Firmware Friday: Lenses aplenty (and a few cameras too) get new firmware fixes


posted Friday, January 25, 2019 at 11:14 PM EDT


Our second roundup of the year is, finally, rather more sizeable than was last week's, with news of updates for four Olympus cameras, as well as for a whopping lenses from Olympus, Sigma and Sony. With a fair bit to discuss, we'll keep this preamble short and get right down to it!

Olympus E-M1, E-M1 II, E-M5 II, PEN-F plus 8mm, 25mm and 45mm lenses

Our sole four camera updates in this week's roundup all come courtesy of Olympus. The Japanese company has released updates for its E-M1, E-M1 II, E-M5 II and PEN-F cameras, and all four updates have one thing in common: New support for the FC-WR wireless radiowave commander. For firmware version 4.5 for the E-M1, that's the sole change. Firmware version 2.3 for the E-M1 II, version 4.1 for the E-M5 II and version 3.1 for the PEN-F go further, improving operational stability with UHS-II Secure Digital cards, as well.

As well as the camera updates, Olympus has released updates for its M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO, 25mm F1.2 PRO and 45mm F1.2 PRO lenses in the past week. In all three cases, the sole change is new support for the C-AF+MF function of the newly-launched E-M1X body.

All of these updates can be obtained via Olympus' Digital Camera Updater software.

Sigma 18-300mm, 24-35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm and 500mm lenses plus MC-11 mount converters

Moving along to Sigma, the company has updates for the Nikon F-mount variants of four lenses, the Canon EF-mount variants of three lenses, and two of its Sony E-mount converters as well.

For the lens updates, the 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art lens has been updated in both its Canon EF- and Nikon F-mount trim. The Canon-mount variant gets support for Canon's Lens Aberration Correction function, while the Nikon-mount variant gets a fix for interruptions to video recording with the Nikon Z7 and Mount Adapter FTZ.

The Canon EF-mount versions of the 18-300 mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary and 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports lenses for Canon EF-mount also get the Lens Aberration Correction support. The 18-300mm also adds support for Scene Intelligent Auto mode and the EOS R's automatic 1.6x crop function, while the 500mm gets improved AF speed with certain, unspecified cameras.

Over on the Nikon F-mount, the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens gets a fix for intermittent AF operation when starting with the subject completely defocused, while the 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art and 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art receive a solution for intermittent overexposure at f/5.6 or narrower apertures.

All of these firmware updates can be installed using Sigma's optional USB dock accessory and Optimization Pro software package. You can also use Optimization Pro to update your MC-11 mount converters, be they the SA-E or EF-E variants. The latest SA-E firmware adds support for the 28mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens. The latest EF-E firmware adds the same lens in Canon-mount form, and also adds support for the CINE LENS FF High Speed Prime Line 28mm T1.5 FF and 40mm T1.5 FF. It further updates support for the 18-300mm Contemporary, 24-35mm Art and 500mm Sports lenses running on the latest-available firmware.

Sony 16-35mm G Master lens

Which just leaves Sony to discuss this week. The company has updated its FE 16-35mm F2.8 G Master lens to firmware version 03. The sole change made is a fix for improper initialization when used with the Sony A7 III or A7R III cameras. You can download the update here for Windows machines, or here for Mac OS machines.

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.)