According to Webopedia, firmware is “a combination of software and hardware. ROMs, PROMs and EPROMs that have data or programs recorded on them are firmware.”
OK, got that?!?!
Practically speaking, firmware is software stored in the memory of a device such as a digital camera. The firmware controls the basic functions of the device.
From time to time, manufacturers offer firmware updates that fix camera problems found after its release. It can fix things such as image quality, battery life, LCD brightness, improve flash metering or adding a new image file format. Available firmware is downloaded free at a manufacturer’s website.
Just because there is a firmware update doesn’t mean you must install it. For example, a firmware update may only add the RAW file format to a camera. If you have no desire to shoot RAW, there is no reason to update.
If you plan to install firmware, make sure the update is specifically for your digital camera model! Then carefully read and follow the instructions step-by-step. If you need help with the installation, contact Tech Support.
Notices of firmware updates
You may not receive notice from the manufacturer when a firmware update for you digital camera becomes available. Because of this, you should occasionally visit the download section of the camera manufacturer’s website.