Ricoh's modular GXR continues to expand its selection of sensor/lens combos, with the new introduction of the A16, which packs a 24-85mm equivalent zoom and 16-megapixel sensor. First announced back in November, the module is now all kinds of official, and is the first zoom module with an APS-C sensor, as well as the first to hit 16-megapixels.
The 24-85mm f/3.5-5.5 is certainly more versatile than some of the other modules we've seen come out for the GXR, but the maximum aperture of f/3.5 is slightly disappointing — especially as there's no stabilization system. Since this module comes with a new sensor (rumored to be one of Sony's), Ricoh has added a number of features that smack more of a firmware update than anything else. Many of them are fairly standard on other cameras, so while Ricoh may be slow at bringing them out, at least they're catching up:
Dynamic range compensation reduces overexposure of highlights and underexposure of dark areas. For backlit and high-contrast scenes that cannot be handled with exposure compensation, doing the dynamic range compensation in specific portions of the image makes it possible to shoot the subject at a brightness level close to that seen by the naked eye.
ISO sensitivity can be set in 1EV or 1/3EV steps.
With the new ISO bracketing function, the photographer can shoot and record three images with different ISO sensitivities.
When the new function for maintaining the same shooting settings is set on, by keeping the shutter release button pressed halfway after taking a picture, the photographer can continue to shoot with the same settings (focus, exposure, white balance, etc.).
The function for recording a JPEG image simultaneously with the RAW image has been expanded so that it is now possible to record only the RAW image. This is suitable for a work flow based on the premise that image finishing is to be done on a PC after shooting. Since a JPEG file is not simultaneously recorded, this option is also useful when the photographer wants to increase the number of images which can be recorded on the memory card.
It is now possible to turn ON/OFF the white saturation display that shows areas where bright portions will be rendered white and where color shade gradations will be lost.
The tilt indicator function has been enhanced. In addition to the conventional horizontal indicator, this function can now also detect camera movement direction tilting.
Copyright information such as the photographer’s name can be entered and written to the image Exif data. The recorded information can be checked on the playback screen detailed information display.
No word on how much it will cost, but we'll update when we have that info.