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Nikon Speaks Up about Manual Control

An reader sent this in via the Contact form:

Yesterday, I contacted Nikon about the D-movie feature on the D90 and new D5000 not having manual controls, and asked how real the possibility of an upcoming firmware update would be to allow manual control over the shutter speed and ISO. Well, the reply was very promising, and I thought ProLost would be the best place to share it. Here is the email in full:

We are working on an update to these equipments to allow manual selection of shutter speeds and ISO during D-Movie mode and more, we don’t have a specific date but we are working on it. We have had customers with the same concern and we are trying to improve on this firmware update.

Again, Thank you

The Nikon Team

Reader Comments (29)

now if only canon would do the same thing.

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbenji

My homie Canon has let me down. Now THAT is some response. (Did they mention any thickening agents for the jello, though?)

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Now, that wasn't very hard, was it?

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertaubkin

If Nikon comes out with a firmware update, Canon will have to release something. This is especially true when they come out with an update to the D3 and 700 with manuel video. It is only a matter of time for Canon.

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJon Carr

Wanna try the same with Canon, Stu?

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTico

Canon is notorious for 'set it and forget it' with most of their firmware updates. They'll fix obvious issues and bugs, but very rarely do they provide updated features; A notable exception was the firmware update for the 1D mk iii, and that was just to bring some of its functions in line with the consumer lines.

It's always bugged me about Canon, but even Nikon in the past - they can easily enable things in the firmware, or add new software functionality, but rarely do so. All Canons should have (IMO) micro focus adjustment. Only the 50D and 5D Mk II do, leaving this sorely needed feature out of the xxxD lineup.

Another one is an intervalometer function. Nikon has it in select bodies; Canon doesn't, and its a simple matter of painless software. Instead they want you to buy that ridiculous $300 external wired setup.

It's not like I'm expecting miracles here. I'm expecting a company to make my investment in an expensive piece of equipment worthwhile, and long term. I expect Canon to show some loyalty to its customer base who shell out $3500 for a body (Canada) by providing most-requested features that can be enabled / added to the firmware. Sony can do it with the PSP, a $200 consumer toy. Nintendo can do it with the Wii, a $200 consumer toy. Canon can't even seem to enable the smallest of features in their expensive products, instead setting up situations where you have to spend another ginormous amount of money to get something that should have been in the camera in the first place.

This is why I'm very impressed with Nikon - showing firmware feature upgrades like this is sure to cement brand loyalty for them, and cause Canon users to consider jumping ship. It shouldn't be this way.

BTW, wasn't there a rumour that Canon was going to do a feature-upgrade firmware release for the 5D MkII in early April? That would have blown my perception of Canon's "release it and forget it" mentality towards firmware.

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark

i noticed the 500D/T1i became available yesterday. the stills AND clips are starting to pop up around the web.

at the cheaper price point we're sure to see a lot more amateur film makers trying to squeeze the most out of it and quickly running into brick walls. i hope this gives a bigger voice to the cause.

the D90 channel on vimeo is HUGE compared to the 5D channel and that's gotta come down to price. i'll be watching the 500/T1i channel closely.

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjohnxlewis

aargg it took like what ? 5 emails to get nikon to give use control. Over cinema5d we have been practically waging war against canon.

Who cares if the d90 gets MC it's 5d we want!!!!

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

That's great to see Nikon being open and responsive.
Why has Canon appeared to be so difficult?

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDigigenic

Well guys, they also Duke Nukem's gonna come out soon =) Seriously it's great that someone responds to it, and I've high hopes for this firmware update. But as long as nothing's going to pop up I'd rather stay calm.

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrudi

Those turds make it sound like that's something they never thought about putting on the camera.

April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScott

I'd love to believe this. I'd love even more to see evidence that this response is genuinely from Nikon to a real customer query. Let's hope it's not just wishful thinking.

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpipkato

This could ENCOURAGE Canon to act.

Canon customers have been requesting even an answer since months ago, and Canon didn't give any.

- THOUSANDS of people have requested FULL Manual Control for video mode, and Canon still did not give any, nor even a friendly and CLEAR answer to their loyalty customers.
They ONLY answer that they can not comment on products they might or might not be developing.

Also more than 1.300 people ALL AROUND THE WORLD have signed the Petition to Canon Inc started in March:

- HOW MUCH MORE feedback do Canon need?

- HOW LONGER will Canon wait to give what they should have already given?

- Canon have a GREAT chance in their hands Right NOW to be steps ahead. But if they do nothing, they will probably loose it...

As we all know, COMPETITION is strong and is coming...

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter5DMark2

Forgot to mention:

And OF COURSE, IF Canon do not "listen" to thousands of customers requesting a Firmware Update that can be implemented with NO hardware change, NO big cost to Canon, then, they will be in serious risks of loosing lot of customers.

Not to mention the credibility on Canon statements and loyalty of so many customers who invested so much money without receiving not even a professional and clear answer about this matter, like every customer deserves.

The EOS 5D Mark II (already been shown a lot at NAB 2009) is not a toy, not an entry level camera, it is aimed to serious amateurs and Professionals.

Something like a Firmware Update should NOT be ignored by such a big company like Canon.

- The PETITION TO CANON Inc. and some related articles can be found here:


THANKS a lot to everyone supporting every effort to encourage Canon to give it to their loyalty customers.

Let's hope Canon realize the huge importance of this and the chance they have now, and DO provide it, before the competition starts to demonstrate that they are REALLY listening to customers suggestions (even when the suggestions were aimed to Canon...)

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter5DMark2

Cool- This is good news. There's also a petition for manual controls of the Nikon going on here-

Maybe they'll do it faster if many people sign it?

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Canon lost me already.

I think if Nikon puts out a D750 it'll have similar specs to the 5d MK II plus manual control, and most of all the prospect of a company willing to improve their DSLR Video mode

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkarl

I've always been a fan of Nikon sense my days of shooting film. They've always made very quality stuff (bodies and lenses... my FE2 is still a killer camera!) and their customer support has always been fast and helpful. Thanks for posting this Stu, and now I just hope it doesn't take Nikon too long to release this update. It may be a little bit of time, seeing how the d5000 JUST released, but I could be wrong. The update could be a quick follow up.

pipkato: I assure you it's real. I found Nikon surprisingly willing (and quick) to answer questions posted via the support section on their website. I believe that's likely what made them start working on this firmware update: enough people contacted them through their own support system.

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I read this as good news for Canon users. There's too much of a groundswell going on - 5D owners already have their pitchforks in hand. Canon would be utterly foolish not to respond with an update as well.

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterspiro

Spiro, they are utterly foolish. Most kitchen appliance manufacturers will beat Canon to 1080/24p.

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJonne

lets hope nikon gets it.... 24fps already.... now just give us a rugged D3 with manual video control.

.... add Nikon glass and I'll be set: 14-24 and 24-70

April 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterf2.8

Now all we need from Nikon is a firmware upgrade to allow external mic application maybe through the USB port. That would seal the deal for me. I'd order at least 2 D90's then.

April 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Treacy

I don't believe this. Product support would simply not pre-announce anything in this way, also the words attributed to them are very poor English "these equipments", "... and more" and most stupid of all "we are trying to improve on this firmware update", not the writing of a customer-facing pro.

This is just some fantasy.

May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEd

I have to say, I have to agree with points that Ed raised. I am highly suspicious seeing as the "source" is an email from somebody submitted via the contact form. I won't hold my breath here. Has anyone bothered to verify with Nikon? I remain hopeful, however.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeakbagger

As if that is a legitimate email. What are "equipments"? There is no update forthcoming.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrent

Unfortunately I had a completely different answer for the same question :

"Nikon n'a pas, pour l'instant, prévu une mise à jour du firmware pour le D90."
"Nikon didn't planned any firmware update for d90."

Please sign the petition !

September 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I have recently bought Nikon D90 with VR lens kit. The D-movie function was something I have been waiting for years. But, I see that there is no control for ISO and shutter speed. For a camera like this, I think there should be no reason for not having manuaI controls over ISO and shutter. I am in production of an adventure game that will be shot using my D90, and also there will be video footage. So, I would be more than amazed to see a firmware update for manual ISO / Shutter controls in d-movie mode. This will also increase the competition between the DSLR and professional video cameras.

Please share and sign the petition for Nikon to include manual controls in d-movie mode of Nikon D90.

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBatu Eritenel

Still no firmware update. :(
Nikon, you could at least have timed it with the press release of your new cameras and lenses. That would've been such a nice surprise for all of us :) Anyway, I really hope they're still working on it. In fact I count on it.

March 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStefan

I have both the d90 and d300s...i see all this great news about films and broadcast tv shows (house) being shot with the canon 5d(?) and i can't even shoot a respectable public service piece for the web with my nikons because of the obnoxious exposure stepping, its so abrupt and just rips the viewer out of the experience.

Its such an obvious need to have manual control over shutter speed and a famous man once said "YOU CAN DO EEET!"

April 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjeremy

After the release of Canon EOS 550D, Nikon should have released the firmware update immediately. Here is a part taken from

"If being able to shoot digital SLR type HD movies is an important requirement, then the Canon Rebel T2i / 550D offers a distinct advantage versus the D90 as stated above. If photography rather than videography is the primary objective, the Nikon D90 offers extended features and overall performance abilities compared to the Rebel T2i while also offering the ability to capture very decent quality video clips to complement your stills."

I want to hope they're preparing a good video update for us.

April 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBatu Eritenel
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