Ricoh has announced firmware updates, adding functions to its GXR and GR Digital III cameras. To be released on May 19, updates for both include two more noise reduction settings and an additional incandescent white balance preset. Both cameras will also feature an Auto Shutter Speed Shift function in shutter priority mode, which when selected changes the shutter speed where it would otherwise have no choice but to over or underexpose. There are also further improvements and additional features available for individual cameras.

Press Release:

Ricoh releases function-enhancing firmware updates
for GXR and GR DIGITAL III

Tokyo, Japan — May 17 — Ricoh Co., Ltd. (President and CEO: Shiro Kondo) announced today that it will release on May 19 the first function-enhancing firmware update for the high-image-quality GXR compact digital camera (launched December 2009) and the second function-enhancing firmware update for the GR DIGITAL III (launched August 2009).

Ricoh's function-enhancing firmware updates are developed in response to opinions and requests received from a large number of customers via surveys submitted at customer registration time and other channels. These updates enable customers who already own a GXR or GR DIGITAL III to update their firmware to include the latest functions, thus making it possible for them to enhance the performance and usability of their cameras by adding new function and setting possibilities.

The GXR is a revolutionary interchangeable unit camera system in which lenses are changed by using a slide-in mount system to attach camera units to the body. The lens, image sensor, and image processing engine are integrated into the camera units so the body itself does not contain an image sensor.

Successor model to the GR DIGITAL II, which went on sale in November 2007, the GR DIGITAL III features an F1.9 large-aperture lens and achieves high image quality in a compact body.

The function-enhancing firmware and instructions for using these functions can be downloaded free of charge from the Ricoh website.

GXR function-enhancing firmware:

Enhanced functions:

  • Noise reduction performance enhancement
    The MAX setting has been added to the noise reduction settings. When MAX is specified, the image data's noise distribution is analyzed and the optimum processing is done for each region of the image, thereby increasing image quality in low-light scenes.
  • Noise reduction for nightscape and landscape scene modes
    The ability to specify noise reduction for the nightscape and landscape scene modes has been added.
  • Addition of "ADJ. ISO direct change" function
    The "ADJ. ISO direct change" function has been added to the setup menu. If it is set to ON, in situations where shooting is possible (shutter release button pressed half way), moving the ADJ. lever right/left changes the ISO sensitivity.
  • Two "incandescent lamp" settings for white balance
    There used to be just the "incandescent lamp" setting for white balance, but now there are two settings: "incandescent lamp 1" and "incandescent lamp 2." Compared to "incandescent lamp 1," "incandescent lamp 2" gives the image a slightly more reddish cast so it is the equivalent of the old "incandescent lamp" setting.
  • Auto shutter speed shift function
    In cases where the image will be overexposed or underexposed when in shutter speed priority mode, if this setting is on, the camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed to give a suitable exposure.
  • Flash and self-timer selection with up-down dial
    Flash and self-timer setting changes can be made with the up-down dial.
  • Zoom position changes with My Setting edit
    The zoom position can be changed by editing My Settings. (When RICOH LENS S10 or RICOH LENS P10 is used)
  • Macro AF distance restriction limitation
    When doing macro photography with GR LENS A12 50 mm F2.5 MACRO, it is possible to select shooting distance (focus distance for auto focus) ranges of either 10-30 cm or 7-10cm. This increases auto focusing speed.
  • Focus ring high-speed move (when using GR LENS A12)
    During manual focusing, the focus ring movement speed increases when the macro button is being pushed.
  • Camera unit information in detail information display and Exif
    The camera unit designation A12, S10, or P10 is displayed in the detail information display and in the Exif information.
  • Firmware version information on setup menu
    The firmware version information has been added to the setup menu.

GR DIGITAL III function-enhancing firmware:

Enhanced functions:

  • Noise reduction performance enhancement
    The MAX setting has been added to the noise reduction settings. When MAX is specified, the image data's noise distribution is analyzed and the optimum processing is done for each region of the image, thereby increasing image quality in low-light scenes.
  • Auto bracketing setting change
    When shooting with auto bracketing it is possible to specify exposure variations of up to 2.0 EV. In addition, the change sequence can be specified for each shot.
  • Image trimming
    An image displayed in playback can be trimmed and saved as a separate file. It is also possible to trim an image's proportions to aspect ratio 1:1 (square).
  • Two "incandescent lamp" settings for white balance
    There used to be just the "incandescent lamp" setting for white balance, but now there are two settings: "incandescent lamp 1" and "incandescent lamp 2." Compared to "incandescent lamp 1," "incandescent lamp 2" gives the image a slightly more reddish cast so it is the equivalent of the old "incandescent lamp" setting.
  • Auto shutter speed shift function
    In cases where the image will be overexposed or underexposed when in shutter speed priority mode, if this setting is on, the camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed to give a suitable exposure.