Firmware Friday: Sony fixes overheating, star-eating issues; Leica, Panasonic and Sigma updates too


posted Friday, June 9, 2017 at 6:17 PM EST


Our Firmware Friday roundup this week is dominated by Sony, with the company shipping updates that add new features and fix issues with six of its cameras over the last couple of days. A few other companies do get a look in as well, though, with Leica seeking beta testers for new firmware, another couple of recent Panasonic camera updates coming to our attention, and Sigma announcing new firmware for one Canon-mount lens and one lens converter for Sony E-mount camera bodies.

Ordinarily, we go with alphabetical order for our roundups, but since the focus is clearly on Sony this week, we'll give you the rundown of its updates first. Without any further ado, let's get right down to it!

Sony A7 II, A7R II, A7S II, A9, A6300 and A6500 

As noted previously, Sony has contributed the bulk of the updates in this week's roundup. There are quite a few shared changes between these updates, which cover the Alpha 7 Mark II, 7R Mark II, 7S Mark II and Alpha 9, as well as the Alpha 6300 and 6500.

The A7 II, A7R II and A7S II all share improved operability when using Flexible Spot AF, as well as gaining the ability to start live view from a custom button, and a new Set File Name function. Additionally, they now support visible light LED AF assist with the HVL-F45RM External Flash), and Sony has also reduced lag when using wireless flash. Sony also promises improved stability for all three models.

As well as these changes, the A7R II and A7S II also get a new Auto Power Off Temperature function, and Sony promises improved image quality when using Long Exposure Noise Reduction. (Translation: A fix for the star-eating problem.) And finally, the A7R II's exposure algorithms have been tweaked when autofocusing in live view mode with Live View Display set to Setting Effect Off.

The Sony A9, meanwhile, gets just one change, with Sony fine-tuning its overheating warning functionality. The Sony A6300 and A6500 both gain new support for the FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS (SEL100400GM) lens, but don't share the remainder of their updates. The A6300 also gets the same new Auto Power Off temp function which was added for the A7R II and A7S II as noted above, plus a tweaked 2.35:1 guide frame and a pledge of improved stability. The A6500 instead gets improved image stabilization for movie capture.

You can download Sony's firmware at the links below:

Leica M10 firmware beta test

Leica's M10 firmware update isn't yet publicly available outside of a beta which is being organized in concert with the folks at Leica Forum. If you want to take part, you can apply by email, but you'll also need to be a member of the forum. (And there are only 40 spots on the test in total, so acceptance isn't guaranteed.)

The update is intended to resolve issues with SD card compatibility, so if you've experienced issues with a particular SD card, you'll definitely want to make yourself known. Full details on how to do so can be found here.

Panasonic FZ40 and FZ45

Last week, we stumbled on an update for Panasonic's FZ100, which actually shipped in mid-May. Today, we've likewise stumbled on updates that launched around the same time for the closely-related Panasonic FZ40 and FZ45. Just as with last week's update, these are both aimed at improving compatibility with Panasonic's own name-branded batteries. You can download the updates here, and once updated you'll be on firmware version 1.1.

Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary and Mount Converter MC-11 EF-E

And finally for this week, we come to the firmware for Sigma's 100-400mm Contemporary lens in Canon-mount form, as well as its MC-11 mount converter in E-mount to EF-mount form. The version 1.06 firmware for the mount converter simply adds support for the lens running its latest update. The firmware version 1.01 update for the 100-400mm Contemporary optic, meanwhile, improves autofocus performance. If your mount converter has also been updated, it will additionally reduce the time taken for the optical stabilization mechanism to be ready to shoot stabilized images.

The updates can be installed using Sigma's optionally-available USB dock accessory and Sigma Optimization Pro version 1.4.1 or later, which can be downloaded here.

And that's all for this week. Be sure to check back next week for more firmware news!

(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.)