New firmware updates for the Nikon D5 and D500, new versions of ViewNX-i and Camera Control Pro

Nikon released new firmware updates for the D5 and D500 DSLR cameras (and the Coolpix B700) and software updates for the Camera Control Pro 2 and ViewNX-i:

Nikon D5 firmware version 1.20

• Added two new AF-area modes: group-area AF (HL) and group-area AF (VL). The user selects a row (HL) or column (VL) of focus points; when AF-C is selected for focus mode, the camera will give priority to the point in the selected row or column containing the subject closest to the camera.
• Updated the photo info display to show the color temperature for photos taken with Auto selected for white balance.
• Added an Exif tag listing the difference between the local time zone and UTC, part of the Exif 2.31 specification.
• Added the support for the following features of AF-P lenses:
- If the standby timer expires after the camera has focused, the focus position will not change when the timer is reactivated.
- In manual focus mode, the focus indicator in the viewfinder (or in live view, the focus point selected in the monitor) will flash to show that infinity or the minimum focus distance has been reached by rotating the focus ring.
• Changed the checks performed when Clean image sensor > Clean now is selected in the SETUP MENU. We recommend that you perform image sensor cleaning after updating the firmware.
• Fixed the following issues:
- The higher the amount of Active D Lighting selected when optional flash units were used with auto aperture (AA), non-TTL auto (A), or distance-priority manual (GN) flash mode, the more the resulting images would be underexposed.
- Changes to exposure (including exposure compensation) would not be reflected in the photo live view exposure preview while the display was zoomed in.
- Photo live view display WB could not be selected in the i-button menu while the exposure preview was displayed in photo live view.
- Taking long bursts of photos with On selected for Network > Options > Auto send would sometimes drastically slow the recording of data to the memory card.
• Reduced the amount of time needed to connect to hidden SSIDs when WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK is selected for Authentication.
• Updated some help text.

Nikon D500 firmware version 1.13

• Fixed an issue that interfered with pairing or resulted in unreliable connections when the camera was used with the Android edition of the SnapBridge app.

Nikon Coolpix B700 firmware version 1.3

Nikon also released new versions of:

Camera Control Pro 2 Version 2.25.1
ViewNX-i Version 1.2.8

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  • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

    Can’t some of the D5 new AF-areas bits be migrated downwards to D500 and D810 ?

    • Given that D810 will soon be replaced, I guess only the D500 will get them. D810 doesn’t share the same AF module, so not sure if it even can do it.

    • ITN

      They could be added to the D500 but it doesn’t look like Nikon is planning on doing so. D5 AF started like D500 AF but Nikon added 9-point dynamic and HL/ VL only to the D5, not the D500.

      Essentially they are giving better support to the top of the line product.

      • Both are flagships of their respective sensor sizes, so hopefully that will be reflected in a future firmware update for the D500.

        • ITN

          It is already over one year since the D5 got 9-point dynamic area AF added. Nikon have made numerous FW updates to the D500 since then without adding AF features to it.

          • Hell, I’d accept “Fixed random LCD screen lockup during use.” as an added fix to the lonely SnapBridge bug fix on this update. But yeah it looks like the D5 is the golden child in terms of feature updates.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              agree – although maybe with the Canon 7d MK 3 (sched. 2018) competition may mean than Nikon address improvements on the D500, although knowing our luck it will be via a D500s.

            • Great, hope they make it, and I’ll get the pitchforks and torches and lead the uprising to get this great but rushed-to-market beta edition updated to a final release.

    • Allen_Wentz

      Heck, I am still learning how to best take advantage of all the D500’s original spectacular AF choices. I can do without or wait another year before adding yet another choice.

      • Brent Rawlings

        Me too!

  • The new AF area modes, the colour temperature display and the timezone bit are, as far as I know, completely new features for Nikon. And they introduced them not in a new camera, but in a firmware update.

    Is Nikon trying to enter modern ages with regards to firmware and software development? One can hope…

    • Allan

      I don’t see them spending enough money today to significantly improve their software.

      (Maybe they can find the old NIK software engineers and hire them. :] )

      • ITN

        Nikon/Nik software was better but still contained frequent bugs. I think they should invest a lot more money into testing of the software and not release any new version before it is to the same level of quality as their cameras.

        • Allan

          The last versions of Capture NX2 were very good.

          Nikon probably made very little money from NX2. Therefore, I doubt we will ever see excellent ViewNX-I and Capture NX-D software.

          ViewNX-I and Capture NX-D have many issues; I wonder how many people actually use this software compared to other non-Nikon RAW converters and post-processing software.

          • The last version actually addressed the main problems. Pity that it got terminated just when it was getting better. Even now there are people who would be willing to use it if they bring it back .

          • ITN

            I agree NX2 in the end was excellent software and provided unique features and utility. However, I suspect most users of Nikon DSLRs did not use it. However its loss to google is a major loss at least for me. I am forced to use much more time consuming local adjustment methods now.

            ViewNx-i most of the time in its latest version works ok though sometimes it is very slow. I only use it to browse, rate and delete images and not edit the images themselves. Capture NX-D does not work at all acceptably for me.

            I think whatever Nikon decide to do with regards to software features, they need to spend much more resources on testing and fixing bugs. I need software that always works correctly more than software that has a fancy feature set.

        • Mark Breen

          I had serious trouble with ViewNX-i working with D5 Files, took ages to open a folder and Nikon kept saying there was nothing wrong with software, they kept blaming my Mac, so like a d-head I purchased all singing and dancing new 27 inch iMac and,,,,, ViewNX-i was still the same,,,, eventually they said yes there is an issue………

          • ITN

            Sorry to hear that. I had frequent crashing of ViewNX-i in past versions which was very annoying but in the latest versions it has been stable. I am running Windows 10. There is still occasional jamming where the software is unresponsive and appears not doing anything. However, by closing and opening the application it continues then to work normally. I hope they can eventually sort the issues but really this software should have never been released in such buggy form as it was.

      • spamdie

        Flaw to your plan is. Google bought all the software tech rights. So those engineers would have to come up with something even better. Which would lead to the full circle of them being bought again.

        • Allan

          Please note my “smile” after my NIK comment.

    • ITN

      They have also in the past added significant features to cameras in firmware updates. The D5’s previous update also was important and the D800, D2X and some other cameras receiver lots of features in major FW updates. I don’t know how you may have missed those. Maybe because some other manufacturers make cameras that initially are like alpha test units and only with numerous FW updates they become almost good enough to use.

      • Looking at the previous firmware update, it seemed to have a few new features, and lots of bug fixes. This one seems to have more new feature and just a few fixes. I don’t remember the D800 ones.

        In other words, this seems to me more of a “feature” release, than a “bug fix” release.

        As to what other vendors do, I have no idea.

        • ITN

          D800 got the option to reprogram Rec to ISO which was requested by many. Also OK in live view toggles between automatic and exposure simulation modes. Prefocusing and triggering exposure when the subject crossed the preset line became possible in a firmware update, along with other features. D2X got most of D2Xs’s features in a firmware update. D5 got the flicker reduction feature and 9-point dynamic area AF in FW 1.1. All of these are feature updates and many of them are important ones.

          • Hmm, you are correct. For some reason, I forgot the D800 updates (I didn’t have a D2 of any kind).

            OK, then let me rephrase – I hope this might be the start of more regular feature upgrades 🙂

            • KnightPhoto

              Also let’s all not forget the major Auto-ISO firmware improvement that the D300 (and other cams of the time) received to set any minimum shutter speed including fast ones useful for shooting action.

              This took Auto-ISO from an interesting sometimes useful feature, to a blow your socks off useful programmable capability – for me this made a MAJOR difference and if I recall correctly Canon to this day still has not matched many years later.

  • On Nikon D500 update page:

    “If the camera “C” firmware is currently version 1.00–1.12, you will need to perform the update twice. During the first update, the camera may or may not display the message, “Update failed. Contact a Nikon-authorized service representative.” Continue with the second update regardless. Performing the update for a second time completes the firmware update.”

    What’s this nonesense??? Sheesh.

    • Just applied the update and everything seemed to go fine and it showed 1.13 when I rebooted the camera, but did the 1.13>1.13 update anyway to “complete” it. Guess they should start skipping 13s in there numbering systems also, lol.

    • CERO

      I had that firmware version (1.12 C) and had no issue updating.

      My D500 shows 1.13 now.

      • Yes but if you read carefully it says to do it twice regardless. Better safe than sorry.

        • CERO

          crap, going to have to do it again.

    • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

      That’s correct up to 1.11 and I had to do it twice, a bit worrying seeing that fatal message – heart in mouth type of moment. Not sure whether 1.12 -> 1.13 is affected by this Nikon funny.

      • I may do it two or three more times (I love firmware updates).

  • Hansjörg Weber

    I can’t understand why it is so difficult for Nikon to get theire Snap-Bridge crap working. It should’nt be a big deal, every connected selfie stick is more usefull then the current version (iOS)

    • manattan

      What is crappier is that all the fixes to make the new AF-P lenses work correctly only got implemented in the D5 firmware. WTF its like Nikon has different firmware teams for each camera and one team may solve a problem that could be universally applied but they don’t bother to talk to any other firmware team.

      • A-Sign

        Yeah that’s strange. I would expect the same level of AF-P compatibility for all Nikon bodies that are officially supported for this type of lens.

        • ITN

          I think there will be additional firmware updates that address AF-P compatibility. D500 is already compatible and D5 was updated to be compatible in FW 1.20. D750 and D6x0 should be getting their updates soon.

  • Vince Vinnyp

    Worked just fine on both mine and the new features might actually be useful in some situations. Shame nothing new for my D810 as well but I guess no one is surprised that something new is coming. The new 70-300 is most likely to get used on that and there is slim chance that the incompatibility might be an issue in some very limited situations.

  • David Peterson

    D500 update is rather unexciting, why can’t they hurry up and release focus peaking for it??? Is a crime Nikon cameras lack this.

    • Maybe because focus peaking will only work at the LiveView display and not through the optical viewfinder delivering a half-assed experience to customers? Could be a reason.

      • ITN

        During video recording there is no zooming option in Nikons to help focus manually. Focus peaking is a feature which would help manual focus during video recording and also during live view use. It should be easy to implement and would probably make a difference.

        • SteveWithAnS

          You could get one of those adorable eyepieces that you attach to the LCD with a rubber band and then maybe focus peaking would be useful.

          • ITN

            Focus peaking doesn’t require magnification to see.

            • SteveWithAnS

              I’d say to easily be able to shoot video without a ridiculous amount of shaking you’d need the eyepiece to be able to brace the camera against your face. Holding a camera in one hand and working the focus ring with the other all while trying to hold the camera one foot from your face to examine the focus peaking seems like it would create a ton of shake. Maybe the image stabilization you get shooting in 1080p would help a bit, but I think 1080p looks like low grade trash compared to 4K and to the best of my knowledge there is no stabilization available shooting in 4K on the D500. I’d certainly like focus peaking, but I think a GH5 is probably a better video option than the D500.

            • manattan

              It’s not only for video. It’s useful for live view shooting as well as you can tell at a glance that the blinking parts are in focus.

            • SteveWithAnS

              Interesting. I guess that could be helpful to some. The only time I use live view for shooting is from a tripod and then I can zoom in like 100x to focus on exactly what I want to focus on. When do you typically use live view for photos?

            • Allen_Wentz

              When it is necessary to hold the body up high above an obstacle like a crowd, or a fence, or more commonly above other photogs; or, down low. The D500 AF is pretty good so I just watch the level and composition, and assume the camera is in focus.

            • ITN

              For tripod based video shooting it would help. I don’t think manual focusing results in objectionable shake when the camera is on solid support.

      • David Peterson

        Focus peaking is fairly easy to implement, and would be a hugely massive benefit to video shooters. And many others who might use live view.

  • Sebako

    “If the standby timer expires after the camera has focused, the focus position will not change when the timer is reactivated”

    Hey Nikon, I’d like that update for my D7200! In case someone’s wondering, the “standby timer” determines how long the autofocus and metering will be active after you’ve tipped the shutter button. AF-P lenses reset the focus to some defined zero position if you tip it again and the autofocus system was powered down in the meantime. Which is super annoying with a lens like the (otherwise excellent) 70-300, where your subject may become nigh invisible when totally defocused.

    You can increase the timer to 30 seconds or so and the timeouts will become less of a problem; however, battery life will suffer.

  • This is the first time that Nikon offers new features for cameras through a firmware update?

    • nwcs

      No, they’ve done it several times. Not enough to have a reputation for it. The first, that I’m aware of, is when the D70s came out and the D70 got most of the features in a firmware update.

      • A-Sign

        I hope that Nikon adapts the FUJI strategy for firmware updates. It would help to get the customer satisfaction higher.

        • RC Jenkins

          I wish they would too, but they won’t. Thom Hogan explained why to me some time ago…it had to do with the limited memory space allocated to Nikon’s firmware / OS.

          I got into Fuji some time ago to supplement my Nikon gear, and within a week, I had a real firmware update that made many improvements and added functionality. It was amazing.

          Some people will say that’s because Fuji were never done…but as someone who works with hardware & software technogy, I can say that this is naiive. Software always improves, and if I don’t need new hardware, don’t make me buy it. If you’ve ever kept a mobile phone for a few years and updated the operating system, you’ll know what I mean.

          • ” it had to do with the limited memory space allocated to Nikon’s firmware / OS. ”

            Uh? Really? So that’s maybe the reason why we won’t see anything like “Magic Lantern” for Nikon cameras which is a hack for Canon cams?

            Yeah it makes one really jealous what FUJI is doing for their cameras. I have heard they are using FPGA chips for that which provides a really flexible design of how the camera system software can be configured?

          • ITN

            Fuji releases frequent autofocus updates but their AF still isn’t up to par. Their new medium format camera is reported to have some erratic focusing where the camera will not hold focus in a sequence of shots. Also Lloyd Chambers reports similar problems. “The GFX has some kind of focus stability problem across multiple shots; it might not apply to single-shot usage.”

            It is not a merit if a company releases a product which doesn’t work correctly and then attempts to fix it in a series of firmware updates, really! If the product is meant for high end, high image quality photography then it can’t have bugs which mess the focus.

        • nwcs

          I wish all of the camera makers would do it. There’s a lot of untapped potential in the cameras out there and it might provide some sticking power.

  • SteveWithAnS

    ” Fixed an issue that interfered with pairing or resulted in unreliable connections when the camera was used with the Android edition of the SnapBridge app.”

    Haha Haha. What do you mean unreliable…? Hopefully it is fixed now more than a year after the initial release. I will stop calling it CrapBridge if it is fixed.

  • Monte Beery

    The new AF-areas, particularly the HL (horizontal line), will be helpful for the shooter that has used a center focus point and then recomposed.

    • Michael Cary Arellano

      So if I understand correctly, the difference between this and 3D-tracking is that the AF will only follow the subject along the H or V lines selected? As opposed to any of the points with 3D?

      • Monte Beery

        Yes, it is a group area, so just the line the shooter selects. Then the camera chooses to focus on the closest subject from among those focus points.

  • RC Jenkins

    That’s a link to manually focusing a specific Fuji medium format camera. Are you buying the Fuji GFX specifically for autofocus speed? If so, you’re doing it wrong.

    Take a look here at the XT2, which I also wouldn’t buy specifically for autofocus speed, but which works fine:

    Remember, that’s on a 5-year-old mirrorless system which hasn’t been as good at continuous AF anyway. The entire mount system is the same age as the Nikon D4.

    And since that review was written less than a year ago, here are the updates Fuji has made:

    Speaking of autofocus bugs, did you see this on the Nikon D5 & D500? Did you also notice that Nikon released a firmware update yesterday?

    It’s naive to think that everything can reach perfection with no improvements possible in any case ever. If that’s the case, you should never update your phone’s firmware, computer software, camera firmware, etc.

    • ITN

      The point is that the GFX 50s won’t hold focus whether it is on manual or autofocus; you focus carefully and then suddenly the focus jumps off at random. This is kind of an outrageous bug in a camera which is meant to deliver high quality images. It’s a bit like a self driving car that suddently decides to steer itself into a ditch, at random, every once in a while. Of course Fuji need to make firmware updates since they relase cameras where the basics don’t work. Of course every manufacturer makes mistakes but this is a ridicuous mistake and Fuji is silent about it, pretending it didn’t exist. Yet people cheer for Fuji for supposedly taking care of the customer.

      The D5 dynamic area AF works fine, precisely according to the manual. The people who are finding it doesn’t work are assuming it should do something else (subject tracking so that people can recompose freely within the dynamic area). Subject tracking within the frame is not its correct functionality.

      • RC Jenkins

        What’s your point? That every Fuji released is useless because of the anecdote that one of its cameras (in your example of the GFX) isn’t perfect without a firmware update? Neither is Nikon. If you think that Nikon software is 100% perfect at the limits of the hardware & 100% bug free, I’ve got news for you. I wasn’t even referring to this mount, but I’d rather have a firmware update than a hardware recall. I’d also rather have a firmware update than no improvements for the next few years. I don’t naively assume that improvements are impossible and that there is such thing as a ‘perfect’ software end.

        That’s fine if you apparently have never once used a firmware or upgraded software in your life or have ever encountered a bug ever in any software because you assume that nothing further can be improved. Have fun with that.

        • ITN

          My point is that Fuji released an extremely expensive product which cannot hold focus correctly in the most basic situation (camera on tripod, static subject). It is not an anecdote when two very highly regarded reviewers report the same problem with multiple copies and lenses. And this has been on the market for a while now with no fix. Yet Fuji is regarded as a saint of some sorts in terms of the service it provides to its customers.

          I am well aware of Nikon’s flaws but the point is that Nikon gets a lot of crap for the tiniest of errors yet Fuji only gets Hallelujah!!! The Holy Fuji has given us an update that makes its substandard AF a tiny little bit better. It is easy to improve something that hasn’t yet reached the normal.

          • RC Jenkins

            So? Most Fuji customers are X-mount customers, not G-mount. Fuji G-mount is less than 6 months old and is a tiny customer base shooting medium format. You’re talking about one system to describe customer reactions to the other, unrelated system.

            This is like me saying that all Nikon DSLRs are horrible because of Nikon’s performance in Nikon 1. Let that sink in. It absolutely is an anecdote. And a poor, misaligned one at that.

            Fuji gets plenty of crap as well (that they deserve). The difference is Fuji improves throughout the product lifecycle. Nikon denies & maintains until the next camera is released years later.

            • ITN

              That’s not correct. The D70 got many of the features of the D70s in a firmware update. And the electronics glitch that it has was repaired for free. Almost all D2Xs features were also given to D2X users in a firmware update. The D800 also got many user requests implemented in firmware. And here the D5 just got its second major firmware update with significant new features. The D600 is a great bargain now on the used market because its shutter will always be replaced if giving problems and sensor cleanings are also always free yet the camera can be had for 700€. The D500 got short battery life using 4-year old batteries sold with older cameras so every D500 user can send those old batteries in and Nikon replaces them without cost with new ones, so basically you get to replace all your worn out dead batteries with free new ones. No matter how many and how used those are.

              Nikon do a lot of product improvements after the product has been released.

          • RC Jenkins
          • KnightPhoto

            I also don’t like that the FujiFilm GF-X is CDAF only (and relatively languidly slow CDAF at that). On top of which DigLloyd is trashing the longer GF-X lens (awaiting replacement).

            Anyhow another reason why I am a Nikon user and not a Fuji one as most of my stuff I’m shooting moving subjects in often bad light, and the Nikon’s eat that up no problem.

  • Shit, as a D500 owner I am really getting pissed.First a year later, no D9 AF area, now D5 gets even more new AF modes and we D500 owners get a fucking snapshit update?Time to write to Nikon I guess.

  • Doug B

    I wish they would update the D500 to allow auto-iso to drop to low-1 (or what ever the user sets as their base iso), for pan shots, it would be nice to have the camera not over-expose by a stop simply because someone decided to decide for us, instead of letting us decide for us what we want for a bottom ISO

  • Fredrik Olastuen

    Anyone else had trouble performing this upgrade? It starts like normal, but the progress bar doesn’t show anything, and after a while it goes back to the menu, and no upgrade has been done,

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