Nikon D500 firmware version 1.02 released


Nikon released firmware update version 1.02 for the Nikon D500 with a single fix for certain SD memory cards. This is not the rumored major firmware update I reported few weeks ago. Here are the details:

Addressed an issue that sometimes caused errors with certain UHS-II SD memory cards. As we were able to confirm that these were read errors arising not in the camera but in the cards themselves, we addressed the issue with a work-around that switches temporarily to UHS-I mode when a card-side error occurs in UHS-II mode. The camera switches back to UHS-II mode when turned off and then on again or when the standby timer restarts. Card-side read errors may still occur after the update, albeit very infrequently.

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  • So basically does that mean that they slow down the buffer and data transfer rate to the card when an error occurs by switching to a slower protocol, which then gets reset by switching the camera off and then on again? This is a long way from being a fix, though to be fair even Nikon describe it as a workaround. They might have well have said, just switch the camera off and on again. Not a lot of progress here….

    • Bart

      Hi Russ, read carefully: it happens with certain SD cards. So it is a card issue not a D500 issue; in detail: only the new Lexar 2000x SD cards have the problem. When Lexar fixes this (by releasing new cards?) it will be fixed. Don’t blame Nikon this time!

      • Nikos Delhanidis

        it’s not only the new Lexar 2000x. A better description is that the only UHS-II SD card that has not any issue report yet is Sandisk. For all other cards there have been at least some report about this error, even with UHS-I cards.

        • I’m sure you are right. I have seen people reporting issue with other cards as well. I’m not going to download this FW because since I got replacement card from Lexar I never had this issue. I shot around 4k images with it. My biggest complaint is the speed. If I use the SD card as backup (which I do all the time) I will get only 32-33 images before the camera slows down. I don’t want any lower buffer

        • Thom Hogan

          Sorry, but I can tell you I have multiple claims of SanDisk cards doing the same thing. At present, I have four different brands doing the same thing. This may be as much about different interpretation of a standard than anything. Obviously, the card makers are thinking one thing, Nikon another.

          However, since Nikon refuses to identify the cards involved, we don’t know if there is a difference as to why different cards are causing the error.

          • Nikos Delhanidis

            🙁 Is there space for a second XQD slot ?, hoping Nikon will give up the SD altogether and offer D500 owners the option to swap the cards module (if even that is correct) with double XQD if they wish? 😛

            • Thom Hogan

              Nikon says no. But I think that’s basically them saying, “as we designed it, no, a second XQD wouldn’t fit.”

            • Allen_Wentz

              And that is a bummer. The lame SD slot is literally my only real complaint with the D500. Battery usage is a minor issue I can live with.

          • Sandy Bartlett

            Multiple claims about Sandisk vs how many from the others? Inside the norm for card errors in a given group? Very few sandisk errors reported on DPR.

            • Thom Hogan

              Highest incidence was Lexar. Second highest but probably an order of magnitude less was SanDisk.

            • Sandy Bartlett

              Thanks Thom.

        • CERO

          The question is.. does Lexar uses extensions, tweaks or deviates from the UHS standard?
          Does Sandisk deviate or maintain themselves int he standards?
          Is nikon following the standards or did shortcuts and “tweaks”?

      • I don’t really agree. Nikon build the camera to read the card. Of course they are not manufacturers of the cards, but you would have expected testing of the most popular manufacturers of which Lexar are certainly one. I find it difficult to believe that this is a problem of Lexar’s making when other cards have the same issue too. Either way, Nikon have not provided a real solution here and brings into question their testing and QA process for the D500 which should have happened before release.

        • Thom Hogan

          Yes. This is an issue that should have been easily identified in testing. As were many others we’ve encountered.

    • Eric Calabros

      I guess they didn’t use the bandwidth provided by new protocol. Its just labeled “compatible”, means you can use it, but you dont benefit its full potential.

  • If I own the D500, I might usually use the XQD as primary card anyway and the SD card for my Eye-Fi.

    • Nikos Delhanidis


  • eric

    I bought xqd card for cheaper and return my sd card. Qxd is the way to go, I use a cheaper 95mb/s in the sd slot and been running without a hiccup since april.

  • Thom Hogan

    This, by the way, is what I’d call a Kludgey patch, what we call in the software industry a “fallback patch”. Essentially it allows the camera to still encounter the error, but then the camera doesn’t report the error and instead tries again with a different method. The error is still being produced.

    • CERO

      more like a “catch” error routine to prevent a full lockdown/freeze ?

  • Jean Fotomode

    I confirm that with the new firmware, my SD card show no more error but also that when users press the button image viewing, these pictures appear instantly whereas before there was a small lag

  • Is this what Nikon calls as Major FW? Or something major still coming? Peter, what do u think?

    • David Weinehall

      Quoting from the article: “This is not the rumored major firmware update I reported few weeks ago.”.

  • TL Robinson

    I had the problem initially with my Lexar 2000x cards. I formatted both my Lexar cards exFAT on my PC and haven’t had the issue since and I use my D500 a lot and review while shooting a lot. Guess I got lucky wrt not having it pop back up.

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