Firmware Friday: Sony A900/A850, Fuji HS10, Panasonic FZ100/FX700/FX75, Ricoh CX4

Camera    Firmware Update

Below you will find this week’s firmware updates.  Hit the manufacturer website links for more details and download instructions for the firmware.

Sony A900 / A850 version 2.0 – “You can release the shutter even when no lens is mounted on the camera (P/A/S/M and Auto mode). The range of the exposure compensation is expanded to ±5 EV (Before the update: ±3 EV). The following setting has been added to the continuous bracket and single bracket shooting functions: The exposure bracket can now be set in 3 EV increments and the camera shoots three images ([3.0 EV– +3.0 EV]). (Before the update: Up to 2.0 EV). The speed of autofocus has been improved. The improvement will be most noticeable when using a tele lens, however the effect is dependent on the shooting condition.” [Sony Website]

Fuji HS10 version 1.04 – “1. Custom white balance can be set correctly when an external flash is mounted. 2. On slide show mode, sound of movie recording data can be performed on the HDTV which is connected with the camera via HDMI interface.” [Fuji Website]

Panasonic FZ100 version 1.2 – “1. Image quality improvement of Motion Deblur in iA Mode 2. Performance improvement of autofocus in taking pictures while recording Motion Pictures” [Panasonic Website]

Panaonsic FX700 and FX75 version 1.1 – “1. Image quality improvement of Motion Deblur in iA Mode (FX70/ FX75/ FX700) 2. Performance improvement of autofocus in taking pictures while recording Motion Pictures (FX700)” [Panasonic Website]

Ricoh CX4 version 1.05 – “Modified the following phenomenon. 1. In the Night Landscape Multi-shot, when pressing the shutter release button half way, the camera shake warning symbol camera shake warning will not be displayed in the screen.” [Ricoh Website]

Adobe Lightroom 3.2 and Camera RAW 6.2 Now Available

Adobe has released final versions of Lightroom 3.2 and Camera RAW 6.2, which are now available.  The new versions adds direct publishing to Facebook and RAW file support for the following camera models: [Read more...]

Fuji HS10 Recommended External Flashes

One of the frequently recurring questions that I receive is “What flash should I get for the Fuji HS10?”

The Fuji HS10 features a hot shoe for an external flash; however, Fuji does not make a dedicated flash for the camera.  Perhaps Fuji should think hard about making a flash for the next version of this camera.

I have inquired directly with Fuji regarding recommended external flashes, only to receive rather vague responses as to which flash models are appropriate for the HS10.  As a result of testing, obtaining recommendations from manufacturers and corresponding with HS10 users, I’ve compiled a short list of recommended external flashes for the Fuji HS10. [Read more...]

Fuji HS10 Firmware Update

Firmware version 1.02 is now available for the Fuji HS10.  The new firmware addresses the following issues:

  1. In Raw data a line is visible where colors slightly change when developed by Raw File Converter.
  2. Battery indicator turns on too early.
  3. When “Image Disp.” in set-up menu is set to “Zoom”, sometimes image corrupts.

Additional info and download instructions are available on Fuji’s website.

Fuji HS10 Review

The Fuji HS10 is a superzoom camera that ties the Olympus SP-800UZ for the largest zoom range currently available among consumer cameras.  The 30x zoom range of the Fuji HS10 covers an equivalent of 24-720mm, which is the result of having a sensor about 1/6th the size of that found in a full frame camera like the Canon 5D Mark II.

In terms of ergonomics and usability, the HS10 performs much like an entry-level DSLR in many ways.  While the flexibility afforded by the zoom range on the HS10 is the camera’s most attractive feature, the smaller sensor in the camera is a key limitation of what the camera can do.  As a result, you should not expect to get DSLR-like image quality out of the camera’s inferior sensor.

With this distinction made, let’s get into the meat of the Fuji HS10 and who will get this most out of this powerful superzoom camera. [Read more...]

Fuji HS10 Firmware Ver. 1.01 Update

Fuji has issued a firmware update for its HS10 superzoom camera.  The firmware update addresses the following issues:

  1. Some distorted images with pin-cushion type can be captured at AE bracketing mode
  2. Sometimes unclear details in images
  3. In RAW + JPEG mode, JPEG images are sharper
  4. Soft image or not smooth enough color gradation in D-range 200, 400% than in 100%

The new firmware can be downloaded on Fuji’s website.

TIPA Awards 2010 Roundup

TIPA Awards

The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), which is made up of an international consortium of photo magazine editors, recently voted on the best imaging products of 2010.  Below, you’ll find the categories and picks for the 2010 TIPA Awards. [Read more...]

Fuji HS10 In-Stock Now

Fuji FinePix HS10

The Fuji HS10 is one of the most anticipated cameras for this Spring – at least according to the questions I’ve received about this camera via email, comments and Facebook messages.  The HS10 features a 10MP sensor and a 30x zoom range (24-720mm equivalent).  It also shoots 1080p HD video and has an impressive image stabilization system.

Good news for those of you waiting, because the Fuji HS10 finally appears to be in stock at online retailers.

B&H Photo has three different ways to order the HS10.  You can get the camera only, a basic accessory kit with the camera or the camera with a deluxe accessory kit.  The basic kit includes two 4GB SanDisk SD cards and Lowepro case, while the deluxe kit includes the same items, along with 4 rechargeable AA batteries, a charger and a 2-year protection plan.

Fuji HS10 (camera only) at B&H Photo
Fuji HS10 (w/ basic kit) at B&H
Fuji HS10 (w/ deluxe kit) at B&H

Also, note that B&H doesn’t take pre-orders, so chances are pretty good that when it says “In Stock” at B&H, the camera really is in stock.

Note that Amazon is saying it will be in stock on Tuesday (but they’re taking orders now).

Fuji HS10 at Amazon

Adorama is also offering the camera on its own, as well as a couple of different kits; however, at the time of this post Adorama is still listing the camera as back-ordered.  These should open up soon as well.

Fuji HS10 at Adorama
Fuji HS10 (kit# 1) at Adorama
Fuji HS10 (kit# 2) at Adorama

I hope to have one soon for a more in-depth review.  In the mean time, however, feel free to check out my Fuji HS10 Hands-On Review from PMA 2010.