Firmware Friday goes mega: Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Ricoh + Sigma update a whopping 16 cameras, 9 lenses


posted Friday, July 15, 2016 at 5:29 PM EST


After a brief hiatus while I've been down with the flu, then traveling and trying to get caught up on a backlog of review work, Firmware Friday returns this week. And I'm just in time, it seems, as five different manufacturers have all chosen this week to ship updates for a staggering total of 16 cameras, nine lenses and (as if that wasn't enough) one printer as well!

With so much to cover, I'm going to keep things brief. Let's get right down to it, starting with Canon.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and PRO-1000

As it happens, News Editor Jeremy Gray already told you about these earlier in the week, but it's worth a quick recap. The Canon 1D X II v1.0.2 update works to reduce the likelihood of problems when shooting with CFast cards in general, and with SanDisk CFast cards in particular. You can find more details in our earlier coverage. For the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer, meanwhile, the change is that this model now supports larger 17" x 25" paper. Again, you'll find more details in our article from earlier this week.

Fujifilm X-E, X-Pro and X-T-series cameras; XC and XF-series lenses

No question about it: Fuji is the big newsmaker this week, with a truly impressive eight cameras and nine lenses from the company receiving updates. (And there were in fact a couple more lens updates, but they've been temporarily withdrawn due to the potential for compatibility issues.)

In all cases, the new camera firmware improves manual focus accuracy with each of the lenses that's simultaneously receiving new firmware. (You'll need to update both camera and lens to gain access to this improved focusing accuracy.)

The new X-Pro2 firmware also prevents horizontal lines appearing on the display or in the finder when the camera is rotated, or a message telling you to power-cycle the camera after shooting.

The new XC16-50mm, XC50-230mm, XF10-24mm, XF18-55mm, XF18-135mm and XF55-200mm lens firmware, meanwhile, also improves image stabilization accuracy, as well as AF tracking performance while zooming. And the new XF50-140mm and XF100-400mm firmware also improves performance with the 2x teleconverter accessory.

Two final updates, for the XF16-55mm and XF90mm lenses, had to be withdrawn because it could cause a lens failure warning if the camera firmware wasn't updated before the lens firmware. It's important to note that both camera and lens continued to work fine after being power-cycled, however Fuji has withdrawn these updates while it works on a fix. They'll likely return in the near future.

Get all of these updates at the links below:

Nikon D3S, D500, S33 and S2900

Moving along to Nikon, we have four camera updates this week -- two for DSLRs, and two for Coolpix compacts.

The Nikon D3S firmware version A:1.03 / B:1.02 update fixes an intermittent issue with an incorrect battery level warning when the camera was set to clean its sensor at shutdown, and the potential for the same file number to be reused for different images when overflowing from slot 1 to slot 2.

The Nikon D500 firmware version C:1.02 update, meanwhile, aims to resolve issues the company says are caused by certain UHS-II memory cards that prevented the camera reading data. In the future, the D500 will fall back to UHS-I operation with these cards if an error is detected in UHS-II mode, after which time it will continue to function in UHS-I mode until power-cycled. Interestingly, Nikon notes that the read errors may still continue infrequently even after the update is installed.

The Nikon Coolpix S33 firmware version 1.1 update aims to resolve issues with the camera and its EH-73P/EH-73PCH causing noise on nearby radios and other devices during USB charging if the power was switched off. If you're using the EH-71P/EH-71PCH chargers, you don't need the update, as it only happens with the EH-73P/EH-73PCH models.

And finally for the company, the Nikon S2900 firmware version 1.1 update resolves a problem with the monitor image being out of focus when the camera is turned on.

Ricoh GR II and Theta S

Ricoh has two updates this week: One for its enthusiast-oriented GR II large-sensor, fixed-lens compact, and one for its Theta S spherical panoramic camera.

The Ricoh GR II firmware version 3.00 update is the more exciting of the pair for our money, adding a variety of new features as follows:

  • Manual focus can be done by using the +/- button as well as the up-down dial.
  • [Flash Button Setting] is added. [Flash] or any one of functions which can be registered to the Fn1, Fn2, and effect buttons can also be assigned to the flash button.
  • [MF Assist Display] is added. There are two options:[On] or [Off].
  • [Level Display] is added. The design of the level indicator can be changed.
  • [Exposure Information Display] is added. There are two options: [Always] or [Half Press].

An addendum to the manual has been published in PDF format explaining these new features.

The Ricoh Theta S firmware version 01.62 update, meanwhile, makes but one change. After installation, the camera is now compatible with the separately-available CA-3 cable switch, which was released last year. Note, however, that the shutter button half-press function of the cable switch is not applicable to the Theta S. The new firmware is installed courtesy of the Ricoh Theta app for either Windows or Mac OS platforms.

Sigma sd Quattro

And so we come to the end of what's almost certainly our longest-ever Firmware Friday roundup with the interchangeable-lens Sigma sd Quattro, which has just received its firmware version 1.01 update. This corrects two issues: Lockups during shooting, and incorrect operation when shooting remotely using the Sigma Capture Pro 1.2 application.

(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.)