Firmware Friday: Fuji to upgrade the GFX 50S and X-series cams; Canon, Nikon and Sigma get updates too


posted Friday, September 8, 2017 at 10:47 PM EDT


Our second Firmware Friday roundup of September is absolutely epic, with news not just of updates to 14 different pieces of imaging hardware, but also six software packages that are either updated or newly-developed. And this time around, it's Fuji and Nikon we have to thank for the bulk of the news, with the former responsible for the bulk of the firmware news, and the latter for the majority of the software.

Without any further ado, let's see what Fuji's firmware development team has been up to, before we move along to the rest of the firmware and software news.

Fuji GFX 50S, X-Pro2, X-T2, X-T20, X100F and X Raw Studio

Fujifilm's new camera firmware isn't yet available, with three models slated to receive updates in November 2017, and two more in December. The company will also be offering a new, free software package by the end of November for Mac OS machines, and by the end of January 2018 for Windows machines.

Starting off with November's news, the company is promising updates to the medium-format GFX 50S mirrorless camera, as well as the APS-C sensor-based X-T2 and X-T20. The GFX 50S and X-T2 will also gain support for a new raw conversion utility which will launch around the same time -- if you're on Mac at least, as Windows users will have to wait a couple of months longer -- dubbed Fujifilm X Raw Studio. This new app will, very interestingly, rely on the camera's internal X Processor Pro chipset to perform single or batch raw conversion through a USB tether from your computer, and it will also allow you to preview the conversions remotely, and to save, load or copy your favorite conversion profiles.

Both the GFX 50S and X-T2 will also gain new support for TTL and high-speed sync flash with compatible third-party flash strobes via their radio controllers. And they'll also both gain support for camera settings backup and restore using the Fujifilm X Acquire app, including the ability to copy camera settings between separate bodies. Additionally, the GFX 50S will gain the following features through firmware version 2.00:

  • Addition of “Eye Sensor + LCD Image Display” in the View Mode
    The update gives the “Eye Sensor + LCD Image Display” option in the View Mode that allows you to shoot through the viewfinder and check images on the LCD, just as you would with an SLR.

  • ON/OFF for 1/3-step shutter speed adjustment
    The update allows you to turn off the Command Dial's function to adjust shutter speed by 1/3 steps in order to prevent unintended adjustments.

  • Addition of “Shoot Without Card” mode
    With the update, you can have the “Shoot Without Card” mode turned OFF so that the camera will not shoot when there is no SD card inserted.

  • Addition of “-6” and “-7” to EVF's brightness setting
    The update will extend the “EVF Brightness” setting options to “-6” and “-7” so that, even in an extremely low-light condition, the brightness of the EVF does not distract you from shooting.

The X-T2 version 3.00 firmware, meanwhile, will also gain support for a new AF tracking algorithm that can track subjects with half the size that the previous algorithm was capable of tracking, or alternatively, can track objects that are moving twice as fast as could previously be tracked. X-T20 users won't get any of these new features, nor will they be able to use the new Fuji X Raw Studio or Fuji X Acquire apps, but they will find that their new version 1.10 firmware will allow touch-panel operation while using the electronic viewfinder. (They'll also be able to choose whether the full screen should be active, or just the left or right halves, as well as being able to disable the function altogether.)

And by the end of December 2017, updates will follow for the Fuji X-Pro2 and X100F. Both cameras will receive support for the Fuji X Raw Studio and Fuji X Acquire apps, allowing remote tethered raw conversion and settings backup, just as for the GFX 50S and X-T2. They'll also both gain those cameras' new TTL and high-speed sync flash support for compatible radio-connected third-party strobes. Those changes will be the full list for the Fuji X100F version 2.00 update, but the X-Pro2 will have a few more tricks up its sleeve. The X-Pro2 firmware version 4.00 release will also include the same new, faster / finer-grained AF tracking algorithm as for the X-T2, plus the following:

  • Addition of 4K video mode (excluding HDMI out)
    The update adds 4K video using the X Series’ famous Film Simulation modes. You can input audio from an external microphone. (Excluding HDMI output for recording)

  • Support for tether shooting via USB or Wi-Fi
    After connecting a camera to a computer, the compatible software (*1) will enable users to transfer images taken with the camera to the computer and save them in a specified folder, or to control the camera from the computer.

And that'll do it for Fuji's news, which will be thrilling if you own one of these cameras, we're sure. (We wish more manufacturers would take the time to continue to develop and improve on their cameras as Fuji does, because it's a great way to reward your customers and build brand loyalty. But we digress.)

Nikon WT-7, Camera Control Pro 2, Capture NX-D, Picture Control Utility 2, ViewNX-i and Wireless Transmitter Utility

Let's move onto Nikon next, as the company has a lot to discuss on the software front. Not surprisingly, the recent launch of the Nikon D850 has prompted much of this flurry of activity on Nikon's part, with the new Nikon WT-7 version 1.2 firmware adding support for this new DSLR model, as do all of the new software releases. However, there are some other changes too.

Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 version 2.26.0 now allows you to change the direction of shading for the live view highlight display using the Highlight Display option, and adds a Live View item in the options as well. And in supporting the new Nikon D850, it allows use of most of the camera's controls during live view, lets you start and stop video recording to external HDMI recorders remotely, and allows you to change the D850's Custom Setting g2 (Highlight Brightness) remotely, as well.

Capture NX-D version 1.4.6 adds support for the Group-Area AF (HL) and Group-Area AF (VL) functions in the Nikon D5 firmware version C:1.20 firmware release, and allows you to review the auto white balance color temperature for this camera's imagery in the metadata tab. It also adds support for the new Natural Light Auto white balance mode in the Nikon D850.

ViewNX-i version 1.2.9 and Picture Control Utility 2 version 2.3.1 both add support for the D850's Natural Light Auto white balance mode, too. (And if you like, you can choose to download ViewNX-i v1.2.9 and Capture NX-D v1.4.6 together as a single installer, to save some time, if you use both apps.)

Finally, the Wireless Transmitter Utility version 1.7.0 release now displays the current page number and total page count in the top right corner of the Setup utility, and corrects a problem whereby you could either import the Wi-Fi or Ethernet profile from the D750, D810, D810A, or D7200 after updating their firmware for compatibility with the WT-7 wireless transmitter, but not both profiles simultaneously.

Which brings us to the end of Nikon's news. You can download the new software at the links below:

Sigma MC-11 EF-E and SA-E mount converters, 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art for Canon / Nikon / Sigma, and 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary for Canon / Nikon / Sigma

Most of the remaining updates are for Sigma's MC-11 mount converters, as wel as for variants of its 24-70mm f/2.8 Art and 100-400mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary lenses.

The new MC-11 firmware version 1.11 for the EF-E variant of the mount converter, as well as version 1.08 for the SA-E variant, both correct an issue with inaccurate focus locks when using the Sony A9 camera body and a Sigma zoom lens towards the telephoto end of its range in AF-S mode. They also add support for the new lens firmware which we'll discuss next.

Firmware version 1.02 for the Canon and Sigma-mount versions of the 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art lens, as well as firmware version 1.01 for the Nikon-mount version, all resolve an issue whereby if you adjusted the focus mode switch setup from Sigma Optimization Pro on the Mac, the Manual Override (MO) function would be disabled. And the same is also true for the SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary lens, which now receives firmware version 1.03 in Canon-mount trim, and firmware version 1.02 in Nikon or Sigma-mount trim.

You can update your mount converters using the supplied cable and Sigma Optimization Pro. The same app can also be used to update your lenses, so long as you own the optionally-available Sigma USB Dock accessory. And that wraps things up for Sigma's firmware news this week.

Canon ConnectStation CS100

Lastly, we come to the Canon ConnectStation CS100, which is now running on firmware version 2.5.2. Here, there's but one change made. Canon has corrected a rather obscure issue which, if you assigned a static IP address to the printer and then left it continuously powered on for at least two months, could cause it to fail to start up. To update your printer, you'll need to connect it to the internet using the instructions here, and then update its firmware through the built-in menu.

(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.)