More than a year after its release, Nikon is still keeping its flagship DSLR up to date with new features and bug fixes. The company released three camera firmware updates as well as updates to its Camera Control Pro 2 and ViewNX-i software on Wednesday. While most bring only minor updates and remedies to small issues, the D5 received several new features, including two new autofocus modes that expand on an already impressive collection of focusing capabilities.
The new modes are called group-area AF (VL) and group-area AF (HL). Both are variations on the same theme, selecting either a single column (VL) or single row (HL) of active focus points. With continuous autofocus engaged, the camera will focus on the closest subject within the active row or column. This sounds like a fairly nuanced feature, but it should offer some increased flexibility over relying on single-point or standard group-area autofocus.
The update also brings enhanced compatibility with AF-P lenses, of which currently only one full-frame model exists, the new AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6. When using an AF-P lens in manual focus, the focus indicator in the viewfinder will flash to let users know when minimum or infinity focus has been reached. In autofocus, the lens will now maintain its focus position after the standby timer expires, which could slightly improve focus speed on a subsequent shot. Other new features coming to the D5 are considered minor, including the display of color temperature for images taken with auto white balance and updated metadata to support the latest EXIF specification. The new firmware also changes the way sensor cleaning works, and Nikon recommends that all users run the clean sensor command after updating.
Nikon also issued new firmware for the D500 , and while it includes just a single change, it could be a very welcome one for some D500 shooters. That camera was Nikon’s first to make use of Bluetooth LE, a low-energy, always-on version of Bluetooth that allows for automatic wireless image transfer to a smartphone or tablet, even when the camera is turned off. Unfortunately, the feature was plagued with connectivity issues at launch. Nikon states the new firmware fixes pairing issues between the D500 and the Android version of its SnapBridge app, hopefully resolving any last connectivity issues once and for all.
Finally, Nikon also updated its Coolpix B700 superzoom camera to fix a charging issue. All updates can be found in Nikon’s download center.