Will Canon upgrade A1 firmware? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old September 19th, 2007, 12:37 PM   #1
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Will Canon upgrade A1 firmware?

Is this even possible? Is a firmware upgrade even being worked on? I've been to Canon's service/downloads site and I still see nothing. We're coming up on a year out in market, I'd assume we'd have something by now.


Or is that firmware poll just a pipe dream?



What does everyone think?
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Old September 19th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #2
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Yes the camera's firmware can be upgraded -- see http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=73850 for an example (references the XL series, but applies to XH as well; exact same procedure etc.)

As I specifically stated in no uncertain terms at the very first post of the the XH Firmware Upgrade Wishlist thread: "There is of course absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that Canon will act upon the results of this poll, but at least it will give them some idea of the changes you would most like to see in their XH series camcorders." Hope this helps,
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Old September 19th, 2007, 12:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Graham View Post
Is this even possible?
Yes. Some members here have had theirs updated by Canon service people to fix LANC issues, but it's supposed to be a bit of a secret.

Quote:
Is a firmware upgrade even being worked on? Or is that firmware poll just a pipe dream? What does everyone think?
Pipe dream.

Canon has very little history of enabling new features in firmware, no matter how easy they would be to implement. Any firmware release they do bother with will only be to fix bugs. I hope I am wrong.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Browning View Post
Canon has very little history of enabling new features in firmware, no matter how easy they would be to implement. Any firmware release they do bother with will only be to fix bugs. I hope I am wrong.
We could quibble about what constitutes "very little history" but although they don't publicize their firmware upgrades very well, Canon has occasionally put them out. For the XL H1, they added support for the new 6X lens, improved the stepping of the iris, and added support for Free Run Timecode when the camera is powered off.

Apparently there has been at least one (not well publicized) firmware upgrade for the XH cameras. Maybe there will be more; maybe not. For those with the LANC firmware, would be interested if they notice any other fixes, like the numbering error in the matrices (forget the details, but something was labeled -30 when it shouldn't be, or something like that).
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Old September 19th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #5
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Some secret................

Can't be more open than this..............

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=103258

I guess these are "problem fixes" only. Reckon if Canon looked at the full list of changes requested there'd be enough to make an entirely new camera, which is probably what they'll do (or not!)


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Old September 20th, 2007, 01:38 AM   #6
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More on the subject.............

Didn't have time to say more in the previous post but have now got back to it.

All firmware upgrades to the XH series to date have been "back to base".

Whether this is because Canon could not/ would not make it a foolproof "user" upgrade I do not know.

Having dealt with Canon Service Centres both here in NZ and in the UK, I can say that these Centres are NOT equipped with the personnel to handle a sudden inrush of these cameras for any "general" firmware upgrade - they are simply not set up with that in mind.

They are set up with staffing levels based on the number of cameras sold within their region, and the expected repair requests that that number of units in the field will produce.

Visions of Canon techs loungeing around, flicking through Playboy or playing Video games are not, in my experience, borne out by the reality.

So, if Canon WAS to announce a "general" open slather firmware upgrade for all of these cameras - what would happen? Chaos. No other word to describe it.

I think it safe to say that, until Canon have devised an absolutely "bomb proof" way of doing a complete firmware upgrade to these cameras by the owners, there will be no, nada, niet general firmware upgrades announced.

That the ability to "bomb proof upgrade" may well not be within this camera series ability means that they will probably bring out a revised/ new camera instead.

Whether it will have this facility inbuilt is open to question - remember - if the upgrade goes South, the camera has to go to Canon. They will only introduce this facility (IMHO) if the number of "camera non functional after firmware upgrade" incidents can be kept within a very small tolerance - and that indeed does mean "bomb proof extradordinaire"

Just my 2 cents, but I do think it worth saying.

(Still working on fixing my problem with the Lanc, more as and when).


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Old September 20th, 2007, 07:43 AM   #7
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Many products do support end-user firmware upgrades. Consider the ability to reflash ROM on PC motherboards, CD/DVD drives, digital cameras, audio recorders such as the MicroTrack, to name a few. So it is possible! However, I do not have a feel for the failure rate (it has always worked for me when I've tried it - perhaps 2 dozen times over the years), so it is fairly end-user proof, at least for end users with a technical bent.

Apparently Canon has decided that giving end users the ability is not worth the risk or added value. (I'm reasonably sure the capability is there, just not documented to users.) Also in the case of some modification there may be an issue of internal alignment settings that go along with installing new firmware; e.g., if the focus system is modified, the stored back focus value may need to be adjusted as well.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 11:35 AM   #8
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There's another consideration, a firmware update which enables features not promised when the device was first sold may have accounting implications - look at what Apple has had to do with the iPhone. In order to ship it when they did and then deliver new features via firmware updates they had to change their accounting practices so that the profits are taken on a subscription basis over the course of 2 years rather than all at once. Last time they did add new features (I believe it was 802.11a or g support for macbooks) they had to charge a small fee ($2) for the update so that the feature could be accounted for as a new product. I believe this is all part of the fallout from the Enron collapse, which led to a lot of changes in the way companies are allowed to account for their earnings.

Canon may just not want to deal with the accounting complications or potential negative press of charging for a relatively minor firmware update.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #9
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In the US, firmware upgrades for the XL H1 can be done by end users (upon request, Canon USA sends an SD card with the firmware and simple instructions) but they do seem by default to prefer the owner to send the camera in for the firmware upgrade. I did my own H1 firmware upgrades in that way. I suspect it may be that the various regional Canon companies (eg Canon Europa) have different specific policies. Would assume it is the same for the XH cameras.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 06:00 AM   #10
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Pete: Thanks for the update on this.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 02:32 PM   #11
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Just got of the phone with Canon, they say there is still no firmware upgrade from the 1.0 is this true?
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Old March 11th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #12
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Hi Denny............

If you read through this:

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=103258

(actually posted in this thread some time ago)

you can probably deduce that the comment "no firmware upgrade from the 1.0" is somewhat disingenious.

The question is "1.0 WHAT?"

I am almost prepared to wager that there is indeed an NTSC firmware upgade from 1.0.0.0 to 1.0.1.0 to (supposedly) fix those issues discussed in said thread.

That I beleive no further such upgrades are likely to be forthcoming is also discussed there.

Given the age of the A1/ G1 and the length of Canon's camcorder product "life cycle" over the last 10 years, I'd say the next major update will come packaged inside a brand new camera, name and monicker only guessable.

Just my PO, of course.


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