New Fuji Firmware Update for X-Pro1, X-E1, X-E2 and X100S

As we have mentioned before, Fuji planned to release a major firmware update to most of its X series cameras on December 19, 2013. Well, today is the 19th, which means that you can download the latest firmware and apply it to your Fuji camera! I am very excited about this release, because it brings very important and key features to the X-Pro1 and the X-E1 cameras that have been rolled to the X-E2 and X100S cameras. The first key feature is Auto Gain control. As I have mentioned in my Fuji X-E2 review, auto gain is something that controls the brightness of the LCD and forces it to always show average brightness, no matter what settings are set on the camera. In short, it is an inaccurate representation of the actual exposure. While the feature can be very useful in low-light situations or when working in a studio, it is not something that I personally like to use 90% of the time. With the new firmware, you can now turn Auto Gain off, which will show the correct exposure on the LCD!

Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs X-E2

Another key feature that is added is Auto ISO. Yes, finally, we now we have Auto ISO on all X-series mirrorless cameras! While I am still waiting for Fuji to add automatic ISO control based on the focal length of the lens (Nikon nailed it on its latest DSLRs), the current implementation is surely better than nothing. The last big change is the ability to change aperture and shutter speed when AE lock is engaged. There are a couple of other changes added to each firmware release and you can find additional info from the below links.

  1. Fuji X-Pro1 v3.10 Firmware Update
  2. Fuji X-E1 v2.10 Firmware Update
  3. Fuji X-E2 v1.10 Firmware Update
  4. Fuji X100S v1.10 Firmware Update

Kudos to Fuji for making this happen. They keep going back and adding such huge changes to existing cameras, making existing owners very happy. Imagine how great it would be if Nikon issued firmware updates with major changes to 2-3 year old cameras, or added features to lower-end cameras. I would love to get the latest Auto ISO implementation on my Nikon D3s, but I have a suspicion that it will never happen…and that’s after paying over $5K for it!

Latest Nikon Firmware Updates

Nikon D4 Menu - Firmware Update

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.

Nikon D4 Menu - Firmware Update

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.

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Nikon DSLR Firmware Recommendations

Nikon D4 Menu - Firmware Update

When Nikon releases a new generation DSLR camera, it seems to often make little changes to the camera firmware. We typically see slight tweaks here and there, but every once in a while (especially when a new piece of technology makes it into the camera) we see some new interesting and useful features getting added into the camera firmware. In this article, I would like to point out current firmware issues that I believe Nikon needs to address, along with some recommendations (wishlist) on what Nikon should do in their future cameras. Or, perhaps Nikon might consider to implement some of the below firmware fixes/recommendations on current DSLRs – I am sure many of the Nikon owners would get excited about some of these requests.

Nikon DSLR Firmware Recommendations

1) Add DNG Support

As a Nikon shooter, you already know how painful it can be to constantly keep updating post-processing software, image codecs and photo viewing programs every time Nikon releases a new camera. Upgrading a camera should be easy and we as consumers should not have to go through this process every time. DNG has already become a universal format and companies like Hasselblad, Leica, Pentax and Samsung have already adopted it. Why not do the same? I am not asking Nikon to abandon its NEF file format. Just give us a choice to pick either NEF or DNG please!

2) Allow AF Fine Tune Calibration of Each Focus Point

Thanks to the recent Nikon D800 Asymmetric Focus fiasco, we now know that each autofocus point is calibrated at the factory during the QA process. We also know that Nikon keeps the ability to tune these AF focus points to their own calibration software. Why not add this capability to every advanced Nikon DSLR where AF fine tune is already provided? Sure, this seems like a headache to implement and could result in a some improperly calibrated cameras out there (due to user error). But for those of us who know what they are doing when it comes to lens and camera calibration, why not give this capability? Nikon would save a lot of money on not having to re-calibrate so many cameras. Adding this feature, of course, would not be an excuse for improperly calibrating cameras, but it would certainly make the AF Fine Tune feature way more useful.

3) Allow AF Fine Tune Calibration for Different Focal Lengths

Those of us that have attempted to calibrate zoom lenses know that one AF Fine Tune value is often not good enough for the whole zoom range. The AF Fine Tune feature would be a lot more useful if we had the ability to use different AF Fine Tune settings depending on the focal length of the lens.

4) Live View at 100% Pixel Level Should be Standard

Nikon’s implementation of Live View on the Nikon D90 was terrible, due to its interpolated output. Since then, Nikon has made many new cameras that had a 100% pixel view, which was very useful in obtaining precise focus on subjects. With the D800, Nikon brought an interpolated live view back (which is one of my biggest complaints on the D800). Nikon should fix this as soon as possible on the D800 and make 100% pixel level live view a standard on all future cameras.

5) Fix Custom Settings Banks

The Custom Settings Banks implementation on Nikon DSLRs is bad and completely impractical. I personally do not bother using them on any of my cameras, because I do not have the time to either switch them in multiple places (Shooting Bank and Custom Settings Bank), or constantly review the settings to make sure that they have not changed. First of all, memory banks should apply to all camera menu items. Second, these settings need to be “lockable”, meaning if anything gets changed, the setting should not get overwritten unless I want it to.

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Nikon D4 Firmware Update Tip

Nikon D4 Menu - Network Connection

The process to update the firmware on the D4 is straightforward, but if you are unfamiliar with it, Nikon has a PDF document on their website to assist you. However, it fails to mention a critical piece of information that may affect you. If you have been shooting tethered to a computer, you must turn off the the Network connection. Otherwise, the camera will not recognize the update file on the CF card or the XQD card and you will not be able to finish the install. If you have not enabled a network connection or you have already turned it off, you should not have a problem.

When you go to install the update, you should see the following window with “Update” as an option:

Nikon D4 Menu - Firmware Update

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Firmware Updates for Nikon D4, D800/D800E

Nikon D4 vs D800

Nikon has released new firmware update version 1.01 for the Nikon D4, D800 and D800E camera bodies. The major issue resolved is the reported lockup problem.

Nikon D4 vs D800

From the Nikon website:

Nikon D4 Issues Resolved:

  • When a still image was captured while viewing existing images in playback mode, the monitor turned off, the memory card access lamp glowed steadily, and, in some rare cases, the camera ceased to respond to operations. This issue has been resolved.
  • When network functions were used with certain settings applied, RAW images were also transferred when Network > Send file as was set to JPEG only. This issue has been resolved.
  • When an option that utilized the main command dial was selected for Custom Setting f15: Playback zoom, and an image was zoomed in or out with playback with certain settings applied, shooting shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation settings were sometimes changed. This issue has been resolved.

D4 Firmware update is available here: D4 A:1.01/B:1.01

Nikon D800/D800E Issues Resolved

  • When a still image was captured while viewing existing images in playback mode, the monitor turned off, the memory card access lamp glowed steadily, and, in some rare cases, the camera ceased to respond to operations. This issue has been resolved.
  • When the Wireless Transmitter WT-4 was used with certain settings applied, RAW images were also transferred when Wireless transmitter > Transfer settings > Send file as was set to JPEG only. This issue has been resolved.
  • A dark shadow sometimes appeared at the bottom edge of images captured with Active D-Lighting set to any option other than Off with Image area set to 5:4 (30×24). This issue has been resolved.

D800 Firmware update is available here: Nikon D800 A:1.00/B:1.01

D800E Firmware update is available here: Nikon D800E A:1.00/B:1.01

How to Update Firmware on Nikon DSLR

Nikon D300 Firmware Version

One of the areas within the camera that rarely ever gets touched, is the camera software, also known as “firmware”. Most modern electronic gadgets provide the ability to update their firmware by downloading fixes and updates through manufacturers’ websites and applying those updates on the devices. The firmware updates not only provide important fixes for identified bugs, but also provide brand new features that were absent when the device was shipped from the manufacturer. This ability to be able to update and run the latest version of firmware has become a standard among DLSR manufacturers, allowing end users to run the latest and greatest firmware on their cameras.

If you have never updated firmware on your Nikon DSLR or have not performed an update for a long time, you might want to check if new firmware is available for your camera. Some photographers argue that they do not feel the need to touch camera firmware, since they do not have any problems with their cameras and everything seems to be functioning properly. I personally feel otherwise – why not to run the latest and greatest camera software? And why would you resist adding more functions to your camera, especially if those functions are available to you at no charge? If you agree with me, then you should check what firmware you are running today and what firmware is currently available from Nikon.

In some cases, it is best to wait for at least 2-3 weeks after a brand new firmware update is released, to make sure that it does not come with unexpected bugs and problems. Although Nikon has a very good history and reputation when it comes to firmware releases, it does not necessarily mean that bad things won’t happen in the future.

1) Check current Firmware Version

Checking the firmware version on Nikon DSLR is very easy – just press the “Menu” button, the go to “Firmware Version” under “Setup”. You should see something like this (image courtesy of Nikon):

Nikon D300 Firmware Version

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