Firmware Friday: Sony A7R III, Panasonic GH5, G80, G81, G85 updated; Canon & Sony video cameras too


posted Friday, December 15, 2017 at 11:27 PM EST


Our Firmware Friday roundup this week is a tale of three companies: Canon, Panasonic and Sony. (So if their products aren't among your stable and you don't enjoy a vicarious peek at what's going on with other brands, you can move on to another article now. We'd recommend our just-published Canon G1X III First Shots as being of particular interest.) Canon and Sony's updates are predominantly for their high-end camcorder products, although there are a couple of other ILCs in the mix, while Panasonic's updates are all for its Micro Four Thirds camera line.

Without any further ado, let's see what's new!

Canon Cinema EOS C100, C300, C300 II and ME200S-SH

There are quite a few shared features of the new firmware for Canon's Cinema EOS C100, C300, C300 Mark II video cameras and the ME-200S-SH multi-purpose camera, and indeed those made in the C100 and C300 updates precisely mirror each other.

The EOS C100, C300 and ME200S-SH all gain support for Dual Pixel CMOS AF on the CN-E70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S lens, as well as for automatic aperture and push auto iris functions and manual iris control. (This last being achieved via the control dial on the C100 and C300, or the joystick on the ME200S-SH.) The trio can also now start or stop recording using the optional ZSG-C10 lens grip, and can provide focus, zoom and iris control using the optional RC-V100 remote controller.

The C100, C300 and ME200S-SH also now engage the mechanical image stabilization lock regardless of the IS switch position once the camera is powered off, and communicate appropriate lens metadata to the camera body. And they share new support for peripheral illumination correction with the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM, CN-E70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S, EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM, EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM and EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM lenses, while the EOS C300 II also now supports the function with the latter two primes.

And for the ME200S-SH, that's the last of the new features it shares with its siblings. It also has a new NU protocol option for the Remote B terminal, with this change being unique to this model. The Canon C100, C300 and C300 II also now support the EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM zoom lens for peripheral illumination correction. And one unique change for the C300 II is the addition of support for the LA-V1 LCD Attachment Unit. Finally, we come to the last of the EOS C100 and C300 tweaks. On top of their aforementioned changes, they add peripheral illumination correction support for the COMPACT-SERVO lens.

You can download Canon's updates at the links below:

Panasonic GH5, G80, G81 and G85

There are four updates from Panasonic this week, although it's easier to think of them as a duo since three of the four cameras are simply regional variants of a single model.

Firmware version 2.2 for the Panasonic GH5 adds new support for assigning functions to the Fn button on lenses such as the Leica DG Elmarit 200mm / F2.8 / Power O.I.S. (H-ES200), and improves recording stability in Variable Frame-Rate mode. Firmware version 1.3 for the Panasonic G80, G81 and G85, meanwhile, improves image stabilizer performance with the same Leica DG Elmarit 200mm lens, and corrects an unspecified operational bug which could be triggered by certain external devices. (And if that leaves you scratching your head, well... us too!)

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

Sony A7R III, PXW-X200, X280, X400, X500, X580, Z450 and Z580

And finally for this time, we come to Sony. Here, there's a single update for a still camera: the Sony A7R III. There are also updates for seven XDCAM video cameras, some of them being variants sold only in the Chinese market. Let's start with the A7R III, since that's likely of most interest to IR readers.

Firmware version 1.01 for the Sony A7R III makes just two changes, according to the official release notes. Sony has resolved an issue which could prevent the Set File Name menu from displaying correctly, and also says that it has improved overall stability. You can download this firmware here.

Firmware version 2.50 for the Sony XDCAM PXW-X200 and X280 makes three changes in total. There's a new Wi-Fi access point setting in the setup menu, you can configure up to three access point settings for the network client mode, and the proxy recording function can now be assigned to camera controls. You can download this update here for the X200, and here for the X280.

Firmware version 3.20 for the Sony XDCAM PXW-X400 and X580, as well as firmware version 5.20 for the Sony XDCAM PXW-X500, are all near identical. All three cameras receive the following five changes, per the release notes:

  • SDHC memory card (FAT) support

  • Configuration settings for connection to Wi-Fi station

  • Network client mode multiple registration

  • Proxy Recording Mode assignable switch registration

  • Improved integration with digital wireless receivers

On top of these tweaks, the X400 and X580 also gain new support for Pure mode when using auto-tracing white balance. You can download firmware version 3.20 for the X400 here, firmware version 3.20 for the X580 here, and firmware version 5.20 for the X500 here.

And finally, we come to the Sony XDCAM PXW-Z450 and Z580. Here, the changes are as follows per the official release notes:

  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) support

  • HLG display assist function

  • Enhanced noise suppression function

  • Picture Cache Rec function support when recording at 4K (QFHD)

  • Slow & Quick Motion function support when recording at 4K (QFHD)

  • Improved focus magnifier function

  • SDHC memory card (FAT) support

  • Configuration settings for connection to Wi-Fi station

  • Network client mode multiple registration

  • Proxy Recording Mode assignable switch registration

  • Improved integration with digital wireless receivers

You can download firmware version 3.00 for the Z450 here, and firmware version 3.00 for the Z580 here. 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.)