Firmware Friday: DxO One gets Wi-Fi connectivity and better battery life; bug fixes for Nikon DSLRs


posted Friday, September 2, 2016 at 3:59 PM EST


It's that time again: The weekend is here, and it's time for our regular roundup of all that's new in the world of camera firmware. This week, we have news to report from both DxO Labs and Nikon. DxO has updated its nifty DxO One iPhone camera accessory, while Nikon has updated the D500 and D3400 DSLRs. We'll start off with DxO, as its update is the more comprehensive.

DxO One

The scope of the DxO One update can be gleaned from its version number. Carrying v2.0, the update is the biggest since the camera first shipped a year ago, and for the first time it enables Wi-Fi, allowing both ad-hoc connections or for the device to connect to an existing Wi-Fi network. This allows it to be used further from your phone, continuing DxO's goal of making the camera more useful standalone. The Wi-Fi connection is created by first handshaking over your iPhone's Lightning connector, saving you having to pair manually.

Also new is an additional focus mode which saves power by only autofocusing when you specifically tell the DxO One to do so, either with a half-press of the shutter release or via your iPhone's touch screen. This, says DxO, should be sufficient to yield around a 20% increase in battery life. Simultaneously, the company has also adjusted the curve for its battery indication so that battery life will be shown to reduce more gradually, rather than suddenly dropping off a cliff after a certain amount of usage. This second change only affects how the battery indication is shown, though, and doesn't actually make the battery last any longer, so you'll want to switch focus modes if you need more battery life.

Two further changes in DxO One v2.0 are a new underwater white balance mode which is applied automatically, and varies its strength depending upon how far underwater you are, plus a new Mobile Smart Lighting function reminiscent of that in DxO Optics Pro, which is manually applied in one of three strength levels and opens up the shadows.

If you're wondering just how you can use an underwater mode with a camera that relies on connection to your smartphone, the answer comes in the form of a new waterproof, dustproof and shockproof outdoor housing. Provided in one of seven different colors, the housing has two different backs. One is splashproof and allows use of the touchscreen with the housing in place, while the other is waterproof to 45 meters.To change modes on the Organic LED display with this housing in place, you have to cover the lens for three seconds, since the touch screen can't be accessed. The housing accepts 30.5mm filters, and has a tripod mount.

Continuing in the theme of new accessories, rather than firmware, DxO has also simultaneously released a zippered pouch with elasticated sides for easy access, and an ultra-compact stand with tripod mount and mini Arca Swiss plate. And all of the accessories can be purchased through a new e-store integrated into the DxO One app, which you'll also be using to update your firmware. The accessories will ship in the second half of September, incidentally.

Nikon D500

Moving along to Nikon, the D500 has received its firmware version C:1.10. Changes include support for the iOS release of Nikon Snapbridge, some tweaks to help text, and several bugfixes. A problem with images being displayed incorrectly if playback zoom was used has been corrected, and so has an issue with the focus point not being indicated if the shutter button was half-pressed after the standby timer had already elapsed. Another bug corrected in the new release involved a camera lockup if a command dial was used in the movie record button item of the custom control assignment menu. And finally, with the previous firmware if you enabled Active D-Lighting and used an external flash strobe in AA, A or GN flash modes, the resulting image would have been underexposed, a problem which should no longer recur.

You can download the Nikon D500 firmware version C:1.10 update here.

Nikon D3400

Finally, firmware version C:1.10 for the Nikon D3400 makes just one change. It's shared in common with the Nikon D500's update above: Install this new release and you'll find that the newly-released Nikon Snapbridge app for iOS devices is now supported. Download Nikon D3400 firmware version C:1.10 here.

(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.)