Ricoh has announced a firmware update for its GXR camera units, increasing the available range of features and functions. The updates bring many of the advances made in the recently-announced M-mount module, including improved manual focus magnification. There are also a number of small additions and corrections to other features, including the ability to specify both the ISO limits and minimum shutter speed limit for Auto ISO. The A12 units also gain Bulb and Time exposure modes. The updates can be downloaded from the company's website.

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Press Release:

Ricoh releases fourth function-enhancing firmware update for GXR

Tokyo, Japan, August 30, 2011—Ricoh Co., Ltd. (President and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announced the August 31, 2011 (Wed.) release of the fourth function-enhancing firmware update for the GXR, a high-image-quality compact digital camera launched in December 2009.

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.

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 to update it to include the latest functions.

This fourth firmware release expands photo-expression possibilities and enhances usability by adding new functions.

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

Enhanced functions for all camera units

1. Greater focusing precision now possible.
• In order to increase the precision of manual focusing, the focus assist function has been added. Two modes can be selected, with the focus being checked by strengthening outlines or contrast.
• It is possible to magnify the image while shooting to make it easier to focus. In addition to magnifying the central part of the image, it is possible to display the magnified area across the entire screen. The image quality for 4x and 8x magnification has also been further enhanced, and the area to be magnified can be moved with the directional pad.
• A setting can be made to automatically eliminate the display magnification after the picture is taken.

2. Aspect ratio choices added for auto resize zoom.
• Auto resize zoom can now be used with aspect ratios 1:1, 3:2, and 16:9.

3. Flash firing now possible when making the white balance manual setting.
• When setting the white balance manually in the actual shooting environment, it is now possible to make the setting while firing the flash.

4. When making ISO AUTO-HI settings, it is now possible to define the shutter speed for changing ISO sensitivity at the same time as specifying the ISO maximum sensitivity.  

5. The electronic level can now be displayed when shooting with the self-timer.

6. For the vignetting setting for shooting with the cross process and toy camera options, it is now possible to select from the weak, strong, and off settings. When the firmware update is done, the vignetting setting is initialized as shown below.
     Cross process: Off
     Toy camera: Weak

7. ISO sensitivity settings are now more detailed.
• In addition to the previous settings, it is now possible to select ISO-LO*, ISO 250, ISO 320, ISO 500, ISO 640, ISO 1000, ISO 1250, ISO 2000, and ISO 2500.

*This added setting is only for the GR LENS A12 28mm and GR LENS A12 50mm camera units

Enhanced functions only for the GR LENS A12 28mm and GR LENS A12 50mm camera units

8. Bulb and time can now be selected.
• B (bulb) and T (time) can now be selected as the shutter speed in manual exposure mode. With “B,” the exposure continues while the shutter release button is pressed, and with “T,” the shutter release button is pressed to start and end the exposure. For both, the exposure is forcibly ended when 180 seconds have elapsed.