My GXR is likely not arriving until next week (and will pick it up in the post office next Friday/Saturday). But reading forum posts about it, had some thought…
Rather than the more high profile advanced compact (a.k.a large sensor), the concept could fly if they would’ve made more variant in the small sensor.
For one, users of compact camera are used to switch the whole camera. Modular concept bring the impression of an economic camera. You don’t have to pay again for components that are not upgraded (screen, half the image processor, battery, half the chassis) so you pay for the new elements (sensor and lens system). If they could scale the price to make it lower than the competition, it could’ve been accepted more.
Yes, the small lens units would be disposable, but if it’s cheap enough, there shouldn’t be much problem. They will be fighting against the compact camera market anyway.
So, bringing the A12 units out right from the start is probably bad. Should’ve started from a modular GX, CX and GR and built a strong image of compact camera system you could upgrade cheaper than the competition. Don’t go straight against the interchangeable system yet.
After that, bring out the A lens units as an evolutionary path from the small sensor, but don’t forget that small sensor market yet. Make it up front that the camera is supposed to be a compact, but when needed you can attach larger sensor units. Plus, if the market is already used to camera like the Fuji x100 and Nikon Coolpix A, they should’ve warmed up to the idea of throwing lens away with the camera. Add that with the edge of costing less.
Mounts should be last. It’s a shame they stopped at the M mount, although being old mount standard, they wouldn’t have to handle electronic communication and AF. But if it’s license, the Pentax K and micro 4/3 mount shouldn’t pose much legal troubles. It will just be their resource to design and do the manufacturing efficiently.