So if you follow these things kind of closely, you’ll know that a few days ago Canon introduced a firmware upgrade for their 5D Mark II camera body. The firmware version, 2.0.3, however, had some issues and Canon froze it – essentially retracting it and saying do not install this. Within the last 24 hours they’ve issued a new update, 2.0.4, that resolves the problems and includes the enhancements that 2.0.3 was slated to handle.
If you knew this already or are confident you have the latest firmware for your camera – take the day off. Go out and shoot for awhile. If you’re standing here at this moment however asking “WHAT in the heck are you talking about? Firmware??” then read on.
So yeah – firmware. What is it? Well – your camera – like so many things nowadays – runs on software. Whether you have a point-and-shoot or a digital SLR, somewhere inside that camera is a load of software working hard to make all those bells and whistles perform. And sometimes that software needs to be updated. Okay – technically it DOESN’T NEED to be updated but sometimes camera manufacturers release updates that improve the software or fix problems with the software. And if those things interest you – then you’ll want to upgrade your firmware (and yes firmware is a word that essentially means embedded software – or software that runs systems as opposed to software you interact with).
Upgrading firmware isn’t a big deal. You download it to your computer, transfer it to a memory card you can load into your computer, and then you find the firmware menu inside you camera’s menu system. Then you find the space where you can upgrade the firmware within that – and off you go. The bigger question you may ask is do you have the latest firmware for your camera and if you need to update it – where do you find it? Well – both answers can be wrapped into one: head to your camera manufacturer’s website and see what the latest versions of firmware are for your specific camera and then see – if an update exists – whether you need it or not. And if you do need it, make sure – if it’s a requirement – that you download a version specific to your computer platform (Mac or PC). This isn’t always the case but double-check to make sure.
To aid you in this little endeavor, I’ve listed below the basic web pages for firmware updates from Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Pentax. Good hunting.