Fujfilm and Nikon Offer Firmware Updates for High-End Compacts, Leica Offers a Final Fix For M9

Three pro-level compact cameras have either received, or will receive, firmware updates addressing notable flaws.

Camera-Test-Leica-M9
Camera-Test-Leica-M9

Good news for users of high-end compact cameras, three of the most biggest cameras available have all received word of an update.

First up, Leica has issued a fix for the M9 SD card problem that first caught our eyes back in August. The update is for the M9 and M9-P, and brings the firmware to version 1.176. It officially fixes "a seldom-occurring error when initializing the SD-card." With this update Leica has officially lifted any warnings and restrictions about which SD cards to use, saying:

With that firmware update, we revoke the constrictions made with respect to the compatible cards. Generally speaking, the Leica M9/M9-P is compatible with any SD card that is in accordance with the respective standards. Unfortunately, it is impossible to test the compatibility of every single card of every single supplier. All cards available from SanDisk have been compatibility-tested and the firmware version 1.1.76 ensures their proper function.

Nikon has issued version 1.2 of the firmware for the discontinued P7000, which has a laundry list of improvements. This includes a number of minor bug fixes, but also some issues with RAW processing, and most importantly improvement to autofocus speed and performance.

While the Fujifilm X10 has been generally well received, there have been some complaints that areas of bright light form white discs, a phenomenon known as "blooming." While Fujifilm acknowledges the issue, the compnay claims other cameras suffer it, and that the X10 is working within accepted parameters. Regardless, a firmware fix is in the works, and Fujifilm has released an official statement saying:

Fujifilm engineers have examined a number of sample shots and have concluded that the camera is working within prescribed tolerances. The blooming issue is something not uncommon to many types of digital camera. It is possible to reduce the effects of blooming either by increasing the ISO or widening the dynamic range on the camera. However, after receiving a number of comments from users, we can understand their concern and plan a firmware upgrade to lessen the effects of blooming. We will announce in due course when the upgrade will be available.

Fujifilm's claim that the problem isn't all that bad seems reasonable until you notice some of the images people are complaining about — it can be a significant problem. Hopefully the firmware fix will land before long.