Nikon Says It is ‘Passionate’ About Providing Firmware Updates

Nikon Z8 mirrorless digital camera on a gold background

In a consumer landscape riddled with planned obsolescence, Nikon hopes to keep its camera users happier for longer through strong firmware support.

While firmware updates may not carry the allure of a new model or a sleek redesign, the emphasis on back-end support can keep a camera feeling fresh for years to come, saving money and resources that might otherwise go toward more frequent upgrades.

In an interview with French publication Phototrend at CP+ 2024, a photography exhibition in Japan, Mitsuteru Hino, Nikon’s head of UX Planning, explained the company’s emphasis on firmware updates.

Hino explains that Nikon’s firmware developers will work within a camera’s parameters to deliver on customer requests. While not everything can happen via updates alone, it certainly gives models a longer shelf life and can deliver solid quality-of-life improvements.

Photographer using a Nikon Z9 digital mirrorless camera to photograph a woman.
Credit: Nikon

For example, Nikon’s Z8 and Z9 don’t have mechanical shutters, so the audio cue is emitted through a speaker. Initially, Nikon made it so this was only detectable to the photographer, but it became clear that models benefit from the sound of a shutter click as well. A new model could move the speaker, making it easier for both parties to hear, or the sound can be raised, Hino illustrates, comparing a physical update with one based on software.

“Furthermore, by listening carefully to customers, we often discover new things that we never noticed,” Hino told Phototrend, which was originally published in French. “We learn a lot from these discoveries and start working on areas that we hadn’t paid attention to before.”

Hino further told Phototrend that his last role placed him in charge of firmware update development, making it an area he’s passionate about. And users have already seen that come to fruition when the Z8 got a major firmware update just this month. That update actually included a new shutter sound and volume options.

“There are many innovations underway, especially in the case of hybrid camera processors and sensors,” Hino said. “With this accumulated information and knowledge, we can further expand these functionalities. Even after our users buy a product, thanks to these firmware updates, they can continue to enjoy and use their Nikon camera. We want to exceed the expectations of our customers.”

Image credits: Header photo created using a background licensed via Depositphotos.