The Ricoh GR might be more than a year old, but the fixed focal length camera isn't slowing down as it gets older, in fact it's getting faster. Ricoh Imaging has just released a firmware update for the large-sensored compact which promises to deliver improved autofocus times.

Since we first looked at the GR in April 2013, Ricoh has continued to improve the camera with a series of firmware updates. These have added functions like new image effects, a 1/2500 second shutter speed at maximum aperture, and a new crop mode which lets users shoot the fixed 28-mm equivalent camera at a 47-mm equivalent crop.

Now, update 4.0 promises better autofocus speeds with the addition of a High Speed AF mode. Although this increases autofocus speed, because the camera will display stills during the new autofocus mode, it might not be ideal for precise composition. It's also worth noting High Speed AF option cannot be used with continuous AF or subject tracking.

Other improvements with the V4.0 firmware include new delete options for binning various combinations of JPEG or RAW, a shift crop effect, improved operational performance with regards to aperture preview and better stability when connecting to a Mac via USB.

It's great that camera manufacturers are continuing to improve their devices with firmware updates after release. Recently we've also seen Sony improve the image quality of its A7 cameras, Fujifilm boost the focusing speed of the X100, and add support for a new teleconversion lens, while Canon unlocked high-end HDMI video in its EOS 5D Mark III.