I posted earlier on my d200 but I want people to know what I have learned about this update. First, if it goes wrong (failed to update). You have a good chance of actually damaging part of the computer onboard the camera and it will have to go to Nikon for major repair. I did mine with a tech on the line and now its in need of mission critical parts. I bring this up because I made the mistake of doing the update at a time when not having the camera will hurt. Honestly, I think this is a terrible design flaw that could and should be avoided. In speaking with tech support Im not the only one. Maybe I'll say I've got banding and they will rub some frequency greese on it while its in......
Sorry to hear about your trouble. However, I can't imagine how a firmware upgrade can physically damage a part. I can understand how they might have to re-format the whole onboard system, but not how it could require a replaced part. Let us know how this works out.
I haven't upgraded but it really isn't because I'm afraid of some catastrophe, its just that there is nothing in the published info about the upgrade that I want or need. Add to that the remote possibility of a problem and it just doesn't seem worth it to me at this point. As I learn more about it, I might change my mind.
If a firmware upgrade goes bad, it can leave the camera unusable since the "operating system" of the camera is corrupt or incomplete.
The hardware is not actually damaged but the software must be reloaded correctly.
A good analogy would be if a virus wiped out part of your hard drive. Your computer would not boot but re-installing your OS would solve the problem. Your hard drive is not actually damaged, any more than if you had accidentally wiped out those files with the delete command.
The issue is that the camera has no fallback position it can go to so you can attempt the upgrade again. Or if it does, it's not something we mere users can access.
And remember, for every upgrade that fails there will be hundreds (if not thousands) that have no problem. It's kind of like a lottery where winning sucks.
Well, on the last D2H upgrade all went well until I trun it on after the Turn OFF msg. Never come up and it cost 600USD for repair it. All the FCP and Power circuit fried. So much for a "free" upgrade.
Nevertheless I did upgrade de D200 two days ago (I'm an optimist). Lucky she is ok.. I think.
it should be done but risks do exist. As I said on another post, a Onboard ROM Version (Fail safe Release 1.0) should save a lote of trouble to user and tech support... unless it fries the hardware. It's available on Phones and PDA and GPS's so why not on a camera.
Andy is, of course, correct. The upgrade doesn't harm hardware, but that is little consolation if you must send your camera for repair.
Nikon could have shipped the OS on CF with the camera like computer makers sometimes (used to be always) do. That would enable users to reload the OS after an upgrade train wreck. If I were Nikon, I would choose, as they did, to keep the dangerous objects out of the hands of children.
I agree that it seems unlikely that a software upgrade could physically damage the computer that runs it. But a software-induced state of the computer could damage the external hardware that the computer runs. In the highly complex and powerful systems I work on, a good deal of thought and some expense is devoted to the subsystems defending themselves against computer error.
I get what you guys are saying... The nikon actual "techs" are saying major replacement. I never said it made sense. Trust me, Ive spent a lot of time on the phone and Im convinced I'm due a major repair.
Although there is no "documented" major benefits to the upgrade, myself and many others have noticed less noise, better VR performance, faster focus, etc. Check the other thread out about it. As far as damaging hardware with an upgrade, I think not. It would damage the software, and that could possibly be a "major" fix as the camera would not work without software.
Just like the ITunes ver 7.01 upgrade. Don't do it yet. Almost everyone has found that it will mess up all your song files, making them all static and/or locking up Itunes because it is trying to see if your music should be gapless or not. People reported that there songs were messed up on there Ipods when they used the new version of Itunes. It ruined the "software" not the Ipod itself.
>As for me....my D200 is not broken and shall not be >"fixed".... > Cheers, Bill P.
That's an interesting comment and is kind of one of the hinges of this whole argument. basically, is a D200 that takes pictures with no problems but exhibits sub-par performance and output "broken"? In the first run, some people had banding issues that cropped up 0.01% of the time. Was the D200 "broken" or not? guess it depended on whether the picture with banding was the one that could have landed you a page in a magazine, eh? If the D200 after v2.0 focuses faster, exhibits less noise and uses VR more effecively, couldn't that mean that the v1.0 D200 was "broken"? I guess it depends on the meaning of the word, huh?
Personally? If an upgrade gives me a chance ot focusing faster (and therefore getting a better shot) or using VR better (and therefore getting a better shot) or having less noise (and therefore getting a better shot), I'm going for it. After all, isn't the whole point of the camera to take the best shot you can? What's the difference between a camera that wouldn't turn on for the $2,000 shot and the camera that got it but messed it up because it didn't focus quick enough? In a sense, not much
Anyway, just my musings on this all. I'm 2.0 with no problems whatsoever. looking forward to all the good things "easter eggs" I've heard about the version. Looking forward to my "95% perfect" D200 hitting 97%
----- This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
>Although there is no "documented" major benefits to the >upgrade, myself and many others have noticed less noise, >better VR performance, faster focus, etc. Check the other >thread out about it.
And yet, out of the 100's of users upgrading no one has been able to produce any compelling before and after evidence of any of these "upgrades"
We've had many many threads with banding, AF issues, noise, yet no one can produce a before and after test, showing these improvements, and yet - if these improvements are so apparent to a user without a controlled test - proving this improvement in a controlled test should be really simple!
I'm really tempted to try this myself!
In my line of work (mobile phone operating systems) I can say without doubt there is massive psychology at work triggered in end users when they see a version number change from 1.01 to 1.02 for example
Indeed UI designers are well aware of this - a simple dialogue design change can make the user perceive huge increases in performance (OT, but interesting)
There is no denying the fix for the Sigma lenses, so there is at least one undocumented fix. Because of my previous profession this leads me to believe there are others.
I was an assembler programmer on large IBM mainframes. With each release of the software bugs were fixed that customers found and enhancements were made that customers wanted.
In addition, I personally and all of the other developers enhanced the portions of the software we were responsible for. It's a matter of pride to make ones' work the best it can be. I can't imagine it's any different with the Nikon folks.
I think there are many fixes and enhancements in there that we don't YET know about and some that we never will know about, such as random "Err" on the top LCD and others.
EDIT: sometimes the managers knew about the extra stuff and sometimes they didn't!!
Conor Photography Mark Griffin Nikonian in North Carolina
One point the anti-upgrade faction here has not considered, is that the NEXT possible upgrade might contain a fix or innovation that they will want; it is unclear if you can skip upgrades, i.e jump directly from 1.01 to 3.2 for example, without applying the intervening upgrades.
Against such a possibility, I would recommend at least that people d/l all upgrades as they appear, and save them somewhere accessable.
Personally, I'm on my 6th digital camera since 1999, have applied upgrades to most of them, and usually upgrade regardless or whether I require what's offered, with no problems so far. At the most, I'll wait a few days to see if any negative reports apear.
(The most major upgrade I can remember was the Coolpix5000 suddenly offering RAW capability).
Generally firmware upgrades are not patches. The new software completely replaces the old software. It's like wiping your hard drive and installing a new OS.
So unlike Nikon View where they have a full version 6.20 and then patches to get you to 6.27 (which requires you to have at least 6.20 installed) a firmware upgrade is a complete replacement and is not reliant on prior verions.
Public relations. Admitting those issues is like admitting you did something wrong. It's the same reason why when I see a defect in the application I work on that nobody knows about I fix it and install it without informing the users. My boss knows and we do the normal testing procedures but we don't tell the users there was a defect.
In this case the user community DID know about these things and if there were improvements in VR performance that would be something to shout about. So they should have said something. The AF bug is something that can be proven. It didn't work before. It works now. The other perceived changes are a bit harder to quantify so it would have been nice if Nikon had said something.
Admitting to a defect isn't necessarily good but saying you improved things is always good.
>Public relations. Admitting those issues is like admitting >you did something wrong. It's the same reason why when I >see a defect in the application I work on that nobody knows >about I fix it and install it without informing the users. >My boss knows and we do the normal testing procedures but we >don't tell the users there was a defect.
IMO, this is something we overlook with Nikon. Releasing several undocumented fixes can been seen as a way to "Save Face." Canon has done so MANY times. It's a part of Japanese Culture many do not see.
Now, for the record. My Sigma Glass now all work with the AF-ON. No real rocket science required for that one. My 18-200VR does lock faster with 2.00. There is no difference with my 70-200VR. So, possibly a VRII thing. I notice no other AF improvements on any of my other Nikkors. AF or AFS. I notice no changes in noise, shadows, highlights or anything else for that matter, including iTTL.
So, IMO, if you shoot with Sigma, or the 18-200VR I'd upgrade. Otherwise I'm undecided.
I think if there were well known, very specific problems they might list absolutely everything...but that would also be admitting that there were problems in the first place, which they may not want to do.
I agree with many others, in my IT experience, often upgrades etc. are done with a couple of major issues/additions, and they add a bunch of minor tweaks at the same time as a matter of convenience (small things not justifying upgrades on their own).
All speculation of course, but there seems to be enough anecdotal and some documented evidence of VR improvement at least.
Fortunately my upgrade went without issue. However, I really feel bad for those folks that tried it and it messed up their cameras to the point where they will not operate or cuased other issues. You should not have to pay to fix what the upgrade broke. $600 to fix something that Nikon expects you to do is complete #####!
I don't buy the public relations argument. Both Apple and Microsoft routinely send out updates to fix 'security issues', 'fix bugs' and 'improve stability.' There seems to be very little at stake for them, why Nikon?
A detailed list of what this upgrade does would save a lot of trouble for a lot of people. I suspect people having to send their $1700 cameras back and then telling everyone about it on the internet is pretty bad public relations to.
However, I'm not sure vossman's assessment is entirely accurate. Does Nikon say anywhere that they expect or even suggest that everyone upgrade their firmware? I don't know, that's why I'm asking. Apple and Microsoft usually include a recommendation along with their updates.
We will never get a complete detailed list of what is fixed or upgraded. This is what the Nikon Tech service department told me. For the record he also said to ALWAYS do the updates/upgrades ALWAYS. Thats why I did it. He said there could be improvement in nr banding you never know. FYI. when ever there is a camera sent in to Nikon repair for ANY type of service they always load the latest updates/upgrades.
The tech department again tells me "parts are going to have to be replaced"
I am sending a messenger with the camera to El Segundo and I just got off the phone with the tech. department. It will be covered by warranty.
The only thing I can think is that that they don't have a backdoor to upgrade the ROM either and if it gets trashed the only choice is to plug in (or solder in!) a new chip. If that's the case it seem like a poor design decision. I guess they have their reasons.
>For the record he also said to ALWAYS do the >updates/upgrades ALWAYS.
I think you learned a valuable lesson about the difference between the opinion of a tech support guy who may or may not be a Nikon employee and an official statement by the company. It's quite possible that the reason the release notes are so limited is because Nikon is making an indirect statement that unless you need WT3 support or image authentication you shouldn't bother. If it doesn't appear on the website it's not an official Nikon policy - just like I can't travel anyplace and make statements on behalf of the US government.
I wonder if camera shops will do the upgrade for you? Even if it's for-fee it could mitigate some risks due to pilot error.
Jeff Bower I wish my D200 body was a significant portion of my NAS-related expenses...
>A detailed list of what this upgrade does would save a lot >of trouble for a lot of people.
I don't know how it would help unless you mean it would help people decide whether or not to upgrade based on the feature list.
>I suspect people having to >send their $1700 cameras back and then telling everyone >about it on the internet is pretty bad public relations to.
I would hope most people know that that you will always seem more "It didn't work" posts than "It worked!" posts. Hardly anyone logs to a web site to say "Hey, I went to the store today and the customer service was great!".
If the percentage of failed upgrades was too high Nikon would be pulling the software from it's web site.
>I don't know how it would help unless you mean it would help >people decide whether or not to upgrade based on the feature >list.
Of course that's what I mean. If the list was detailed enough I could make an educated decison, not just a decision based on a few anecdotes about Easter eggs. And I wouldn't expect them to detail every tiny thing but Apple says things like "Fixes a bug that appears when so-in-so interacts with so-in-so." Nikon could likewise say, "Fixes a problem in which AF can be initiated on Sigma lenses using the AF-On button." Or, improves noise related to overexposed highlights at certain ISO settings." How hard could this be? Nikon needs to remember that nothing gets people's attention like a whisper and nothing generates rumers faster than a scarcity of information.
>I would hope most people know that that you will always seem >more "It didn't work" posts than "It worked!" posts. Hardly >anyone logs to a web site to say "Hey, I went to the store >today and the customer service was great!".
You are missing my point. I understand the squeeky wheel concept. My point is that someone suggested that Nikon couldn't publish that there were 'fixes' in the firmware update because it would be bad PR. My point is that the few people who needlessly upgrade and then have a problem will be an even bigger PR issue for the very reasons you suggest.
I understand what your saying N80 and your right, there is no official policy. I thought about what I had written and asked if it was it a true statement before pushing the post button. I went off of Halibutkings post about the nikon tech telling him you should always upgrade and the other thought that went through my pea-brain was that anytime you send your stuff in, Nikon will update without even asking for it.
After updating to firmware 2 (A and B) I shot about 35 images till I realized that autofocus did not act at all. All 35 images, except the last one, were totally out of focus. Despite trying everything to mend the problem autofocus did not return to normal functioning. However, after having switched off the camera for 20 minutes, autofocus was all of a sudden back and seems to be working. (For how long and how reliably?) I have no idea what happened and cannot explain why it might have happened. I was using my regular 12-24 Nikkor and a SunDisk Ultra, II, 2 GB. Not a nice experience.
That is VERY strange. My D200 took literally hundreds of shots this weekend at my daughter's wedding. I was very surprised at the focusing accuracy of my 18-200 even on a dark dance floor. If there were any focusing misfires I haven't seen them yet.
I don't know if this had anything to do with the upgrade but it sure wasn't hurt by it.
I understood what went wrong. It was not the firmware update at all. Ken Rockwell, as so often, knew more. I quote: "WARNING: I've had some severe focus problems. My D200 refused to autofocus no matter what I did. I made sure the lens was in the AF position. I turned the camera off and on. I removed the lens, cleaned the contacts and put it back on. Nothing worked. I thought for sure my lens was dead. I tried another AF lens, and it was dead, too. It was my D200! Then I noticed I had bumped the AF Mode switch to M. DUH! I was defective, not the D200. This switch is not well detented and easy to knock out of position. I always knock it! Check that you haven't knocked this switch to the manual mode if you have any problems." So, false alarm regarding my worries about firmware update, but nevertheless perhaps a helpful reminder of a potential hardware hitch on the D200.
>...but nevertheless perhaps a >helpful reminder of a potential hardware hitch on the D200
Yes, that "problem" has actually been mentioned here quite a few times. The switch does have detents, but it is perhaps a little too easy to move by accident. I did so for the first time yesterday, but remembering all the posts here about it, I quickly realised what I'd done
Hello all, I am sitting on the fence regarding this firmware update and I need and appreciate information from more experienced owners.
After all, the D200 is my first DSLR and I am a bit scared by the (remote) chance that wrong operation on my side could result in frying boards, or anyway rendering my camera unusable and making a costly repair necessary (yeah the camera is still under warranty, but shipping expenses are up to me, and what if it happens at the next firmware upgrade, when the warranty is over?).
I am not really interested in the support for the WT-3 or in image authentication as I am not going to buy the WT-3, nor the extra software. So my mind was made and I was happy that I would avoid the hassle.
But then I read about "undocumented" improvements. I am a bit skeptical that VR and focus operation, as well as noise handling, have been improved without publicizing the fact, although for some arcane reason it could be true. What tickles me, is the corrected compatibility with Sigma lenses when using the AF-ON button. As the owner of a 10-20 and prospective owner of a 120-300, this is of much interest to me.
Can anyone please confirm again this improvement brought by the new firmware is real? Does anyone also have objective data confirming that the 18-200 VRII locks on focus faster? The 10-20 and 18-200 account for most of my photos, so I am very interested in this.
As a side question, did anyone observe any kind of similar improvement while using the 80-400 VR on a D200 with the new firmware?
So, do you think it is worth for me upgrading the firmware? Do you think it is a tricky thing to do?
PS: I know I am asking questions that have mostly already been answered. I just need some reassurance before taking the plunge...
I too was sceptical about upgrading and was about to send my Sigma 70-200 lens in for them to sort out the AF on button problem. After reading that the firmware upgrade solved this problem my mind was made up. The upgrade went flawlessly and now my Sigma works with the AF button at no cost to myself.
As for the upgrade I found it easy to complete after reading the instructions and carrying them out in their precise manner.
Also remember to download the upgrade from the country of origin i.e. if the camera is from the USA then use their site. I believe their are different versions of this firmware which cameras will not except.The file numbers are different.
I managed to upgrade with no problems at all and I am so glad I did. I can confirm that my 80-400 mm vr zoom which I use a lot in bird photography, has definately improved when focusing, it seems to snap into focus much quicker and with less of the 'hunt and peck' performance that I was resigned to.
I'm a software developer that's managed countless software releases. My GUESS is that the key issue here is testing.
After an initial product has been tested and released, it's often much easier to make programming changes than it is to retest the product. So what most of us do is structure our releases around major changes that justify the release and throw in a bunch of smaller changes. We then submit the changes to a thorough round of testing. That's PROBABLY what's going on here. We don't want to retest the product any more than we have to. It's very time consuming and labor intensive.
And as a previous poster said, we don't always document everything we fix because we have to acknowledge defects.
I wonder if any Nikon employees or contractors that actually know what's going here could confirm or deny our theories?
I read about the firmware update today, read a couple comments, downloaded and succesfully upgraded to 2.0 without any glitch. Just don't be so nervous when running the update, just follow all steps and it gets done as others stated, in about 10 minutes. The A version took less the 2 mins. it is the B version that is about 3.75MB file.
Well the repair was complete yesterday and I got the UPS just minutes ago. I was wondering if they were going to do the old b2 manuver on me. Opened the box, and instead of my fixed D200 was a brand new D2X and a 70-200vr lense. Thats it... There was a hand written note. "sorry for the inconvenience. All our love, Nikon factory support" The D2x appears to have the firmware upgrade already so I shouldn't have any problems.
Thank you all for your support. Please feel free to visit me on the D2X forum!!!
Anyone who says you should is wrong. Anyone who says you shouldn't is equally wrong. There is a risk involved but that risk is very low and only results in losing your camera for a few weeks while Nikon fixes it. If you absolutely need your camera in the next month or so then don't unless you absolutely need something in the upgrade. If you won't regret not having the camera and want to have the latest and greatest then go for it. If you don't need to have the latest and greatest and the camera works just fine, what's the rush? If you're not comfortable with your computer or haven't ever upgraded firmware but want to I'd also consider seeing if a local camera shop or Nikon will do it for you. If you're worried that you'll need R2.0 in order to upgrade to R3.0 (which may have something you like) and that Nikon will remove R2.0 from the website for some reason you can always download it but not install it.
Since you're the best judge of the relative worth of the upgrade I'm afraid it's up to you.
Jeff Bower I wish my D200 body was a significant portion of my NAS-related expenses...
ah...well, my point is that there are users that state better focusing, etc. i dont need, nor will i probably use the WT-3 or the administrative options. but it would be nice to have better focusing, etc. oddly though..nikon doesnt mention this at all in the description of the 2.0 upgrade
Never discount the placebo effect. While it's quite possible that the AF is better under certain conditions I've seen a lot of posts where people saw 1.01 firmware and reported improvements - of course the D200 shipped with that firmware load. Unless you've got a Sigma lens, a WT3 or need image authentication it's a gamble (oops, I guess a description of a dice-rolling game won't work ) whether you'll make things better, worse or (most likely) see no change at all. I did the upgrade last weekend with no noticeable improvement to VR or AF so results are, at best, variable. Of course, don't discount the placebo effect in the negative either - I expected not to see an improvement and I didn't. I'm not saying don't upgrade, I'm just suggesting that you assess the risk (loss of a camera for a few weeks) and reward (known WT3/Image Auth/Sigma Lens; unconfirmed, variable and subjective VR and AF reports) appropriately.
Too bad I failed in my attempt to get an objective VR measurement. I shot images beforehand using a running fan as a tripod to introduce a fixed and regular amount of vibration and managed to capture images that were visibly improved with VR enabled but still blurry. My after shots with the identical settings were tough to distinguish between VR enabled and VR disabled but it's clear that VR still works subjectively and makes the same amount of noise (subjectively) as before. If anyone wants to repeat the test, I used a well-balanced fan on high speed but I would recommend unbalancing a fan with a weight and putting it on a lower speed.
Jeff Bower I wish my D200 body was a significant portion of my NAS-related expenses...
Nikon supplies some very good instructions on how to upgrade the firmware and if followed step by step you will have no problems.
The key is to be sure you only have the first firmware upgrade program on the CF card when you first start the upgrade and your batteries are fully charged or you have the Nikon EH-6 AC Power Supply Adapter connected to the camera.
I think if Nikon HAD improved the AF or VR performance they would be very upfront about it. When the D2X upgrade to 1.01 was released last year they listed very miniscule things that were untestable (for me) and they were very proud of the "improved AF performance" et al. I think psycologically people want to "feel" like they got something for the trouble of doing the upgrade.
OK... My first post to the group... I have been lurking with my d200 for about 4 months...
I just performed the firmware update... Everything is working fine...
When I tried to update the first time... I put BOTH files on the CF card... went through the update... Only "B" was updated... I figured out that I should have only put one file on the card at a time... No matter... I pushed just the "A" file to the card... re-ran the process... everything updated fine. I do not recommend the "B" before "A" approach... I am only saying that it did not cause me any issues.
OK.. Now for the real reason that I type.. I think I found 1 item not reported as a part of the firmware update...
Before the update, I always had for focus... then exposure lock... then shoot.. If I did the exposure lock first... the focus stayed where it was...
After the update... I can lock the exposure ... but still focus...
Maybe it was just me??? Or maybe the firmware updated reverted the camera back to some setting that I mistakenly changed... In either case, I like have the ability to exposure lock at any time!
And to all of you who do not know it... Thanks for all the help over the last 4 months.
I tried to update my D200 to firmware version 2.01. I followed all the instructions on the Nikon Site (full battery, first frimware A, thenB, etc). After uploading Firmware A to my card in the camera and starting the installing process, the LCD showed a message that it will take a couple of minutes. After some minutes the LCD went black and in the top display my D200 showed 'PG Up' although I could not be sure this was a 'G'. After another hour, without anything happening, I called Nikon and they told me to switch it off and see what had happened. Well, after switching off, the 'PG Up' message remained and switching on didn't do anything. Later the 'PG Up' message had disappeared as well, leaving my camera totally dead. I contacted a camera shop and they told me that the E-prom has been damaged and that this will not be covered by guarantee by Nikon (costs around Euro 400). From reading this discussion, I got two possibly contradictory opinions : A. Firmware (= software) update cannot ruin hardware. B. camera needs major (costly) repair.
And does anyone have experience about this being handled under guarantee by Nikon?