posted Friday, September 5, 2014 at 2:26 PM EDT


It's a mammoth week for camera updates this Firmware Friday, with no less than four cameras receive new firmware releases, four more have new updates forecast, and various related software and accessories also receive updates.

We'll start off this week with the Sony RX10, for which firmware version 2.00 has now been issued. Sony RX10 v2.00 firmware will add support for shooting with XAVC S compression when recording 120p, 60p, 30p or 24p movies, potentially increasing image quality at the expense of larger file sizes. You'll need to be using a Class 10 or higher SDXC memory card to shoot in XAVC S mode, and can get the update for Windows machines here, or for Mac OS X machines here.

Next up, we have a second firmware update for Sigma's dp2 Quattro digital camera. Following on from the recent v1.01 update, this aims to further improve image quality when dealing with strongly-saturated red colors using Neutral color mode. The update also improves autofocus accuracy for dim, low-contrast subjects, and provides a new function that simulates exposure brightness on the LCD preview image.

We're currently preparing a detailed look at this new firmware, as well as how it helps with some of the problems we've encountered with our difficult Still Life test target as well as some real-world photos, so watch this space. The update goes hand-in-hand with new Sigma Photo Pro software that makes the same change when dealing with saturated red subjects, improves resolution with some subjects, improves stability with machines using network shares or many internal drives, and corrects a problem when saving image batches in both JPEG and TIFF formats.

Get the Sigma dp2 Quattro v1.02 update here, and the Sigma Photo Pro v6.0.6 update here. (And watch this space for a more in-depth look at the new firmware, coming shortly.)

Next up, we have new firmware for Pentax's Flucard, a Wi-Fi equipped Secure Digital card that allows tethered shooting with some recent camera models. The new firmware, described as V00.01.00.01 (card) and V00.01.00.02 (contents), adds support for the just-announced Pentax K-S1 digital SLR. It's also said to bring improved stability and performance, without any specifics being stated. Get the update here.

Moving on to Blackmagic, we have news of two more camera updates. The Blackmagic Camera Utility 1.9.4 update brought general performance improvements for the Blackmagic URSA 4K video camera, and was followed in short order by Blackmagic Camera Utility 1.9.5, which also updates the Production Camera 4K to allow in-camera formatting of SSD storage.

Alongside these updates, Blackmagic also updated its Desktop Video Software to v10.2 with better USB 3.0 host controller support, performance and stability improvements, and new device support on Mac OS X 10.8.5. This was quickly followed by v10.2.1, with more performance and stability improvements, plus support for RP188 timecode on playback with the DeckLink Mini or UltraStudio Mini.

Get the latest Blackmagic Camera Utility release here, and the latest Desktop Video Software release here.

And finally, we come to Canon, whose updates are thus far not available, but promised to arrive in October and November respectively. First to ship will be new firmware for the DP-V3010 30-inch 4K display, which allows review of video footage in the ITU-R BT.2020 color gamut, and adds support for the ACESproxy transfer standard. It will also now be possible to verify the Cinema Gamut and DCI-P3+ color gamut of the EOS C500, and support for 48fps 4K footage and YCbCr 4:4:4 luminance and chroma sampling will be added, among other newly-supported video formats. Other new functions will include focus peaking, separate Gain R/G/B and Bias R/G/B adjustments, the ability to delete imported Look Up Tables, Automatic switching between 3G-HDI and HD-SDI, a new Function Guide, optional banner display, on-screen display position controls, and selection of how Interlace or PsF input signals are displayed.

This new monitor firmware will be followed in November by firmware updates for the Canon EOS C500, C500 PL, C300, and C300 PL cameras, and an update to the Cinema Raw Development software for these models. The EOS C500 and C500 PL updates will also add support for the ITU-R BT.2020 color space, while the new software will provide a 3D-LUT for converting from Cinema Gamut/DCI-P3+ to ITU-R BT.709 (Rec. 709) and DCI-P3 color spaces. Edit Decision Lists will now be supported, allowing time code-designated segments to be converted to the DPX and ProRes, and performance will be improved on machines with Intel iris Pro graphic chipsets. Both the EOS C300 and C500 models will also make it possible to adjust white balance using the Function button.

Watch this space for further details when these updates are issued in October / November 2014.

(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.)