As a Photographer, One of the things that I fuss over a lot is that my cameras are working at their best. I know many people who spent thousands of dollars on their camera and think that the performance and features they got when they purchased their camera are all; however, there is a way to get the most out of it.
Now, if you are someone that is not aware of what does a camera’s firmware mean and how can it increase and enhance the performance if you only take the time to update it, then here in this article, I am going to teach you how to update camera firmware and what can you expect after you are done with updating it.
Camera Firmware: What Is It?
A Camera Firmware is the operating system of the camera. It controls all the features of your camera by talking to your camera hardware at a low level. It controls everything from your Laser Autofocus, Shutter Speed, ISO, and much more.
A firmware is actually what makes the camera work and is extremely important. Yes, hardware and lenses are important; however, to run the camera to its absolute potential, it needs firmware which controls everything and utilizes all the hardware in your camera.
You can have a Red Hydrogen camera for all it matters. If your firmware is not up to the mark, you will be hardpressed even to get the most basic pictures.
Why Are Firmware Updates Important?
Firmware updates are important for several reasons. Your camera might have been shipped to you with some bugs already in the firmware. Updated firmware will fix those bugs and improve your experience.
The other benefit you get from updating your firmware is that you may get some new features which were not available in the firmware when you bought the camera.
This can include things like better Autofocus and depth of field. Your shutter speeds and your overall photography experience can improve thanks to it.
How To Update Your Camera’s Firmware?
Well, now that I have your attention, let me first list the things you will need to update your camera firmware. First, you need to charge your camera so everything can be done smoothly and fully.
You would need a computer with a memory card reader and a memory card that is compatible with your camera. The steps for updating the firmware on your camera are mostly the same except for a few steps like sourcing the firmware.
#1- Identifying The Camera’s Current Firmware Version
The first thing you need to do is identify the current version of the firmware to determine whether or not you need a firmware update. This can be done by navigating through the camera’s settings and going to an option labeled as “Information” or “device information.”
Once you have found it, look for “firmware version,” which should be at the end of the information menu. Note down which version you have and move on to the next step.
#2- Compare Your Firmware Version To The Latest Version
Now that you have written down the firmware version of your camera, you need to find whether you need a firmware update or not. This can be done by going to the support section of your camera manufacturer.
In the support section, find the model number of your camera by typing in the search option and check for the firmware available to download. You should look at the Firmware version available to download and compare it with the version already in your camera.
If the camera’s firmware version is different from the latest one, then you should move toward the next step. However, if no new firmware updates are available, you can stop right here as your camera is on the latest update.
#3- Download The Firmware Update To Your Computer
You have determined that you need a firmware update, and your camera manufacturer has an update for you already. Well, what you need to do now is to download that update onto your system. That should be straightforward, as you should have a download link next to where you found the firmware version.
It would be best to get your updates directly from the manufacturer and not look for them on third-party websites. These websites can house malware with their download links which is a can of worms I recommend you not open.
#4- Format Your Memory Card
This step does not warrant much explanation; however, I still need to get my point across as this is still important. To do the firmware update safely, you will need a fully formatted memory card.
You can use a small capacity that is big enough to house your firmware; however, the card you are using must be empty. It is more of a “better be safe than sorry” type of step as complications can sometimes occur while updating firmware, and an un-empty memory card has been known to be a reason.
#5- Transferring The Firmware To The Card
After finding a freshly formatted memory card, put it inside the card reader, which is connected to your computer. Once it has been read, go to your computer’s download folder, where you should find the updated firmware you just downloaded.
Right-click on the executable and copy it. Go to the memory card directly, right-click, and then past the firmware to your memory card. Wait for the copy process to finish. Once it has been copied, eject the card and put it back into the camera.
#6- Install The Firmware Update On Your Camera
Now that you have put the memory card back into your camera, go back to the menu where you found your firmware, which should ideally be located in the settings. Once you are back in that menu, you should see a new option available to you called “Update Firmware.”
Click on that option and leave your camera alone for as long as the entire process finish. Use your phone if you see something worth capturing because your camera is going through something you do not want to interrupt.
If you do, you might be in for a lot of troubleshooting, and believe me when I say that you do not want to be doing that.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
#Q1- What to do If it does not work?
Answer: If you followed my advice to leave the camera alone while the update is happening, there should be no problems.
However, if something were to occur, you should find help on the support page of your camera manufacturer. A few steps of troubleshooting should help rectify what just happened.
However, if push comes to shove, you might need to go to the repair guy, but only when all else fails.
#Q2- Do I Need to Update The Firmware on My Camera?
Answer: This depends mostly on you. Suppose you are happy with your camera and fully content with what you have. Go on and live your life with outdated firmware.
However, if you want some bugs fixed in the firmware and some new features that your manufacturer advertises for your camera but you do not have, then you should update the firmware.
#Q3- How do I Update The Firmware on My Canon Camera?
Answer: The Steps I mentioned above for updating the camera are the same for all of them; however, here is the link to the support page for your Canon Camera to update the firmware.
#Q4- Are Firmware updates necessary?
Answer: Firmware updates are unnecessary as you can still use your camera without installing the latest version of the update.
However, to get some bug fixes and new features, I would say it is better to be on the latest firmware than an older one.
#Q5- Is the firmware the same as the software?
Answer: Firmware is not an individual application or software but the entire operating system of the camera, which makes everything work.
#Q6- How to Update Camera Firmware, Nikon?
Answer: You can update the Camera firmware for your Nikon camera by finding the firmware on this link and following the steps I mentioned above.
#Q7- How to Update Camera Lens Firmware Sony?
Answer: Your Sony camera Firmware can be updated by downloading the firmware from the Sony Support page, which can be found right here, and by following the steps, I mentioned above.
Now that you have all ten knowledge on updating your camera firmware, I think it’s time to do it. For new tinkerers, it can be somewhat of a momentous task which I assure you are not, so do not be intimidated by it.
As long as you follow the precautions like fully charging your camera and formatting your memory card, I think you should not encounter any problems. It would be best if you also were mindful of downloading the correct firmware version, as this can have a huge impact.