Major D5 firmware update is a welcome one for both stills and video shooters

Jun 24, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Major D5 firmware update is a welcome one for both stills and video shooters

Jun 24, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Nikon have released a somewhat substantial V1.10 firmware update for the Nikon D5, addressing many issues that have been reported by customers.  The biggest being the record time limit for shooting video.

Electronic vibration reduction has also been added when shooting movies, while stills shooters receive a few very welcome additions for shooting through the viewfinder.  A number of updates to the D5’s web interface when running in HTTP server mode  have also been added.

Since its initial launch, the Nikon D5 has only been capable of shooting 4K video in segments of up to 3 minutes at a time, where its smaller sibling, the D500, which could go strong for up to half an hour.  The 1.1 firmware extends that limit to a more reasonable duration.

  • The camera can now record movies up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds long. Movies are recorded across up to 8 files, each up to 4 GB size, which can be joined together using the ViewNX-Movie Editor option in ViewNX-i version 1.2.0 or later. *
  • An Electronic VR option has been added to the MOVIE SHOOTING MENU. Note that electronic vibration reduction is not available at frame sizes of 3840×2160 or 1920×1080 crop, and that the angle of view is slightly reduced when electronic vibration reduction is in effect. *

The electronic VR might sound like a strange option on a camera of this level, and while I would imagine that those serious about video are unlikely to use it (and unable to use it if you’re shooting 4K), it can be handy for those quick behind the scenes 1080p clips.

  • A Flicker reduction option has been added to the PHOTO SHOOTING MENU. *

Being in the photo shooting menu and not the video shooting menu, I’m not exactly sure what this means.

If it were in the video shooting menu, I’d be assuming it’s to help prevent inconsistencies when shooting framerates that don’t quite match up with the electrical frequency.  Such situations can already be fixed through proper technique, but if it does indeed help with video, then it’s nice to have extra options.

Other new features and changes in the update include…

  • Dynamic-area AF (9 points) has been added to the AF-area mode options available during viewfinder photography. *
  • The chief changes to viewfinder photography autofocus are:
    • Improved camera response when the button assigned Auto-area AF using Custom Setting f1 (Custom control assignment) > AF-area mode or AF-area mode + AF-ON is pressed to temporarily select auto-area AF.
    • Improved tracking when Wide is selected for Custom Setting a5 (3D-tracking watch area) and 3D-tracking is selected for AF-area mode.
  • The following changes have been made to the shooting display in the web browser when Silent photography is selected in HTTP server mode:
    • An “SL” (“silent”) icon has been added to the release mode button.
    • The “number of shots remaining” display for continuous release modes now shows the time remaining.
    • Exposure compensation can now be adjusted by up to ±3.
  • The file name (extension “.NDF”) is now displayed in HTTP server mode when Image Dust Off data are displayed in a web browser either full frame or in the image viewer.
  • The web browser displays for computers, iPads, and Android OS now identify white balance presets 1 through 6 by number when preset manual white balance is selected in HTTP server mode.
  • If movie recording is started while the camera is focusing in movie live view, the camera will now stop focusing before beginning recording.

Much of this brings functionality that many expected the D5 to ship with in the first place, but it’s nice to see that Nikon are addressing the concerns and doing something about it.

As well as the feature updates, quite a few annoyance and bug fixes have been implemented, too.

You can read the full list of updates, download the new firmware, and get instructions on how to install it over on the Nikon website.

So, D5 owners, has this fixed your problems?  Or have they missed any big ones you still think need work?  Let us know in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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