What is a firmware update?

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.

Firmware fixes

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.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.