Firmware Friday goes mega: Updates from Fuji, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, Sony!
posted Friday, November 21, 2014 at 3:00 PM EDT
Sixteen -- make that seventeen cameras already updated, six more updates pledged to arrive soon, one imaging accessory updated, and another accessory likewise promised to receive an update soon: This is one truly epic Firmware Friday. (We have a feeling it's probably record-breaking, and it's actually grown since first post as we just learned of another update!)
In fact, it's so big that we're just going to skip right to the updates, and let them do the talking. We'll start with Olympus, whose new version 2.2 update for the OM-D E-M1 follows hot on the heels of last week's version 2.1 update. Last time around, autofocus accuracy was improved with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lens. This time, a problem with bright spots in some images when using version 2.0 or 2.1 firmware has been corrected.
The Olympus E-M1 firmware version 2.2 update isn't available from Olympus America as of this writing, but you can find it on the Olympus UK website. With that said, manufacturers do sometimes have regional differences in firmware -- especially on cameras like the E-M1 which sport Wi-Fi connectivity -- so we recommend waiting until the update is available in your own region.
Nikon, too, was in last week's roundup, and this week it has two more updates. Technically, one of the pair could've been included last week though, but we missed it at the time. The Nikon Coolpix S6600 firmware version 1.2 update, which you can get here, includes the same fix as last week's S6400 update -- a reduction in the incidence of a problem that could prevent the camera operating properly even if power-cycled after a lens error occurred.
The Nikon Coolpix S6900 firmware version 1.1 update, meanwhile, actually came out this week, and it's a little different. Five problems are fixed, all related to specific language settings being inaccessible in certain conditions:
The German language could not be selected if Date and Time had not been set.
The Hungarian language could not be selected when a locked SD memory card was inserted in the camera.
The Portuguese (PT) language could not be selected while the battery was charging while inserted in the camera, or with an active Wi-Fi connection.
The Russian, Hungarian, and Romanian languages could not be selected with an active Wi-Fi connection.
Depending upon the display position on the Language settings screen, the Persian language sometimes could not be selected.
Next up, we have the Samsung NX Mini firmware version 01.08, which actually dropped last week, but wasn't announced by the company until Wednesday of this week. The new firmware for the NX Mini makes it possible to preview the result of the Beauty Effect function, and adds 15-step brightness / softness controls for the effect. You can get the Samsung NX Mini firmware here.
And that does it for Samsung; let's move onto Ricoh. The company's Pentax brand offers up new firmware for the spectacular, medium-format Pentax 645Z this week. The Pentax 645Z firmware version 1.20 update makes two specific changes, as follows, plus the usual catch-all "improved stability for general performance" that is listed on every Pentax update.:
Added OFF mode on Slow Shutter Speed NR. (Even when using OFF mode setting, it may takes a long time to process depending on the ISO setting, exposure time and temperature etc.)
Improved stability for performance when using IMAGE Transmitter2.
Leica, meanwhile, has a total of seven new updates for its M-series digital rangefinders. In all cases, the sole change is to add support for recently-announced Summarit-M lenses. You can get the updates here, and the latest version numbers are as follows:
A late-breaking entry, Fujifilm hits the list with an update for the Fuji X30 enthusiast compact. We'd actually published our Firmware Friday piece already, but rather than wait another week to tell you about the update, we're adding it now. The reason why: Autofocus lock can occasionally be lost while the shutter button is half-pressed. Update to Fuji X30 firmware version 1.01 now, and ensure you don't miss that shot because you lost your focus!
And finally (for the already-released updates), Blackmagic Design has issued its Camera Utility 1.9.9, which updates firmware for the Blackmagic URSA, Pocket Cinema Camera, Cinema Camera, and Production Camera 4K. For the latter three cameras, the only change is said to be an improvement in in-camera formatting reliability. For the Blackmagic URSA, there are seven main changes as follows:
New CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW format that uses 3:1 compression to allow RAW files to be recorded in one third of the size of uncompressed RAW files allowing double the storage capacity on the same sized CFast card.
80 fps support in 4K for ProRes and RAW 3:1
Variable frame rate feature so off speed clips now playback in project frame rate. Now the record frame rate is not limited by the video frame rate, and users can shoot slow motion or fast motion shots, but all the recorded video files are always set to the video rate, allowing users to see the effect of the higher or slower frame rate when playing.
Phantom power support
On screen framing guides allowing a range of common feature film aspect ratios to be displayed on the fold out monitor, such as 2.35:1, 1.85:1 and more.
In camera formatting for CFast 2.0 media.
New Dashboard menu screen allowing features such as formatting and other settings to be selected, as well as new user interface is scrolling menus.
These changes are described in much more detail in a video that you can view here. You can download the Blackmagic Camera Utility 1.9.9 for Windows machines here, and for Mac OS X machines here.
Forthcoming December Updates
And so, with the already-shipped updates out of the way, we move on to the updates that, in an interesting coincidence, have all been pledged to arrive this December. We mentioned the Fujifilm X-T1 firmware version 3.0 update in a separate item yesterday, and at the same time that it arrives on December 18th, Fujifilm will also be issuing Fuji X-E2 firmware version 3.00, Fuji X-Pro1 firmware version 3.40, and Fuji X-E1 firmware version 2.40. All three cameras will be receiving the AF+MF function that's also added in the X-T1 firmware. In addition, the X-E2 will get the X-T1's new Classic Chrome film simulation, a new interval timer function, and compatibility with a new Fujifilm Camera Remote app for Android / iOS smartphones and tablets. Once installed, the new firmware will support only this app, and the earlier Fujifilm Camera Application app will no longer be functional.
Sony will also be issuing new firmware for the Sony Alpha A77 II some time during December, although it has yet to provide a specific date or version number. The new Sony A77 II firmware will allow for faster autofocus in low-light conditions (an improvement of 2.5x is promised when using the DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens), and support for high-bitrate XAVC S video capture will also be enabled.
And we round out the camera updates with new firmware pledged for the Panasonic GH4, again sometime during December. (And again, with no specific date or version number forecast.) Three changes are promised for the new Panasonic GH4 firmware, as follows:
Time code and RSS(Recording Start/Stop) signal can be embedded to the HDMI output signal*.
* Available when DMC-GH4 or DMW-YAGH are connected with the products of Atomos Global Pty. Ltd. or the products complying with the extended specifications of Atomos Global Pty. Ltd..
FHD at 30p/25p native output via HDMI is available while recording video in FHD at 30p/25p.
FHD at 30PsF(Over 60i) / 25PsF(Over 50i) output via SDI is available while recording video in FHD at 30p/25p.
* When DMW-YAGH is used for SDI output.
If we're understanding Panasonic's update notice correctly, new firmware will also be provided for the DMW-YAGH interface unit at the same time -- or perhaps, the interface unit just works to provide the same features once the camera body is upgraded.
Finally, we come to the sole accessory update we're aware of that's available immediately. The Cactus V6 wireless flash transceiver has just received its firmware version 1.1.004 update, which adds eight new flash profiles and squashes five bugs:
Released the following flash profiles for Four-Third and Micro Four-Third system from Olympus and Panasonic*: Olympus FL-50R, FL-36R; Panasonic FL-500R, FL-360R; Metz 58 AF-2, 52 AF-1, 44 AF-1.
*Note: The following models will NOT be available in the later firmware updates, due to the limitation of the hardware design: Olympus FL-600R, FL-300R; Panasonic FL-580L, FL-360L.
Released the profile for Godox V860N for Nikon.
Fixed the problem of not responding to the first trigger after the V6 is powered on in channel 13-16.
Fixed the issue of retrieving the last delay timer setting when the V6 is powered on in RX mode, even though the timer has been turned off before the power cycle.
Fixed the problem in the Phottix Mitros (or Mitros +) flash profile of not responding to the V6 after the flash capacitor has been fully discharged.
Fixed the incorrect number of found flashes shown in absolute power setup in V6 TX.
Fixed the unintended toggling between swap function (Zoom (Cactus) or Quick Power Adjustment) and the power level screen after setting up the absolute power or choosing a flash profile in V6 TX.
You can get the new firmware and the firmware updater you'll need to install it with from the Cactus website.