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Canon posts firmware update for EOS 5D Mark II  
Wednesday, January 7, 2009 | by Rob Galbraith
Firmware v1.0.7 for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, released today, addresses two image quality shortcomings: the "black dots" phenomenon widely discussed on Internet forums, plus a more rare instance of vertical banding when the camera is set to sRAW1. The new firmware "improves and mitigates" these problems.

Photographer Andrew Yip has shot photos before and after installing firmware v1.0.7, and they show a marked reduction in the visibility of a dark outline adjacent to bright point light sources, suggesting that Canon has solved the "black dots" phenomenon in the EOS 5D Mark II.

The information accompanying the new firmware recommends that users of Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) and Picture Style Editor, who shoot on either sRAW1 or sRAW2, should update these applications as well. Canon EOS 5D Mark II photos taken on either sRAW setting with firmware v1.0.7 loaded, and then viewed in DPP or Picture Style Editor, will apparently show a magenta shift in darker areas.

The new software versions - DPP 3.5.2 and Picture Style Editor 1.4.2 for Mac and Windows - correct this, and are available here (follow the link, and then choose your operating system from the pulldown menu). Third party applications that support the EOS 5D Mark II's sRAW formats may also need to be revised if they show the same magenta shift with firmware v1.0.7.

More information is in the release notes below.

What has changed in Firmware Version 1.0.7?
It improves and mitigates the following image quality phenomena.

  1. "Black dot" phenomenon (the right side of point light sources becomes black)
    When shooting night scenes, the right side of point light sources (such as lights from building windows) may become black. The phenomenon may become visible if the images are enlarged to 100% or greater on a monitor or if extremely large prints of the images are made. This firmware improves and mitigates this phenomenon.

  2. Vertical banding noise
    If the recording format is set to sRAW1, vertical banding noise may become visible depending on the camera settings, subject, and background. The firmware improves and mitigates this phenomenon.

Why is it required to update the Digital Photo Professional and Picture Style Editor software?
If the existing software applications are used to display sRAW1 and sRAW2 images that were captured by a camera with Firmware Version 1.0.7, dark, low-contrast areas in the images may appear slightly magenta. If the updated software applications are used to display sRAW1 and sRAW2 images, the color of the images will appear normal, regardless of the camera firmware version.

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