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D90 Firmware Update

Jason R , Feb 23, 2011; 12:12 a.m.

I noticed that Nikon just released a firmware update for the D90. I am considering doing the update but wondering if Nikon firmware updates reset all the camera settings back to factory defaults? I didn't really see anything about it one way or another in the update instructions. Usually with such items their will be a note somewhere in the directions saying whether it will be reset or not. Just wondering what others have experienced when updating Nikon products?


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Shun Cheung , Feb 23, 2011; 07:36 a.m.

Why would firmware updates reset camera settings?

Camera settings are like data stored in the database; they are your selection. Firmware is software that runs on the camera. For example, when your bank updates their software that supports your account, your account balance is not suddenly reset to 0 or some huge number.

Peter Hamm , Feb 23, 2011; 08:33 a.m.

Well, as the owner of lots of electronic musical gear I can tell you that most updates on those that I've installed trash my settings, so I have to back them up first. So... it's not a bad question.

But... I did just update my D90's firmware and didn't lose any settings.

Jason R , Feb 23, 2011; 08:36 a.m.

True, Makes sense and that's what I always thought too but in past experiences updating firmware with other electronic items besides camera's, everything was reset to factory defaults when you do a firmware update. Why it has to be that way? I have no idea and it is always a pain in the rear when that happens. Just wondering if Nikon was the same way. Maybe not.

Thanks for the response.


Sem Svizec , Feb 23, 2011; 08:39 a.m.

This is only an update of lens distortion correction data. No point updating unless you're actually using the distortion correction feature in-camera (this is a manual retouch feature) and have lenses that were added with the update.
It is more likely relevant with the D5000 that may apply this automatically to each JPG. Though not recommended with lenses that produce moustache-type distortion - then this job is better done using DxO OP, PTlens, or recently also Adobe.

Alan Bessler , Feb 23, 2011; 08:53 a.m.

It won't,but if it did couldn't you just reset them?

Shun Cheung , Feb 23, 2011; 09:12 a.m.

I am in the software profession. We update our customer's software on a regular basis, and keeping their data intact is critical. Just imagine that some software glitch erases the bank balances from 10000 customers.

I am glad that Nikon does not mess that up during firmware upgrades.

Joseph Wisniewski , Feb 23, 2011; 12:04 p.m.

Why would firmware updates reset camera settings?

Because if the new firmware requires data that the old firmware didn't, you're now left with the problem of some parameters being set and others not being set, so rather than have to deal with a swiss cheese of missing parameters here and there, they purge everything.

Walt Flanagan , Feb 23, 2011; 01:22 p.m.

The "firm" in firmware gets its name because it is kind of in between hardware and software. If that sounds vague it's because it is. The line between firmware and software has blurred in recent years. In a PC the software is stored on something easy to rewrite like a hard drive but BIOS firmware was historically harder to update. 30 years ago the BIOS firmware was stored in ROM chips. If you wanted to upgrade it you literally had to pull a chip out of a socket and swap in a new one. Later on eraseable ROM chips or EPROMs came along. Today with modern flash chips it's much easier and quicker to update.

The last time I updated the BIOS firmware in a computer I distinctly remember all my settings were lost. It mentioned this so I wrote them down. I've seen a BluRay player that lost all the custom settings during its firmware update as well. I had a SCSI card, multiport serial card, and MP3 player that lost all settings and music on firmware update. Nikon DSLRs are the only device I have experience with that keeps the settings across firmware updates.

Shun Cheung , Feb 23, 2011; 04:11 p.m.

You guys are not demanding customers.

Last year I upgraded my old mobile phone to an Andriod phone. The service representative transferred all numbers on my phone directory from the old phone to the new phone on the spot. I can't imagine re-typing hundreds of phone number into the new phone.

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