News / Firmware & Software Updates
DxO Labs has updated its Optics Pro Raw conversion software to version 8.1, adding support for five cameras: the Sony NEX-6, Olympus PEN E-PL5 and E-PM2, and Canon Powershot G15 and S110. An enhanced print module now offers colour management and sharpness adjustment for printing, and there's also an option to output JPEG or TIFF files with EXIF data removed. The software is available immediately from the DxO Labs online store, with a special end of year price through to December 25th 2012.
Apple has issued Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.02, adding support for 8 cameras to Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11. The update includes support for many recently-announced cameras including the Sony Alpha SLT-A99, NEX-6, Olympus PEN E-PL5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3, but does not yet support recent high-end Fujifilm models.
Lytro has announced two extra features for users of its Light Field Cameras - perspective shift and living filters. Perspective shift allows the viewer to re-render the light field as if captured from a slightly different position - moving this viewing position around shows off the depth information captured by the camera. Meanwhile the 'living filters' are depth-aware versions of the processing filter modes that have become near-ubiquitous in cameras in recent years. And, because the Light Field Cameras download all the light field data to your computer, these effects will be available with all existing captures.
Apple has issued Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.01, adding support for 11 cameras to Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11. The update includes support for many of the latest cameras including the Nikon D600, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, Canon EOS-M and Panasonic G5. Many of the latest enthusiast compacts, including the Canon G15 and S110, and Panasonic DMC-LX7 are also covered, though there's still no support for recent high-end Fujifilm models.
Canon has announced it will be releasing a firmware update for the EOS 5D Mark III that will provide uncompressed HDMI output for videographers. It will also enable autofocus using lens / teleconverter combinations with an effective aperture of f/8, using the camera's central cross-type AF points in a similar fashion to the recently-released EOS-1D X Firmware 1.1.1. However EOS 5D Mark III owners will have to wait until April 2013 before the new firmware becomes available.
Canon has issued firmware v1.1.1 for its flagship EOS-1D X full-frame DSLR. The update adds three options for indicating the selected AF point when in AI Servo autofocus mode. This includes red illumination, rather than just darkening the selected point, making the camera easier to work with in low light. The update also allows the central AF point to act as a cross-type point when working with lens/teleconverter combinations that give a maximum aperture of F8. This capability is currently only available with F5.6 (or brighter) combinations.
Sony has announced a series of firmware updates for its cameras and lenses, including the addition of Hybrid-AF compatibility for key E-mount lenses and the option to disable the movie record button on cameras including the NEX-7. The NEX-7 also gets an increase in the range over which you can set exposure bracketing - the ±3EV range it now offers is something a users have been calling for. Firmware v1.01 also promises to improve the responsiveness of post-shot image review. Further updates for the SLT-A37, A57, A65 and A77 also offer the option to disable the movie button and provide lens correction for a broader range of lenses.
Olympus has released a firmware update for its OM-D E-M5 high-end Micro Four Thirds camera. Firmware 1.5 allows the use of the camera's in-body stabilization during video recording when using non-native lenses on the camera once the focal length has been specified. The firmware also promises to reduce the humming noise generated by the camera's stabilization system when keeping the sensor in its neutral position. The update can be downloaded and installed via the Olympus Camera Updater software. The update also includes the changes promised for the suspended firmware v1.2.
Fujifilm has released firmware version 2 for the X-Pro1 mirrorless camera, that it promised before Photokina. The update improves aspects of the camera's operation that we criticised in our review, most notably focusing, both auto and manual. Firmware updates for each of the lenses are also required, and downloadable from Fujifilm's website. We've quickly tested the firmware and seen substantial improvements in both manual focus operation and autofocus speed - indeed we'd recommend all X-Pro1 owners install it. Click through for more details.
Photokina 2012: Fujifilm has also announced firmware v2.00 for the X-Pro1 high-end mirrorless camera, promising performance improvements. Firmware 2.00 addresses many of the criticisms that have been levelled at the camera by many reviews. This includes improved autofocus speed, better manual focus behaviour and less waiting for processing and card-writing. We've been using a beta version of the firmware and have prepared some notes on its effects. The final version of the firmware will be available for download from September 18th 2012.
Sony has announced the first in a series of 'PlayMemories' Camera Apps. These apps will be available to Sony owners with an account on the company's 'PlayMemories' web service and can be installed on the newly-announced Alpha NEX-5R. The Apps allow various features and capabilities to be added to the camera, including image processing and remote triggering options. The move comes as Sony expands the 'PlayMemories' service to make sharing images across its devices easier.
Nikon has released firmware updates for its 1 System cameras, addressing some of the drawbacks highlighted in our review. The v1.2 firmware updates for the Nikon 1 V1 and 1 J1 correct a series of minor operational issues but also change the program line in most shooting modes so that faster shutter speeds will be chosen. It was these cameras' tendency to use extremely slow shutter speeds that made us conclude they could be disappointing for beginners, despite the very promising underlying engineering. The firmware is available immediately for download.
Canon has released firmware version 2.0.0 for the EOS 7D. The update, originally announced in June, is the most comprehensive we can think of - significantly expanding the capabilities of the 7D. Changes include improved continuous-shooting buffer depth (to 25 Raws, up from the original 15), customizable Auto ISO, control of audio recording level for video and the ability to re-process Raws and rate images in-camera. The update also enables the use of the GP-E2 GPS module.
Olympus has announced a firmware update for its flagship OM-D E-M5 mirrorless camera. Firmware v1.2 promises to improve the camera's performance at re-waking from sleep mode and display the tracking focus point when shooting in low-speed continuous drive mode with continuous focus tracking enabled. Other listed fixes include the addition of features for use in underwater mode with the 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ lens. The update can be downloaded and installed via the Olympus Camera Updater software.
Nikon has updated the firmware of its D4 professional SLR to version 1.02, allowing more-vivid display of images shot in the Adobe RGB colour space, improving the stability of FTP upload connections and fixing various other minor issues. Meanwhile Sigma has released firmware updates for its SD1 and SD1 Merrill SLRs (versions 1.07 and 1.02 respectively), both of which promise to improve startup times, allow a dedicated flash to be used in manual mode with mirror lockup, and fix various bugs. Click through for links to download the updates.
Canon has announced a firmware update that will add a series of features to the EOS 7D. In an unusual move for a camera that has been on the market for almost three years, Canon is performing the most comprehensive firmware upgrade we can remember. This includes improved continuous-shooting buffer depth (to 25 Raws, up from the original 15), customizable Auto ISO, control of audio recording level for video and the ability to re-process Raws and rate images in-camera. The update will also enable the use of the GP-E2 GPS module. It will be available from August 2012.
Ricoh has issued a firmware update for all the camera modules of its GXR modular camera system. Version 1.51 is supposed to improve image quality in photos taken when combining negative exposure compensation with the multi-area 'Multi-P Auto' white balance setting. There are additional big fixes when the firmware is intalled on the GXR M-mount module and the A16 zoom module. Downloads are available from Ricoh immediately.
Canon has announced updated firmware for the EOS 5D Mark III. Firmware v1.1.3 makes an unspecified change to accommodate the EF40mm F2.8 STM pancake prime lens announced earlier this month. Beyond this, the update fixes a series of bugs and corrects a series of linguistic errors in menu screens. The firmware is available for download from your local Canon support site now.
Canon has issues a firmware update for the EOS 60D mid-level DSLR and 60Da astrophotography camera. On the 60D, firmware v1.1.1 corrects a bug that placed the wrong serial number in image EXIF. On both cameras it also fixes language errors in some menus. The company will announce updated versions of its software at a later date to correct existing images with the incorrect serial number. The firmware is available for download from your local Canon support site now.
Panasonic has release firmware v2.0 for its DMC-FX90 Wi-Fi compact, adding a series of features to allow its use with smartphones. The FX90, launched in August 2011 featured the ability to upload images to smartphones, but the latest firmware adds the option to remotely view the camera's live view, zoom the lens and trigger the shutter. These features, which can be used with the associated iOS and Android smartphone apps, bring it into line with the latest 'smart cameras' from Samsung.