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Do you have firmware deficiency syndrome? Within 30 days F or 5 days in June 2013 we did a survey on Facebook and our own website and asked how often camera users had gone online to check for firmware updates… Checked online for a firmware upgrade… …within last 30 days …within last 90 days …within last 12 months …never checked online 18% 9% 3% 70% We could have gone further to see which users used what camera but the focus of this straw poll was really to see where we are in this ever changing software driven world. “This entire subject (at least for traditional camera / hardware manufacturers like JVC) is becoming more important as products now have upgradeable firmware, so whereas in previous days, any performance improvement would have required a hardware change, now it often is simply a software upgrade” reports John Kelly from JVC. So how do you know if there is an update and just how easy is it to find online? We had a bit of time on our hands (yeah right!) so decided to select 8 cameras on the market, listed below in no particular order, fired up Google and simply followed the manufacturer and model number with the words “firmware update” to see what we got in the results. You’ll notice the presence of a mass produced, albeit often used in broadcast, consumer camera in the list... • • • • • • • • • Panasonic AF101 Sony PMW-200 JVC GY-HM650 Canon XF305 ARRI Alexa RED EPIC Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera GoPro Hero 3 Panasonic AF101 – First few results look promising with P2 driver downloads but we couldn’t locate a direct download from a search result. Arriving on a product page we see a download option and there is a very useful UK phone number which is a huge plus point. You will eventually get to eww.pass.panasonic.co.jp where you will be able to see a further download option. You’ll have to re- enter your camera model but it’s all in there, just a matter of finding it. Registration required. Useful link http:// eww.pass.panasonic.co.jp/pro-av/ support/content/download/EN/top. html Sony PMW-200 – Promising…1st result is a sales page for the camera with an easy to locate link for support near the product information, this leads to software / driver links for various downloads without the need to re-enter the camera model you are searching for. Registration required. 18% Within 90 days 9% Within 12 months 3% Never checked 70% Useful link https://www.servicesplus. sel.sony.com/sony-software.aspx & http://www.sony.co.uk/pro/section/ technical-support JVC GY-HM650 – 2nd result but very helpful and links takes us direct to firmware update released for the 600 series cameras. Registration required. Useful link http://www. service.jvcpro.eu/public/ Canon XF305 – 1st result – impressive. Takes you directly to the latest firmware update for the XF300 / XF305. No apparent registration required, just accept and download. Useful link http://www.canon-europe. com/Support/Consumer_Products/ product_ranges/camcorders/ professional_camcorders/index.aspx & http://www.canon-europe.com/ Support/Consumer_Products/ product_ranges/camcorders/ cinema_eos/index.aspx ARRI Alexa – 1st result –almost unbelievable – this takes you direct to the download, you’re there – not more clicks needed! Registration required. Useful link http://www.arri. com/download_search/download_ search.html RED EPIC – 1st result – straight to the download with a long list of benefits of the latest upgrade. Useful link https://www.red.com/downloads 38 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 78 JUNE 2013 TV-BAY078JUN13.indd 38 10/06/2013 15:15