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Canon updates 1D Mark III firmware

New firmware helps with autofocus and SD card speed, Canon says. Meanwhile, a Nikon update makes D3 and D300 produce D2Xs colors.

Canon's EOS-1D Mark III
Canon's EOS-1D Mark III Canon

Shortly after Canon announced a hardware fix for autofocus problems affecting some of its high-end EOS-1D Mark III cameras, the leading SLR maker also has added a software fix.

Version 1.1.3 of the Camera's firmware "improves autofocus tracking" when shooting outdoors in bright environments or when shooting low-contrast subjects, Canon said. In addition, the firmware can speed the process of writing images to high-speed SD memory cards.

Canon's biggest rival for single-lens reflex cameras, Nikon, also released some new firmware for its brand new D3 and D300 models that endows them with the color performance of the earlier D2X and D2Xs professional models. The updates don't yet appear on the U.S. Web site, but DPReview has a handy list of European links.

Canon also announced in a service notice that it will begin repairs for affected customers beginning December 3 at a dedicated facility. The company will pay shipping both ways for affected customers and will install the firmware during the repair, but customers should brace themselves for a wait.

"Due to the anticipated volume, we ask for your continued patience and understanding during this process," Canon said in the notice. "We offer our sincerest apologies to our customers using these products who have been inconvenienced by this issue."

The repair involves adjusting a mirror used in the autofocus subsystem and affects some cameras built with an original mirror mechanism. Cameras with an updated mirror mechanism aren't affected; those models have serial numbers above 546561, but there are also 2,713 models with lower numbers (yes, I counted) on a Canon list (click for PDF).