14) If Ricoh have a good APS-C sensor, and a good EVF which it seems they do, why didn't they make an E.V.I.L camera?.
When I first saw this announced, my initial reaction was "This is interesting" but the more I think about it the more I come up with the idea that this is not really going to lead to anything that I would want to use. It seems too restrictive, too limited to make me want to use it.
Of course it may become the must have camera for 2010 & fly off the shelves. It deserves to do well, because of Ricoh's left-field approach & I always like companies who take risks. Time will tell.