990 Firmware 1.0

An unofficial list of issues with CP990 firmware 1.0

I don't work for Nikon. This is unofficial. I try to confirm each issue on my own camera. The 1.0 990 firmware seems a lot cleaner and bug free than the 950 firmware 1.0 was. In fact, it seems almost perfect! There are very few problems. The firmware is a real triumph for Nikon. I have updated with a note for each item as to firmware 1.1 status.

Last update September 18, 2000

See the buzzing lens warning

Camera does not beep twice when not in focus.

Fixed in firmware 1.1 (only with monitor off)

On page 86 of the manual under "Sound settings", it indicates that the camera should beep twice if you have the shutter sound turned on if the camera is not in focus in single AF mode. It does not do this. (I have one report where someone says that their very recent camera DOES do this, and they have firmware 1.0).

EV values are recorded incorrectly in Auto Bracketing mode.

Not fixed in firmware 1.1

They are always recorded as 0.0 both in the EXIF and in the Info.txt file. This is a very picky bug.

Manual AF spot metering focus issue.

Fixed in firmware 1.1

I can reproduce this on my own camera. If you select manual AF spot focus, the camera will sometimes not focus using the very same spot that it picks itself to focus on in Auto mode. This only seems to happen in low light or with marginal contrast. It might be due to a difference in the focus routines used in the two different cases, and might not be a bug.

While zooming, the camera starts buzzing and you have to remove the batteries.

Presumed fixed in firmware 1.1, but not verified and there is and never has been any official word even admitting that this is/was a problem. Rick Stirling was brave enough to test his 990, and reports that the problem is fixed.

I can now reproduce this on my camera, see below.  I have heard enough independent reports of this happening that I don't think that this is an isolated incident.  The problem is that while zooming, the camera will start making a LOUD buzzing or repeated clicking noise, and will be locked up; you can't turn it off and will have to remove the batteries. My camera did this just one time in the first three weeks, so it is rare. I have communicated with 8 other people now who have had this happen as of June 3rd (but I am loosing track of all the reports), so it isn't just my camera.

I have discovered how to reproduce this, but I have been asked by Nikon not to post the information due to the possiblity of someone damaging their camera, so I have removed the procedure. It is a combination of things that you might encounter by yourself though.

I have reported this to Nikon, and received an e-mail back from them indicating that they think that it is probably a fixable firmware bug. They do not know for sure if there could be damage to the camera, so at the moment I do not recommend that you try this on your own camera on purpose.


I have now removed the information entirely. I received a msg from Nikon directly that says in part :

"At this time we don't have any information of exactly what
is happening
inside the lens unit, but whatever it is, it certainly
cannot be good.

Users that duplicate this condition on their 990's may
eventually damage the
lens unit, but until we obtain a response from our
engineering group in
Japan, please consider not posting the exact steps used to
reproduce the
problem in other internet forums."



Well, I've removed the comments about what I think is happening also, because they gave a clue as to how to make the problem happen. You might still encounter the problem on your own, if you do, I would open the battery door as quickly as possible.

Obviously, this will have to be fixed. Until a fix is released, my recommendation is to avoid zooming right after turning the camera on, until the camera lens has stopped moving, that should prevent the problem from happening to you, I think!

 I'd love to hear from you on this, send me an e-mail!

Update, July 26, 2000. I have had over 100 people write to me saying that they have had this happen on their camera to date, so I guess that there isn't much more point in any more reports. Nikon USA still has not said anything about this, and in fact they still seem to be telling people to return their cameras when this happens, so I'm not sure if they are aware of the problem or if there is actually something wrong and there is a fix, or it they just aren't talking.  I really don't know what to advise people to do, you can contact Nikon but they will tell you to return the camera apparently. Since most people seem to have had this happen at least once, and if your camera still works after this happens, you might want to sit tight until there is some Official Word on this. That is what I am doing.

AE lock fails.

Status unknown in firmware 1.1

This is pretty picky, but the AE lock fails if you have aperture priority set and you have the "constant aperture as you zoom" feature turned on. Thanks to Tim G. for figuring this out.