"D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100 Distortion Control Data Firmware Update"
Nikon has posted a Distortion Control Data Firmware Update. Distortion control data are used to correct barrel and pincushion distortion during shooting and editing. They can be loaded into cameras that support distortion control. The D3100, D3200, D5000, and D5100 are some of the DSLRs which support DC.
#2. "RE: D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100 Distortion Control Data Firmware Update" In response to Reply # 0
Curious, not knowing much about dslr cameras I wonder is this a needed update? Any easy way to tell if a persons rig really needs it? I apologize if this seems basic but I have only had a dslr for a little over a month. Thanks Bertotti
#3. "RE: D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100 Distortion Control Data Firmware Update" In response to Reply # 2
Welcome to Nikonians John!
Does your D3200 need this update? That's a matter of philosophy.
To start, each of your three lenses is included in the new firmware. I believe each of your lenses has been included in the Distortion Control Data Firmware releases since late 2009, as the newest lens you have from a design standpoint is the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G which was introduced in March, 2009.
Nikon updates the DCD firmware for two reasons. It's primarily updated to include new lenses, but sometimes it can be updated to correct the data if Nikon finds the need to do so. Of course, in typical Nikon style, we really don't know if any corrections are contained in this update.
Moreover, DCD primarily affects JPG photos, by correcting them if you have Distortion Control turned on in your camera. If it's turned off, then it doesn't matter whether or not you've updated this firmware. Also, if you shoot in RAW and use 3rd party software, such as Adobe, and the Adobe Raw Converter, DCD whether on or off has no effect, as it's not used.
All that said, let me get back to my original statement, that it's a matter of philosophy. I know the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The trouble is in today's electronic society I'm not so sure it applies very well anymore.
With electronics, there have been times, with computers, for example, that updating firmware has caused serious problems. I remember installing a firmware upgrade for a video card which turned everything yellow.
In addition to being a photographer, I am a long time tech consultant. When I look into firmware update problems, I find that most every time a firmware update caused problems the update was of a specific component of a larger system, in a system which contained components designed and manufactured by a variety of companies, without a single company setting the precise standards and qualities for all the components.
I have also found today's electronics are amazingly complex, and whether or not a particular firmware update will actually affect something we do is hard to say, as the use of equipment such as DSLR cameras depend on a significant number of components and settings which combine together in a myriad of ways to produce an end result.
I am unlikely to update the firmware on Windows computer components such as video cards, controllers, etc. unless I'm either having a problem, or there is an issue which I'm better off eliminating, such as a security issue. I am likely to update the firmware on self-contained external hardware, whether or not they have been functioning to my satisfaction, due to the complexity issue, such as for routers, switches and printers.
Our Nikon cameras have components manufactured by Nikon and a few other companies, however, all components are manufactured to Nikon standards and specifications. Therefore, in my opinion, it's highly unlikely Nikon firmware updates will cause problems, and likely the update will fix problems or prevent problems, whether or not we've run into them to that point.
My personal philosophy with Nikon firmware is to keep my Nikon equipment updated.
I know that's a long answer to a seemingly simple question, but I think the long answer was necessary.
#4. "RE: D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100 Distortion Control Data Firmware Update" In response to Reply # 3
Thanks for the welcome and the long answer! Very well thought out I would say. I am also a tech of sorts, industrial machinery and plc's etc. I've seen the good and bad of updates. So I was cautious to say the least. I think I will go check my firmware now and do the update if mine is older, thanks! Bertotti
#14. "RE: D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100 Distortion Control Data Firmware Update" In response to Reply # 2
>Curious, not knowing much about dslr cameras I wonder is this >a needed update? Any easy way to tell if a persons rig really >needs it? I apologize if this seems basic but I have only had >a dslr for a little over a month. Thanks Bertotti
To add to Ned's comments... I will say that if you shoot in JPG, you will degrade your image quality in post-processing if you attempt to correct the distortion there. So you definitely need this if you shoot in JPG.
I ran into my first obvious case of lens distortion in some photos I made at my grandson's birthday party. I was using the 18-55 VR lens, at about 25 mm for framing purposes. There was some pretty bad distortion of the head shape of the child standing close to the edge of the photo and close to me. I was able to get it to an acceptable image in LR4 with the distortion correction. But it was definitely bad to start with.
working on it in Middle TN Nikon D3100
35 mm 1.8 Nikkor 18-55 mm Nikkor VR 55-200 mm Nikkor VR 55-300 mm Nikkor VR 150-500 mm Sigma OS Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead
#17. "RE: D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100 Distortion Control Data Firmware Update" In response to Reply # 16
Do you need this update. Well that's a matter of philosophy. See my post "#3" above where I discussed that general question. The short answer, as far as I'm concerned, is I put in the updates to my cameras.
Your D3200 likely doesn't have this updated Distortion Control Data Firmware, but you never know.
You should check your DCD firmware.
On your D3200, Press MENU to display the menus. Then go to the SETUP menu, then select Firmware version, and check the firmware. The latest DCD firmware is: L=1.006
If you're L is a lower version then I believe you should update it. There is no firmware update for your A/B firmware as of this date.
#19. "RE: D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100 Distortion Control Data Firmware Update" In response to Reply # 0
I bought a used d5100 off of Craigslist and it began to say no card in memory slot. I looked at the Nikon site and saw an update for my camera and after some ignorance induced delays I got the update installed and the problem was resolved. I heard from the seller later and he said he had never had that problem. I checked my other d5100 and it was of current software so all is well. Just telling this to alert anyone who has a card recognition message. I am really enjoying being part of this community.