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Nikon D500 gets a v1.31 firmware update: it's discontinued but still supported

Nikon D500
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

The Nikon D500 was officially discontinued in February 2022, which is a blow to many DSLR fans who appreciated its cast-iron build (not literally), 10fps continuous shooting and professional credentials.

But while it’s set to disappear from retailers shelves, it’s still being supported by Nikon, which has just released a Nikon D500 1.31 firmware update.

Admittedly, it’s not a hugely exciting one, being more of a minor bug fix than adding anything new.

Nikon D500 1.3.1 firmware update

According to Nikon, this update has:

“Fixed an issue that would, when pictures were taken with a flash unit attached, sometimes result in the flash not performing in accordance with the value selected for ISO sensitivity settings > Maximum sensitivity with flash after either of the following operations:

- Loading settings with Save/load settings > Load settings
- Switching photo shooting menu banks using Photo shooting menu bank

Note

Performing a firmware update while the camera is affected by this issue will not in itself correct the problem. After performing the update, you will need to either:

- reset all setting using Reset all settings > Reset, or
- load previously-saved settings (if available) from the memory card using Save/load settings > Load settings”

Previous Nikon D500 firmware updates

If you have a D500, it’s worth checking your current firmware version to see if it’s up to date. If it’s not, here’s what you’ve missed:

Version 1.20 to 1.30: adds support for CFexpress Type B memory cards and also fixed a glitch with custom flash exposure compensation settings.

Version 1.15 to 1.20: supports direct Wi-Fi communication with devices using the Nikon SnapBridge app 2.5.4 or later, and fixes some bugs with AF points at the edges of the frame, unresponsiveness after using CH mode and the camera sometimes not turning off

You can see the changes in earlier firmware updates on the Nikon D500 Firmware (opens in new tab) page.

What firmware updates do

The camera ‘firmware’ is like its operating system – it controls the camera’s operation and functions. It’s coded directly into the camera circuitry but can be updated by the user.

In the past, firmware updates have been used primarily to fix bugs in camera operation and inconsistencies in the controls. Increasingly, though, camera makers are using firmware updates to add new features and capabilities – Fujifilm has done this a lot, often bringing older models much closer to the specs of newer ones.

It can work the other way. Some camera makers (Nikon, Panasonic) have used the promise of future firmware updates to sell cameras on the basis of features which aren’t quite ready yet.

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Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.