Canon Revs Firmwares

Nov 19, 2020 | Bodies, Canon, Lenses, News, R5, Software

Showing a much faster cadence of firmware updating, as promised, Canon is out with version 1.2 for its R5 and R6 bodies, as well as updates for the others in the R series; a lens firmware update for the RF 50mm F/1.2; and a revision for its 1D X Mark III DSLR.

Canon notes that the version 1.2 for the R5 and R6 adds an auto dim feature for screen brightness; enables 2nd curtain shooting sync with wireless flash; updates the HEIF format used for greater compatibility; and adds autofocus capabilities while zooming for some lenses.

More importantly, there are a list of firmware-addressable issues R5 and R6 users have been hoping would be fixed. Among them, the intervalometer bug, which Canon quietly addressed in this 1.2 release. Canon’s internal intervalometer on the R5 and R6 would not function past the first shot if back button focus options were selected. Now it does. The other issues appear yet unaddressed.

Since launch, the R5 cameras very occasionally hang, a bug that has thwarted all attempts at correlating a feature or use to the bug. With each firmware release, it is hoped the bug will disappear, but it takes some days or weeks to show that the rare behavior is still lurking. A few days after the 1.2 firmware release, at least one user reported a hang consistent with this bug in a firmware-updated body.

The R and the RP bodies were revved to 1.8 and 1.6 respectively. Both updates included the same additions: improved color balance with the new RF 50mm f/1.8 and support for the RF 70-200 f/2.8 and the RF 100-500.

The oddest of the lot is the version 1.05 of the firmware for the RF 50mm f/1.2, which claims to improve image noise performance. Because that’s physically impossible, we think that is a translation error, and it is referring to the audible noise of the lens.

Canon does still make a DSLR, and even they get a few precious hours of software engineer development time. Version 1.3 gives the mirror slapper the same new bits as given to the R5 and R6, and also fixes an FTP transfer hang bug.

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