Ricoh’s New GR III HDF Cameras Sold by Lottery Due to Extreme Popularity

Ricoh GR III and GR IIIx HDF

Ricoh’s GR III series cameras have been popular since their release in 2018, with Ricoh struggling to keep it in stock even last year — five years after launch. The stock issues have not been solved so far this year either, exacerbated by the release of the new GR III HDF and GR IIIx HDF cameras.

The new “HDF” models sport a newly developed “highlight diffusion filter” in place of the neutral density (ND) filter found in other GR III models. The HDF promises to make photos look softer and dreamier straight from the camera, without special editing techniques.

Cars wait at a traffic light on a wet city street at night, with reflections of red and white lights on the pavement. Tall buildings with illuminated windows line the street, contributing to the urban ambiance.
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A city street at night is illuminated by streetlights and red taillights of cars lined up in traffic. The wet pavement reflects the vibrant lights, adding a colorful glow to the scene. Tall buildings with lit windows border the street.
HDF enabled

This has proved appealing to customers, as not only are the GR III HDF and IIIx HDF not popping up “in stock” yet, but regular GR III(x) models are also back ordered. The situation is not limited to just the U.S., either, as Ricoh has issued a “temporary suspension of orders” in Japan.

As spotted by Asobinet, this is not uncommon in Japan, where rules and regulations dictate that if a company cannot deliver a product promptly, it must issue an alert. Products subject to the order suspension include the Ricoh GR III, GR IIIx, GR III Diary Edition, and GR IIIx Urban Edition.

City street at night with trees wrapped in warm white string lights. Cars drive along the illuminated road, and buildings with lit windows are visible in the background. The scene has a festive and cozy atmosphere.
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A nighttime street scene with trees wrapped in bright, twinkling fairy lights. Cars are parked along the street, with a few driving by. The warm glow of the lights creates a festive atmosphere against the darkened surroundings.
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Photographers who placed their orders before the suspension took effect will “have to wait a long time for delivery,” according to a machine-translated version of Ricoh’s announcement.

As for the new GR III HDF and GR IIIx HDF, Ricoh is opting for a different approach. Starting today, any cameras produced will be sold via a lottery system — like the X100VI Limited Edition was in some countries, including the U.S.

On the GR IIIx HDF’s product page, the Ricoh Imaging Store explains that the first lottery will run from May 24 through 27, with winners revealed on May 30. These products should ship in the first week of June.

This suggests that customers who ordered the new cameras before the order suspension went into effect today should receive them relatively soon, certainly before the lottery winners get their cameras in June.

Ricoh GR III and GR IIIx HDF
It won’t be easy for photographers to get their hands on the new GR III HDF.

Winners will be randomly selected, and customers must have a Ricoh Imaging ID member registration number (free to get) to enter. Unsurprisingly, Ricoh warns against placing multiple orders, even for different color and model variations. Those caught trying to game the system will be prevented from future participation.

PetaPixel’s team cannot recall another time when a regular, mass-market camera had to be distributed via a lottery system due to supply shortages. However, if this is how things are going in Japan, it doesn’t bode well for photographers elsewhere to get their hands on the new Ricoh GR III HDF models anytime soon. Never hurts to get in line, though.

Image credits: Ricoh Imaging