Ricoh has withdrawn the latest firmware updates for its Ricoh GR III and Ricoh GR IIIx compact cameras. This is because there is a bug in the update which will reset your user settings to the default values.
Which updates are affected?
On July 26, 2023, Ricoh released firmware update 1.80 for the GR III and 1.30 for the GR IIIx. One new feature was the cameras’ ability to memorize up to 22 customized settings. These settings include ISO sensitivity and exposure compensation. By checking a box for a feature, the next time you switch on the camera, it will start up with the setting just before the power was turned off. If you uncheck the box, then the camera will start up with the default setting.
What’s the bug?
Unfortunately, the bug in the firmware updates means the new feature doesn’t work how Ricoh intended. If you leave any box unchecked, then the setting for that feature reverts to the default value across all user modes. So, the settings for U1, U2, U3, and User Mode Box 1 to 6 are all affected, not just whichever customized mode you had been configuring. If you have spent time setting up your camera with customized modes for different shooting scenarios, this would be a real pain.
How has Ricoh responded?
Ricoh suspended the firmware updates and posted an apology on their website on August 3, 2023. The company also said that you should use the User Mode with all the checkboxes in Memory selected if you have customized any settings. This should ensure that your chosen settings will be kept when you power off your camera. In addition, Ricoh said that it will inform users when a fixed version of the firmware updates is ready. The company didn’t put a timescale on that release, however.
What we think
Ricoh has become the latest company to have problems with a firmware update for its cameras. Last year we reported on Sony and Canon who both withdrew firmware updates shortly after they were posted. Thankfully the issue with the Ricoh firmware is more of an inconvenience than a major issue. However, if you didn’t realize your settings had all been reset to default values until you were on a shoot then it could be more costly. The ability to customize settings at power-on is a useful feature. Hopefully, Ricoh can put out fixed versions of the updates soon.