Firmware is incredibly important for your camera and lens. It can improve or add new features and boost performance. In this guide we’ll show you how to update Canon firmware for EOS R system cameras, including the EOS R, EOS RP, EOS R6, EOS R5 and EOS R3. Updating the firmware is relatively quick and painless, but before you start there’s a little prep work you need to do.
Make sure your batteries are fully charged. Canon has a battery level check prior to the firmware update being applied so if you forget the update will remind you.
Where to find Canon firmware
The latest firmware update for the camera can be found on the Canon EOS product support page. This page provides links to download firmware for the EOS R and EOS M systems, as well as the EOS / EOS Rebel DSLRs.
Once you’ve gone through the process of downloading the firmware file you’ll need to copy it across to an empty SD Card.
The easiest way to ensure that the card is prepared for the firmware is to format it in camera. Make sure you’ve removed all your images, videos and files from the card before you do this.
Pop an empty card into the Canon EOS R, then tap Menu, scroll to the Spanner (Set-up) icon and page 1 and select ‘Format Card’ click OK and you’re done.
Why update your Canon camera’s firmware?
You will want to update your Canon camera’s firmware to make sure the performance of your camera system camera is fully tuned and up to date.
Canon periodically releases new firmware – the software that is embedded in your EOS camera. Similar to the operating system updates on a phone, new firmware either fixes operational bugs or adds new functionality.
Firmware version 1.3.0 brought improved eye detection AF and better tracking of small subjects, for example, while 1.4.0 saw the debut of a 23.98p frame rate for Full HD movie recording. Meanwhile, recent firmware for the EOS R5, EOS R6 and EOS-1D X Mark III added new video functionality, customisation options and other performance enhancements.
Firmware updates have become an important avenue for manufacturers like Canon to provide better, more efficient and longer support for the cameras you purchase.
You won’t usually get a memo about these updates, so it pays to regularly visit your country’s official Canon website, look up your camera and check the Support section. You’ll also be able to download an updated camera user guide that includes the new firmware enhancements.
How to check your Canon firmware version
Each Canon firmware update is numbered and dated, so you’ll need to check which version your Canon camera is currently running. In Canon EOS R system cameras, for instance, you can find this at the bottom of page 6 in the camera’s yellow Set-up menu. You won’t need to update Canon firmware if you’re on the latest version.
You can also check and update the firmware using Canon’s EOS Utility software. To do this, you’ll need to attach your Canon camera to your computer via a cable or wi-fi before starting the software, then select ‘Camera settings’ in the EOS Utility menu.
How to download Canon firmware
If your firmware is out of date, you can download the latest version from the Canon website – you’ll find separate links for Mac and Windows computers. The file you download will contain the .FIR firmware and installation instructions.
There are two ways to install the firmware:
- Copy the .FIR file onto an SD card that you’ve freshly formatted in your Canon camera, then insert this in the camera. Highlight ‘Firmware’ in the Set-up menu, hit SET and follow the instructions.
- Put a formatted card in your camera, connect the camera to your computer and use EOS Utility to install the firmware.
There are a lot of ‘dont’s’ when it comes to installing Canon firmware. Don’t switch your camera off, don’t touch any of the buttons, don’t open the card door… basically, just leave the camera alone to do its thing!
Make sure your Canon camera has a fully charged battery, as the firmware update can take several minutes to complete.
How to update Canon firmware
- Download the latest firmware from Canon
- Format an SD Card in camera
- Put the SD Card into your computer
- Copy the downloaded Firmware to the SD Card
- Put the SD Card back into your Canon camera
- Switch on and tap Menu
- Scroll through the options to page 6 of the Spanner (Set-up) section
- Scroll down to ‘Firmware’ and select
- Select ‘Camera Firmware’
- Follow the onscreen instructions and click
After a few moments, the firmware will install from the card to the camera.