News / Firmware & Software Updates
Panasonic has reclassified seven of its existing Micro Four Thirds lenses as 'HD' lenses, four of them following a firmware update. Firmware v1.1 aims to improve the image stabilization performance and reduce the focusing noise during video capture. An apparent reassessment of its 'HD' standard sees these four, plus three other existing lenses, reclassified. The firmware can be downloaded immediately from the Panasonic website.
Olympus has announced a firmware update for its flagship E-5 DSLR. Firmware version 1.2 ensures the movement of the dial on the optional HLD-4 battery grip matches the movement of the selected AF point. The update can be installed either via the Olympus imaging software or by downloading a stand-alone installer.
Ricoh has announced a firmware update for its GXR camera units, increasing the available range of features and functions. The updates bring many of the advances made in the recently-announced M-mount module, including improved manual focus magnification. There are also a number of small additions and corrections to other features, including the ability to specify both the ISO limits and minimum shutter speed limit for Auto ISO. The A12 units also gain Bulb and Time exposure modes. The updates can be downloaded from the company's website.
Panasonic has provided details of a firmware update for its recent G-system cameras to provide full compatibility with the newly-announced Lumix X power zoom lenses. The firmware, which will be available at 'the beginning of October' will work with the DMC-GH2, G3, GF3 and GF2, and will provide several additional options for how the powered zoom is controlled. By a process of elimination, it seems reasonable to assume these are the functions that won't be available to older G-series users (G1, GF1, GH1, G2, G10), and possibly Olympus PEN users.
Panasonic has updated the firmware for its LX5 high-end enthusiast compact. The update promises faster AF times and improved noise reduction for images shot at ISO 1600 or 3200. White balance under artificial light has also been tweaked, as well as a series of operational and handling improvements being made. There are revisions too for image stabilization in movie mode, the addition of a 'Miniature mode' processing mode. Coming 13 months after the camera's launch, the move continues Panasonic's habit of continuing to invest in its enthusiast models well into their lifecycle. The firmware will be available from September 13th.
Adobe has released 'Release Candidates' of its Camera RAW 6.5 and Lightroom 3.5 raw processing software. The updates cover 12 additional cameras including the Olympus E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1, Panasonic's G3 and GF3, Sony's NEX-C3 and SLT-A35 and Fujifilm's F600 EXR. Also included are 26 additional lens profiles. Both are available from the company's Adobe Labs site and also address a number of issues reported via customer feedback. The company uses the term 'Release Candidate' to denote software that is well tested but not yet the final version.
Ricoh and Panasonic have announced firmware updates for their cameras. Ricoh has released firmware v1.37 for its GXR module, while Panasonic promises improved GPS accuracy for several of its recent cameras. Installing firmware version 1.2 should increase the positioning accuracy of the DMC-ZS10/TZ20, TZ22 and FT3/TS3. Meanwhile, v1.37 for the GXR modules corrects a minor error with focus mode reporting, and a glitch in manual mode for the S10 module.
Nik Software has released an updated version of its Snapseed image processing app and lowered the price of its Viveza color and light control software. Viveza 2, launched in 2009 will now be available for €99.95 (down from €199.95), with upgrades from Version 1 also halved to €49.95. Meanwhile, the company has also released a 'universal' version of its Snapseed image processing app, allowing it to run on the iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as the iPad.
Leica has released a firmware update for its S2 and S2-P medium format DSLRs. Version 220.127.116.11 brings improvements to the auto-bracketing procedure and adds a customization option to the menu control button on both the S2 and S2-P cameras. Registered users can download the latest firmware via the Owner's Area on Leica's website.
Fujifilm has released the promised fimware update for its X100 large sensor compact. Firmware v1.10 includes 22 feature modifications and additions, including correction of several issues highlighted in our review of the camera. The company has detailed the changes and revised the user manual to reflect additional features added as part of the update. Both the firmware update and the updated user manual can be downloaded from the company's website immediately.
Fujifilm Canada has released details of the forthcoming X100 firmware update on its '@fujiguys' Twitter feed. A series of updates detail ten significant changes to the X100's firmware, designed to address some of the criticisms of the camera's behavior. Changes include more responsive 'wake from sleep' behavior without a long press of the shutter button, clear indication of the eye sensor being engaged and the maintaining of ISO/Self-Timer/DR/Flash/Macro settings when exposure mode, review mode or power state is changed. The original messages can be found at http://twitter.com/#!/fujiguys but, as yet, no official announcement of when the updated firmware will become available has been made.
Pentax, Sony, Leica and Ricoh have released firmware updates for several of their cameras. Pentax has updated the firmware for its K-r, K-5 and 645D. Firmware v1.10 for all three cameras brings compatibility with the recently-announced 0-GPS module. Sony, meanwhile, has created updates for its NEX-3 and NEX-5, and SLT A33 and A55 models, adding many of the features of its forthcoming NEX-C3 and SLT A35 cameras. Leica has updated the firmware for its M9 digital rangefinder to improve color consistency across the frame when used with wide-angle lenses. Finally, Ricoh has updated its G700 and G700SE rugged industrial cameras. Click here for links to the updates.
Panasonic, FujiFilm and Casio have all released firmware updates for compact camera models. Casio has updated firmware for its ZR100, ZR10, H20G and TRYX models, mainly improving compatibility with the long obsolete Mac OS 9. Panasonic meanwhile has improved the 'menu indications' for the FP3 and FH22/FS33 models. Finally, Fujifilm has adjusted the image sharpness and saturation of its XP20/XP22, XP30 and Z90/Z91 models, as well as making improvements to playback mode.
DxO Labs has launched Optics Pro v6.6, an updated version of its raw processing and correction software. Version 6.6 adds more noise control options along with a color control slider and support for extra cameras, including Panasonic's GF1 and GF2. The update means all the JPEG corrections available for fully-supported cameras can now be manually applied to images from unsupported cameras. It also provides compatibility with the simultaenously-released FilmPack 3. Users who've purchased DxO Optics Pro since 1 June 2009 get the upgrade for free while a 30% discount is available at launch.
Adobe has issued updates for its recently released apps for iPad that integrate with Photoshop. All three apps, originally launched in May 2011, have been revised and have had features added to them. Adobe Nav, the remote file browser and tool selector, for instance now has the ability to transfer images from an iPad photo library into Photoshop CS5 for editing. The updated apps are available for download from Apple's App Store now.
Sony has given more details of the forthcoming firmware updates for A33, A55 Nex-3 and NEX-5 owners. The updates, which will be available from June 20th, include many of the features built into the newly-announced SLT-A35 and NEX-C3. These include the Picture Effects processing modes and many of the small handling improvements incorporated into the newer models.
Fujifilm is to update the firmware of its X100 large-sensor compact camera to address some of the criticisms raised in our review. The statement from Fujifilm Japan says: 'Fujifilm is planning to release a new version of firmware in the near future. The new firmware will include and respond to some of functionality posted by dpreview.' We will, of course, revisit our review in the light of these changes, when the update becomes available.
Canon has updated the firmware for its EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS 5D Mark II digital SLRs. Firmware versions 1.1.0 and 2.0.9 respectively both improve read/write speeds with UDMA 7-compatible CF cards, and also correct minor bugs and menu language errors. The firmware will be available for download from Canon's regional websites.
Canon has posted a firmware update for its EOS Rebel T3i / 600D digital SLR. Firmware v1.0.1 clarifies the on-screen feature guide description of the digital zoom function in movie mode, and fixes a bug relating to computer connectivity via USB. The firmware is available for immediate download from Canon's website.