On this page, I collect information about the Ricoh GXR S10 camera unit, also called lensor or module.
The S10 camera unit is more or less a GX200/100 in a GXR format, featuring an equivalent focal length of 24-72 mm (5.1-15.3 mm) and a 1/1.7" CCD sensor (total pixels: approx. 10.4 million). As it has a small sensor, its image quality is not on par the the A12's. This has led many reviewers led to conclude that this module is a "disappointment" because its image quality corresponds to that of a small sensor camera. However, if you do not expect DSLR quality from this module and know what to expect, it is perfectly fine - it's just a bulkier GX200/100 with a better viewfinder...
Photo: Ricoh Lens S10 24-72mm equiv. F2.5-4.4VC
BTW: VC in the module name indicates that this module has vibration correction (sensor shift).
This camera unit accepts the same converters as the GX200/100: The TC-1 (1.88x) extends the tele range to 135 mm, and the DW-6 (0.79x) extends the range at the wide end to 19mm. However, you have to buy a new lens hood, the HA-3, to be able to use the converters. In addition, you have also to buy a new lens cap, the LC-2 for this unit if you want to have the luxury of a lens cap that does not need to be pulled off when shooting.
Focusing is fairly fast and correct, also in macro mode. The S10's macro mode may also be is most overseen feature. Macro comparisons with the A12-50 can be found on this site (the P10 needs to be added...). The most striking difference in these shots is probably the difference in depth of field (DOF), which makes taking macro short with the S10 much easier than with the A12-50.
The S10 is the most compact of the GXR camera units and its image quality lies somewhere between the A12 units and the P10. I did a couple of test shots, which definitely demonstrate this (the real disappointment is the P10 here, though - but maybe I am asking too much from a tiny sensor unit).
There are two converters for the S10 camera unit that allow to extend its zoom range from 3x to 7x. See Add-Ons below for details.
I had some technical issues with my sample of the S10, which can be found on the issues page. In May 2010, I received a replacement unit that did not suffer from these issues. I sold the S10 together with the converters and the lens hood at the end of 2011, because of too much competition within my equipment (and awaiting the new APS-C sensor zoom camera unit...).
As with the GX200/100, videos are captured only in VGA format (no optical zoom possible).
|Photo: Body with S10 camera unit attached (plus some plastic covers...) - with the original lens cap
||Photo: Body with S10 camera unit attached (plus some plastic covers...) - with LC-2 lens cap|
Front view left, top views below.
The top view helps estimate the "pocketability" of the body-camera unit combination.
|Photo: Body with S10 camera unit attached
|Photo: Body with S10 camera unit attached, "off"||Photo: Body with S10 camera unit attached, "on"|
The following add-ons are available for the S10 camera unit and have to be bought separately (see also photos below):
Photos: Tele converter TC-1 (1.88x), wide angle converter DW-6 (0.79x), lens hood HA-3, and lens cap LC-2 (for an opened lens cap, see the Accessories page)
The converters extend the zoom range of the S10 camera unit from 3x to 7x. See page S10 Focal Range Including Converters for details regarding the look of the camera unit with attached converters and the effects of the converters on the zoom range of the S10 camera unit.
Note: I sold the converters and the lens hood at the end of 2011.
The S10 is currently the most compact camera unit for the Ricoh GXR and also the one with the widest angle (24mm; 19mm with DW-6 converter). It is ideal for sky photos and other landscape shots. It is also suited to street photography, but not as fast as a GRD. Step zoom might be helpful in such shooting situations. Some users seem to use it for indoor and outdoor architectural shots as well.
Although I liked to use my GX100/200 in the past, I tended to use the S10 fewer and fewer in the course of the year 2010. This is in part related to the issues that I had with the unit, in part to competition from other units (particularly the P10), and to a certain disappointment regarding the image quality - colors seem a bit dull to me, sometimes contrast is lacking. All in all, this needs to be investigated more closely to do more justice to this camera unit!
I know that some people, for example Joel Stern, a frequent poster at dpreview, are quite happy with their S10 (in October 2011, however, I found out that he was trying to sell it and keep the A12 units only). I had mixed feelings with it, though, and eventually, I sold it and bought the new APS-C zoom in March 2012.