Firmware Friday frenzy: Canon, Leica, Nikon, Panasonic, Sigma and Ricoh offer updates aplenty


posted Friday, November 22, 2019 at 8:01 PM EST


This week's Firmware Friday roundup is very likely a record-breaker when it comes to interchangeable-lens cameras. Even without including overseas equivalents, we have 20 DSLR and mirrorless cameras on the list from Canon, Nikon and Panasonic, and 24 once Panasonic's overseas equivalents are added into the mix.

And as if that wasn't plenty already, there are also six Canon, Nikon and Panasonic compact cameras (or 15 with overseas versions), seven Sigma lenses and four mount converters to discuss, plus app updates from both Leica and Ricoh. Phew!

Let's get right down to it!

Canon 6D, 6D II, 7D II, 70D, M6 II, M50, SL3, SX70 HS, SX740 HS and T6S

All of Canon's ten updates are aimed at fixing security issues which the company first reported last August, as we mentioned in an update at the time, and follows on from a first round of updates for higher-end DSLR models released in September. in all cases the updates bring fixes for potential security exploits related to the Picture Transfer Protocol and the firmware update process itself. (And as a result, they're likely to close off avenues for installing third-party firmware updates, if that's important to you.)

You can get most of the updates at the links below. (UPDATE 11/26/19: The missing 7D II and 70D updates -- which IR reader Halltrimm helpfully noted were missing from Canon USA's site in our comments section below -- have now appeared and can be downloaded too.)

Leica Fotos 2.0

A new version 2.0 release of the Leica Fotos app has been made available both on Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store. In both cases, Leica promises a much faster and more stable user experience with added support for both the Leica SL2 camera, remote camera control and settings management, and JPEG image transfer / review. A Leica Account is required to use either app.

The new version also adds a rather pricey subscription-based Leica Fotos Pro option. For Apple users, this costs US$50/year after a one-week trial period, while Android users pay a rather more reasonable US$20/year, but with a significantly reduced feature set. For your money, you'll get support for transfer of full-resolution DNG-format raw files to your mobile device, as well as for starting / stopping of video capture remotely. For Android users, that's it, but Apple users also get iPad tablet support and integration with Adobe's Lightroom app on that platform courtesy of a dedicated Lightroom button.

The new app replaces all of Leica's earlier Android and iOS apps, which have been withdrawn immediately and can no longer be downloaded unless you'd done so previously. Supported cameras include the Leica CL, C-Lux, D-Lux (Type 109), D-Lux 7, M10, M10-P, M10-D, Q, Q-P, Q2, S (Typ 007), SL, SL2, T (Typ 701), TL, TL2, V-Lux and V-Lux 5.

Nikon Z6, Z7 and W300

Moving along to Nikon, the company has a rather more modest three updates for its Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras, as well as the rugged Coolpix W300 compact. Version 1.4 for the W300 (download here) is a simple bugfix update that corrects an issue which would prevent camera startup without first dropping and reinserting the battery pack if GPS track logging was active when the camera went to sleep.

As for firmware version 2.10 for the Z6 (download here) and Z7 (download here), these updates both bring the same list of changes, with a mixture of a few new features and a raft of bug fixes. The full list of changes for both cameras is as follows:

  • Added supported for optical VR with NIKKOR Z DX 16–50mm f/3.5–6.3 VR and NIKKOR Z DX 50–250mm f/4.5–6.3 VR Z-mount lenses. Note that attaching these lenses disables the Mechanical shutter option for Custom Setting d5 (Shutter type) in Group d (Shooting/display) of the CUSTOM SETTING MENU, leaving a choice of Auto and Electronic front-curtain shutter options only.

  • ISO sensitivity can now be adjusted using the lens control ring, and ISO sensitivity has been added to the options available for Custom Setting f2 (Custom control assignment) > Lens control ring in Group f (Controls) of the CUSTOM SETTING MENU.

  • As of November 14, 2019, the aperture display in the lens info panel for NIKKOR Z 24–70mm f/2.8 S and NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lenses shows both the current aperture and adjacent aperture values in modes A and M.

  • When On was selected for Auto ISO sensitivity control and an option that does not include “slow sync” was selected for Flash mode, shutter speed was formerly restricted to values between those chosen for Custom Settings e1 (Flash sync speed) and e2 (Flash shutter speed), but this has now been changed to match the behavior of digital SLR cameras, with the result that the minimum shutter speed now corresponds to the value selected for Auto ISO sensitivity control > Minimum shutter speed.

  • Fixed an issue that in extremely rare cases resulted in the camera failing to correctly record movies with 1920x1080; 120p selected for Frame size/frame rate.

  • Fixed an issue that occasionally resulted in “noise” in the form of white lines at the bottom of the display when the electronic viewfinder was on.

  • Fixed an issue that in rare cases resulted in “noise” in the form of fine horizontal lines appearing throughout the frame in movies and the live view display.

  • Fixed errors in the UTC time zones for the following three cities in the Time zone and date > Time zone display in the SETUP MENU:

    Caracas: was -4:30, is now -4:00
    Casablanca: was 00:00, is now +1:00
    Ankara: was +2:00, is now +3:00

  • Fixed an issue that resulted in an incorrect date of creation being displayed in the Windows 10 “properties” dialogs for movies and time-lapse movies created with the camera, as well as copies created with camera movie editing controls.

Panasonic G9, GF9, GF10, GH5, GH5S, GX80, GX85, GX800, GX850, GX880, LX10, LX15, S1, S1R, TZ90, TZ91, TZ92, TZ93, TZ200, TZ202, TZ220, TZ220, ZS70, ZS200 and ZS220

By far the majority of this week's updates come courtesy of Panasonic, especially if you count all of the overseas equivalents of its US-market model numbers as being separate cameras. (We can't remember the title for one manufacturer ever needing three full lines before, even when stripped to just abbreviated model numbers.)

We'll kick things off with the Panasonic GX85, also known as the GX80. Firmware version 1.3 (download here) fixes a bug which could cause image stabilization to stop working in Creative Video mode if you adjusted the white balance control.

Next up, there's firmware version 1.2 for the Panasonic GX850 aka GX800 (download here), as well as the same version number for the GX880 aka GF10 (download here), the LX10 aka LX15 (download here), the ZS70 aka TZ90 / TZ91 / TZ92 / TZ93 (download here), and the ZS200 aka TZ200 / TZ202 / TZ220 / ZS220 (download here). In all cases, these updates make just a single change, adding an exposure compensation display setting to the Custom menu.

Many changes are shared between Panasonic's remaining updates, although some are unique to specific models, or have slight differences here and there. Firmware version 2.0 for the Panasonic G9 can be downloaded here, version 2.6 for the GH5 is here, version 1.4 for the GH5S is here, version 1.3 for the S1 is here and finally version 1.3 for the S1R is here.

All five of these updates bring expanded compatibility with Profoto wireless transmitters, specifically the Air Remote TTL-O/P and Profoto Connect-O/P for all but the GH5S which only supports the -O variants. They also all allow continuous autofocus to be set on the live view screen when recording video with the recording area displayed, and add a new half-second duration for the auto review mode for still imaging. All five cameras also allow exposure to be locked with the AF/AE lock button when using Auto ISO sensitivity in Manual mode, and have squashed a bug which prevented backup recording using the double card slot function, and another bug which sometimes prevented portrait-orientation images displaying with the correct orientation in playback mode.

The remaining changes apply only to certain models, as we've noted in the list below:

G9 only:

  • It is possible to switch the subject to focus on by pressing the joystick in [Face/Eye/Body/Animal Detect.] mode.

  • 4K 30p/25p 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording is supported.

  • 4K 60p/50p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output is supported.

  • Luminance level for 10-bit video is supported.

  • VFR (Variable Frame Rate) shooting is supported.

  • HDR video recording is supported.

  • V-Log L recording and Waveform Monitor (WFM) are available with the Upgrade Software Key DMW-SFU1(sold separately).

  • [MODE2] has been added to High Resolution mode, which reduced subject's motion blur.

G9 and GH5S:

  • [Animal Detect.] has been added to AF mode.

G9, GH5 and GH5S:

  • [AF-ON: Near Shift] and [AF-ON: Far Shift] functions have been added. [AF-ON: Near Shift] preferably focuses on a subject nearby while [AF-ON: Far Shift] preferably focuses on a subject far away.

  • Focus Peaking function is available in any AF mode.

  • [AWBw] has been added to WB mode.

  • [Highlight Weighted] has been added to metering mode.

  • [Exposure Offset Adjust.] has been added to Custom menu, which enables adjustment of the standard exposure value for all metering modes.

  • [MODE1] has been added to the Live View Boost function, which increases the frame rate for smooth image display to enable easier manual focusing.

G9, GH5S, S1 and S1R:

  • AF operation following the pressing of [AF-ON] in MF mode was unstable when the LVF Frame Rate was at 120 fps and the camera was under dim lighting. This bug has been fixed.

G9, GH5, S1 and S1R:

  • Operational stability of image stabilizer has been improved. (When [Image Stabilizer] > [E-Stabilization(Video)] and [Boost I.S.(Video)] is ON.)

S1 and S1R:

  • CFexpress Type B memory card can be used.
  • It is possible to assign function to the Fn buttons of Sigma L-Mount interchangeable lenses.

  • When attaching a lens using the Sigma MC-21 mount converter and [Image Stabiizer] > [Lens] is set to ON , Body .I.S.(Image Stabilizer) suppresses roll movement.

  • It is possible to assign functions to the lens’ Fn buttons when the Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 70-200mm F2.8 O.I.S. (S-E70200) is mounted.

  • It is possible to set [AF+MF] in AFC mode.

  • It is possible to manually set the exposure according to the video exposure mode (P/A/S/M) in High Speed Video mode.

  • It is possible to select the card slot to save the JPEG images developed by in-camera RAW processing.

  • [Forced Flash OFF] can be selected in iA mode.

  • [AF Assist Light] has been added to the Focus tab of the [Video] menu.

  • [Off (Disable Press and Hold)] can be assigned to the Fn button. It disables operation when the button is long-pressed.

  • Fn button can be used for checking aperture effect while the button is pressed.

  • There were cases where F value control failed depending on the maximum F value when non-Panasonic L-Mount lens is mounted. This bug has been fixed.

  • Luminance level of photos (including 6K/4K Photo and Post Focus images) can be set when playing back them over HDMI output.

  • Aperture and shutter speed can be controlled using front/rear dials when the rear monitor is set to OFF.

  • There were cases where [Image Stabilizer] was set to OFF when the battery was reinserted. This bug has been fixed.

S1 only:

  • There were cases where blue clipping effect occurred in V-Log recording. This problem has been improved.

  • There were cases where afterimage occurred in V-Log recording. This problem has been improved.

S1R only:

  • Image quality of long exposure shot has been improved. (When [Long Exposure NR] is set to OFF and [Vignetting Comp.] is set to ON.)

Ricoh Image Transmitter 2

Ricoh's sole news this week is an updated version of its Image Transmitter 2 application for Pentax and Ricoh-branded cameras, which you can download here for Windows, or here for MacOS. Version 2.5.0 on both platforms adds new support for the Ricoh G900SE camera, including optical zoom, focus mode and manual focus controls. For Windows users, that's it, but MacOS users also receive the following new features and bug fixes:

  • Added Focus Assist setting change function.

  • Added Exposure Bracketing setting function for 645Z.

  • Switch between the 1x magnification display and entire display by double click of independent post view.

  • Corresponded to 180° inversion fixing function of live view display.

  • Added auto subfolder create function.

  • Corrected --- magnification display is difference in the vertical and horizontal for independent post view.

  • Corrected --- when changing image display magnification of independent post view by direct input, if you specify a magnification less than the entire display, magnification display become near the entire display value.

Sigma MC-11, MC-21, 24-70mm, 50mm, 60-600mm, 70-200mm and 150-600mm

That just leaves Sigma to cover. The company has updated both its SA-E and EF-E variants of the MC-11 mount converter, as well as the SA-L and EF-L variants of the MC-21 mount converter in the past week. Changes for the MC-11 mount converter are as follows, with notes on mounts as applicable:

  • Compatible with the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art for SIGMA SA mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.1.06.

  • Compatible with the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.02.

  • Compatible with the SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports for CANON EF mount with the latest firmware Ver.1.02.

  • Compatible with the SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports for CANON EF / Sigma SA mounts with the latest firmware Ver.1.01.

  • Compatible with the SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary for CANON EF / Sigma SA mounts with the latest firmware (Ver.2.02 for Canon, Ver1.03 for Sigma).

As for the MC-21 mount converter, changes are as follows, again with notes on mounts as applicable:

  • Improves AF performance when using SIGMA fp.

  • Optimizes the operation of the AF function button and Optical Stabilizer when the lens is used in combination with Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R / S1 that has been updated to the latest firmware.

  • The firmware will change the DC crop mode not to crop when it is set to Auto, when an incompatible lens is attached.

  • Corrects the phenomenon whereby the SIGMA fp freezes when used in combination with an SA-mount SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art.

  • Correct the phenomenon whereby the Optical Stabilizer stops working when using a compatible EF-mount lens in combination with SIGMA fp.

In addition to the mount converters, Sigma has also updated its 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports and 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary lenses for both Canon EF and Sigma SA-mounts, as well as its 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art and 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lenses for Canon EF-mount, and its 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art lens for Sigma SA-mount.

In all cases, the firmware aims to resolve issues when used in concert with the MC-21 mount converter, either in its EF-L or SA-L variants as applicable. You can expect improved AF performance with the 70-200mm and 150-600mm for SA-mount, as well as the 50mm for EF-mount. There's also improved Mode 2 image stabilization for the 70-200mm (EF / SA-mounts), 150-600mm (EF / SA-mounts) and 60-600mm (EF-mount only). Finally, the 24-70mm for SA-mount gets a fix for an issue that caused stabilization to remain active even when switched off.

To update your lenses, you'll need Sigma's USB dock accessory and its Optimization Pro software. Those of you who own the mount adapters can update them using the same software and your supplied USB cable.

And that's all for this week. Check back next time for more firmware news!

**Worried you might've missed a critical update lately? Don't be! Just click here for all recent Firmware Friday articles!**

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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.)