Firmware Friday: New features for Canon, Panasonic video cameras, Leica digicams; big Nikon catchup


posted Friday, April 5, 2019 at 8:36 PM EST


Our Firmware Friday roundup for this week is a biggie, with no less than eight video cameras and nine still cameras on the list, plus another five updates on the software side of things. Truth be told, though, part of the reason for the size of the roundup is that I've just caught an error that stopped any of Nikon's updates making it onto the list since the start of the year -- mea culpa! -- and so I've included everything that should've found a home in earlier 2019 updates.

We've a lot to cover, so let's get right down to it!


Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2

We'll kick things off this week with Blackmagic, which has added a bunch of features to its URSA Mini Pro G2 video camera. In all, changes in firmware version 6.3 are as follows:

  1. Add slow-mo frame rates up to 120 fps in 4.6K Blackmagic RAW.

  2. Add windowed rates up to 150 fps in Ultra HD Blackmagic RAW.

  3. Add windowed rates up to 300 frames in HD Blackmagic RAW.

  4. Add frame rates up to 120 fps in Ultra HD ProRes.

  5. Add windowed rates up to 240 fps in 2K and HD ProRes.

  6. Add common off-speed frame rate options above slider.

  7. Add ability to embed custom LUTs in Blackmagic RAW clips.

  8. Add touch-to-focus for EF, PL and B4 lenses with focus servo.

  9. Add ability to change ISO in 1/3 stop increments and ISO slider.

  10. Add Generation 4 color science and HDR LUTs.

  11. Add USB-C Recording to flash disks.

  12. Add support for pixel recalibration on black shading in camera.

  13. Add ability to adjust Line level audio.

  14. Add quick media switching from the heads up display.

  15. Add ability to remap the HFR button.

  16. Add ability to disable function and HFR buttons.

  17. Add LUT icon to Status Text overlays.

  18. Add 'PRE icon to Status Text overlays for preset timecode.

  19. Improved auto focus performance.

  20. Improved media formatting user interface.

  21. Added URSA Mini Pro G2 information to URSA Mini Manual.

To get the update, you'll want to download Blackmagic Camera 6.3 for Windows here, or for MacOS machines here.

Canon VIXIA GX10, XF400, XF405 and XF705

Next up this week, we have Canon's VIXIA GX10, XF400, XF405 and XF705 video cameras. Firmware version for the GX10 (download here), XF400 (download here) and XF405 (download here) adds custom white balance setting to the list of functions that can be assigned to customizable buttons, and corrects the on-screen aperture value display to match that physically shown on the lens itself. For the XF400 and XF405, there are several other changes as follows:

  1. IP streaming has been added, which is an image (video) transmission method.

  2. Support for the [Reset] function that resets the clip number when the reel number is set, has been added.

  3. Setting custom white balance, <Set WB>, has been added to the list of selections available to the assignable button.

  4. XF405 only: 3G-SDI Mapping, Level A and Level B, has been added.

Finally, firmware version for the Canon VIXIA XF705 (download here) has three changes, as follows:

  1. When using zoom ring or zoom rocker the zoom response has been improved.

  2. The focus following speed during zooming has been improved.

  3. A vertical filter function has been added to the Interlace and Progressive Recording modes to reduce interlacing artifacts, such as moiré or jagged-edge phenomenon, which may occur.

Fujifilm Raw File Converter EX 3.0

Fuji's version update for its Raw File Converter EX 3.0 application (available here for Windows, or here for MacOS) is a minor one indeed, but we mention it nonetheless for completeness. The only noted change is a tweak to add mention of the Ichikawa Soft Laboratory-created software's provenance in its background image.

Leica CL and SL (Typ 601)

Leica's firmware version 2.2 update for the Leica CL, and firmware version 3.5 for the Leica SL (Typ 601) are equally straightforward. Each adds compatibility with unspecified upcoming lenses from L Mount Alliance partner companies. You can download either update here.

Nikon D600, D610, D750, Z6, Z7, KeyMission 80 and Coolpix A300, plus software

And so we come to the meat of this week's roundup. (And once again, sorry for having missed these updates until now!)

Starting off with the DSLRs, the Nikon D600, D610 and D750 have all received a fix for an issue with overzealous distortion control when shooting with the AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR lens at wide angle in FX format. That's the only change in firmware version C:1.04 for the D610 (download here), but the same version for the D600 (download here) also changes the time zone display such that it will only show cities in the currently-selected timezone. Finally, the D750's firmware version C:1.15 update (download here) fixes a problem with occasional overexposure when shooting non-CPU lenses in certain configurations.

Moving along to the mirrorless cameras, the Nikon Z6 and Z7 also share some changes in their latest updates. In firmware version C:1.01 for the Z6 (download here) and C:1.03 for the Z7 (download here), both cameras now respect the maximum sensitivity setting when shooting movies if the N-log setting is on, the camera is in a PASM mode, and if shooting manually, Auto ISO control is enabled for movie capture. There's also a fix for incorrect 35mm-equivalent focal length display in third party software when manually specifying non-CPU lens data and shooting with the FTZ mount adapter. Finally, both cameras receive a fix for overexposure when shooting with a flash strobe and a face is detected in Auto-area AF mode. The Z6 also receives a couple of changes that the Z7 received in its previous firmware update: The camera should now be able to access f/32 as needed in Program autoexposure with a flash mounted, and should be able to sync via radio at shutter speeds of 1/100 or faster when pairing electronic first-curtain shutter and flicker reduction.

That's it for the interchangeable-lens cameras. On the fixed-lens front, the Coolpix A300's firmware version 1.3 update (download here) has a fix for lockups when shooting zoomed-in with a date stamp enabled at ISO 1600. And the KeyMission 80's firmware version 1.3 update (download here) has a fix for failure to charge via USB from a computer, and for the selfie lens being flipped vertically when shooting in landscape orientation.

All of which just leaves Nikon's software to discuss. The latest software versions and their changes are as follows:

Capture NX-D version 1.5.2 (download here) fixed the following issues:

  • The application would crash under some conditions.

  • If the Specify size option was selected in the batch processing dialog, some time would elapse before the Start button would be available.

  • Changes to image length in the Convert Files dialog would sometimes not be matched by changes to width.

  • All changes to NEF/NRW (RAW) pictures made with NEF/NRW + JPEG enabled would be lost when the files were saved in JPEG format.

  • Batch processing and file conversion could not be resumed once paused.

  • The application would sometimes fail to launch.

  • Image artifacts (“noise”) would increase in pictures saved in other formats.

  • Straighten now functions as intended.

  • Files saved at an image quality of “99” would be larger than those saved at an image quality of “100”.

  • Portions of NEF (RAW) images shot with the Z 6 would sometimes not display correctly after the pictures were saved using NEF processing.

ViewNX-i version 1.3.2 (download here) fixed the following issues:

  • Files saved at an image quality of “99” are larger than those saved at an image quality of “100”.

  • Changes to XMP/IPTC information are lost from files saved using Ctrl+S.

You can also download both programs at once in their latest incarnations if you download ViewNX-i and Capture NX-D version 1.19.010 here. Picture Control Utility 2 version 2.4.2 (download here), meanwhile, has a fix for incorrect display of portions of NEF raw images shot with the Nikon Z6, and version 1.8.1 of the NRW codec for Windows (download here) brings support for raw files shot with more Coolpix camera models.

Panasonic AG-CX350, AG-CX200MC and AJ-UPX360MC

Which brings us to Panasonic, and its updates for the AG-CX350, AG-CX200MC and AJ-UPX360MC video cameras. Firmware version 1.02-00-0.00 (download here) for the closely-related trio makes four changes, as follows:

  1. Improved responsiveness to zoom ring rotation operation.
    The zoom performance is improved to quickly follow the rotation of the zoom ring.

  2. The peaking color of the focus assist function may appear in an out-of-focus area. This problem is fixed.

  3. When you use the AC adapter, the color of the level gauge display may incorrectly move for a moment. This problem is fixed.

  4. When VIDEO REC or FILMREC is set on Gamma mode, Auto-Knee function does not work. This problem is fixed.

And that's all for this week. Be sure to check back next time for more camera firmware news!


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(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.)