Each digital camera has a set of microprocessors which control camera’s sensor, buffer, LCD, autofocus, etc. These microprocessors are also controlled by “firmware”, which is software stored in the Read Only Memory (ROM) of the camera. In order to enhance performance and/or add new features, most of the cameras allow the firmware to be upgraded. The up grader process starts with downloading an installer from the camera manufacturer’s website and finishes with running it from a computer connected to the camera via a USB cable, or by running the installer from the memory card inside the camera.

When we talk about firmware upgrades, there are two situation that we must analyze. Sometimes, the firmware upgrades are major, adding raw support or adding features from a newer to an earlier model. Other times, the upgrade isn’t necessary because it merely adds support for a language that you do not speak, or adds a feature that you do not plan on using. However, if the firmware at the same time enhances general performance it is worthwhile upgrading, e.g.

Before performing an upgrade, always read the instructions very carefully, in advance, as the instructions vary depending on the model and make. You have to make sure that you use the correct firmware upgrade version. It is also very important to use a freshly charged set of batteries, because firmware upgrades use more power. If you run out of power during the upgrade, your camera may crash and not function anymore. You may even not be able to run the firmware upgrade again.

Firmware upgrade normally means a change for the better, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you may not be able to restore the camera to the earlier firmware version, even you want to do so.

6 Responses to “Firmware”

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