Jun 302014
 

leicaFW

Leica M 240 Firmware Update! Version 2.0.1.5

I just arrived back home from my eight day vacation and what do we have here? New firmware for the Leica M 240! Yep, Leica has released a new FW version for the M 240 and this is a BIG ONE! It fixes some bugs and adds some new features such as “Exposure Simulation” as well as the much waited for Auto ISO fixes! Yes, you can now customize your Auto ISO settings, which is very welcome. You can now turn OFF video and live view is available with EVERY lens made, even old screw mount lenses.

m240

Below is the list of ALL changes made but you can download the new firmware HERE. It is simple to install and takes about 3 minutes from start to finish. I updated my M without issue.

GET THE NEW FIRMWARE VERSION 2.0.1.5 HERE!

Improvements Firmware Update M240 Version 2_0_1_5_en

Improvements – Leica M (Typ 240) Firmware Version 2.0.1.5.

  • Improved description of the lens type in Exif-Data
  • Live view is now possible with every lens (including older screw lenses via an adapter) using“manual lens detection”
  • A “Video off” option is now available in the Set menu (see submenu item “Video recording”)The M-Button on the Top-cover is deactivated when this option is chosen.
  • The Horizon (level) is now visible in Live View, overlaying the live image. This additional info-screen is enabled using the menu item “Horizon”
  • New menu item “Exposure Simulation”Exposure simulation -> Permanent: Live View accurately shows image brightness according to the shutter speed and aperture set in manual exposure (as long as the chosen exposure time is shorter than 1/30s)Exposure simulation -> Release button half-pressed: Image brightness in live view is adjusted for best visibility, regardless of the actual exposure.
    Half pressing the shutter button shows the actual exposure.
  • Extended Auto ISO options
    All Auto ISO options are now visible using the ISO button
    Extra options for “Maximum Exposure Time” – 1x, 2 x, or 4x focal length – can be selectedto help avoid camera shake when using auto ISO and long lenses.
    “Auto ISO in M mode”is now offered as an option. This varies ISO sensitivity for correctexposure when shutter speed and aperture are set manually.
  • Crop marks
    In Live View, new crop marks for 3:4 / 6:7 / 1:1 / and 16:9 aspect ratios can be displayed. By pressing the up/down keys, the crop marks are superimposed on the live view screen (without additional information)
  • Korean language
    Korean is now available as a menu language
  • During video recording, 1/25s is now used instead of 1/24s. This reduces flicker effects with 50Hz mains voltage
  • Exposure bracketing settings are now saved when the camera is switched off
  • Direct exposure correctionAn “EV correction” option in the menu enables direct adjustment.
    So EV compensation can be altered by turning the thumb wheel, without having to press additional buttons.
  • New Light Metering Mode “Classic / LV disabled”
    In this mode, only Classic light-metering is possible; the LV button is disabled to avoid the activation of live view by accident.
  • New menu item “Focus Peaking”
    For improved visibility, the color of focus peaking can now be set to red, green or blue.
  • Better display of GPS location data
    Position is now shown for JPG files in Adobe Lightroom®
    Where the GPS signal is weak, the last position is now deleted after 5min instead of 24h as in previous firmware versions.
  • Bugfix in Live View at high temperatures
    Occasional malfunction of Live View at high temperatures has been fixed
  • Bugfix in light metering (Live view)
  • Bugfix regarding sensor cleaning function

 

Oct 102013
 

 New Leica M 240 Firmware. Does it fix the Skin Tones and AWB? 

Well, I downloaded the new firmware for the Leica M 240 camera and gave it a spin with my lovely Finacee Debby to test skin tones. As I mentioned in the past, the M 240 does not have perfect AWB or WB settings when it comes to skin tones. In my test of the camera when I was doing exhaustive work for the review many months ago I found  that in sunlight or daytime shooting the white balance would run to a very warm side of neutral. Too warm. Skin tones could look red or orange and many times it was hard to fix. Well, after the new firmware update that promises improvements to AWB and WB and Skin Tones I can say that out of camera WB is still VERY VERY warm when shot in outdoor daytime light but it was easily fixable during the RAW conversion. I snapped a few shots with the M and new firmware as well as with the Olympus E-M1 to see if the Leica could match the AWB of the E-M1. Below are the results. Click each one to see larger/sharper/better versions:

 

1st test, Leica M 240, 50 Summilux ASPH at 2.8 – AWB

Wow, still VERY VERY off and orange here. Think it may even be more orange than usual! Out of camera from RAW (JPEG was the same). 

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and below after a quick one click fix (auto in RAW conversion, then added slight warmth)

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Then I took the Olympus E-M1 and 17 1.8 and shot these at 1.8, wide open (This lens is amazing on the E-M1, an all new animal)

1st up, out of camera using AWB for the Olympus. Has some warm color but no where near as orange as the Leica

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and below, auto corrected in RAW

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Seems to me that Leica still may have some tweaks to make with AWB but it is fixable, and easily fixable IMO. The Olympus is looking damn good, especially for shooting the 17 1.8 at 1.8. If you click on those files you will see the larger versions..damn sharp for 1.8.

Below are a couple more images just for fun…

From the E-M1 and 17 1.8 – some contrast boost in RAW

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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The Olympus setup again, converted to BW

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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and the Leica converted to B&W using the Lux at f/2

debbyshal

Sep 022013
 

New Sony NEX-7 Firmware V 1.03 now available!

sony-nex-7-03

This is a few days late and some of yuo may already have downloaded it but there is a new firmware out for the NEX-7 which adds a few things including the AF drive system for video shooting as well as the ability to enable or disable the movie button, which I know many have asked for many times. Also improves response times and IQ using wide-angle lenses. Take a look below at the list, and download it HERE for MAC OSX or HERE for Window (choose your version in the drop down menu).

Improvements over version 1.02:

Adds the AF drive system for movies

  • Note: The AF drive system for movies is added in order to enhance the scalability of future E-mount systems.
  • Benefits provided by previous updates and included in version 1.03:
  • Provides support for the SELP1650 automatic compensation compliant lens
  • Enables the SELP1650 lens to retract immediately after turning off the camera
  • Adds the capability to enable or disable the MOVIE button
  • Adds bracket shooting exposure settings (three frames / 1.0EV, 2.0EV, 3.0EV)
  • Improves response for showing auto review images
  • Improves image quality when using a wide-angle lens
  • Improves indication for using the “Flexible Spot” setting
Feb 122013
 

sony35

New Sony lens firmware for Phase Detect AF activation – all E mount NEX lenses!

Sony has released new lens firmware with lens firmware v0.2 that will allow the 18-55, 18-200, 24 1.8, 30 3.5, 35 1.8 and 50 1.8 lenses to shoot with phase detect AF. This is great news because now these lenses will take full capability of the NEX-6 or 5R cameras with much faster AF.

To download the new firmware for MAC click HERE

To download the new firmware for WINDOWS  click HERE

 

Jan 312013
 

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 12.06.23 PM

New Firmware for the Fuji X-E1 and 35 1.4 Lens!

Seems I was not the only one who admitted there were AF issues with the 35 1.4 lens on the X-E1. Fuji has released new firmware for the X-E1 and 35 1.4 today that does a few things but the one that caught my eye was THIS:

“Accuracy of auto focus performance has been much improved under a various shooting condition.
Shooting with XF35mm lens, Shooting for the target with relatively high frequency, One-push AF by pressing AE-L/AF-L button,

  • <Notice> 
  • To enable more accurate AF performance with XF35mm lens, please update the firmware of your Fujinon XF35mm lens at the same time. Firmware version must be Ver 2.02 or later.”

Exactly what I have been saying..it is the ACCURACY of the AF that was lacking in lower light conditions. Supposedly this firmware update will vastly improve this. I have downloaded it and it does indeed seem to be much more accurate! I would not say it is any faster but that was not my concern with the 35 1.4, it was the accuracy. I will do more testing but some lower light test snaps in my office provided me with all hits and zero misses when just three days ago I had 3 misses out of 5 shots. So this is GOOD.

To update you firmware click HERE for the body and HERE for the Lens. Them just drag those files to a formatted SD card, insert into your X-E1 and power on while holding down the “back” button. The camera will give you instructions from there. 

Some quick and dirty test snaps in my office just now all at 1.4 with the 35mm and the newest firmware.

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Oct 172012
 

Download the new NEX-7 Firmware Update Version 1.01

Well it seems that Sony has listened to the requests of the NEX-7 shooters and delivered a firmware update for their cameras! You can download the update HERE.

What will this firmware fix do?

Addition of capability to enable or disable the MOVIE button!

Addition of exposure settings of bracket shooting (three frames /1.0EV,2.0EV, 3.0EV)

Improvement of response for showing auto review image.

Improvement of image quality when using a wide-angle lens!!

Improvement of indication when setting “Flexible Spot”.

I just bow downloaded this update for my NEX-7 as I have been waiting as well! Thanks Sony!

Jul 242012
 

Leica M9 and M9-P Firmware Update Version 1.196 now Live! 

Today Leica released new firmware for all M9 and M9-P owners! It seems they are still working on the SD Card issues that have plagues some users for a while as there are now more SD card improvements. Looks like they also added the new APO 50 Summicron to the lens detection and improved upon the power management. Overall a decent update. If you want to update your M9 to the latest and greatest, click here and then once you hit that page look to the right and click “UPDATES”.

Leica’s list of improvements this time around:

Further improvements of SD-Card compatibility.

Implementation of the Lens detection of the new APO-Summicron-M 1:2/50mm ASPH.

Improved power management.

The camera is now measuring battery stability internally. In case of weak battery stability, the camera switches off automatically.

Using old batteries could have lead to camera crashes and banding stripes under certain conditions with the previous firmware versions. Especially the usage of nearly 6 years old M8 batteries proved to be critical.

It is the nature of Li-ion batteries that the capacity weakens after a certain time.

We recommend replacing the batteries for the M8 and the M9 after 3 years at the latest. Heavy usage can even accelerate the aging process, and then batteries should be replaced earlier.

In case that the total amount of pictures, that can be taken with a certain battery, is significantly lower than before with Firmware 1.196, we recommend replacing this battery.

New batteries can be ordered at all Leica Dealers (Order Number 14464 )

Please be aware that your settings and your user profiles can be deleted after the firmware update. Please make a note of your settings and user profiles before you run the firmware update.

Jun 262012
 

Leica X2 Firmware Version 1.1 is ready for download HERE at the Leica site. It is said to improve higher ISO performance past 1600, improve auto white balance and have general overall performance enhancements. What the “general improvements and performance optimization” means I have no clue so I downloaded this firmware myself and tested out some shots at ISO 1600-12,800 and out in my yard to see if the camera still output overly warm colors.

I noticed the AF is actually a bit faster, or at least seems like it is. May be some kind of placebo effect but it seemed much snappier to me while aiming and shooting, and this is good. Feels a bit more responsive so this may be part of the overall optimization.

Here are some high ISO indoor shots this morning – nothing fancy, just snaps for testing – click them to see the full 100% crop embedded – from RAW

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and one more OOC JPEG at ISO 3200

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Below is another OOC JPEG shot in Vivid mode but at ISO 100. When I shot JPEG’s with the X2 and the previous FW I would get a VERY overall warm rendering. While this is very vivid in color it doesn’t seem as warm to me, so this is probably where the AWB was tweaked. 

AWB doesn’t seem to be as “warm”. Just my initial thoughts, remember, I tested it for just these shots to see if I noticed anything so don’t take these as cold hard facts. I have to shoot more with it to see how it goes. But am happy Leica put out a firmware update so fast, which is unlike them :)

UPDATE: I spoke with Sean Reid of Reidreviews.com and he has been testing this new firmware for a while now. Here is what he mentioned:

I’ve been working with various firmware revisions for the X2 for some time now. In his review of the X2, Steve noted that there seemed to be something strange about the ISO 3200 DNG files from the X2. He wrote:

“One thing I found odd is that at ISO 3200 in both sample shots from the X2, the one above of the bottles and the one below of the Polaroid (I tried three times, same results) show a blurred result. These are all from RAW and I did not add ANY Noise Reduction to any of the samples.”
Then, in another article he wrote:

“Here is what gets me scratching my head. In my review of the X2 I have found that anytime you shoot at ISO 3200, even if you convert the RAW and use ZERO Noise Reduction you still get details smearing. This does not happen at ISO 6400 or 12,500, only 3200. You can see the X2 crop below is smeared and blurred from in camera NR that is even applied to the RAW file when you do not want it there.”
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He was right about that. There was a bug in the firmware that caused those files to be smoothed when they should not have been. We didn’t see the same kind of smoothing in the ISO 1600 or ISO 6400 DNG files from the camera and it wasn’t supposed to be happening at ISO 3200 either. So an important change in Firmware 1.1 is that this problem is now fixed. There may some other refinements but, in my view, that’s the key change. I was glad to see Leica release this fix fairly quickly.
Sean also has a review of the X2 up at his paid subscription site, reidreviews.com
Jun 092012
 

A tale of two Leica X2 cameras

(This one is for you Betty) :)

Hey guys! Happy weekend, it is Saturday and I plan on relaxing some today but just so happened a package was delivered to me today thanks to the speedy shipping of Leica dealer Mr. Ken Hansen. What was in the box? A new black Leica X2 and with newer firmware than what was on the review sample Leica sent me (The review sample seemed to have some sort of prototype firmware, which I did not realize until last week). In any case I snapped off a few shots out in my yard and not only does this new X2 seems “snappier” than the other one it also seems a little sharper AND is giving me different AWB results which means different color and not as “warm” as what I was getting from the 1st. Not sure if its sample variation or if it is the firmware.

So I will test this one out further and if it does indeed give better performance than the review sample I had I will do another comparison  - this time with the old X2 and the X100 again so we have all three. I will also update my X2 review if this is the case.

UPDATE: One quick sample with both. f/2.8, 1/200s, ISO 100 on both – either the review sample is not focusing correctly (though it confirmed focus) or it is not as sharp..and I think that it is not focusing correctly 100% of the time. Remember, the review sample did not have final firmware.

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One quick test for sharpness wide open with the new X2 and Firmware 1.0  - click it for larger and full crop – it is SHARP. The sharpest result yet from the X2 for me.

 

and a self portrait wide open  - click to see the sharpness

and check out how sharp this is (click it to see this test shot)

ENJOY THE WEEKEND! It’s a hot one here in Phoenix again!

**Oh, and in case you are wondering..no, I was not aware that the FW of the original review sample X2 was not final as I was told by Leica that this was a factory fresh ready to go X2 and that I could even purchase it if I wanted. So I assumed this was it, ready to roll until I spoke with Sean Reid a few days ago who told me that FW I had was not a final FW. 

See my FINAL comparison HERE

Jun 072012
 

New Fuji X-Pro 1 Firmware Update Available!

Fuji has released their X-Pro 1 firmware update and it can be found HERE at the Fuji website. The new Firmware details are below:

 

The firmware update Ver.1.10 from Ver. 1.01 incorporates the following issue

  • 1.New function for “FUJIFILM M mount adapter” is added to the shooting menu.
  • 2.The MENU name “FOCAL LENGTH SETTING” is changed into “MOUNT ADAPTER SETTING”, and new correction menu is added.
    DISTORTION CORRECTION,
    COLOR SHADING CORRECTION
    PERIPHERAL ILLUMINATION CORRECTION
  • 3.Even if “LENS 5″ or “LENS 6″ (adjustable focal length) is set, the Bright Frame can be displayed on OVF in accordance with focal length.
    (Recommended lens focal length for OVF to check the Bright Frame: from 18mm to 60mm)
  • 4.In MF (manual focus) mode, sharpness of live image at 10x magnified operation (by pressing the command dial) is set to high and focusing point can be much easily confirmed.
  • 5.When FUJIFILM M mount adapter is connected to the camera body, the following issues are effective.
    • (1)By pressing the function button of M mount adapter”, “MOUNT ADAPTER SETTING” menu is displayed quickly.
    • (2)”SHOOT WITHOUT LENS” is automatically set to “ON”
    • (3)”Distance indicator (Manual focus indicator)” in “Standard display” mode on EVF/OVF is automatically set to “OFF”
    • (4)3 types of correction menu (DISTORTION / COLOR SHADING / PERIPHERAL ILLUMINATION) are activated.

For operation of each correction menu with M mount adapter effectively, please check the following URL in detail.

The firmware update Ver.1.01 incorporates the following issues:

  • 1.Reduction of chattering noise from iris of lenses in shooting mode.
  • 2.Improvement of phenomenon that parallax compensation does not work under condition of manual focus with OVF bright frame mode.
  • 3.Improvement of phenomenon that OVF quality as low visibility due to too bright OVF under the condition of power save mode during pressing the shutter button halfway.
  • 4.Improvement of phenomenon that delete function does not work after viewing continues shooting mode images.

For activate above issues completely, firmware update for XF lens is also required.

Please update the firmware of XF lens.

 

Apr 042012
 

Fuji has released another firmware update to the X100 today, version 1.21. The details of the update are below and you can update at Fuji’s website HERE. I am busy writing my X-Pro 1 review today so look for that ANYTIME now :)

The firmware update Ver.1.21 form ver1.20 incorporates the following issues:

When checking focus point by pushing AE-L/AF-L button in MF mode, following phenomena can be observed in relation to focus area settings. These phenomena are improved.

  • 1.When the focus area is set to bottom right end position, the camera may hang up.
  • 2.Even when the focus area is set to other area than above, focus may be hard to be established.
Feb 232012
 

First GR DIGITAL IV Firmware Update Released

Tokyo, Japan, February 23, 2012—Ricoh Company, Ltd. (CEO: Shiro Kondo) on February 27, 2012, will release the first function-expansion firmware update for the GR DIGITAL IV, a high-resolution digital camera launched in October 2011.

The firmware update incorporates ideas taken from the many opinions and requests we received from customers who filled out a survey when they registered their cameras. The update adds new functions and an increased number of settings that can be adjusted on the GR DIGITAL IV cameras that our customers already treasure, thus improving its performance and ease of use while also giving it the latest functions.

The firmware and user manual explaining its functions can be downloaded free of charge from the Ricoh website.

 

First GR DIGITAL IV Function-Expansion Firmware Update

Enhanced functions

1. Adds Function for Including Copyright Notice

Inputted copyright information is recorded to the image’s Exif data when a picture is taken. Up to 46 alphanumeric characters can be recorded, and the information can then be checked in the detailed file information on the camera’s playback screen.

 

2. Improves Auto Exposure Speed

The speed of auto exposure control has been improved, making selection of the proper exposure smoother.

 

3. Adds Function for Saving Snap Focus Distance at Time of Shutter Release to the ADJ lever and Fn button

The snap focus distance at the time of shutter release can now be saved to the ADJ. lever or the Fn button. The setting can be changed without having to go the menu screen.

 

4. Adds Function for Displaying Photo Information for Interval Composite Photos

For photos taken using the Interval Composite mode, this function enables a display of shooting times from start to finish, as well as the number of composite images in the detailed information displayed on the playback screen.

 

5. Adds Floating Black level adjustment function for Interval Composite Mode Shooting

The “Floating black level adjustment” function can be turned On or Off (default setting is on); if set to On, it can reduce noise at high sensitivities.

 

Dec 162011
 

PRESS RELEASE

NEW FIRMWARE UPDATE FOR THE LEICA D-LUX 5

Solms, Germany (December 16, 2011) - Leica Camera AG announces the release of a new firmware update for the Leica D-Lux 5. Users wishing to bring their camera up-to-date can now download the firmware update and an installation guide from the ‘UPDATES’ section of the D-Lux 5 page on the Leica Camera website.

This new firmware offers D-Lux 5 users the following updates:

  • Improved autofocus speed in the wide-angle domain
  • Enhanced functionality when using manual and automatic focusing
  • Increased automatic white-balance precision in adverse lighting conditions
  • High-ISO-noise reduction for ISO 1600 and ISO 3200
  • Incorporation of an ‘Active mode’ for image stabilization and new ‘Miniature effect’ in the ‘My colors’ mode (available for photo and video modes)
  • Continuous autofocus with the shutter button half depressed
  • Increased longest shutter speed from 60 to 250 seconds
  • Addition of manual adjustment of the LCD monitor and the external viewfinder to the camera settings menu

About the Leica D-Lux 5

The Leica D-Lux 5 is a true representation of the Leica design vocabulary and philosophy. Its flat, smooth and uncluttered design ensures its timelessly modern look. The Leica DC Vario-Summicron 5.1-19.2 mm f/2-3.3 ASPH. offers a faster lens than previous models and a zoom with an extremely practical range of focal lengths. Furthermore, the 10.1 mega-pixel D-Lux 5 guarantees exceptional image quality and superb sharpness while its intuitive controls ensure ease of use. Its 720-pixel HD-video function in memory-saving AVCHD-Lite format and optional accessories make the D-Lux 5 the perfect camera for capturing truly distinctive images.

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