Canon has just announced a new firmware package for its flagship dSLR, the EOS 1Dx. Already having an all-new AF system sporting an industry best 61 AF points, the new firmware, according to Canon, will serve to make the 1Dx's AF even better than before.
So, what does the new firmware do?
A feature strangely missing from the 1Dx (especially in the light of Nikon's latest cameras, including the $2000 D600), was the ability to have cross-type AF at anything dimmer than f5.6. For people not familiar with photography, typical AF sensors on dSLRs can detect focus in either the vertical or horizontal plane. A later development was the ability to focus in both horizontal and vertical, hence the name 'cross' type AF, which is far more accurate, especially in challenging photographic conditions. With firmware released back in October, the 1Dx could then utilize cross-type AF with the center AF point with f8 lenses or lens/teleconverter combinations, with the surrounding 4 points acting as assist points.
Unfortunately, there was a glitch.
On some bodies, the firmware uploaded to new production runs of cameras at the factory simply would not allow the camera to use the cross-sensors at f8. Apparently, there was a difference in what was being used at the Canon factory and what was put online for download.
End result: according to Canon, on cameras were the sixth digit on the serial number was a four or five, there's a chance that the camera won't be able to use cross-point capability at f8. To determine whether your camera has the problem, just open the battery door and look for a small white dot at the top of the compartment. If you don't see one, your camera has a problem. The good news: it is fixable by downloading the right firmware.
For a link to the firmware (along with more info on the problem) is available here.
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