Firmware Friday: Updates land for 7 cameras including Sony A6000 and A7-series, Pentax 645Z


posted Friday, March 27, 2015 at 4:01 PM EST


Firmware Friday returns this week with a raft of camera updates from Nikon, Pentax and Sony, as well as updates for Nikon's UT-1 Communication Unit, two of Canon's professional camcorders, and the software Ricoh bundles with (or sells for) some of its Pentax-branded camera. It's quite the week for updates, in other words!

We'll start our roundup with Sony, as the company has far and away the most firmware news this time around. The Sony A6000, Sony A7, Sony A7 II, Sony A7R and Sony A7S updates are all about adding support for new lenses -- specifically, the Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA prime (SEL35F14Z), FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS zoom (SEL24240), FE 28mm F2 prime (SEL28F20) and FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS prime (SEL90M28G). All five cameras share these changes, and you can download the updated firmware from Sony USA at the links below:

Ricoh, meanwhile, has updated the Pentax 645Z medium-format DSLR to firmware version 1.21. The update isn't yet available from the company's US division, but you can get it from the Ricoh Global website here in the meantime. Changes in the Pentax 645Z v1.21 firmware update include the company's usual catch-all pledge of "improved stability for general performance", plus stability improvements when shooting tethered to a computer running its Image Transmitter 2 application. Note, though, that you cannot shoot HDR raw files when tethered with this update installed.

At the same time as updating the 645Z's firmware, Ricoh has also shipped updates to both the optional Image Transmitter 2 app for 645-series cameras, and the Silkypix-based Digital Camera Utility 5 app that comes bundled with Pentax cameras.

We'll start with Digital Camera Utility 5, since it's the more broadly-used of the two apps. Changes here include lens data for five recently-launched optics -- the HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mmF3.5-5.6ED DC WR APS-C zoom, HD PENTAX-DA 18-50mmF4-5.6 DC WR RE APS-C zoom and its DA-L kit lens variant, the HD PENTAX-D FA Star 70-200mmF2.8ED DC AW full-frame zoom, and the HD PENTAX-D FA 150-450mmF4.5-5.6ED DC AW full-frame zoom. Support has also been added for the brand-new Pentax K-S2 DSLR, and several interface changes have been applied. Peripheral Illumination Correction levels can now be adjusted, drive and interval modes plus digital filter history can be displayed, and the image will now center itself on your click point when you double-click to zoom to 1:1 resolution on-screen.

One final tweak in Digital Camera Utility 5 goes hand-in-hand with a corresponding change in Image Transmitter 2: The two apps can now optionally interface with each other, transferring images between the apps as you shoot them via the tethered connection to the camera. Image Transmitter 2 also now has a 1,024 x 768 pixel window size, and as images are transferred to Digital Camera Utility 5, their filename and thumbnail are shown automatically. They're also added to DCU 5's image editing queue in Laboratory mode. You can get the app updates at the links below:

The final camera update this week is for Nikon's affordable entry-level Coolpix S3600, which steps to firmware version 1.1. The new release of firmware for the Nikon S3600 resolves an issue where the camera wouldn't start up, even with a battery holding sufficient charge. Alongside the camera firmware, Nikon has also updated its UT-1 Communication Unit to firmware version 2.3, which adds support for the recently-launched Nikon D7200 DSLR. You'll need to have the D7200 in-hand, or failing that, a Nikon D810, D800, D800E, D750 or D7100, should you wish to install this update. (And if you're using the D800 or D800E, they'll need to be updated to firmware version A:1.10 / B: 1.10 or later first.) Get Nikon's updates at the links below:

Lastly for this week, we have news of updates to two of Canon's professional camcorders. The Canon XF205 and Canon XF200 camcorders have both been updates to firmware version, and in both cases, the same changes are made. There's a new low-noise image capture mode, and an issue with the pre-recording control mechanism when shooting MP4-format video has been resolved. You can find the updates at the links below:

That wraps things up for this week's Firmware Friday roundup. Know of any new firmware we missed? Sound off in the comments below! And check back next time, for all the latest firmware news...

(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.)