Sony, Panasonic, GoPro and Blackmagic release camera firmware updates

Sony PXW-Z100 being put through its paces
Close up 4K: the Sony PXW-Z100 being put through its paces. Picture courtesy of Visual Impact

Several camera manufacturers have released firmware updates for popular models, bringing a range of new features and functions to their equipment.

GoPro’s February firmware release is likely to attract the most headlines, with a new ultra-high frame rate mode on the Hero 4 Black Edition. The update gives the camera 240fps at 720p, putting it on par with specialist slo-motion cameras. The camera also gains a 2.7k video mode, at up to 60fps.

For the Black and Silver editions, GoPro has added a timelapse mode, a 30 frame, six-second burst mode, and an auto-rotate function which changes the image orientation if the camera is mounted upside down. The V02.00.00 firmware release can be downloaded here.

Panasonic has now released the V2.1 firmware update for its GH4 and YAGH adapter, which was announced towards the end of 2014. The release adds a native 30p and 25p output over HDMI, as well as a 4K photo mode, a 4K, 23.98p MP4 mode at 100Mbps, and AF improvements. The YAGH adapter gains the ability to output PSF formats, for better compatibility with vision mixers and other external broadcast systems.

Blackmagic Design, for its part, has released a V2.0 firmware for its URSA cinematic camera. The update adds ProRes 444 recording in 4K and HD, and in doing so, brings some basic slo-motion capability to the camera, including 6-fps in 4K, and 80fps in HD mode.

Finally, Sony has released a long-awaited update for its Z100, 4K camcorder.

The release unlocks the camcorder’s AVCHD recording mode, which in turn allows recording to low-cost SD cards, or Memory Stick Pro HG media, via the camera’s previously unused slot. This addresses one shortcoming of the Z100: its reliance on higher-cost, XQD cards, and its lack of lower-quality recording modes for quick turnaround or web-only projects which do not require XAVC recording.

Z100 owners can access the firmware update via their online Sony Pro accounts.