Firmware Update for The Nikon Speedlight

Nikon Releases Firmware Update To SB-900 Speedlight

( posted by John Omvik on 11-22-2008, 04:53 PM )

 

I never would have imagined I’d see the day where I would be updating firmware to a camera flash, but that is where technology has brought us. Nikon has released a firmware update to their new SB-900 flash, the first battery powered on-camera flash that I am aware of, that supports firmware updates. 

This version 5.0.2 firmware update addresses the following issues:

– With uninterrupted shooting with the SB-900 set to i-TTL mode, images captured just before the flash ceased firing were sometimes overexposed. 
This issue has been resolved. By resolving this issue, metering precision has been further increased and the number of times the flash fires has also been increased.

– When the SB-900, set to TTL auto flash mode, is used with a camera supporting the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS), flash mode automatically changes to A mode according to camera communication status. That flash mode was previously maintained, but it has been modified so that TTL auto flash mode is restored once the SB-900 again recognizes the camera as a CLS-compatible camera. 

When you think about it, it is actually a great feature. The flash systems have small computer processors that calculate exposure, power levels, communicate TTL information with the camera etc. To ensure forwards compatibility and the ability to sort out any unforeseen issues, it makes sense that Nikon has enabled endusers to update their own strobes the same way they do cameras.

The mechanism they use to do this is also interesting. Since the strobes do not have a memory card slot or a USB port (yet), the new firmware needs to be downloaded to a CF card and updated via the camera. With the SB-900 attached to a D3, D300 or D700 camera, the strobe firmware is updated via the same menu mechanism used to update camera firmware.

If you are using the SB-900 with a different camera, I assume you would need to bring it to a dealer or send it in to Nikon for the update. For the firmware update and instructions on how to do it, visit Nikon’s support website

-John

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