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Ricoh firmware brings user-requested features to GRD IV

By dpreview staff on Feb 23, 2012 at 21:12 GMT

Ricoh has prepared a firmware update for its GR Digital IV enthusiast compact camera, based on user feedback. The update includes a series of function and user-interface tweaks to improve the camera's behavior, including the ability to write copyright information to EXIF, and the ability to save the snap-focus distance to the ADJ lever, avoiding the need to delve through the menus.

Ricoh has a good track-record of improving its cameras in response to user requests - we think other manufacturers could learn a lot from the practice. The firmware will be available from Monday February 27th.

Press Release:

First GR DIGITAL IV Firmware Update Released

Tokyo, Japan, February 23, 2012—Ricoh Company, Ltd. (CEO: Shiro Kondo) on February 27, 2012, will release the first function-expansion firmware update for the GR DIGITAL IV, a high-resolution digital camera launched in October 2011.

The firmware update incorporates ideas taken from the many opinions and requests we received from customers who filled out a survey when they registered their cameras. The update adds new functions and an increased number of settings that can be adjusted on the GR DIGITAL IV cameras that our customers already treasure, thus improving its performance and ease of use while also giving it the latest functions.

The firmware and user manual explaining its functions can be downloaded free of charge from the Ricoh website.

First GR DIGITAL IV Function-Expansion Firmware Update

Enhanced functions

1. Adds Function for Including Copyright Notice

Inputted copyright information is recorded to the image’s Exif data when a picture is taken. Up to 46 alphanumeric characters can be recorded, and the information can then be checked in the detailed file information on the camera’s playback screen.

2. Improves Auto Exposure Speed

The speed of auto exposure control has been improved, making selection of the proper exposure smoother.

3. Adds Function for Saving Snap Focus Distance at Time of Shutter Release to the ADJ lever and Fn button

The snap focus distance at the time of shutter release can now be saved to the ADJ. lever or the Fn button. The setting can be changed without having to go the menu screen.

4. Adds Function for Displaying Photo Information for Interval Composite Photos

For photos taken using the Interval Composite mode, this function enables a display of shooting times from start to finish, as well as the number of composite images in the detailed information displayed on the playback screen.

5. Adds Floating Black level adjustment function for Interval Composite Mode Shooting

The "Floating black level adjustment" function can be turned On or Off (default setting is on); if set to On, it can reduce noise at high sensitivities.


Total comments: 15
By kff (Feb 24, 2012)

next version would get a special AF bracketing (by moving AF point from the front to back) for fast aperture in the macro composed from several pictures when its are taking from tripod ...

Why have photographers to do it in the a special macro software and with a lot of effort during taking today?
What does Ricoh say:?)

It is need in the Petax' branch e.g. in the K-01, K-5 etc.

Comment edited 9 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
By Klarno (Feb 24, 2012)

Focusing in macro photography is actually best accomplished by moving the entire camera back and forth on a macro rail; changing the lens' focus distance changes the magnification, which does not help with focus stacking, and can affect your entire composition.

Not to say focus bracketing would be a bad thing, but it really wouldn't help for this purpose.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
By kff (Feb 25, 2012)

It depens how it will be done ... One thing is focus and second thing is moving .... it would be used for AF but for manual focus too ... It is only about thinking how to do it by software ... OK, to name it such as AF bracketing isn't accurate :)

Third tihng would be direction of focus or points of focus ... preparing points of focus ... it is possible to do too ...

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
By grafli (Feb 25, 2012)

actually the other Ricoh's have that feature!
My old Ricoh cx1 has it, you can choose 3 or. 5 frames and smal or big distance differences.

1 upvote
By snake_b (Feb 24, 2012)

Samsung needs to learn from this. Every time they release firmware, especially for the EX1, there are pages of questions. This time, they released an incomplete update and at least one cam has been reported as bricked and they still haven't removed the download from their sites:

By Digitall (Feb 24, 2012)

The ability to write copyright information to EXIF, is a detail that all brands should implement in their cameras. Nice.

Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Feb 24, 2012)

Ricoh firmware is truly magnificent, more like a book rather than a throw-away flysheet that can be memorised in minutes like some other brands. Too complex? You need not use it if you don't need it as the essence is as simple as any other camera. However do you have some special purpose shooting need? Surely then somewhere in the bowels of the camera firmware there will be an answer for you.

Firmware such as this does not happen overnight and Ricoh's continuing commitment to it's camera owners is legendary.

By fgrau (Feb 24, 2012)

The first time I saw their firmware website I could not believe it > the user manual of the firmware *updates* alone is light years better than other manufacturers user manuals for their *cameras*!
It is extremely valuable and reassuring to have a company taking such good care of its customers and improving its products the way they do.

By marike6 (Feb 23, 2012)

Nice. It's the snap focus that makes this camera the street king. Awesome job Ricoh.

By manakiin (Feb 23, 2012)

Hats off to Ricoh!

Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Feb 23, 2012)

Nice to see Ricoh continue its fine tradition of releasing meaningful firmware updates long after the review sites have had their say and moved onto the next thing. There's something reassuringly old-fashioned about Ricoh's approach to its customers.

By schaki (Feb 24, 2012)

While I agree with your post, I think it should be mentioned that this kind of firmware-support only are available for the GR Digital-series and GXR and the modules which can be connected to it.
Just noticed when I checked that functions have been added for the Ricoh G700 and G700SE.
These are aimed at industrial use. I actually bought a G700 for testing-purpose and have used it with the latest firmware for some time and also written a short review of it.

At least I don't think that there ever were functions added afterwards through a firmware for the GX100, GX200, any of the R-series cameras, PX or the CX superzooms. Though the current functions in some or many of these have been tweaked. I Though with this said. I stand to be corrected if I've missed something regarding this last part.

Jorge Ledesma
By Jorge Ledesma (Feb 23, 2012)

If they would only add the Bleach Bypass effect to the GRD3 all would be well but this will do for now.

By ikinone (Feb 24, 2012)

Can't effects like that just be easily added on a computer later? I was wondering if there is a specific advantage to having filters like this built in to the camera (apart from it being slightly more convenient if you especially want that filter).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
By abluesky (Feb 26, 2012)

I have the GRDIV as well as Nik Color EFX Pro, which has a bleach bypass effect.

While similar, the GRDIV's produces a unique picture which I prefer for now.

Total comments: 15