Firmware Updates: Easy but Tricky

Years ago I remember my friend Nolan Braud telling me that updating the camera’s firmware was not as easy as it seemed. Nolan wrote instructions and it still wasn’t easy.

Today I updated my firmware and remembered Nolan’s words. Yep! It’s still not easy. Here are some instructions that might help.

Go to your camera’s website and navigate to the firmware page. Canon lists firmware on the page for each piece of equipment. Click “download” when you find the firmware. Then open your computer’s download site and double-click on the firmware package to open it.

On our computer, double-click on the firmware download and you get two files like you see above. The RF029110.afu is the firmware update for my lens. The “update-procedure-pdf” folder contains instructions in various languages.
Plug a card reader into your computer. Put a SD card into the card reader. Copy that .afu file to the SD card. Eject the card reader and put the card in your camera.

Glitch #1 — I found the .afu file would not copy to a CFExpress card. The .afu file copies without any problem to a SD card.

Glitch #2 — the card needs to be formatted for your camera. It doesn’t matter if there are pictures on the card. The card doesn’t need to be empty.

Put the card containing the firmware into your camera. Navigate to the Firmware screen. Click OK or Set or tap to open that menu item.
If all is going well, you’ll see the firmware files on the card. Select the one you want to use.
The camera shows that 1.0.8 is currently in use and we’re moving to 1.1.0. Click OK. (FYI, I’m updating the lens firmware in the photo above.)
Then you get a screen showing that the firmware is updating. Don’t push any buttons at this point. Let the camera do its work.
Be patient. Let the camera work.
Be patient. The process takes four or five minutes at max.
You see this screen when the process is finished.

Instructions from Canon say to update firmware for the camera with no lens on the camera body. I put a body cap on the camera body during this process.

Instructions from Canon say to update the firmware for the LENS with the lens attached. That’s what’s showing in the illustrations for this post.

Was it easy to update your firmware? Problems or tricky situations with other camera brands? Post below. I’d love to hear from you.

This is a screen capture to illustrate Mark’s comment below. Mark wrote that the download file “mounted like a drive” when double-clicked. You’ll see in the photo (above) that the file does look like a mounted hard drive. Slightly different icon on my Mac but similar to the G external drive below in the photo.

Author: kathyadamsclark

Professional photographer leading workshops and tours.

2 thoughts on “Firmware Updates: Easy but Tricky”

  1. I had an interesting issue when updating my R6 to firmware 1.50. Once downloaded on my iMac, the file unzipped differently then on the last update to 1.40. I did not know where it was going and thought it did not unzip. Last time you just double clicked and a window opened with the .FIR file right there, same as on a PC. This time when you double clicked, it mounted it like a drive where you need to go to the finder and click on the drive to see the .FIR file. I was totally confused by this and did not notice where the file went for a couple of days. Maybe I’m the only one stupid enough to have this problem, but if you are using an Apple, it does not work the same as last time!

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    1. Good observation, Mark. Yes, I notice that on a Mac the unzipped package looks like a drive. I got the same thing. But I also saw an open box on my screen with the PDF and .afu files. That’s illustrated above. I didn’t think to show the drive icon. Yep, one more tiny confusing thing when updating firmware. Thanks!

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