If you own a Nikon DSLR, this is a good time to perform a firmware update, because Nikon has just released new firmware that contains distortion control data for most of its current and older generation DSLRs, including Nikon D4, D90, D600, D800, D800E, D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100, D5200, D7000 and D7100. The distortion control data is used to correct barrel and pincushion distortion exhibited by Nikkor lenses. Please keep in mind that this data is only useful for correcting JPEG images. Distortion control data is not applied to RAW images (only to JPEG previews stored in RAW images) and if you use external image editors such as Photoshop and Lightroom, they will completely disregard this data when the RAW file is imported.
Still, it is a good idea to run the latest and greatest firmware on your camera. Also, this distortion control firmware is not a full firmware update for most cameras – it adds lens profiles to the existing camera database (firmware “L”). Before you apply the above update, I highly recommend to update your camera firmware (firmware “A” and “B”) to the latest version first. I wrote a detailed article on how to update firmware on Nikon DSLRs a while ago.
Here is a short list firmware updates for the current and previous generation Nikon DSLR cameras (as of 07/18/2013). Click to open firmware download pages:
- Nikon D4 – A:1.05 / B:1.03
- Nikon D3x – A:1.01 / B:1.02
- Nikon D3s – A:1.02 / B:1.02
- Nikon D3 – A:2.03 / B:2.03
- Nikon D800 – A:1.01 / B:1.02
- Nikon D800E – A:1.01 / B:1.02
- Nikon D700 – A:1.04 / B:1.03
- Nikon D600 – C:1.01
- Nikon D300S – 1.02
- Nikon D300 – 1.11
- Nikon D7100 – C:1.01
- Nikon D7000 – A:1.03 / B:1.04
- Nikon D90 – 1.002
- Nikon D5200 – No Firmware Updates Available
- Nikon D5100 – 1.01
- Nikon D5000 – (Distortion Data Firmware)
- Nikon D3100 – 1.01
- Nikon D3000 – No Firmware Updates Available
Note that some cameras like Nikon D5000 will be updated to the latest firmware when you apply the distortion control firmware. Here are the links for the latest distortion control data:
- Distortion Control Data Firmware (Windows) / Update Instructions
- Distortion Control Data Firmware (Mac) / Update Instructions
The list of supported lenses for distortion control is very long – you can find it in the above links.
P.S. I really wish Nikon fixed the D800/D800E memory card lock-up issue that happens every once in a while. I don’t know if you have noticed it on yours, but mine still does it, even with the latest firmware. It is rare and random, but it definitely happens. My solution so far is to either just wait, or turn the camera off, wait until the green light turns off, then turn the camera back on.