Official firmware for your 40D is given a version number that you can view by turning the power on, pressing the Menu button, and scrolling to Firmware Ver. x.x.x in the Set-up menu. As I write this, the current version is 1.0.3, shown in Figure 9.1. The first number in the string represents the major release number, while the second and third represent less significant upgrades and minor tweaks, respectively. Theoretically, a camera should have a firmware version number of 1.0.0 when it is introduced, but vendors have been known to do some minor fixes during testing and unveil a camera with a 1.0.1 firmware designation (or even 1.0.3 in the case of the 40D). If a given model is available long enough, as the EOS 20D was, it can evolve into significant upgrades, such as 2.0.3.
Oddly enough, sometimes an update is so minor that it doesn't earn an upgraded number. When Canon introduced firmware version 1.0.4 for the previous model 30D, it discovered that some of the characters for Simplified Chinese and
You can view the current firmware version in the Set-up menu.
Camera user setting Clear all camera settings Firmware Ver. 1.0.3
Traditional Chinese languages caused problems when displayed on the LCD monitor, and issued a new Version 1.0.4. It recommended installing this fixed firmware for anyone experiencing the problem, even if the user had already upgraded to Version 1.0.4.
Firmware upgrades are used most frequently to fix bugs in the software, and much less frequently to add or enhance features. For example, previous firmware upgrades for Canon cameras have mended things like incorrect color temperature reporting when using specific Canon Speedlites, or problems communicating with Compact Flash cards under certain conditions. The exact changes made to the firmware are generally spelled out in the firmware release announcement. You can examine the remedies provided and decide if a given firmware patch is important to you. If not, you can usually safely wait a while before going through the bother of upgrading your firmware—at least long enough for the early adopters to report whether the bug fixes have introduced new bugs of their own. Each new firmware release incorporates the changes from previous releases, so if you skip a minor upgrade you should have no problems.
Was this article helpful?