Sony Japan today announced that they will be offering firmware updates to (domestic Japan only) Sony DSC-D700s from 23rd March onwards, this update expands the auto-exposure shutter range and shutter speed used during flash.

D# Online have sample images side by side from cameras before and after upgrade.

Sony will now be shipping new D700s with a serial number of 32220 and above with thenew firmware, I have not yet been able to confirm if this applies only to the Japan market.

UPDATED 18/March/99: I've had several emails from US owners of the D700 confirming that although their serial number (which probably has no relevance to the serial numbers used in Japan) is well below the one noted above that their cameras do indeed have this latest firmware confirmed by the expanded shutter range. Could this have been the reason for the long delay in releasing the camera in the US??

Auto exposure shutter range expansion:

ISO Before upgrade After upgrade
ISO100 1/30-1/2000 seconds 1/8-1/2000 seconds
ISO200 1/15-1/2000 seconds
ISO400 1/30-1/2000 seconds


Flash shutter speed range expansion:

Before upgrade After upgrade
Fixed at 1/125 seconds. The self adjustment in proportion to surrounding brightness.

There are also some notes that white balance and overall image quality improvements have also been implemented.