Firmware Friday: New features, 100GB cloud storage for Panasonic GH4; Fuji X-series gets lens tweaks


posted Friday, April 1, 2016 at 3:54 PM EDT


This week's Firmware Friday roundup has to count as one of the more unusual in recent memory, as it brings with it news of a rather generous storage offer for owners of one particular camera model -- but you'll need to act promptly if you want to take advantage of the deal. The camera in question is the Panasonic GH4, which receives a firmware update this week alongside the Fuji X-A1, X-A2, X-E1, X-M1, X-Pro1 and two X-mount lenses.

Panasonic GH4

We'll start off with the Panasonic GH4 this week, since it's the recipient of this interesting cloud storage offer alluded to above. Development of its version 2.5 update was revealed two weeks ago with availability slated for the end of March, a deadline that Panasonic made just in time by shipping the update on Wednesday.

As promised in the middle of last month, the Panasonic GH4 version 2.5 firmware update adds post-focus capability as already seen in the Lumix GX8, as well as the company's clever 4K Photo (Burst, Burst Start/Stop and 4K Pre-Burst) functions, and support for burst flash with the external DMW-FL580L and  DMW-FL360L flash strobes. (Interestingly, although it was previously stated that this would also support the DMW-FL500, DMW-FL360 and DMW-FL220 strobes, the final release notes for the update state that only the two aforementioned strobes will support the function.)

As well as the forecast tweaks mentioned above, the Panasonic GH4 v2.5 update also makes a few other changes. The AF-On function can now be used during video capture, and when developing raw images in-camera, the digital red-eye correction should now more accurately detect and fix red-eye in your photos. Panasonic has also tweaked timing to ensure that when recording to an external device via HDMI, the file recorded simultaneously to the internal SD card will match the external recording in length.

And of course, there's the Panasonic GH4 cloud storage offer, for which you'll need a free Panasonic Lumix Club membership. You'll need to register for Lumix Club by September 30th 2016, and once activated, your account will provide 100GB of Google Drive storage free of charge for both photos and videos for a two-year term. It's unusual to see something like this mentioned in firmware release notes, and it's not entirely clear whether the new firmware is actually required to take advantage of the offer, but with so many new features you'll certainly want to upgrade your Panasonic GH4 regardless. To do so, you can get more information and download the updated firmware here.

Fuji X-A1, X-A2, X-E1, X-M1, X-Pro1, 50-140mm f/2.8 and 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6

Moving on to Fujifilm, the company has updated firmware for five cameras and two lenses. The camera firmware -- Fuji X-A1 v1.40, Fuji X-A2 v1.20, Fuji X-E1 v2.60, Fuji X-M1 v1.40 and Fuji X-Pro1 v3.60 -- all makes the same single change. In all five cases, these cameras will, once updated, now support the focus limiter function of the Fuji XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens.

The XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens itself also has a new version 1.01 firmware update, and this improves autofocus tracking both in AF-C mode or when shooting movies with the Fuji X-Pro1 and X-E1 camera bodies. This same tweak is also available for another optic, the Fuji XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR, when upgraded to the new version 1.11 firmware update.

You can get all of Fuji's firmware at the links below:

(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.)