Phase One Feature Update #8 – Service Release 1 Firmware Available
Officially released today, I’ve been working with the beta of Service Release 1 (version 8.01.0) for a couple weeks and can immediately recommend it for anyone who has already updated to System 8 on their IQ4 system.
Features of Service Release 1 :
- Resolves the issue with receiving any supplemental powering from a USB-C computer tether
- Improved USB-C power bank charging
- Allows for X-shutter externally cabled lenses to work on all applications of technical camera (avoids ‘camera detect’ pin)
- X-Shutter long exposure reliability improvements
This update applies only to the IQ4 digital backs and does not apply any new firmware to either the XF camera or XT lenses.
Pro Note for Firmware Upgrades:
This firmware is still relatively new and under-tested compared to the prior firmware packages.
The SAME rules of engagement apply here as I always recommend… Are you going out to shoot a job this week, with client, without internet access? Consider not jumping into this update until you have the time just to sit with your system, play, explore and notice if anything has run amok.
*** This Firmware Update will drop down to a totally BLACK screen for a period of time, please be patient and allow it to complete!! ***
Latent bugs can always reveal themselves when combined with individual workflows and patterns unforeseen by the engineering team in Denmark or bound to very specific groupings of serial #’s and build dates. I think it’s very good practice to keep prior versions of firmware on a SD card in your kit at all times. If you find that you’re having an issue with your camera, you can revert to a previous firmware package instead of the current one.
In fact, I recommend keeping several versions of firmware on that same card in order to determine whether a bad behavior is bound to a firmware release or is potentially a newly developed hardware issue. Unlike prior IQ1, IQ2 and IQ3-series digital backs, the IQ4 platform can see and access more than one version of firmware stored on the card, so it’s easy to keep those versions with you all the time.
Best to keep at least these three on your ’emergency’ SD card:
In case of the rare need to perform a Full Reset on the IQ4, having the necessary versions of firmware to build back to the current version will be valuable to get you back to shooting with all available features. If this need arises for that ‘2-button reset’, the IQ4 will revert to whatever firmware version was current at the time it was produced or last serviced. If you have an early build, this could mean needing all three packages above.
At Phase One: Firmware for the Phase One XF & XT Camera Systems
USB-C Powerbank Integration
Listed down here because I’m not sure if I yet appreciate the nuanced change to this capability, powering from a USB-C powerbank has evolved to being a coordinated powering process with the IQ4. In the past you could supplement power, or charge the internal battery when the IQ4 was off… now, the IQ4 has added intelligence to work with the Power Bank to run off it entirely when it’s working, charge the battery when at rest/idle, charge the battery when off.
I’ve been making use of USB-C powerbanks for nearly the entire time I’ve been working with these units, so I’m interested to notice where the primary difference plays in with this new firmware.
Phase One Labs: Expose to the Right (ETTR)
Since the creation of the IQ4-series digital backs, Phase One has been releasing the paradigm shifting features, the ones that basically no other cameras do, as LAB features. The LAB needs to be manually enabled through the menu structure, so if you don’t feel like playing with the new feature there, you don’t need to see it.
Previous hits have been Frame Averaging and most recently, Dual Exposure+ which just moved out of Labs in order to make room for ETTR.
Why is this last on my list?
Given the vast amount of tools that the camera system already provides to me, I’m unlikely to spend much time playing with this one in this current release as its current usefulness doesn’t rank high enough in my schedule of shooting, testing and publishing on myriad other subjects here.
ETTR is very much a lab feature, with its result predictability low and its use-case subject to question, but represents exactly what the Phase One Lab philosophy is, the ability for the engineers to push out the beginning of a good idea to the group and get ‘in the field’ feedback from IQ4 users. This tool is meant to be unfinished. It is meant to be experimental. It is meant to be used in scenario’s that yield uncertain results… and so you can do and play with that, if you choose to. If you choose not to care about it at all, you can disable Phase One Labs on the IQ4 and you’ll not even be reminded of its presence… pretty perfect from the sense of good UI design.
Note: ETTR Does NOT embed any metadata that you have shot with this feature on, so you’ll need to keep track of your testing the old fashion way.