Firmware 1.1

My CP950 Firmware 1.1 Summary. Last update 10/13/1999

New Version 1.2 page!

What is fixed, added, broken, not fixed or changed.

This is my own unofficial list. I do not have any affiliation with Nikon. This is not official Nikon approved information. Do not concentrate and inhale.

I will try to keep this list as up to date as possible. I have verified all of these items myself, except as noted. e-mail me corrections or your own observations!

 

What was announced about the firmware upgrade. The following is the official list of fixes for the firmware upgrade, as posted on the Nikon USA tech BBS site. I have paraphrased it here. You may view the original list on the Nikon site here.



Fixed green pixel problem in self portrait mode.

Settings made with LCD off now retained.
 

Lockups fixed

Better macro mode focus

LCD diming when half press to focus in low light improved.

Improved file numbering (sequential numbering bug) fixed?

 

Announced changes, status.

Fixed green pixel problem in self portrait mode.

This is fixed. I was never able to see the green pixels, but reports are that this item was fixed

Settings made with LCD off now retained.

This appeared to refer to the so called "sensitivity setting bug" where you could change the ISO with the LCD off, but the camera could "forget" the setting when you took a picture. See my Mini-FAQ for more details on exactly how to reproduce this bug if you like. I was no longer able to reproduce the bug, so I think that this is fixed. One report was that the sensitivity bug might still be there, but is now intermittent. I would still say that this bug has been fixed.

Lockups fixed

Read in the Mini-FAQ for a summary of some of the lockups that plagued the camera under firmware 1.0. I would provisionally say that the majority at least of these have been fixed in firmware 1.1. Some of the lockups that were reproducible have definitely been fixed. It will take extensive testing to get the final word on this, but the lockup situation seems much better. One of the major areas of improvement is that fast review mode can now be used without locking the camera up. Also, I have not had the "camera stops responding to changes in shutter priority mode" bug. There have, however, been reports of lockups with version 1.1, but no pattern is apparent yet (except for the switch to play mode lockup, below). The lockup situation is much improved. I have not had to reset the camer by opening the battery door even once since upgrading.

Better macro mode focus

Macro mode does have faster focus now. This is an improvement. I don't think that the focus is any better  as far as what the camera decides to focus on, really, just faster. Still, an improvement. However, the camera is now even harder to focus in macro mode. It consistantly locks on to any background in back of the object that you are trying to focus on. I have to carry a card to focus on with me now. Nikon could fix this in firmware by restricting the focus range in macro mode to no more than a few inches.

LCD dimming when half press to focus in low light improved.

This has been improved. The LCD can still dim when you press to focus in low light, but not as severely. It seems to be usable in all conditions now.

Improved file numbering (sequential numbering bug)?

Assuming that this was the "sequential numbering bug:" (the wording on the Nikon BBS is a bit vague), then this item was not fixed. The problem remains. Read all about it in the Mini-FAQ. Comment. I almost wonder if this is how the designers want this to work, and that some other problem with file numbering was fixed (overwriting existing files on the card, for example?). It is true that the camera will not overwrite files on the card, but might have in earlier versions of the firmware.

Things that some people hoped might be fixed, but are not.

LCD can't be seen in sunlight.

The firmware may not address this at all. It is not clear how the visiblity of the LCD could even be addressed with firmware, except to crank the backlight up to the maximum possible. (However, I have had two people report that the LCD IS brighter after the 1.1 upgrade, so there. One person said that in side by side comparison, cameras with firmware 1.1 have brighter LCDs; hard to argue with that!). If there is an improvement, it does not help the sunlight visibility much. In addition, Nikon has said on their BBS that this item was not addressed. I do not notice any obvious improvement on my unit.

Full zoom on power on or awaken from sleep.

This is not addressed by the firmware. The performance is the same as before. (personal note, I (really) hate this. If there were one thing that I could change about the camera, the zoom in on turn on would be it, even if it resulted in a longer turn on time).

AE lock feature problem.

The color balance is still off on AE lock shots after the first one. See the Mini-FAQ.  I have verified this with panorama shots that I have been taking.

White balance problems with the flash.

You still have to set flash white balance manually when using the flash under mixed light for best results. This is not really a bug in my opinion, the camera has no way of knowing how much each type of light will contribute to the total illumination.

User settings will not retain metering mode.

This is still true.

No self timer in macro mode.

Unchanged. Again, this is not really a bug so much as a feature that is missing.

BSS still works the same way. It is not actually broken, it just acts that way.  see this page.

 

Things that are not mentioned on the Nikon release about the firmware, but are fixed, changed or added.

 

08/18/1999 Manal focus settings have changed.

Prior to firmware 1.1, I had to set my camera to "10 feet" to get the TC-E2 lens to focus at infinity. Now, it focuses at infinity when set to 30 feet, and infinity is not as blurry! I suspect that the manual focus setting calibration was changed to a more "average" position.

Be sure to see the "proof" comparison shots on the TC-E2 Page

Menu direction bug.

This is fixed.

Screen shows one shutter/aperture setting until you half press to focus, then the setting changes.

This is fixed or much better in the 1.1 firmware.

Added feature- buffered shots

You can now press the shutter and take another picture in all modes even when the hourglass is on. The camera will buffer your shots in memory. This is really a nice improvement. It is possible that the camera was supposed to work this way in the first place, as many competing cameras do, but it did not work with firmware 1.0 except in fast review mode. This is a great feature addition, and it how you would expect the camera to work.

Fast review mode now has a 1/2 second delay after you take a shot during which you can't take another shot.

It is my impression that this has changed, and that there did not used to be that initial short time where you could not take a picture. This may be related to the lockup fixes.

Zooming in on playback is faster.

There have been several reports of this. I timed my camera before and after the upgrade, but did not find this to be the case, but I didn't do extensive testing. It does seem very quick.

Infinity mode EXIF bug.

Once the camera had been set to infinity mode, all subsequent pictures would have infinity focus set in the EXIF regardless of wether they were or not. This is fixed.

Quicker flash card format.

Harris A. Berman (thanks!) reports that formatting a flash card is much faster with firmware 1.1. I had not noticed that because I usually use "delete all" because formatting was so slow.  He reports formatting a 96MB card in only 6.4 seconds now. My 48MB card only took  a couple of seconds, it is quicker. Nikon may have switched to a quick format routine.

Improved color balance?

One user reported improved color balance. I have not noticed much difference, so if there are changes they might be mild. I will say that the color blue does not seem as oversaturated. Now I wish that I had taken a picture of a color chart before and after the upgrade for comparison. If anyone has any controlled comparisons showing this, I would like to see them.

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Things that firmware 1.1 broke.

 

With the LCD off, the camera no longer flashes the shutter speed or aperture in shutter or aperture  priority mode on the top LCD when the exposure is out of range (too fast a shutter speed for the lighting conditions, for example).

This means that you really can't use shutter or aperture priority mode with the LCD off any moreBoth screens operate properly as before with the LCD monitor turned on. As always, there is an exception, one user with factory installed firmware 1.1 reports that his top LCD still flashes correctly when out of range. Could their be two versions of 1.1? Some uninitialzed variable in the EEPROM? There do seem to be cameras out there that do not have the problem.

Reports are that the camera will no longer focus with the Nikon fisheye lens attached and the fisheye lens selected in the lens setting.

I do not have this lens, but I have no reason to doubt this report from several individuals. However, Nikon tech says that this problem cannot be verified, and I do not have a way of verifying it myself.

New "switch to play mode lockup". (Not a bug)

Several reports of the camera locking up when being switched from record or off to play. These were initially reported as a problem with the new firmware.I have had this happen twice since upgrading to version 1.1, never before. In my case, I was in a big hurry to show someone a picture both times, so I didn't take proper note of the conditions that led up to the lockup. As is usual for these lockups, I had to open the battery door before the camera would snap out of it. The good news is that this seems to be the only major common lockup left.

08/18/1999 I just got back from a trip where I took almost 500 shots. I had several episodes of the "switch to play" lockup. The sequence seems to be, you take a shot, then switch to play quickly (usually to show someone). The camera starts to show the shot on the screen, then turns itself off! You can turn it off and on to recover, usually, however sometimes you have to open the battery door. I have tried to find a sequence that will reproduce this all the time, but can't.

08/24/1999 Flash! This is *not* be a firmware bug at all; it appears to be a problem with the switch on the camera. There is a "dead" spot on the play mode setting where the camera turns off when you switch to play. If I move the switch just a tad towards the M-REC position, then it will come back on. I did send my camera in to Nikon, and after several attempts they did repair this.

Flash mode/focus lock changes by itself.

This takes a while to duplicate, but you can make it happen. Pick A-Rec mode, and select no flash, then turn off the LCD with with the monitor button. Then half press to focus, then use the zoom buttons a little. Repeat. focus and zoom steps while watching the small LCD on top. Sometimes the flash mode will change, or the camera will switch to infinity. I had to repeat about 30 times to get this to happen. I don't know if this is new in version 1.1 or not, but I never saw it reported before.