updated 12:34 pm EST, Mon December 9, 2013
Third-party batteries, grips not compatible with latest DSLR firmware
The latest firmware update for some Nikon digital cameras has apparently caused some unexpected issues for some owners. Reports have surfaced suggesting that the update, which is supposed to help the camera more accurately detect the remaining charge for a specific battery used on some DSLR and Coolpix cameras, is now preventing third-party batteries and battery grips from working on the cameras.
Nikon Rumors claims to have received e-mails from owners suffering the error in the firmware, which affects owners of the D3100, D3200, D5100, and D5200 DSLRs and the Coolpix P7700, all of which use the EN-EL14a battery. The description for the firmware update states that it will now more accurately detect the remaining charge from the battery, increasing the number of shots available when the EN-EL14a is being used instead of the lower-capacity EN-EL14.
Though Nikon could have blocked aftermarket batteries and battery grips by accident, as a byproduct of adding the functionality, it is possible that this is an intended consequence. The company had some issues with its own batteries in 2012, and may want to avoid the same third-party battery incidents occurring to other electronic devices. Other companies have also blocked unofficial batteries from being used in their cameras in the past, with Panasonic doing just that four years ago.
Electronista has contacted Nikon for comment.