Owners of some of Nikon's entry and mid-range DSLRs are reporting that a recent firmware update broke support for their third-party batteries. The firmware update for the Nikon D3200, D3100, D5100, D5200 and CoolPix P7700 cameras claimed to report remaining charge more accurately for the EN-EL14a lithium-ion battery. However, on installing the update, some owners found their third-party batteries suddenly incompatible.
Curiously, this comes on the heels of a service advisory from Sigma warning that the Nikon Df (and D5300 before it) would not fully support third-party lenses. The advisory states that auto focus and image stabilization in Sigma lenses may not work correctly, and a firmware update has been issued to correct the problem.
Are the events a coincidence, or is Nikon making a move to reduce compatibility with third-party lenses and accessories? This isn't the first time Nikon owners have found themselves having to rely solely on Nikon for services. Several years ago Nikon encrypted white balance information in its .NEF Raw files, meaning third-party Raw conversion services weren't able to correctly interpret white balance data. And more recently, Nikon's official service centers became the only places to receive spare Nikon parts, making it more difficult for customers to get equipment repaired by independent service centers.
It could be argued that Nikon is doing its best to make sure customers have consistent experiences with their products and services, though others would view it as unnecessarily tight control over the brand and its customer's choices. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.