Firmware Friday: Pentax 645Z gets tethering; Nikon Coolpix A bug squashed; Canon fixes PIXMA exploit


posted Friday, September 26, 2014 at 2:47 PM EDT


Friday means firmware, and this week, there's quite a lot of it on which to report. Predominantly, our Firmware Friday roundup this week includes printers, but there are also two camera models in the mix. We'll start with those two models, from Pentax and Nikon respectively.

First up, we have the medium-format Pentax 645Z DSLR. Brand owner Ricoh Imaging has just announced Pentax 645Z firmware version 1.10, and there's one significant change -- the addition of support for tethered shooting. You'll need to obtain the simultaneously-released Image Transmitter 2 software to use the feature, and that's an extra purchase. Available immediately in Japan priced at ¥19,800 (US$180) before tax, Image Transmitter 2 provides a remote live view feed, and allows remote settings control and shutter release via the camera's USB 3.0 data connection.

As per usual for Ricoh / Pentax firmware, the company also promises "improved stability for general performance", but doesn't specify what this entails. You can get the Pentax 645Z v1.10 firmware update here, and Japanese-market customers can buy Image Transmitter 2 for Mac / Windows here. The software should be available in other markets soon.

For the Nikon Coolpix A, meanwhile, the new firmware version C:1.12 corrects a bug in the previous firmware when shooting with the interval timer. With the new update installed, your Coolpix A should no longer experience exposure control issues with the interval timer active. You can get the Nikon Coolpix A version C:1.12 firmware update here.

And so we come to the Canon PIXMA printer firmware. This is a quick response to a security exploit that hit the headlines last week, after a security researcher ported the 1990s-era video game Doom, for which full source code is available, to run on the built-in screen of certain PIXMA printer models. While it's kind of neat that a modern printer contains the horsepower required to run the game, the ability to do so was a significant security risk, as the researcher adeptly showed.

At the time, Canon promised a fix that would add a username and password to the printer's web interface, and less than two weeks later, it has done so. If you own a Canon PIXMA MG7120, MG6420, MG5522, MG5520, MG3522, MG3520, MX532, MX479, MX472, iX6820 or iP8720, you'll want to update promptly to secure your printer. Details on how to do so can be found here.

And that wraps up this week's Firmware Friday roundup. Check back next week for all the latest in the world of firmware!

(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.)