Firmware Friday: Lots of news from Nikon, Leica, Pentax, DJI, Metabones and Nissin


posted Friday, June 30, 2017 at 5:30 PM EDT


As the weekend arrives -- and for our American readers, perhaps an eagerly-awaited long weekend in honor of Independence Day next week -- so to does our regular weekly roundup of firmware news make its touchdown. This week, Firmware Friday brings news from three camera manufacturers (Leica, Nikon and Ricoh/Pentax), as well as from DJI (drones), Metabones (optical adapters), and Nissin (flash strobes).

Since cameras are our main focus here at Imaging Resource, we'll hit the Leica, Nikon and Pentax news first, and then circle back around for the rest. Without any further ado...

Leica M10

Regular Firmware Friday readers will have known this was on the way after our earlier mention of a beta test, but now it's here in final, release-ready form. The Leica M10 firmware version update is aimed at greatly expanding SD card compatibility. Where the previous firmware wouldn't recognize certain SD cards, or wouldn't always take advantage of their full performance, the new firmware now aims to do so better than in the past.

Unfortunately, the company doesn't mention any specific cards which should now be compatible, however it does note that cars from one to 512GB in capacity are supported, with a recommended minimum write speed of 80MB/s or higher. And of course, UHS II cards are still only supported in UHS-1 fallback mode, thereby sacrificing their performance advantage.

You can download the Leica M10 update here.

Nikon D4, D4S, D5, D90, D500, D600, D610, D750, D800, D800E, D810, D810A, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D7500 and Df

Moving along to Nikon, the company has updated its distortion control data for a huge raft of cameras, allowing for pincushion and barrel-distortion correction right in the camera body. The Distortion Control Data Version 2.016 update supports a total of 24 different DSLR camera models, although to use it you'll need to be running on recent firmware (albeit, not necessarily the latest-available version in all cases.) Courtesy of Nikon, the required firmware versions for each camera can be found below:

Camera Required firmware version
D5 C:1.00
D4S C:1.00
D4 A:1.10, B:1.10
D810A C:1.00
D810 C:1.00
D800E A:1.10, B:1.10
D800 A:1.10, B:1.10
Df C:1.00
D750 C:1.00
D610 C:1.01
D600 C:1.02
D500 C:1.00
D7500 C:1.00
D7200 C:1.00
D7100 C:1.02
D7000 A:1.04, B:1.05
D5600 C:1.00
D5500 C:1.00
D5300 C:1.00
D5200 C:1.02
D3400 C:1.00
D3300 C:1.00
D3200 C:1.03
D90 A:1.00, B:1.01

Want to update your Nikon DSLR? Check you're on the right firmware version first, and then download the distortion control data here!

Pentax 645Z

Among the camera manufacturers, this week Ricoh is the only one to offer new features to its customers. Specifically, through its new firmware version 1.30 update, Ricoh's Pentax 645Z medium-format DSLR has been gifted the same Outdoor View and Night Vision LCD modes as seen in other recent Pentax-branded DSLRs. Outdoor View mode allows significantly greater display brightness for sunlight visibility, as well as significantly lower brightness when shooting in low light. Night Vision mode, meanwhile, disables all but the red channel, even when in menus or reviewing images. The red channel has minimal impact on your night vision, making this function ideal for astrophotography or other extreme low-light situations where you need to ensure your night vision isn't disrupted.

You can download the Pentax 645Z firmware version 1.30 update here.

DJI Spark

Moving on to equipment other than standalone cameras, drone maker DJI recently updated its just-launched DJI Spark drone to firmware version 01.00.0400, and its controller to firmware version 01.00.0100. Courtesy of the official release notes, changes are as follows:

  • Updated No Fly Zone Management.

  • For increased safety, the flight is restricted to a height of 30 m and distance of 50 m when not connected or logged into the app during flight, including DJI GO 4 and all apps compatible with DJI aircraft.

  • In Gesture mode, you can now take selfies even if the drone isn't following you. Just make a frame with your hands within 23 ft (7 m) of the aircraft while facing toward the camera.

  • Added a lowest altitude limit (1 ft, 0.3 m) for Gesture mode, and improved the aircraft's ability to recognize the wave gesture.

  • Improved ActiveTrack performance while recording video.

  • RTH at Current Altitude is now disabled by default.

  • Reduced video lag during aircraft rotation.

  • Fixed an issue where the remote controller and aircraft couldn't connect in some regions.

  • Reduced video downlink latency when Wi-Fi signal is weak.

The firmware can be installed through DJI's GO 4 app for Android or iOS devices, as shown in the video below:

Updating firmware using DJI GO 4

Metabones EF-MFT and EF-E Smart Adapter, EF-E Speed Booster Ultra and EF-FZ CINE Smart Adapter

Metabones has updated its firmware for several distinct series of products this week. The big news, though, is for its EF-E Smart Adapter MARK IV/V and EF-E Speed Booster ULTRA, which are now running firmware version 0.57. Here, there are a dozen or so changes as follows below:

  • Added autofocus support during high speed and medium speed continuous drive (up to 10fps) on Sony A9 ("Green" mode only). Experiment with the "Priority Set in AF-C" setting for the best compromise between hit rate and frame rate for your shooting style. Overall performance depends on lens used. The camera does not use hunting while tracking is in operation. If subject movement exceeds the measurement range of the OSPDAF sensor, autofocus pauses. This is by design. The measurement range of the OSPDAF sensor decreases as the focal length increases. Except for the original Mark I Smart Adapter this feature is available for all subsequent Speed Boosters and Smart Adapters.

  • Enlarged PDAF area on supported cameras when adapter is in Advanced mode, with the advisory that AF performance may be unsatisfactory outside of the central portion of the frame.

  • Enabled AF illuminator (Advanced mode only).

  • There is an AF accuracy issue when using AF-S or DMF on Sony A9 and telephoto lenses with Metabones in "Advanced" mode, which affects this and all previous firmware versions. Green mode, which is set by default on Sony A9, is not affected (except for the original Smart Adapter Mark I, which does not support "Green" mode). A9 users are advised to not use "Advanced" mode but stick with the default "Green" mode. In addition, some telephoto lenses rarely exhibit this issue, such as EF 200/2.8L II USM, EF 400/5.6L USM and Tamron 150-600/5-6.3 VC USD A011. Investigation of this issue is still in progress.

  • Fixed AF issue with EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM and EF-S 18-135/3.5-5.6 IS Nano USM lenses.

  • Fixed smooth iris support for 40/2.8 STM, 50/1.8 STM and Sigma 50-100/1.8 DC HSM Art 016.

  • Fixed CN-E 18-80 T4.4 L IS KAS S servo zoom used by the camera's zoom rocker and the lens' rocker in alternation.

  • Fixed CN-E 18-80 T4.4 L IS KAS S auto iris when adapter is in Green mode, where extremely bright conditions no longer causes the iris to close completely.        

  • Fixed aperture display with Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lens and Kenko Pro 300 teleconvertter.

  • Corrected W-T zoom scale display in "Advanced" mode for Speed Booster and Kenko Pro 300  teleconverter (except Mark I/II/III and original Speed Booster).

  • Faster aperture diaphragm for still photography in Advanced mode when Live Vide mode is set to Setting Effect OFF.

  • LED (if available) now shows solid magenta when adapter is connected to USB waiting for Metabones App to run.

For the Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds Smart Adapter/Speed Booster, meanwhile, there are three changes as follows:

  • Fixed smooth iris support for 40/2.8 STM, 50/1.8 STM and Sigma 50-100/1.8 DC HSM Art 016.

  • Fixed AF issue with EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM and EF-S 18-135/3.5-5.6 IS Nano USM lenses.

  • Fixed regression with EF Extender 1.4x not being recognized when used with fixed focal length lenses

And finally, for the Canon EF - Sony FZ CINE Smart Adapter, there is just one change: Auto iris, servo zoom, and custom function button support for the Canon CN-E 18-80 T4.4L lens. You can download Metabones' latest firmware at the links below:

  • Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds Smart Adapter/Speed Booster firmware version 2.8

  • EF-E Smart Adapter MARK IV/V and EF-E Speed Booster ULTRA firmware version 0.57

  • Canon EF - Sony FZ CINE Smart Adapter firmware version 6.44

Nissin i40, i60A, Di700A and Air 1 Commander

And finally for this week, we come to Nissin. The Japanese flash manufacturer has updated its i40, i60A and Di700A flash strobes, as well as its Air 1 Commander device, to provide High-Speed Sync capability for Fujifilm cameras. You won't be able to install the updates yourself, however. Instead, you'll need to fill in the repair and service form, and send your gear to Nissin's US-market importer, New England Imaging Distribution. The update service is free of charge for products purchased from authorized dealers in the USA, and return shipping within the USA is also covered.

And that's it for this week. Be sure to check back next time 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.)