How to Update Ricoh GR III Firmware

Here's a straightforward guide on how to update the Ricoh GR III's firmware.
Ricoh GR III Firmware Update
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There can be various reasons that camera manufacturers push out new firmware. They can add new features, tweak menu items, fix problems, or squash bugs. It’s not something that most camera manufacturers often do, but it’s worth checking from time to time whether a new firmware update has been issued. In nearly all cases, firmware updates bring improvements to the camera’s performance in one way or another.1 Sometimes they’re minor; sometimes they add whole new shooting modes.

But unlike what we’ve become used to with phones and other mobile devices, and to some extent with computers, cameras don’t usually notify you that there’s an update available, let alone apply the update automatically.2

So it’s a manual process to update the firmware. The good news is that the process with the Ricoh GR III is easy–they don’t make you jump through as many hoops as some other camera manufacturers do.

Although it’s an easy process, there are some things you need to be careful of. Because when something goes wrong with a firmware upgrade, it can render the whole device inoperable. So it’s very, very important that the process not be interrupted. And, to that end, it means that you should be starting with a fully charged–or, at least, nearly fully charged–battery. And once the update has started, you shouldn’t be messing with any buttons on the camera. The process is quick–typically less than a minute.

Preparation for the GR III’s Firmware Update

Before you get started, there are some things to do to get ready for the update.

Check Your Camera’s Firmware

You can find the version of the GR III’s firmware that’s currently installed on the camera by going to:

Settings (wrench icon) > [8] About This Device > Firmware Info/Options

Once you click on that option, the next screen will show you the firmware version. You can check that against the latest version number on Ricoh’s website.

If you already have the latest version, there’s no reason to proceed further.

Make Sure the SD Card is Empty

While it’s not strictly required that you use a blank SD card, this precaution can help reduce the risk of problems later. So it’s worth downloading any images from the card and then format it.

Make Sure Your Camera’s Battery is Charged

I know I’ve already mentioned this above, but it’s important. You don’t want to risk the update process being interrupted.

Download the Latest Firmware

You can find the latest firmware for the Ricoh GR III from Ricoh’s site. Here’s a direct link.

Copy the Firmware File to a Memory Card

It’s best to use an empty memory card. Updating the camera’s firmware doesn’t usually format the memory card, but I like to use an empty memory card just in case and also because it makes cleaning up the memory card that little bit easier (i.e., deleting the used firmware update file).

Using a card reader with your computer, run the downloaded file. It’s a self-extracting file and will output a file with the extension of .bin (e.g., fwdc239b.bin). Copy that .bin file to the root of the memory card (that is, don’t put it in a subfolder).

Start the Firmware Update

Turn the Camera Power Off

Power down the camera as normal.

Insert the Memory Card

Put the SD card back in the camera.

Hold Down the Menu Button and then Press the On/Off Button

This combination is what tells the camera to look for the .bin firmware file and then go into the firmware update mode.

Execute the Upgrade

When the camera powers up now, you should see a message about “Update the camera firmware.”

Choose Execute.

It will start the update process and give you a basic progress screen. The process shouldn’t take more than a minute or so.

It’s very important that the camera not be disturbed during the rest of the update. If the update process is stopped. And yes, I know I’m repeating myself again, but interrupting a firmware update can turn your beautiful GR III into a paperweight. Once you push Execute, just let the camera do its thing undisturbed.

Once it’s done, you’ll get an on-screen message that “Update completed.”

Ricoh GR III Firmware Update

You can now turn the camera off.

Cleanup

It’s a good idea now to formate the memory card. The .bin file isn’t deleted automatically as part of the firmware update process. So formatting the card will remove the file and eliminate the risk of a problem later.

Check the New Firmware Version

This is an optional step, but if you want to confirm that the process was completed successfully, you can go back to the firmware version screen to check the version number displayed.

You can find it under:

Settings (wrench icon) > [8] About This Device > Firmware Info/Options

Things Worth Knowing

Firmware updates take effect immediately. Any new features, tweaks, or fixes included in the update will be instantly available.

The GR III does not need to be connected to your computer for the update. The update is run from the camera’s memory card.


  1. It’s rare for a firmware update to break things or make things worse, but it can. Features can be removed just as easily as they can be added, and sometimes this is done for licensing or compatibility reasons. And it’s also possible–but again, rare–for camera manufacturers to use a firmware update to cut off compatibility with third-party accessories
  2. An exception is if you connect your camera to a mobile device’s app. In some cases, such as with GoPro cameras, it’ll alert you if a newer firmware version is available and then prompt you to update through the app. But that’s by no means true with most cameras. 

Ricoh GR III Accessories & Replacement Parts

Here are the model numbers of some of the core accessories and replacement parts for the Ricoh GR III.

Ring Cap

The ring cap is the small plastic ring that attaches around the lens. Chances are, it’s fallen off. While you do have to remove it to attach the lens adapter, it’s a poor design that tends to fall off and get lost far too often. I’ve lost a couple of them now.

The camera will work just fine without it. But that will leave some contacts exposed around the lens barrel, which isn’t ideal.

The official replacement part is overpriced. But you can also pick up much less expensive aftermarket versions. They’re also available in different colors, so you can bling up your camera with a personal touch—or make it look like the Street Edition.

USB Cable

The GR III has a USB Type-C connector port. When you get a cable, you can get them with another USB Type-C connector on the other end or a more traditional USB Type-A connector. Which you choose depends entirely on what you’re plugging into. For example, some newer laptops only have USB-C, while most other computers have USB-A.

Battery & Charger

It’s a rechargeable lithium-ion battery rated at 3.6V 1350mAh 4.9Wh.

There are some other cameras that also use the same battery—notably, some Olympus cameras (the Olympus model number for the same battery is LI-90B). So they’re quite widely available. You can get the official Ricoh version. There are also aftermarket versions that can be much better value but work just as well.

You can charge the battery in the camera (using a USB-C cable). There are also external battery chargers available. They’re especially useful if you’re using spare batteries, so you can charge and shoot simultaneously.

This is used to power the camera for longer shoots, such as time-lapse, or if you happen to be using the camera for live streaming as a webcam. It connects via the camera’s USB-C port.

Wide-Angle Conversion Lens

  • Wide-Angle Lens: GW-4
  • Lens Adapter: GA-1

Ricoh has produced a wide-angle conversion lens that takes the standard 28mm view down to a 21mm (in 35mm equivalent). While it does add some extra bulk to an otherwise small camera, it works well and adds a more dramatic, wider view. I have an in-depth review of it separately.

Something to be aware of, though, is that you will also need to pick up the lens adapter separately. For reasons I really don’t understand, the wide-angle conversion lens doesn’t come with the adapter, and both are required to make it work. So make sure you pick up one of those at the same time.

Remote Shutter Releases

  • Wired Shutter Release: CA-3

This is the official Ricoh remote shutter. It connects to the camera via a USB cable, and it’s a simple shutter release (i.e., there’s no timer or intervalometer).

You can also find aftermarket shutter releases for the GR III.

External Viewfinders

  • Standard External Viewfinder: GV-1
  • Mini External Viewfinder: GB-2

The Ricoh GR III doesn’t have a built-in viewfinder. But they make two versions of an external viewfinder that slides into the camera’s hot shoe. It covers both the standard 28mm view as well as the 21mm view if you’re using the wide-angle conversion lens. There’s also a mini viewfinder; that model seems to be hard to find.

Screen Protector

The back screen of the GR III is quite exposed, and if you lie the camera on its back, the screen comes in contact with the surface. Even if you’re putting the camera in your pocket, there’s a risk of keys or coins scratching the screen.

There’s no official screen protector, but there are good aftermarket versions. The one I use is this one. It’s essentially a consumable that protects the screen. If you scratch the protector, you can quickly and easily replace it with another from the pack.

Carrying

You can, of course, use the GR III with just about any camera case or bag. But Ricoh does make a dedicated soft-case that fits snugly around the camera and offers some protection even if you’re toting the camera around in your pocket. I’ve been using one for a couple of years, and it’s held up very well, and it keeps my camera safer from bumps and scratches.

Again, there’s no particular reason you have to use the official GR neck strap, but there is one. The main part is leather, and it even has a discreet, embossed “GR”.

If you do use a different strap, be aware that the strap loops on the camera are very small and won’t take thicker (i.e., stronger) attachment loops. So you might need to use some D-rings as well.

There’s even an official “GR” leather hand strap! But, again, aside from the branding, there’s no special reason to use the official strap. If you do use a different one, you might need D-rings if the thread doesn’t go through the camera’s small attachment loops.

External Flash

The GR III doesn’t have a built-in flash. It supports the Pentax P-TTL flash protocol.

Pentax External Flashes:
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