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Ricoh rolls out new lens+APS-C sensor

The Ricoh Lens A16, announced this week, is the sixth unit to be developed for the company’s GXR interchangeable camera system.

Combining a 3.5x optical wide zoom lens with a 16 megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor, it spans a focal length range equivalent to 24-85mm in 35mm format with maximum apertures ranging from f3.5 to f5.5. The optical design contains 11 elements in nine groups and includes three aspherical elements. Contrast-based autofocusing enables the lens to focus down to 25cm and digital zoom ranges from 3.6x (for movies) to 6.8x at VGA resolution. The lens accepts 55mm diameter filters.

The camera module supports raw file capture (DNG.RAW) and offers four aspect ratios for shooting JPEGS: 16:9, 4:3, 3:2 and 1:1. Movie clips can be recorded at 1280 x 720, 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 pixel resolutions. Shooting modes include auto, program shift, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual exposure and a scene sub-menu with the following pre-sets: movie, portrait, sports, landscape, nightscape, skew correction, miniaturise, high contrast B&W, soft focus, cross process and toy camera). The A16 also includes a programmable ‘My Settings’ mode.

Shutter speeds range from 180 seconds to 1/3200 second for still shots and Bulb and Tine settings are provided. For movies, the range contracts to 1/30 to 1/2000 second. CCD-based TTL metering is provided with multi (256-segment), centre-weighted and spot metering modes. Manual exposure compensation of +/- 4EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps is supported, along with auto bracketing of +/-2EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps. Sensitivity ranges from ISO 200 to ISO 3200. The white balance controls includes settings for Auto, Multi-P Auto, Outdoors, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent and manual adjustment plus white balance bracketing.

In the continuous shooting mode, the A16 can record three DNG.RAW files with noise reduction off or two with noise reduction on. The M-Cont Plus setting lets users record up to 30 frames in one second at 1280 x 856 pixels or 14 frames at 2.5 fps at 4928 x 3264 pixels. The DB-90  battery is CIPA rated for approximately 400 shots/charge. The A16 measures 71.4 x 70.5 x 93.3 mm on its own and weighs approximately 350 grams.

The Ricoh Lens A16 is expected to reach Australian retailers by late March. A combined bundle containing the GXR plus Ricoh Lens A16 will carry an RRP of $999, while the Lens A16 will sell separately for $799.

– Margaret Brown, Photo Review

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