Firmware Friday: Updates aplenty for Canon, Fuji, Leica, Panasonic, Sigma and more


posted Friday, May 2, 2014 at 5:25 PM EDT


As we head into the weekend, it's been another big week for camera firmware. Our Firmware Friday roundup this week includes no less than four cameras from Fujifilm, Panasonic and Sigma, as well as one Leica-branded lens from Panasonic, a cordless monolight from Profoto, and five Canon camcorders.

We'll start with Fujifilm, whose firmware update for the Fuji X-E2 is significant enough to come accompanied by a PDF-format "New Features Guide". The Fuji X-E2 firmware version 2.00 update brings five key changes, as follows:

  • Electronic viewfinder lag reduced, and frame rate boosted
    When the Fuji X-T1 first launched, Fuji announced that its electronic viewfinder provided record-setting, minimal lag, something we've praised in our ongoing review of that camera. Now, the Fuji X-E2 has the same 0.005 second viewfinder lag, which Fuji says is less than one-tenth of the lag in earlier firmware versions. The viewfinder frame rate has also been increased, and remains steady even for low-light and night photography.

  • Focus Peaking highlight color selection added
    You can now choose a color for focus peaking highlights, courtesy of a new option under MF Assist in the camera's menu, Focus Peak Highlight. The option allows you to choose the existing white outlines, as well as blue or red outlines. For each color, two effect strengths are available: Low, or High.

  • Extra functions for the Fn, Fn2, AE, and AF buttons
    You can now choose two extra functions which can be assigned to any of the Fuji X-E2's configurable function buttons. As well as the existing function choices, you can select either Face Detection (On / Off) or EVF / LCD Setting. The latter cycles through four choices: Eye Sensor Mode, EVF Only, LCD Only, or EVF Only + Eye Sensor.

  • Suppressed Flash option
    There's now an added option in the Flash Mode menu. The Suppressed Flash option will disable the flash, preventing it firing in low light.

  • Film Simulation Bracketing bug fixed
    In earlier firmware, the third frame of a Film Simulation Bracketing set could be recorded with Astia simulation, instead of the intended PRO Neg. Hi. simulation. This has now been fixed.

The new Fuji X-E2 firmware v2.00 update is available for download immediately on Fuji's website.

Moving on to Sigma, its new firmware is available for two camera models, although they're essentially variants of the same camera under different names. Firmware version 1.14 for the Sigma SD1 and firmware version 1.09 for the Sigma SD1 Merrill both make the same, single change. In either case, Sigma has tuned its algorithms for the autofocus system, and says that the cameras will focus more accurately with the firmware update installed.

Get the new firmware at the links below:

Our next camera update is for the Panasonic GM1 compact system camera. Firmware version 1.1 for the Panasonic GM1 again makes just one change. This time, it's a fix for connectivity issues with Apple iOS devices using Wi-Fi. And as well as the camera firmware update, Panasonic has released a Leica lens firmware update that will be of interest to Panasonic GH4 camera owners. The new v1.1 firmware for the Lumix G Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm / F1.2 lens (H-NS043) promises to improve video quality when shooting at high sensitivity with this optic.

That about does it for camera and lens firmware, but for the video fans amongst you, we do have another five Canon camcorders with updates this week. The new Canon XA25 v1.0.4.0, Canon XA20 v1.0.4.0, and Canon Vixia HF G30 v1.0.4.0 firmware, first of all, shares four changes for these models. According to Canon, it has fixed the following bugs:

  • Flicker compensation was incorrectly applied when shooting, resulting in flicker and horizontal color stripes in the footage.

  • The camera menu froze after choosing [Access Point Connection] from the [Wi-Fi] menu when Russian was selected in the language menu and the camera was running Firmware Version

  • The audio was out of sync when recording at 23.98P frame rate and 24 Mbps LPCM Recording Mode was selected.

  • A pre-recording control issue was possible when recording in MP4 format.

And finally, the Canon Vixia HF R42 v1.0.2.0 and Canon Vixia HF R40 v1.0.2.0 firmware updates each make just one firmware change. With the new firmware installed, both cameras support a remote live view feed when using the CameraAccess app on Android or iOS smartphones, along with the optional CT-V1 camera pan table.

For our last update of the week, lighting company Profoto has issued a firmware update for the Air Remote TTL C radio transmitter used with its Profoto B1 monolight to perform E-TTL II-metered wireless flash. The new firmware corrects an issue in the prior release that prevented metering from working with the Canon EOS-1D X. Instead of shooting a metered exposure, the Profoto B1 would simply fire at full output. With the new firmware installed -- you'll have to register your products to get access to the download -- TTL metering now works correctly with the Canon EOS-1D X as well as other Canon cameras.

(Camera parts image courtesy of Kelly Hofer / Flickr; used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 license.)