At the end of last year Canon promised a major firmware update for the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, they said that it be released in April 2013. After releasing no further derail since that time, The Canon USA sit has announced a release date of 30th April. So they have been true to their word just – kind of reminds me of Apple’s release dates where they wait until almost the last possible date 🙂 I was getting worried as it is now mid –April 2013 with no announcement except that the newer Canon EOS 6D did get a firmware update recently.
And why am I posting about a firmware update? Are these not simply bug-fixes to problems encountered under certain conditions? Usually that is the case and I have yet to encounter any camera afflicted by the bugs fixed by these firmware updates (maybe I am just lucky?).
It seems that as these cameras get more and more sophisticated (they contain very powerful computers in them afterall) the more they need firmware updates. More and more common these updates enhance existing systems and/or add new features. Good examples of these are the update to the Sony NEX-7 that added a +/-5EV Bracket mode (over the +/-0.7EV) and a way to disable the movie record button; also the update to the Fuji X-Pro1 that improved auto-focus speeds and stopped the chattering aperture phenomenon.
You can read my blog post about the NEX-7 update here.
The Canon update whilst fixing some bugs also has some nice features, taken directly from the Canon US site these are:
Uncompressed HDMI Output Support
When shooting video, HDMI Output makes possible the recording of high-definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) from the EOS 5D Mark III to an external recorder via the camera’s HDMI terminal. This, in turn, facilitates the editing of video data with minimal image degradation for greater on-site workflow efficiency during motion picture and video productions. Additionally, video being captured can be displayed on an external monitor, enabling real-time, on-site monitoring of high-definition video during shooting.
Improved AF Functionality
Even when the EOS 5D Mark III is equipped with an extender and lens making possible a maximum aperture of f/8, the firmware update supports AF employing the camera’s central cross-type points (currently compatible with maximum apertures up to f/5.6). Accordingly, the update will allow users to take advantage of AF when shooting distant subjects, benefiting sports and nature photographers, particularly when using telephoto lenses.
The new firmware update will be available for free from the 30th April and hopefully will be available on all of the various Canon sites worldwide.
More detail about the firmware update can be found on Canon’s USA site here.
So you can see why I am looking forward to this impending firmware update and look forward to being able to use a lens with an aperture greater than f5.6 (up to f8) – Sigma are you listening? I like the statement about the improved AF: “benefiting sports and nature photographers, particularly when using telephoto lenses”.