Firmware Friday goes mega: Updates for 12 cameras, including Canon T5i, Panasonic GH4 and Pentax K3!


posted Friday, April 17, 2015 at 5:40 PM EST


Have you been waiting patiently for some new firmware for your camera? If so, this week's Firmware Friday roundup may be just what you're after! Turning up all at once like a fleet of long-awaited buses, we have news of no less than 12 camera updates this week from Blackmagic Design, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax, and as if that wasn't already enough, we've got the added bonus of new lens firmware from Nikon, and GPS receiver firmware from Canon. Phew!

Blackmagic URSA and Studio Camera 4K

We'll start off this week with Blackmagic Design, whose Blackmagic Camera 2.3 updater software technically landed last week, although we didn't catch it at the time. Predominantely, the updates in Blackmagic Camera 2.3 are aimed at its URSA camera, however the Studio Camera 4K does get a little love too.

Perhaps the most interesting change in Blackmagic URSA firmware version 2.3 is the ability to shoot windowed Full HD video at a whopping 150 frames per second. This is joined by Apple ProRes 444 XQ-format capture at HD or 4K resolution, support for a new V2 4K sensor with 120fps raw 4K capture, improvements to the recording format selection in the menu, and a new installer that tells you what your camera's current firmware version is.

The Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K update, meanwhile, gets unspecified 12G-SDI performance improvements in its version 2.3 firmware update.

You can get both of Blackmagic's updates in the same Blackmagic Camera 2.3 release, on the company's website immediately.

Canon Rebel T5i and GP-E2 GPS receiver

Moving on to Canon, the Rebel T5i has just received firmware version 1.1.4. This corrects three problems in earlier releases: inconsistent flash exposure, failure to focus with certain lenses when shooting tethered with EOS Utility, and failure to adjust LCD brightness if the Set button was assigned to Menu Display. You can get the new Canon T5i version 1.1.4 update here.

Alongside the new Rebel firmware, Canon has also updated its GP-E2 GPS receiver this week. The Canon GP-E2 firmware version 2.0.0 update adds support for the Canon Rebel T6s (aka EOS 760D) and Rebel T6i (aka EOS 750D) camera bodies. It also fixes two bugs: an incorrect "signal acquired" indication before signal had actually been acquired, and a failure to save log files correctly when the receiver's built-in memory ran out. Get the new Canon GP-E2 version 2.0.0 update here.

Olympus E-M5 II

Moving on to Olympus, we have news of firmware version 1.1 for the recently-launched Olympus OM-D E-M5 II compact system camera. The new firmware is installed using Olympus' Digital Camera Updater app, and makes three changes: Noise levels in High Res Shot mode are reduced, the camera powers on faster, and audio can now be faded out on movie files created with the My Clips function. Get the new Digital Camera Updater here to bring your E-M5 II up to date!

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, DMC-TZ57, DMC-TZ58, DMC-ZS45 and DMC-CM1

No doubt about it: Panasonic wins the award for most updates this week, with no less than five different camera models getting new firmware.

With that said, the Panasonic GH4 update isn't actually shipping yet. Instead, Panasonic has announced that the new firmware is on the way in late April, and pledged two changes: Ability to manually select a 1/16,000 second shutter speed when using electronic shutter, and a new Anamorphic 4:3 mode that shoots 3,328 x 2,496 pixel video with a 4:3 anamorphic lens. Expect to hear more on this in another Firmware Friday article, once the update lands!

Technically, the next three cameras are very closely-related indeed, or perhaps even different names for the same camera in various markets. The Panasonic TZ57, TZ58 and ZS45 do have separate updates, though, and for all three, version 1.1 firmware fixes the same issue: A problem with PictBridge printing of your photos. Get the updated firmware for all three cameras here.

Finally, Panasonic's unusual Lumix CM1 Communication Camera -- essentially a hybrid of a large-sensor compact camera and Android smartphone -- has been updated to version 11.0761 firmware. The new release allows adjustment of the tilt sensor, and is said to improve performance / functionality and fix bugs in general, although no specifics are provided. Get the Panasonic CM1 version 11.0761 firmware update here.

Pentax K-3, K-S1 and K-S2

Moving on to Ricoh's Pentax brand, there are updates for no less than three single-lens reflex digital cameras. We'll start with the flagship Pentax K-3, now running firmware version 1.20. This is predominantly about new lens support, adding compatibility with the AF and preset buttons on the upcoming full-frame HD PENTAX-D FA 150-450mmF4.5-5.6ED DC AW, and optimizing performance for this optic as well as the full-frame HD PENTAX-D FA Star 70-200mmF2.8ED DC AW and retracting APS-C HD PENTAX-DA 18-50mmF4-5.6 DC WR RE lenses. And as usual for Ricoh, there's a pledge of "improved stability for general performance", although no specifics are provided.

The Pentax K-S1, meanwhile, gets the same list of changes in its version 1.10 firmware, and the K-S2 gets all but the new button support in firmware version 1.02. (We're guessing since this camera is the newest of the trio, it likely already included the button support right out of the box.)

You can get Pentax's firmware at the links below:

Nikon AF-S 300mm lens

And that's it for the camera updates, but we do have news of one lens update from Nikon as well. The new firmware applies only to the Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens with a serial number of 205101 or below, and it cannot be user-applied. Instead, you'll need to return your lens to a Nikon service center for the update, should you want the bug fix it offers.

And what is that fix? Well, if you're shooting with the Nikon D800, D800E, D810 or D810A and you've noticed a problem with blur at shutter speeds around 1/125 second with Vibration Reduction enabled, the update should resolve it. More details on how to proceed can be found on Nikon's website.

(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.)