Upgrading Your Firmware

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If you're computer savvy, you might wonder how your EOS 40D is able to overwrite its own operating system—that is, how can the existing firmware be used to load the new version on top of itself? It's a little like lifting yourself by reaching down and pulling up on your bootstraps. Not ironically, that's almost exactly what happens: At your command (when you start the upgrade process), the 40D shifts into a special mode in which it is no longer operating from its firmware but, rather, from a small piece of software called a bootstrap loader, a separate, protected software program that functions only at startup or when upgrading firmware. The loader's function is to look for firmware to launch or, when directed, to copy new firmware from a Compact Flash card to the internal memory space where the old firmware is located. Once the new firmware has replaced the old, you can turn your camera off and then on again, and the updated operating system will be loaded.

Because the loader software is small in size and limited in function, there are some restrictions on what it can do. For one thing, it recognizes only Compact Flash cards that have been formatted using an organizational system called FAT16 (which again, you might be familiar with if you're comfortable with hard disk technology). To ensure that the Compact Flash card is formatted using FAT16, you must upgrade using a CF card at least 8MB in size and no larger than 2GB, and then format the card in your camera. Memory cards that are smaller or larger might be formatted using a different FAT system (FAT12 or FAT32, respectively).

In addition, the loader software isn't set up to go hunting through your Compact Flash card for the firmware file. It looks only in the top or root directory of your card, so that's where you must copy the firmware you download. Once you've determined that a new firmware update is available for your camera and that you want to install it, just follow these steps. (If you chicken out, any Canon Service Center can install the firmware upgrade for you.)

1. Download the firmware from Canon (you'll find it in the Downloads section of the Support portion of Canon's website) and place it on your computer's hard drive. The firmware is contained in a self-extracting file for either Windows or Mac OS. It will have a name such as 40D00104.fir.

2. In your camera, format a Compact Flash card that's larger than 8MB and smaller than 2GB to ensure that the proper file system has been formatted onto the card. Choose Format from the Set-up menu, and initialize the card (make sure you don't have images you want to keep before you do this!).

3. You can copy the upgrade software to the card either using a CF card reader or by connecting the camera to your computer with a USB cable and using the EOS Utility application furnished with your camera (as described next).

4. Insert the CF card in the camera and then turn the camera on. Press Menu and scroll to Firmware Ver. x.x.x in the Set-up menu and press the Set button. Choose OK and press the Set button to begin loading the update program.

5. A final confirmation screen will appear. Press Set to confirm. The firmware will be updated.

6. When you see the completion screen press the Set button to complete the process.

7. Turn off the EOS 40D, remove the AC adapter, if used, and replace the battery. Then turn the camera on to boot up your camera with the new firmware update.

8. Be sure and reformat the card before returning it to regular use to remove the firmware software.


Use a fully charged battery or Canon's optional ACK-E2 AC adapter kit to ensure that you'll have enough power to operate the camera for the entire upgrade. Moreover, you should not turn off the camera while your old firmware is being overwritten. Don't open the Compact Flash card door or do anything else that might disrupt operation of the 40D while the firmware is being installed.

Using Direct Camera USB Link to Copy the Software

The procedure is slightly different (and a little more automated) if you choose to transfer the firmware software to the camera through a USB linkup. Follow these instructions to get started:

1. Connect the camera (with a freshly charged battery or attached to AC Adapter ACK-E2) to the computer using the USB cable and turn it on.

2. Load the EOS Utility.

3. Click the Camera/Settings/Remote Shooting button.

4. Select the firmware update option. When the Update Firmware window appears at the bottom of the EOS Utility, choose OK.

5. Click Yes in the confirmation screen (see Figure 9.2).

6. Follow the instructions in the dialog boxes that pop up next by pressing the Set button on the camera.

Protect Your LCD_

The color LCD on the back of your EOS 40D almost seems like a target for banging, scratching, and other abuse. Fortunately, it's quite rugged, and a few errant knocks are unlikely to shatter the protective cover over the LCD, and scratches won't easily mar its surface. However, if you want to be on the safe side, there are a number of protective products you can purchase to keep your LCD safe—and, in some cases, make it a little easier to view. Here's a quick overview of your options.

■ Plastic overlays. The simplest solution (although not always the cheapest), is to apply a plastic overlay sheet or "skin" cut to fit your LCD. These adhere either by static electricity or through a light adhesive coating that's even less clingy than stick-it notes. You can cut down overlays made for PDAs (although these can be pricey at up to $19.95 for a set of several sheets), or purchase overlays sold specifically for digital cameras. Vendors such as Hoodman (www.hoodmanusa.com) and Delkin (www.delkin.com) and Belkin (www.belkin.com) offer overlays of this type. These products will do a good job of shielding your 40D's LCD screen from scratches and minor impacts, but will not offer much protection from a good whack.

■ Acrylic shields. These scratch-resistant acrylic panels, laser cut to fit your camera perfectly, are my choice as the best protection solution, and what I use on my own 40D. At about $6 each, they also happen to be the least expen-

Cara Upgrade Firmware Canon 40d

500 F18

500 F18

Firmware update

Current version is 1,0.3 ContJniie updating the firmware?

Figure 9.2 In the EOS

Utility, choose the Camera Settings tool to update firmware.

Figure 9.2 In the EOS

Utility, choose the Camera Settings tool to update firmware.

sive option as well. I get mine, shown in Figure 9.3, from a company called 'da Products (www.daproducts.com). They attach using strips of sticky adhesive that hold the panel flush and tight, but which allow the acrylic to be pried off and the adhesive removed easily if you want to remove or replace the shield. They don't attenuate your view of the LCD and are non-reflective enough for use under a variety of lighting conditions.

■ Flip-up hoods. These protectors slip on using the flanges around your 40D's eyepiece, and provide a cover that completely shields the LCD, but unfolds to provide a three-sided hood that allows viewing the LCD while minimizing the extraneous light falling on it and reducing contrast. They're sold for about $40 by Belkin and Hoodman. If you want to completely protect your LCD from hard knocks and need to view the screen outdoors in bright sunlight, there is nothing better. However, I have a couple problems with these devices. First, with the cover closed, you can't peek down after taking a shot to see what your image looks like during picture review. You must open the cap each time you want to look at the LCD. Moreover, with the hood unfolded, it's difficult to look through the viewfinder: Don't count on being able to use the viewfinder and the LCD at the same time with one of these hoods in place.

■ Magnifiers. If you look hard enough, you should be able to find an LCD magnifier that fits over the monitor panel and provides a 2X magnification. These often strap on clumsily, and serve better as a way to get an enlarged view of the LCD than as protection. Hoodman, Photodon (www.photodon.com), and other suppliers offer these specialized devices.

Figure 9.3

A tough acrylic shield, here shown with a piece of plastic containing a set of peel-off sticky strips to help it adhere to the camera, can protect your LCD from scratches.

Figure 9.3

A tough acrylic shield, here shown with a piece of plastic containing a set of peel-off sticky strips to help it adhere to the camera, can protect your LCD from scratches.

Troubleshooting Memory Cards

Sometimes good memory cards go bad. Sometimes good photographers can treat their memory cards badly. It's possible that a memory card that works fine in one camera won't be recognized when inserted into another. In the worst case, you can have a card full of important photos and find that the card seems to be corrupted and you can't access any of them. Don't panic! If these scenarios sound horrific to you, there are lots of things you can do to prevent them from happening, and a variety of remedies available if they do occur. You'll want to take some time— before disaster strikes—to consider your options.

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    How to setup firmware for canon 40D?
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    Can you update eos firmware without a card?
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    What memory cards should i use in my canon 40d camera?
    5 months ago
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    How to load canon 49d?
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