Firmware Friday: Fuji updates all X-series ILCs and more; Blackmagic, Nikon, Sigma also ship upgrades


posted Friday, June 27, 2014 at 8:07 PM EDT


This week's Firmware Friday roundup comes a little later than usual, thanks to some thunderstorms rolling through East Tennessee which took us offline briefly. It's a doozie, though, with no less than 15 camera models and one lens receiving patches this week.

Fujifilm takes the prize for the most comprehensive selection this time around, shipping all three updates it promised last week, plus another seven we weren't expecting. As promised, its new firmware for the Fujifilm X-M1, X-A1 and X-Q1 adds support for cable-free printing to the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 smartphone printer. There are more changes than just those, however. For the Fujifilm X-Q1, the company's v1.20 update also fixes a problem with camera lockups when you press the Wi-Fi button during image transfer to start the PC Autosave function, a fix that's also applied to the fixed-lens Fujifilm XQ1 and XP70.

The X-M1 and X-A1, meanwhile, both get support for the XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6R OIS WR lens, and a change in lens behavior so that, as you zoom out with the shutter button half-pressed, aperture display matches that when you zoom in while gently holding the shutter button. And these changes don't just apply to these two cameras -- the Fujifilm X-E1, X-E2 and X-Pro1 all get the same tweaks as well. (One last model, the X-T1, gets the new lens support but doesn't get the aperture display change.) In addition, the X-M1 and X-A1 get a shared fix which the other X-series models don't need: sound quality of movies captured with either model is improved.

There are no other changes for the X-E1, X-E2 or X-T1 beyond those already mentioned, but the X-T1 gets a couple more fixes of its own. The Movie Record button is now said to function better, although Fuji doesn't describe precisely what the change entails. The company also notes new indicator scales for better visibility, a new exposure compensation / exposure indicator in the EVF (addressing our concerns raised in the Fuji X-T1 review about the camera's too-easily-bumped exposure compensation dial), and a fix for incorrect interval times when using an interval timer of five seconds or less.

And that wraps up the changes for Fuji's interchangeable-lens cameras. There are four updates for fixed-lens models: the Fujifilm FinePix S1, XQ1, XP70, and XP200. We've already mentioned both changes for the XQ1 -- Wi-Fi printing support and a fix for the Wi-Fi lockup bug -- but the other three models each have their own unique fixes.

The FinePix S1 firmware v1.01 fixes problems whereby the camera could lock up while using playback zoom, fail to record images properly in raw format with 10-second or longer exposures, and fail to apply the Best Frame Capture function with the RR-90 remote release cable attached. FinePix XP70 firmware v1.02 corrects an issue with communication errors when using PC AutoSave, and lockups if idle with the USB cable connected to camera and PC. It also debuts a revised description when erasing all frames in a continuous series. And finally, the Fujifilm XP200 firmware v1.02 corrects a lockup bug when trying to send multiple selected images to a smartphone.

Get the updates for Fuji's cameras at the links below:

With Fuji completed, let's move onto Nikon, with two updates for the Nikon Coolpix S9400 / S9500. Firmware version 1.1 for both models can be obtained below, and it fixes a problem with sound going out of sync with video when shooting movies.

Blackmagic Design, meanwhile, has version 1.8 updates for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K. The firmware for all three cameras is said to have a new code base with improved performance and the same refined user interface that debuted on the Blackmagic URSA camera. Other changes include compressed RAW DNG support for the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, enhanced Canon EF lens control support and autofocus / focus peaking display for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K.

Iris control has been changed so that it's retained after visiting playback mode, and there's also improved debayering and audio quality with original Blackmagic Cinema Camera models. This model is also said to have greater dynamic range at ISO 1600. Finally, the Pocket Cinema Camera gets the same improved debayering and focus peaking, as well as support for new Micro Four Thirds lenses.

Get the updates at the links below:

And with that truly epic list of camera updates at an end, we come to the sole lens update. Sigma's firmware update for the Canon-mount variant of the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | S lens requires that you have access to the company's USB dock for Canon lenses. If you don't own one already, it gives you a good excuse to buy one.

There are two changes -- improved autofocus performance in both standard and speed-priority modes, as well as improved focus accuracy when shooting with the Canon EOS-1D Mark III or EOS-1D Mark IV camera bodies. And of course, you'll also get access to all the other adjustments possible with the dock, which make it well worth the cost of purchase! Already got your dock? Then download Sigma Optimization Pro v1.2 for the updates...

That wraps up this week's Firmware Friday. Check back next week for more firmware fun!

(Camera parts image courtesy of Kelly Hofer / Flickr; used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 license. Image has been modified from the original.)