Ricoh GXR: Camera Unit S10

Introduction to the S10 24-72 Camera Unit | Photos of the Camera Unit Attached to the Body | Experiences | Add-Ons | Conclusions | Links

On this page, I collect information about the Ricoh GXR S10 camera unit, also called lensor or module.

 

Introduction to the S10 24-72 Camera Unit

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), wnhich is fairly "universal," and a 1/1.7" CCD sensor (total pixels: approx. 10.4 million). It can use most of the add-ons for the GX100/200 cameras and has a better electronic viewfinder than these. Like these, it also offers a useful macro function.

S10 camera unit

Photo: Ricoh Lens S10 24-72 mm equiv. F2.5-4.4VC

As with the GX200/100, videos are captured only in VGA format (no optical zoom possible).

BTW: VC in the module name indicates that this module has vibration correction (sensor shift).

 

Photos of the Camera Unit Attached to the Body

    
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"

 

Experiences

The S10 is the most compact of the GXR camera units and offers a fairly "universal" focal range in a relatively small package. It is ideal for sky photos/videos (videos thanks to the intervall function) and landscape shots. It is also suited to street photography, but not as fast as a Ricoh GRD. Step zoom and snap focus can be helpful in such shooting situations. Some users seem to use thus camera unit for indoor and outdoor architectural shots as well.

Since it uses a fairly small sensor, its image quality is not on par with the A12's - it lies somewhere between the A12 camera units and the P10 camera unit. 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). Because the S10's image quality corresponds to that of a small sensor camera, many reviewers called this unit a "disappointment." However, if you do not expect DSLR quality from it and know what to expect, it is perfectly fine - it's just a bulkier GX200/100 with a better viewfinder...

Focusing is fairly fast and correct with this camera unit, also in macro mode. The S10's macro mode may also be its most overlooked feature. Macro comparisons with the A12-50 can be found on this site. 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 camera unit accepts the same converters as the GX200/100 to extend its zoom range from 3x to 7x: 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. 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...).

 

Add-Ons

The following add-ons are available for the S10 camera unit and have to be bought separately (see also the 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 together with the S10 camera unit at the end of 2011.

 

Conclusions

The S10 is the most compact camera unit for the Ricoh GXR and also the one with the widest angle (19mm with DW-6 converter; 24 without converter). It is ideal for sky photos/videos and landscape shots. It is also suited to street photography, but not as fast as a GRD.

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 from the P10), and to a certain disappointment regarding the image quality - colors seem a bit dull to me, sometimes contrast is lacking.

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 only the A12 units). I had mixed feelings with it, though, and eventually, I sold it and bought the new APS-C zoom (A16 24-85) in March 2012.

 

Links

Ricoh Links

Links to Pages on this Site

 

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07.06.2014