How To Update Your Firmware

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Canon recently announced the latest version of Firmware for the Canon EOS 7D. Version 2.0.x provides all sorts of new improvements and features over the original firmware, most notably a higher maximum burst rate (25 vs. 15 RAW images at 8 fps), manual audio level adjustment capabilities, GPS locator compatibility, and increased ISO.

In general, it’s a good idea to update your firmware whenever the manufacturer comes out with a new rev. As users continue to provide performance feedback, and as technology improves, updated firmware fixes issues and bugs, and expands upon the camera’s capabilities.

The first thing you do is download the firmware from the manufacturer’s website. Typically you will be asked to provide your operating system information. The firmware download is accompanied by instruction files that come in a variety of languages. Instructions for each camera and manufacturer are different (though they’re similar in the methods and steps to take), so be sure to follow them closely. The steps below are for updating the Canon 7D with 2.0.x.

You will need your camera, a fully charged battery (or plug it into the wall with an AC adapter), a blank large-capacity memory card, and a card reader. It is important to never turn off the camera or open the memory card door while the update is taking place.

1. Double click on the downloaded firmware file. It will extract to a file location of your choice.

2. Confirm that it is indeed the correct version of the firmware by right-clicking on the file name and choosing “Properties”.

3. Copy the firmware file onto the memory card by plugging a card reader into your computer and transferring the file from your hard drive (usually a “drag and drop” from your file manager) to the memory card. Be sure to place the firmware file into the root directory and not a sub-folder on the memory card.

4. With your camera off, put your camera in “P” mode, or Program mode.

5. Insert the memory card containing the firmware into the card slot.

6. Turn the camera on, then press the Menu button. Go to the yellow “Setup 3″ menu and choose “Firmware VerX.X.X”. Press “set”. Press “set” again to confirm that you wish to update, then “set” again to choose the firmware update file.

7. When the firmware update screen appears, select OK and press “set”. An “updating” message will appear showing the update’s progress. The update took about five minutes to complete for me.

8. Confirm the completion of the firmware update by selecting OK. I was prompted to update my date and time settings at this time.

9. Turn the camera off, remove the battery for five seconds, then re-insert the battery and turn the camera back on. This activates the new version of the firmware. Verify the firmware version by going back to the “Setup 3″ menu and checking the version nomenclature.

10. Format the memory card before using it again.

** Note, there are also instructions on how to update the firmware using the EOS Utility.

If you have any questions about this process, feel free to leave a comment or post to our Facebook Page.

Photo credit: Hakan Dahlstrom on Flickr Creative Commons.

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  • Alan Hughes

    Who in the world actually has a card reader?

  • Ted Diamond

    I do. Needed to get one when the reader in the PC went bad. I could plug it in directly, I suppose.