Ricoh’s new firmware for Pentax K-1, K-1 Mark II and K-3 Mark III adds season-specific presets, but only if you have the right lenses: Digital Photography Review


Ricoh Imaging’s Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR camera system.

Ricoh Imaging has announced new firmware updates for three of its DSLR camera systems that, quite frankly, add one of the most unusual ‘features’ we’ve ever seen a company add to a camera.

The updated firmware for Ricoh’s Pentax K-1, K-1 Mark II and K-3 Mark III cameras will enable season-specific Custom Image modes when used with select Pentax Limited-series lenses. In other words, this new firmware update will mean these three specific cameras will now have in-camera image presets that will only work at different times of the year when you have specific lenses installed.

Ricoh describes the process as follows:

‘When a compatible limited series lens is mounted, the camera automatically detects and confirms compatibility with the firmware, allowing the user to select the special-edition Custom Image mode. When selected, the mode allows adding unique finishing touches to images to enhance outdoor, seasonal landscapes. ‘

To say the idea is a novel is probably an understatement, but it’s certainly something unique no other company offers and is something new for existing customers.

Ricoh is kicking this new style of Custom Image modes with ‘Katen,’ or ‘Summer Sky,’ a preset made ‘in honor of summer.’ Ricoh says Katen ‘is designed to emphasize the rich blues of summer skies and depict the fine details of dazzling white clouds.’ At launch, this Custom Image mode will be compatible with the HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR and HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited lenses.

It’s unclear what the exact timeframe is this preset will work within, but the press release, embedded below, does say ‘autumn, winter and spring scenes will be available later this year.’

Press release:

Ricoh announces function-expansion firmware update with season- specific Custom Image mode for PENTAX K-1, K-1 Mark II and K-3 Mark III cameras

Custom Image modes provide unique visual effects when DSLRs are used with PENTAX Limited-series lenses; effects enhance outdoor images based on season of year, first is for summer

PARSIPPANY, NJ, June 23, 2022 – Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the release of new function-expansion firmware for PENTAX K-1, K-1 Mark II and K-3 Mark III digital SLR cameras that enables season-specific Custom Image modes when the cameras are used with specific PENTAX Limited-series lenses. Throughout the year, a series of season-specific Custom Image modes will be released, the first being issued today – KATEN, in honor of summer. When a compatible limited series lens is mounted, the camera automatically detects and confirms compatibility with the firmware, allowing the user to select the special-edition Custom Image mode. When selected, the mode allows adding unique finishing touches to images to enhance outdoor, seasonal landscapes.

The first season-specific mode available today is called KATEN or “Summer Sky.” It is designed to emphasize the rich blues of summer skies and depict the fine details of dazzling white clouds. This mode can be selected in combination with HD PENTAX-D FA 21mmF2.4ED Limited DC WR and HD PENTAX-DA 15mmF4ED AL Limited lenses. Both lenses feature an ultra-wide angle of view and the latest High Definition (HD) coating, which effectively minimizes ghost images even when photos are captured under harsh summertime sunshine, or when the sun is in the image field. These two lenses have been selected for the KATEN Custom Image mode because they best optimize the intended visual effects of the mode.

Custom Image modes that have been specially designed for capturing autumn, winter and spring scenes will be available later this year. The chart below shares detailed information on compatible cameras and lenses for each season-specific mode.

Special-Edition Custom Image mode Compatible Camera Body Partner Lens*
(Usable on all compatible camera bodies)
Summer (Katen) K-1, K1 Mark II, K-3 Mark III HD PENTAX-D FA 21mm F2.4ED Limited DC WR HD PENTAX-DA 15mm F4ED AL Limited
Autumn HD PENTAX-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited, HD PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2AL Limited, HD PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited, HD PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
Winter HD PENTAX-FA 31mm F1.8 Limited, HD PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited
Spring HD PENTAX-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited, HD PENTAX-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4ED Limited DC WR

* Lenses compatible with autumn, winter and spring Custom Image modes are tentative choices and may be changed later.

Note: Special-edition, season-specific Custom Image modes other than KATEN will be named later and announced with the release for each firmware.



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