Just how far can this apps thing go? Well the Nissin Di866 camera flash contains a USB port and Flash memory to allow its firmware to be updated. Why would you want to do that? To update the flash for compatibility with a newer camera. I just became aware of this unusual feature (for a camera flash) by reading a forum discussion on www.dpreview.com discussing loss of function with a Nissin camera flash when upgrading to a Canon 60D digital SLR (dSLR) camera.
Each major camera vendor has implemented a proprietary communication protocol between its cameras and its flashes. Third-party flash vendors must reverse engineer this protocol and that reverse engineering often breaks down when the camera vendors’ next-generation models hit the market. In the past, that usually meant either a useless camera flash or a round trip to the factory for an upgrade.
However Nissin Digital appears to have solved this problem and cut way down on warranty repairs and upgrades by installing a USB port in the flash and allowing customers to make appropriate upgrades from their home PCs. Digital cameras have allowed this sort of updating for many years but this is the first time I’ve heard of a camera flash permitting an upgrade. However, it makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it. How many more products will we see that can make good use of this sort of feature?