Through firmware updates manufacturers are able to improve the existing features of a camera as well as to add new ones as they get developed. Thankfully, updating the firmware of the Lumix G cameras is reasonably quick and easy, but we still need to take care that we follow the recommended steps and that we read all the provided information to ensure that things go smoothly. Panasonic makes a number of suggestions that we should follow, as when things go wrong it can be difficult to reverse the effects. Follow the suggestions though, and you won’t have to deal with any unhappy outcomes.
Checking the firmware version of your camera
The first thing you need to do is to check the firmware version your camera is currently running. If you do this with a lens attached you can check the version of firmware the lens is running at the same time.
- Switch the camera on
- Press the Menu button and touch the spanner icon on the screen to open the Settings Menu
- In the Settings Menu navigate to page three or four to find the item ‘Version Disp’.
- When you select ‘Version Disp’ the firmware version of the camera and the lens will be displayed.
There’s a video at the bottom of the page that shows you how to do this.
Check against the latest on offer
1 Go to the Panasonic support pages at: http://av.jpn.support.panasonic.com/support/global/cs/dsc/download/fts/index.html
2 Read the contents of the page and click ‘Accepted’ at the bottom.
3 This will take you a listing of cameras that shows the version number of the latest firmware and when it was released. Find your camera, and if the firmware listed is newer than that loaded on your camera click on ‘Click to the download page’ at the end of the line.
4 That link send you to a page that lists all the improvements and changes that will take effect once the new firmware is loaded.
5 At the bottom of the page you will see two ‘download’ buttons – one for Windows users and the other for Mac. Click that which applies to you.
6 Save the download file to a folder you can find it easily. I keep a special folder for firmware updates and order then with dates and versions.
7 You will need to extract the firmware file from the folder.
8 Plug a newly formatted SD card into the computer and copy the .bin file (in this case GH5_V23.bin) to the top level of the card’s folder system – i.e. alongside the DCIM image folder.
Here’s a video that talks you through that process (click Full Screen Mode to see this in detail):
- Before you put the card in the camera check your battery is full. You don’t want the power to fail during the update process, and while some updates process quickly others take quite a time – so don’t risk it.
- Set your exposure mode dial to P and the drive mode to single frame shooting.
- With the camera off, load the card into the memory card slot. Place the camera down on a table or somewhere that you won’t need to hold on to it – you need to avoid pressing any buttons while the update process takes place. Only now switch the camera on.
- Press play, check the firmware version you are upgrading to is that which you expected and then select ‘Yes’ on the screen. Leave the camera to update – don’t press any buttons and don’t switch it off until the update is complete.
Once the camera comes back to life your update is done and the new features are ready to use.