Firmware Friday: Sigma updates lenses, Quattro cameras; Panasonic cams and DJI Spark updated too


posted Friday, August 4, 2017 at 7:49 PM EDT


Another week has gone by, and once more we bring you our regular Firmware Friday roundup. This week, we have news of new firmware for six cameras and two lenses from Sigma, as well as a new version of the company's related Photo Pro software package. We've also just stumbled on updates for five closely-related Panasonic camera models which slipped by unnoticed a month or so back. And to round things out, we have news of a camera-related fix for a raft of Sony HDTV models, and of an update for the tiny little DJI Spark quadcopter.

Without any further ado, let's get right down to it!

Sigma dp0, dp1, dp2 and dp3 Quattro; sd Quattro and Quattro H; 100-400mm Contemporary and MC-11 EF-E converter

We'll start off this week with Sigma, since the company is responsible for the majority of the updates in our roundup. Firmware version 2.02 for the Sigma dp Quattro-series cameras corrects an issue with noise on the right side of the image frame for shots captured in DNG raw format and processed using Adobe Photoshop. And the new firmware for the 100-400mm Contemporary lens and MC-11 EF-E mount converter works to correct an issue which prevented the optical stabilization system failing to work properly when the pair were used together.

The really big news, though, is the updated firmware for the sd Quattro and sd Quattro H cameras, which makes a huge raft of feature improvements and bug fixes. Included among these is the same DNG raw fix as for the dp Quattro-series cameras, but only for the SD Quattro. This is one of two changes specific to that model, with the SD Quattro H also receiving two changes specific to itself. The remainder of changes are shared by both of these models:

  • SD Quattro-specific changes:

    • Corrected the phenomenon that Auto Power OFF function took longer when some of the lenses with OS mechanism were attached.

    • Corrected the phenomenon that there was some noise in the right side of the images, when DNG files were processed.

  • SD Quattro H-specific changes:

    • It is possible to offer faster AF speed for the lenses from the Contemporary, Art and Sports lines by 10 – 30%, and has further improved the focusing accuracy.

    • Corrected the phenomenon that it occasionally freezes when the shutter button is repeatedly half-pressed.

  • Changed the file structure of X3F and X3I files and enabled the camera to offer faster processing speeds.

  • Faster camera startup.

  • Improved the color reproduction performance during indoor shooting when AWB is selected.

  • Improved the algorithm for the noise reduction in JPEG format.

  • Selector buttons can now move the focus frame without using focus frame button.

  • It is now possible to set the slowest limit for the shutter speed while shooing ISO Auto.

  • You can now allocate the “LV Magnification Display” function to the FUNC button of the Power Grip PG-41.

  • It is now possible to display the shooting information on the sub monitor when checking the recorded images.

  • Improved the accuracy of dimming when used with the ELECTRONIC FLASH EF-630 SA, the ELECTRONIC FLASH EF-610 DG SUPER SA-STTL, the ELECTRONIC FLASH EF-610 DG ST SA-STTL and the ELECTRONIC FLASH MACRO EM-140 DG SA-STTL.

  • Changed the specification of the Super Fine Detail (SFD) mode that a warning message appears when the battery is low, and shooting in the SFD mode becomes unavailable.

  • Corrected the phenomenon that the lens description in the EXIF data of JPEG images was not displayed properly. This was identified when the JPEG image was developed from the RAW data processed internally on the camera.

And finally for Sigma, the company has also released its Photo Pro 6.5.4 software release, which adds support for the new sd Quattro firmware, improves image quality for X3F raw files from the sd Quattro H, and adds built-in update checking to the app's feature list. You can download Sigma's updates at the links below:

Panasonic DC-TZ90, TZ91, TZ92, TZ93 and ZS70

Panasonic's new firmware for the closely-related Lumix TZ90, TZ91, TZ92, TZ93 and ZS70 actually landed at the end of June, but we've only just stumbled on it now. Firmware version 1.1 for all five cameras makes but one change. Panasonic states that it has "improved the slowing of burst shooting speed at certain focal length" for these models. You can download the new firmware for your Lumix camera on the Panasonic website.

Sony KDL-series TVs and A6300 camera

We don't usually cover TVs around these parts, but given that the latest firmware for Sony's KDL-series TVs corrects an issue related to the A6300 compact system camera, we figure it's worth doing so this time around. If you've been experiencing problems with photos from your Sony A6300 not displaying on your TV after transfer via Wi-Fi Direct, you'll want to apply the update which can be found on Sony's website, bringing your KDL-series TV up to version 8.136.

DJI Spark

Finally for this week, we've just learned of firmware version 01.00.0500 for the tiny DJI Spark quadcopter, as well as firmware version 01.00.0300 for its remote control unit. Together, these updates make for a lengthy list of improvements, as follows:

  • Improved photo resolution to 4K in Gesture and ActiveTrack modes.

  • Added a new gesture for video recording. 

  • Added an option to adjust gimbal tilt sensitivity.

  • Added a 180° Pano shooting mode.

  • The aircraft will descend to a height of 1.5 m while flying below 4.5 m or descend 3 m while flying above 4.5 m if no subject is detected for more than one minute in Gesture mode.

  • Improved overall gesture recognition and reduced the probability of falsely recognizing the selfie gesture. The wave gesture is now disabled by default while flying indoors or where the GPS signal is weak to ensure safety. The wave gesture can be enabled in both situations by adjusting settings in DJI GO 4.

  • Fixed an issue where photos failed to save and the shutter sound would not be made while taking photos in Gesture mode.

  • The aircraft will now exit QuickShot automatically when a control stick is pulled opposite to the direction of flight. Flight distances for QuickShots can now be set in DJI GO 4, with greater maximum flight distances while using the remote controller. Also, flight directions for Circle and Helix can now be adjusted in DJI GO 4.

  • Fixed an issue where the aircraft didn’t ascend high enough with the Dronie QuickShot and optimized Rocket.

  • Optimized the FPV gimbal mode in Sport mode to keep the gimbal from reaching its endpoint.

  • Fixed issue where the remote controller would occasionally disconnect from the aircraft.

  • Fixed a rare issue where the remote controller couldn’t be turned off. 

  • Improved aircraft and remote controller responsiveness.

  • Optimized battery level calculation.

The firmware update can be installed using DJI Assistant 2 or DJI Go 4 using the instructions in the videos below:

Updating the DJI Spark using DJI Assistant 2

Updating the DJI Spark using DJI Go 4

And that's all 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.)