Firmware Friday: SnapBridge support for Nikon D500; imaging tweaks for Panasonic S1 / S1R, Ricoh GR III


posted Friday, April 26, 2019 at 5:57 PM EST


Our Firmware Friday roundup this week brings with it news of updates for four large-sensor cameras, of which three are interchangeable-lens models. On the full-frame front, Panasonic has updated its recently-launched S1 and S1R cameras. Turning to APS-C sub-frame cameras, meanwhile, Nikon's D500 has also received an update, as has the sole fixed-lens camera this week, the Ricoh GR III.

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

Nikon D500

Starting off this week with the Nikon D500, we should note right off the bat that there's an important detail to note about this update. Nikon says that it may need to be applied twice in a row, and that after the first attempt, you may receive an "update failed" message. (You may or may not see the firmware version change after this update, such that it *appears* already to have been updated when it hasn't, too.) This is all normal, according to the company, and you should just go ahead and reinstall the update a second time regardless.

Changes in Nikon D500 firmware version C:1.15 (available here) include new Wi-Fi support for SnapBridge image transfer to Android and iOS smartphones, as well as several bug fixes. We'll let the release notes do the talking here:

  1. The camera can now connect via Wi-Fi to devices running SnapBridge. For more information, see the “Addendum to the User’s Manual” in which this feature is described. Before using this feature, upgrade to SnapBridge version 2.5.4 or later

  2. Fixed the following issues:

  • The camera sometimes had trouble focusing on subjects in the focus points at the edges of the frame.

  • The camera would sometimes stop responding during shooting in continuous high-speed (CH) release mode.

  • The camera would sometimes not turn off after the power switch was rotated to “OFF”.

Panasonic S1 and S1R

Moving along to Panasonic, the company has released firmware version 1.1 for the Lumix S1R (download here) and S1 (download here), with one change shared between both models. The pair get more accurate exposure during burst shooting, while the S1 also gets more accurate flash sync performance. No other changes are noted.

Ricoh GR III

Finally, the Ricoh GR III firmware version 1.10 update (download here) improves low-light and low-contrast autofocus performance. There's also preliminary support for the GR III in concert with an updated Image Sync app (version 2.0.4; download from Google Play Store or Apple App Store). As of right now, you can only connect via Wi-Fi, and only transfer / view images. Remote capture, Bluetooth, location transfer, date and time sync, and the ability to review images without being connected to the camera are all planned for a future release.

And that's all for this week. Check back next time for more 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.)