Firmware Friday: Two dozen updates from Canon, Fuji, Panasonic, Ricoh, Sigma and Sony


posted Friday, July 20, 2018 at 9:38 PM EDT


After a brief one-week hiatus, Firmware Friday returns in style this week. Since it's such a biggie, we'll keep this preamble brief. In all, there are around two dozen cameras, video cameras, lenses and accessories receiving updates in the past fortnight, with manufacturers on the list including Canon, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Ricoh, Sigma and Sony.

Let's get right down to what's new!

Canon 6D Mark II

Firmware version 1.0.4 for the Canon 6D II -- which can be downloaded here -- makes just one change, fixing a rare control problem. In some circumstances, all controls including the touchscreen panel could stop responding with earlier firmware.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, X-H1, X-Pro2, X-T2 and Tether Plugin Pro

Fuji has four camera updates in this roundup, plus one piece of software simultaneously receiving some love. The GFX 50S (firmware v3.20) and X-T2 (firmware v4.20) have both gained folder creation / selection capabilities, which the new Tether Plugin Pro release also newly supports. The X-H1 (firmware v1.11), meanwhile, gets a fix for a rare write error issue when using backup or raw/JPEG card slot settings in burst shooting, as well as another for a problem that could inadvertently send the user back to the initial settings screen. 

But it's the Fuji X-Pro2 which gets the biggest changes of all in its firmware version 5.00 update. Per the release notes:

  1. Enlarged and customizable indicators or information
    The upgrade allows users to enlarge indicators and information in the viewfinder and/or LCD monitor. This upgrade will also enable users to customize the location of where the information is shown on the display.

  2. Addition of “Flicker Reduction”
    For enhancing the quality of indoor sports photography, the upgrade allows users to reduce flicker in pictures and the display when shooting under fluorescent lighting and other similar light sources.

  3. Addition of “Select Folder” and “Create Folder”
    Enable to choose the folder in which subsequent pictures will be stored. And also enable to enter a five-character folder name to create a new folder in which to store subsequent pictures.

  4. Enhanced Phase Detection AF
    Latest updates to the AF algorithm provide the following performance enhancements

    1. The low-light limit for phase detection autofocus has been improved by approximately 1.5 stops from 0.5EV to -1.0EV, raising the precision and speed of autofocus in low-light environments.

    2. The range at minimum aperture has been expanded from F8 to F11. For example, even when using the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with the tele converter XF2X TC WR, phase detection autofocus can now be used.

    3. Major improvements have been made to the AF-C performance while operating the zoom, which provides major benefits when shooting sports and other scenarios in which the subjects moves unpredictably.

    4. Finely-detailed surface textures of wild birds and wild animals can now be captured at high speed and with high precision as a result of improvement in phase detection autofocus.

  5. New functions are added to store and read of camera settings by FUJIFILM X Acquire.
    Once connecting a camera to a computer via USB cable, the “FUJIFILM X Acquire” allows users to backup/restore camera settings to/from a file. With “FUJIFILM X Acquire” (ver.1.7 or newer), CUSTOM REGISTRATION/EDIT settings are also stored and read.

You can download Fuji's updates here:

Panasonic VariCam HS, LT and 35

In our last roundup two weeks ago, we told readers about upcoming firmware for the Panasonic VariCam HS, LT and 35 video cameras. A fortnight later, firmware version 8.0 for the Varicam HS and 35 and version 7.0 for the Varicam LT are all available for download. There's just one change on the list for each model, and it's a new feature: a custom splash screen function which is intended to serve as a theft deterrent.

Downloads here:

Pentax K-1, K-3 and KP

Ricoh has issued three updates for cameras in its Pentax K-mount lineup in the past fortnight. In all cases, the only change publicly disclosed is a performance optimization related to the new HD PENTAX-D FA*50mmF1.4 SDM AW lens. Interestingly, there are updates for the KP, K-1 and K-3, but not for the closely-related K-3 II, and nor for the K-1 II, K-70, K-S1 and K-S2, all of which were released in the same timeframe.

We're guessing that with the possible exception of the K-1 II which may already include this change, we'll likely see updates for more recent models in the not-too-distant future. (We'd guess there's little chance that the K-3 II -- which was last updated almost two years ago -- doesn't need an update if the nearly hardware-identical K-3 does. In the meantime, if you own the K-1, K-3 or KP, get your updates at the links below:

Sigma MC-11 EF-E converter; 14mm, 20mm, 24mm, 12-24mm and 50-100mm lenses

Moving along to Sigma, the company has issued updates for the Canon variants of its MC-11 converter accessory, as well as its 14mm, 20mm, 24mm, 12-24mm and 50-100mm Art-series lenses. The new mount converter firmware adds support for the updated lenses, as well as for the 14-24mm Art and 100-400mm Contemporary lenses. The lenses, meanwhile, have all been updated for better compatibility with Canon's Lens Aberration Correction function.  All of the updates can be installed using Sigma Optimization Pro and the company's optional USB dock accessory.

Sony A9, HXR-NX80, PXW-X200, PXW-Z90, Venice MPC-3610 and AXS-R7 recorder

And finally for this week, we come to Sony's updates. The Alpha 9 mirrorless camera's v3.01 update corrects operational issues in v3.00 (potentially resetting your function menu setup in the process). It also adds support for the FE 400 mm F2.8 GM OSS (SEL400F28GM) lens, and unspecified functionality for sports and news media. It also improves autofocus and flash control. Download this update here.

Moving along to video cameras, the NXCAM HXR-NX80, XDCAM PXW-X200 and XDCAM PXW-Z90 have all received updates in the past 14 days. (Not all of these updates are yet available in the US market, however.) The XDCAM X200 gets support for 10Mbps streaming in its upcoming v2.6 update. Meanwhile, the XDCAM Z90 (firmware version 1.01, available here) gets support for TLS version 1.2 and improved shooting stability with high frame-rate video and SteadyShot stabilization combined. The company has also updated its Venice CineAlta video camera to firmware version 2.00 (download here), with the following changes:

  1. Added imager modes, 6K 17:9, 6K 1.85:1 and 4K 6:5

  2. Added ISO2500 high sensitivity (Dual Base ISO)

  3. E-mount lenses supports

  4. Variable Frame rate (Select FPS)

  5. Apple ProRes HD supports

  6. Added simultaneous recording format

  7. User 3D LUT supports

  8. EI applied in S-Log3 output and recording

  9. Surround view in 4K 17:9, 3.8K 16:9 and 4K 4:3 imager modes

  10. High Quality Viewfinder focus magnification

  11. Auto White Balance

  12. High/Low key

  13. VF False color

  14. Camera remote control via Ethernet

  15. Inside button operation for Playback

  16. Eliminated restrictions on 6K 3:2 imager mode playback function

The AXS-R7 external recorder has also been updated to v1.10, adding Venice CineAlta support and newly recording the software version in metadata. Download this update 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.)