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Canon EOS-1D/1Ds Firmware Released

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May 31, 2005 - For months now Canon EOS-1D Mark II and EOS-1Ds Mark II users have cited disturbing problems with images getting lost in the camera flush and trapped in the camera buffer. After months of chatter on Canon user forums, Canon officially acknowledged the problem two weeks ago with a promise of a firmware fix. Today, that firmware was released, undoubtedly much to the relief of the high-end digital SLR owners.

According to Canon, the firmware for both the EOS-1 D and 1Ds released today fixes the following problem: "When pressing the DISPLAY button immediately after shooting, the LCD monitor would turn completely white, the camera would hang, and the images in the buffer memory would be lost. Countermeasures for this issue have been incorporated into this update."

Both models of the EOS-1D have been known to freeze on transfer, with the images often lost before they could be dumped to a memory card. At first these experiences seemed isolated to only a few users. Many of the problems were initially attributed to bad memory cards. Yet as time passed both 1D and 1Ds Mark II users slowly began to compile a series of legitimate observations and concerns that culminated in the Canon firmware release.

When Canon advised owners of the problem two weeks ago they suggested that users of their $8,000, 16.7 megapixel 1Ds Mark II should "remove and re-install the battery to restore correct operation" when the image buffer problem occurs.

The Canon 1D Mark II was announced on Jan 29th, 2004, while the 1Ds Mark II has been on the market since October 2004.

At the same time Canon made their announcement earlier this month Lexar revealed problems with Lexar Professional 80x-speed CompactFlash cards in four Canon cameras, including both Mark II models.

Lexar noted, "Captured images on some Lexar CompactFlash cards can be lost when used with the Canon cameras listed above. Working together, Lexar and Canon have investigated the cause and confirmed that the problem occurs in extremely rare instances when the products above are used together."

As a fix, Lexar announced a free firmware correction for Lexar Professional Series 80x CompactFlash used in the affected Canon cameras. The fix was expected to come at the end of this month, but there has been no new information from Lexar on the matter.