You don’t get to unbox anything or have that new-camera smell, so how much does the Canon 7D v2 firmware really transform the now three year-old model? The answer depends a bit on what you do with it, but for most users the Japanese maker deserves kudos from bringing new functionality to the model. Two changes stand out in particular, the first being a bump in the number of burst RAW images from 15 to 25, a boon for action shooters. The other biggie is manual audio level adjustment, saving videographers from the whims of automatic audio levels. Other tweaks include in-camera rating, resizing and editing of images; a max auto ISO setting; GPS compatibility; file name customization; time zone settings; and faster magnification scrolling and control screen adjustment during playback.
To test the burst and audio functions, we got our own mitts on the firmware. Prior to updating, we put the rapid-fire 8 fps camera it through the wringer and grabbed about 16-18 RAW frames in a burst. With the v2 firmware we caught exactly 25 frames before it halted, and did it again numerous times with only an occasional stutter. As for audio, the new manual setting is still a far cry from dedicated sound level dials — on the 7D you’ll need to preset the audio before filming, and are stuck with that level until you hit ‘stop’ again. Still, it beats the previous automatic way, which was so unusable that it forced many pros into buying external audio recorders to get anything decent. A quick test confirmed the new adjustment worked well, giving usable audio in most conditions with both internal and external mics while requiring just a little fiddling beforehand to set levels.
While hardly turning your 2009-era beast into an all-new DSLR, the new functionality brings the software in line with newer models, and still keeps the 7D near the top of the APS-C heap in many categories. Swapping out the sensor would be the only way to bump the one area where it now lags, low-light performance — but you can’t expect everything from a $1,500 shooter.
Canon has released an updated firmware for the 5D Mark III that adds support for the forthcoming 40mm f/2.8 lens and fixes a variety of small power and auto-exposure issues. What was absent was the long-promised support for continuously autofocusing video, which the company confirmed to The Verge has now been ditched from the camera’s spec sheet. It looks like if you were hoping to helm your own tense medical drama with one of these, you’d better start looking for the receipt.
Just a few weeks after the LG Optimus 3D got placed in the hot seat at our European offices, we’re ready to give its American counterpart its fair share of warmth. Better known in the states as the Thrill 4G, this AT&T device is the latest smartphone to follow in the footsteps of the HTC EVO 3D by tossing an extra dimension into the mix. As it so happens, two rear cameras and some fancy special effects are just enough to change a person’s judgement of the device in a split-second.
We get it. Few people want to spend their hard-earned cash on a gimmick. But like any other phone with a defining feature, there’s more to this glasses-free 3D handset than meets the eye (pun intended). And after peering under the hood and seeing what the Thrill is capable of, there’s a possibility this phone can hold its own against the competition in the same price range ($100 on AT&T). How does it differ from its European counterpart? Does the phone’s 3D match up against Sprint’s contribution? And how does this handset perform apart from that extra D? Join us as we dig through all three dimensions to get to the root of the Thrill 4G.
We’ve recently seen Google crack down on rogue apps and patch some server-side security issues, but let’s not forget Android does have a small measure of built-in security: app permissions. But as with those pesky EULAs, many users tend to breeze through the permissions screen. And Android forces even the most attentive readers to accept or deny all permissions requested by an app. But the newest nightly builds of the CyanogenMod custom ROM include a clever patch allowing users to grant and revoke permissions individually — something like the TISSA security manager we’re still awaiting. Obviously playing God with permissions can crash your applications: with great power comes great responsibility. But we figure if you’re running aftermarket firmware on a rooted phone, you’re comfortable experimenting. See how it works in the video after the break, then hit the source link to download.
If you are the owner of an older 2009 Mac Pro and have been thinking of upgrading to benefit for an increase in speed and power. You might be interested to know a new firmware has been released that will transform your tired old 2009 Mac Pro into a 12-Core beast.
The newly created firmware by member ‘MacEFIRom’ of the forums on netkas.org, will convert your 2009 Mac Pro into 2010 Mac Pro, complete with support for Westmere CPUs, faster RAM, and audio output via Mini DisplayPorts.
The firmware exploits the way Apple uses to install EFI firmware updates, now allowing older 2009 Mac Pros to accept a firmware updates intended for the 2010 Mac Pros.
The new firmware enables users to then install 32nm Westmere Xeons, including six-core variants used in the high-end 2010 Mac Pro, into their older machine. Single-socket machines can use W-series CPUs, while dual-socket machines will need dual-QPI enabled chips including the E5600 and X5600-series chips. (A source who applied the firmware update told Ars that Westmere CPUs are identified with “B1″ stepping in the identification code.)
Look, we know all this Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich talk can get you down original Galaxy Tab owners. Unfortunately, that’s the risk of being an early adopter. Now chin up, Samsung has just started dribbling out the Gingerbread 2.3.3 update to Italian Tab owners. The update, when it arrives in your location, will be available in Kies as firmware/baseband version P1000XXJQ1/P1000XXJPZ. Those less patient can always jump into the forums of course, and take their chances with a manual download and install. We won’t tell.
Eye-Fi promised that its Direct Mode for beaming photos straight from your camera to your smartphone or tablet would land this week, and we’re pleased to announce the company has kept its word. Just pop your X2 card into a computer, launch the Eye-Fi Center, and you should be prompted to install the new firmware — version 4.5022. All you have to do then is install the Eye-Fi app on your Android or iOS device, pair it with your camera (you did remember to put the card back in your camera, right?), and you’re ready to rock and/or roll. From then on, any pics you snap with your Eye-Fi-equipped cam will automatically beam themselves to your handheld, and sharing on Picasa or Eye-Fi View is just a tap or two away. If you need a bit of a refresher on what Direct Mode looks like in action, just check out our hands-on from CES.
Nokia promises strong Symbian devices through Windows Phone transition, major OTA update this summer
Nokia loves telling the world about the 150 million Symbian handsets it will ship in the years to come. Problem is, that’s far from a factual statement — it’s a goal, a hope, and something that will only be possible if developers and fans don’t abandon the platform wholesale as the company transitions from Symbian to Windows Phone smartphones over the next two years. As such, Nokia is desperately trying to convince us that Symbian and the Qt developer framework are far from dead. In an open letter of encouragement to developers from Purnima Kochikar, VP of Nokia Forum & Developer Community, Purnima attempts to coax devs into fine-tuning their Qt skills in preparation for a “strong portfolio” of new Symbian products with “GHz+” processing and faster graphics coming in 2011 and 2012. Presumably she’s talking about the T7, X7, and E6 leaks among others. And because Symbian is still the leading smartphone platform in markets like China, India, Russian, and Turkey, she hints that Nokia will likely continue to support Symbian well beyond the transition to Windows Phone, at least in select markets.
Of course, hardware has never really been Nokia’s issue so it’s nice to hear Purnima commit to a first major Symbian user experience update this summer that includes the new home screen, icons, browser, and navbar we’ve already seen, in addition to a “fresh look and feel” to the Ovi Store and Maps with the latter also getting a integrated social media services update. The Symbian update — some of which has already been seen on the C7 Astound — will come to “all users” over the air. Too late to save the platform but just in time for the Symbian faithful.
The HSUPA-enabling update? No, not yet. The voice call quality fix? In the pipeline. The mission-critical Bluetooth multimedia experience improvements? Oh yes, we’ve got those right here! Motorola is preparing to deliver an imminent OTA update to its Atrix 4G super phone, which will fix up battery performance, overall software stability, and car dock, headphone jack, and fingerprint reader performance, but will regrettably leave the two major drawbacks to the AT&T-riding phone untouched. Alas, if you’ve rooted your Atrix, you’ll have to pay a dear price to benefit from these upgrades as users over at xda-developers, who’ve obtained the pre-release build, report the new 4.1.57 update disables their previous superuser privileges. C’est la vie.
The road to Android 2.1 may have been a long and treacherous one for Milestone users, but the one to Android 2.2 wasn’t even certain of reaching its goal. Thankfully, Moto has managed to conclude its “exhaustive testing process” and is now making a Froyo firmware update available to Milestone users wishing to step their software up a notch. Flash Player 10.1, a faster browser and mobile hotspot capabilities await the intrepid updater, but Motorola warns that any DRM-locked media you have on your SD card will be lost. Weirdly enough, there’s also a caution that “users may experience some adverse effects associated with the upgrade which could include slower operation of some phone functions and applications.” Once you’ve read and understood all the warnings, smash the source link to download the new software.