Firmware Friday: Nikon ships big update for D4S; 7 more Leica, Nikon, Pentax SLRs get new firmware too


posted Friday, August 29, 2014 at 11:56 AM EDT


After a couple of weeks with no firmware news, Firmware Friday is back with all guns blazing, as no less than seven DSLRs from Nikon and Pentax receive updates, and Leica promises three more for its cameras will be arriving shortly.

We'll start with Nikon, whose six updates this week dominate the roundup Of these, by far the most significant is for the pro-oriented Nikon D4S, which has now received version C:1.10 firmware. And boy, what an update it is -- this one is massive, with many bug fixes and tweaks to the camera's operation. Courtesy of Nikon, here's the full list:

  • When SPORT VR mode, built into the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, is selected, the same continuous shooting rate available when OFF is selected is now possible.

  • When memory cards with capacities greater than 128 GB were formatted with the camera, they were formatted using the FAT32 file system.  They are now formatted using the exFAT file system.

  • Operation has been changed so that when menus are displayed during movie live view and the movie-record button is pressed, the menu display disappears and display returns to movie live view. To begin movie recording, press the movie-record button again.

  • The Zoom on/off option for playback mode with Custom Setting f1: Multi Selector Center Button can now be used to zoom-in on images with zoom display centered on the active focus point, even if they were captured with live view photography. However, the focus point will not be displayed.

  • The Help explanation provided for the Preset focus point option under Custom Setting f19: Lens Focus Function Buttons has been revised.

  • The following issues have been resolved.

    • When NEF (RAW) recording > Image size in the shooting menu was set to RAW S (Small), the number of shots possible with uninterrupted shooting (buffer capacity, C-REM) displayed by the camera differed depending upon the NEF (RAW) recording > NEF (RAW) bit depth setting selected.

    • When Camera Control Pro 2 was used to take pictures with Record set to PC+CARD, and Secondary slot function in the camera's shooting menu set to Overflow, the shutter could not be released when the memory card in the primary slot became full.

    • When Image review in the playback menu was set to On, images were sometimes not displayed in the monitor when the shutter was released while exposure meters were off.

    • When images were output to an HDMI device, resolution seemed insufficient with display in full-frame playback mode (did not apply to playback zoom display).

    • When images, captured with Image review in the playback menu set to On, and Auto distortion control in the shooting menu set to On, were automatically displayed in the monitor immediately after capture, auto distortion control was sometimes not applied.

    • When the multiple exposure function was used to capture images with Image review in the playback menu set to On, and Auto distortion control in the shooting menu set to On, auto distortion control was not applied to the recorded images.

    • When an image to which an image comment had been added was copied to White balance > Preset manual, only the first 24 characters of the image comment were copied.

    • If log-in to the FTP server failed when network settings were applied with Wired LAN selected for Network > Choose hardware in the camera's setup menu, and FTP upload selected as the connection type and IP address acquisition set to Obtain automatically with the Connection Wizard, the IP address displayed when the camera tried again to obtain it automatically was "".

    • When a movie recorded at a frame rate of 30p, 25p, or 24p was played back on a TV to which the camera was connected via HDMI with HDMI > Output resolution in the the camera's setup menu set to 1080p (progressive), display on the TV was distorted.

    • When a file containing an IPTC preset (IPTC information) that included double-byte characters in its profile was copied to the camera, the camera froze when attempting to view the contents of the IPTC preset.

    • When Add items was selected for My Menu, OK was displayed even for items that cannot be added.

    • When Language in the setup menu was set to Arabic, text and icons in some menu displays overlapped, and text was positioned too far to the right.

Phew -- that's quite the list. Updates for five other Nikon models -- the D90, D610, D600, D7100, and D7000 -- are also available, but they're much more straightforward, simply adding support for the latest distortion control data, Ver. L: 2.000. Get all of Nikon's new firmware at the links below:

Moving on to Ricoh's Pentax brand, there's one update, for the Pentax K-3. This is said to correct an issue whereby the shutter speed would no longer be recorded correctly in EXIF metadata after an image had been captured with the built-in flash. It also adds a new new function which, rather cryptically, is said to provide an automatic reset when an "abnormal motion of the sequence" is detected. The Pentax K-3 firmware version 1.11 update isn't yet available from Ricoh USA, so you'll want to get it from the Ricoh Japan website.

And finally, we come to the Leica S (Typ 006) and Leica S2 / S2-P firmware, which isn't yet available. Spotted by the folks over at La Vida Leica, a German-language announcement from Leica promises "the most extensive firmware update since the release of the Leica S-System" for the Leica S -- or words to that effect, as it's a Google machine-translation. Changes are said to include a faster, more precise autofocus algorithm, predictive object tracking in continous autofocus mode, and improved GPS accuracy. Images will also now include GPS data only if the camera has had updated location info within the last five minutes.

The new firmware will also add support for the upcoming Leica Summicron-S 1:2/100mm ASPH. lens on the Leica S, S2, and S2-P. More details can be expected when these updates land in mid-September, so watch this space!

(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.)