Firmware Friday: Nikon cameras get better battery life; Canon updates Cinema EOS series but pulls one patch


posted Friday, November 15, 2013 at 6:02 PM EDT


For this week's Firmware Friday update, we have news of firmware tweaks for nine cameras from Canon and Nikon, although two of Canon's updates have since been pulled due to issues. We'll start with Nikon, whose updates are for cameras most of us can afford. In all, the company has updated five DSLRs -- the D3100, D3200, D5100, and D5200 -- and its P7700 enthusiast compact.

For all five cameras, Nikon has officially added support for its EN-EL14a battery pack, a swap-in replacement for the EN-EL14 that shipped in the product bundle, offering greater charge density. The EN-EL14a is a 1,230mAh / 8.9Wh pack, as compared to the 1,030mAh / 7.7Wh of the EN-EL14.

Until now, you could use the EN-EL14a in all five cameras, but they wouldn't extract its full battery life since they didn't recognize the EN-EL14's updated variant. With the updates below, each camera will now extract the full battery life from the newer pack, resulting in a handy increase in the number of shots captured. The following table lists the battery life improvement for each model:

EN-EL14 battery life
EN-EL14a battery life
Nikon D3100
550 frames
620 frames
Nikon D3200
540 frames
600 frames
Nikon D5100
660 frames
700 frames
Nikon D5200
500 frames
700 frames
Nikon P7700
330 frames
360 frames

Definitely a good reason to update your firmware, and switch to EN-EL14a cells when next buying spare batteries for your camera. Get the new firmware at the links below:

Canon, meanwhile, has delivered the updates it promised for its Cinema EOS cameras back in September and October. Unfortunately, one of the updates has had to be withdrawn after just two days, due to reports of color balance issues. That means Canon EOS C300 and C300PL owners will need to wait just a little longer to get access to the new features, of which there are many.

Canon has temporarily withdrawn its promised firmware update for the Cinema EOS C300.

Owners of the Cinema EOS C100, though, can get all the goodies immediately. Among the new features are peripheral lens correction for seven Cinema and eleven EF lenses, increased ISO sensitivity to ISO 80,000 equivalent, and a record button lock function. Firmware version for the Canon C100 also adds the ability to move the magnified view area to check focus of off-center subjects, and to navigate menus using the camera's buttons if the joystick is detached. Get more details on the Canon C100 update here.


And last, but not least, we come to the Canon EOS-1D C, also part of the Cinema EOS lineup. Here, the changes are more straightforward: Firmware version 1.3.4 makes but two changes. The camera can now store lens metadata in its videos for Canon EF-mount Cinema lenses, and supports them for Peripheral Illumination and Chromatic Aberration Correction functions. Canon has also added an optional line-level audio input mode for the 3.5mm audio input in the 1D C, in addition to the existing microphone input mode. Get more details on the Canon EOS-1D C update here.

(Camera parts image courtesy of Kelly Hofer / Flickr; used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 license.)