Firmware Friday: Better stability for the Sony A6300; recent Pentax DSLRs get electronic aperture control


posted Friday, August 5, 2016 at 5:30 PM EDT


This week's Firmware Friday arrives with news of updates from two manufacturers. Sony has updated its extremely popular A6300 mirrorless camera for better stability, while Ricoh has updated several recent Pentax DSLR models to add compatibility with its new KAF4 lenses which use electronic aperture control. (Technically, there's only one of these so far -- the HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE zoom -- and it's not actually on the market yet, but if you're considering buying it, you'll want to upgrade your camera body to have it ready.

Sony A6300

But let's start off this week with the Sony A6300, since it's likely the best-selling of the bunch. The new firmware version 1.10 for the A6300 is said to improve stability for still imaging "by optimizing temperature control". Overall stability and operability of the camera is also said to have been improved. You can download the update from Sony's website here.

Pentax K-1, K-3 II, K-S1 and K-S2

All four of Ricoh's Pentax DSLR updates this week make the exact same change. The full-frame Pentax K-1 and sub-frame K-3 II, K-S1 and K-S2 all receive support for the new KAF4 lens type, a specification currently only used by the upcoming HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE zoom lens.

We're a little surprised that the Pentax K-3 -- which is near-identical to the K-3 II -- hasn't also received the update, but we're still holding out hope that new firmware will be forthcoming for this model too, given its flagship status. (And we'd imagine Ricoh will want to extend support to as many models as it possibly can, given that it stands to sell more lenses if it does so.)

Be that as it may, you can download the Pentax updates for the K-1, K-3 II, K-S1 and K-S2 at the links below. As it always does, Ricoh has also suggested that these updates will improve general stability of the cameras, suggesting that there could possibly be other bugfixes included but not detailing the specifics. (So you may want to update even if you don't plan to buy a KAF4 lens in the future.)

(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.)