Ricoh GR III HDF to be sold by lottery in Japan

If you are one of the many consumers in Japan keen to get your hands on Ricoh’s latest GR III HDF or GR IIIx HDF cameras, you need to win the lottery. That’s not because the cameras are expensive, however. It’s just that they are in such short supply, Ricoh is running a draw to see who gets the chance to buy one.


The Ricoh GR III HDF and GR IIIx HDF are compact digital cameras with APS-C sensors. Both cameras have the same specifications apart from their lenses. The GR III HDF has an 18.3 mm focal length, equivalent to around 28 mm for a full-frame camera. However, the lens on the GR IIIx HDF is 26.1 mm, which is around 40 mm in full frame terms. In addition, the new cameras are variants of Ricoh’s GR III and GR IIIx models. Those models feature a built-in ND filter, but the HDF cameras have swapped that for a highlight diffusion filter.

Why is there a lottery?

Ricoh’s GR III series cameras have been on the market for five years. However, they have proven so popular that they are in short supply around the world. The cameras have also been particularly successful in China and Japan. In those countries, delivery dates are often months into the future, with Ricoh admitting that its manufacturing can’t keep up with demand. In Japan, companies have to issue alerts if they can’t deliver products in a timely manner. As a result, Ricoh has issued a temporary suspension of orders in Japan for the GR III and GR IIIx. Therefore, with the launch of the new GR III HDF and GR IIIx HDF models, Ricoh has decided to tackle the scarcity issues head-on by holding a lottery.

How does it work?

Ricoh has set out details of the lottery process on its website in Japan. The product page for the GR IIIx HDF says that the first lottery will be held between May 24 and May 27. If you want to take part, you will also need a Ricoh Imaging ID member registration number, but these are free. Winners will be notified on May 30 and will then be able to buy a camera. Ricoh says that the cameras will ship in early June. In addition, this also suggests that customers who preordered before the lottery was introduced might get their cameras soon.

What we think

Ricoh’s lottery approach to tackling limited supplies of cameras is interesting but not unique. Fujifilm did something similar with the release of its X100VI Limited Edition camera in the US. However, it’s also a sign of the growth in camera sales around the world. This is especially true of China and Japan which saw increases of 44% and 30% in the first half of 23%. Ricoh hasn’t announced plans for a lottery in the US yet, but B and H is currently showing the GR IIIx HDF as back-ordered. Therefore, if you want one of these new cameras, you might be in for a long wait.

Pricing and availability

The Ricoh GR III HDF is set to retail at $1,067 while the GR IIIx HDF will cost $1147.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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