Major D800/ D800E firmware update (additional: more Nikons, ACR 7.4 final)

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Just got an email from NPS: it appears that a lot of the issues with the D800/ D800E have been addressed (note: I didn’t say ‘resolved’, that remains to be determined after testing) in the latest firmware update A 1.01/ B 1.02. The list according to Nikon:

  • Support for the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR has been added.
  • Subject tracking performance in AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus) autofocus mode with framing using the viewfinder has been improved.
  • Gamut for Adobe RGB images displayed in the camera’s monitor has been changed. This enables more vivid display of images.
  • With live view photography in [M] (Manual) exposure mode, exposure preview was always on. This issue has been resolved.
  • In some very rare cases when certain memory cards were used, movie recording would stop, even when the time remaining display indicated remaining recording time. This issue has been resolved.
  • With shooting at an image quality setting of TIFF (RGB) and an image size setting of Small, the right edge of images contained a purple line. This issue has been resolved.
  • In some rare cases, images recorded in JPEG format could not be opened by some software applications. This issue has been resolved.
  • In some very rare cases, colours would change with shooting when white balance was set to a specific colour temperature, as with Preset manual or Choose color temp. This issue has been resolved.

The ones in bold are a big deal. It took them a while, but at least they bothered trying! You can download the updates here from Nikon for the D800 and D800E.

Note – I haven’t tried these yet as I’m in the US and didn’t bring mine, but you can be sure I will be testing it as soon as I return…in the meantime, if anybody would care to share their thoughts, please feel free to do so in the comments. MT

Update: it appears there’s also a major fix for the D600, minor ones for the D4, D3, D3s, D3x, D3200 and D7000

ACR 7.4 / DNG Converter 7.4 and Lightroom 4.4 final releases are also available; looks like they’ve also added Coolpix A support – which is great as I’m getting mine on Thursday…

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Comments

  1. Ming is the “green tint” gone with this update i have it just under fluorocent lights other than that no problem ?

    • I’ve not noticed it…but I don’t think my monitor was affected in the first place. In any case, you really shouldn’t be using the camera’s LCD to check color balance or tone; for critical applications there’s really no replacement for a good grey card.

  2. Michael Gannon says:

    Ming, when trying to install the firmware update on my D880, I press Update and message appears saying “Cannot update firmware using this type of battery”. I have a MB-D12 Multi Power Battery Pack with rechargeable batteries. I can find nothing online about this issue?

  3. Hi Ming,
    Just a quick update to my 24mm 1.4g, as it turn out you are correct about the lens. I acquired a new d800e and it spot on with all my primes except the 24mm 1.4g (extreeme left), although centre and right is fine. Then I tested this lens on my 4 years old d700 and the same behaviour exhibit. Conclusion, the D800e is free of issue, and from my experience it focus much more faster and certain comparing to the d700 when shooting backlit and challenging lighting situations.

    Regard,

    Kvu

  4. Sorry guys this might be off topic here, i had 2 copies of d800 first purchase in november 2012, second in jan 2013, both has af issues with the 24mm 1.4g only the centre af point is acurate. Both d800 are free of problems on other nikkors. Thinking of getting a third d800 but not too confident if the problem next body would be free of this problem. I never send in for service since its just the problem with one lens, I just use the centre af and shoot. Any advices or update would be appreciated. Btw I love this site and read ming’s blog everyday.

    Regards,

    Khoa Vu

  5. Hello Ming,
    Would you consider posting your observations about the firmware update when you get home and have a chance to run the update?

    Glad your US tour is going so well. Am enjoying being able to follow along through your photo essays though still really wish circumstances were different and I could have been there in person.

    Best wishes,
    Kim

    • Sure, once I get a chance – I’ll be shooting extensively with the D800E soon anyway, so I should notice the difference…

      • Hello Ming,

        Welcome home!

        Wanted to give you some feedback on my experience with the new firmware and ask you for your thoughts, but understand if you are too busy to respond.

        I gave it a shot and downloaded the new firmware on my D800. After upgrading the firmware I tried it with my Nikkor 70-200 mm f/2.8 VR II + TC 1.4 in preparation for a day of shooting birds in flight. I tested the equipment with my dogs racing around the park and oddly none of the shots were sharp. I, therefore, checked the AF microadjustment. Previously the lens by itself at 200 mm was -12. I never formally tested it with the TC but the shots looked tack sharp at this setting. After the firmware upgrade, the lens adjusted to -15. The lens + TC combination was off the scale at < -20 per FOCAL software which I have been using for about 6 months with great success. I checked and rechecked multiple times including verifying correct testing setup.

        I then downloaded the original firmware from Nikon and reflashed the firmware reversing to the original version. I retested the lens: -15 by itself and -15 for the lens-TC combination. I have no idea why I had trouble with the newer firmware upgrade when using the lens and TC together.

        Is the AF-C tracking that much better with the new firmware? If it really is markedly improved with the new firmware upgrade I can go ahead and try reflashing the new firmware again. If it comes down to living with the original firmware and having a slight degredation in AF-C, I am thinking that would be better than sending the camera, lens, TC off to Nikon. I have heard such horror stories of the new problems equipment comes back with ie causing other lenses that worked fine to no longer microadjust properly. I am not a member of NPS since I am not a pro. I would be interested to hear your thoughts and experience.

        Hope all is well, that you had a great US tour and are getting settled in at home again.

        As always thanks for all you have taught and helped me. Hope your energy level holds up as I look forward to all you keep writing.

        • That seems rather oddly inexplicable behaviour. I haven’t had a chance to test it properly, but I will do on Friday – going to take the new 80-400 out for a spin birding. Perhaps it’s because general adjustment and lens-specific adjustment are now cumulative?

          I’d better re-test the other lenses before doing anything critical…

  6. Bradley Cooper says:

    I’m really upset to read that Nikon did not use the opportunity of this firmware update to fix the terrible line-skipping live-view display quality of the D800 that makes it so difficult to manually focus. I’ve been using Nikon F mount lenses for half a century and have collected many world-class manual focus lenses that I would love to be able to use with the D800’s high resolution sensor. With also no Katz Eye replacement focus screen available, no focus peaking, and insufficient precision of the electronic focus assist based on the phase-detection autofocus mechanism, has anyone found a fully satisfactory way of doing manual focus on the Nikon D800?

    • Live view is the closest we get. That, or stop down…I don’t think it’s so much the systems not being up to it as the sensor resolution being so high that we are now encountering issues which have not been previously resolved (no pun intended)…

      • HI
        Im new to this so pardon me jumping in… Im considering a d800e and I have several manual / non cpu AIS lenses. Doesnt the camera give you a green dot when the lens is in focus? or do you have to use live view? Thanks for the anticipated response.
        -Vin

  7. Jorge Balarin says:

    Hi Ming !
    Do you think that possibly the left point autofocus problem is solved with the new firmware ? (you can answer with a monosyllabic word). Greetings.

  8. recently i noticed the SLOW AF-S performance on my d800/50mm(f1.4G)/85mm(f1.8G) combo. The indoor-light was decent (1/50, auto-iso4000) and there was contrast on the subject. Switching to AF-C helps a bit – still a few misses. However, AF was fast once I mount the flash. Is this a performance or firmware issue?

  9. Updated my D800E couple of minutes ago and tested the AF-C mode w dynamic 21Pt on a 24/1.4G lens. Ok it seems that the AF hunting issue in low light is gone, However, I have to do more elaborate test. I had my camera calibrated by Nikon for left AF point issue some time back – this has been fixed. Tested the new firmware using AF-S mode w Single pt for Left AF, Center AF and Right AF points – all good and tack sharp. Yes, my 24/1.4G was calibrated with AF fine tune with this body before. So far very +ve. Thumbs up.

    • Hunting (and settling on different positions when re-focused) was annoying especially for fast lenses. If it’s gone, that’s great news – thanks for sharing.

  10. Stephan says:

    Actually, I had hoped for some other changes, but perhaps they are already implemented and I don’t find it?

    1) When using the shooting banks and local adjustments for exposure, wb, and iso, among others I would like the camera to reset when I turn it off. In a hurry, I missed shots in the morning because I forgot to reset from ISO 3200 used in the evening before.

    2) I consider the bracketing with the f-stops a “brute-force” method. I would like to bracket between spot, matrix and integral metering.

    Perhaps, MIng, you have good contacts with the Nikon Pro-Service to bring this forward?

    • I’ve already asked for an option for the first (currently you can get it to reset EV comp, and use auto-ISO to get it to reset that), don’t know if anybody else would use the second.

  11. So they didn’t add a menu item to select whether in LV mode the camera uses the widest aperture or the aperture specified in aperture mode? The dim every other line scanned with delay from when a manual focus ring is first turned is a major weak spot of this camera and one I was hoping they would improve with a FW update. I also still need to send in my camera for the left sensor AF problem but was hoping to hear more from others that it is a perfect fix and not a compromise fix.

    • It seems that things now default to wide open a-la-D600, which is workable, but probably not desirable for video mode, for instance. (Not sure if this changes if you shoot videos in M, though.)

  12. i did the firmware update a few minutes on my d800e – the difference in playback rendering between before and after on adobeRGB images is noticeable, but subtle. here’s the same image side by side. interestingly it’s the slightly saturated areas (the building in distance) which seemed to have picked up the most color. of course, this image was converted to sRGB for the web, so it’s only an abstract comparison! the reds are a bit redder too.

    • Thanks for sharing – looks better, but to be honest…I don’t mind the LCD that much since you’re going to do final color grading on a proper monitor anyway, and WB tweaks will change things noticeably. Any noticeable improvements to AF?

  13. My D800 went through the AF calibration (left AF issue), wonder if installing this firmware would mess things up? :(

    • I’d say it’s highly unlikely. I had sent my D800 to Nikon service in my country three (!) times before they made it work as it should, but I’m pretty sure firmware update has nothing to do with calibration. I might be a good idea to store you AF fine tune settings prior to updating though.

      • Mine is the left AF issue which I sent in for them to do the point by point calibration, which I could not do it myself if these calibration settings were being reset.

      • Just got a reply from Nikon Malaysia’s support team, he mentioned updating will not affect the AF calibration did by them to fix the infamous D800 left AF back focus issue.

      • Definitely – save all settings to an SD card. I do it regularly anyway in case I have to change something or reset something for a one-off shot.

        • Ming – Sorry for such basic questions and if too time consuming, do you have a recommendation for a resource I can read? This will be my first firmware update; never done one before.

          What are the settings you are referring to that are saved when you “save to an SD card?”
          Do they include things like AF fine tune settings for each lens I might have calibrated?
          How does one save all settings to an SD card?
          If the update does cause a problem, how can one go back to the original firmware settings?

          Hope your US tour is going well, and I continue to keep my fingers crossed that you will tour the US again in the future. Best wishes and as always, many thanks. Kim

          • 1. All your custom functions, shooting settings and AF fine tune settings.
            2. Yes, or at least they did last time…
            3. Wrench menu, save settings.
            4. You can’t. It has to go back to Nikon – this has always been the way…

            So far, so good – I think I will be back, but perhaps a different city next time! That said, I really love San Francisco.

        • All settings will be reset when upgrading firmware? Thanks for the heads up, I’ll back up my settings to SD before upgrading then.

    • Shouldn’t do, but can’t say for sure.

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