Alpha 100 firmware update 1.04

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Sony has released a firmware update for the Alpha 100 – version 1.04. This comes in four regional flavours and it is important to use the right one. Here are all the links you need plus instructions.

Officially this update just adds the 55-200mm lens to the lookups. But it does more. After updating, our A100s will no longer shoot 6 RAW+JPEG frames at 3 fps, which I am pretty sure we managed using the Extreme IV card despite the official spec being 3 frames. They will only shoot three frames regardless of the card speed including Kingston 266X UDMA. Something is slowing down the system for RAW+JPEG. JPEG only shooting remains unaffected – you get continuous until the camera overheats. RAW shooting in sequence is improved, which indicates that the actual buffer to card writing speed is better than Firmware 1.02 which was the last update on our two A100 bodies. I managed 27 frames RAW at 3fps before the camera slowed down, after installing the upgrade. That is exceptional. Focus speed appears to be slightly improved, card writing speed appears to be improved, and subject to further tests, I would guess that JPEG quality has been enhanced or better noise reduction implemented.

Whatever the case, it can do no harm to bring your A100 up to date with this long-awaited firmware. Some buyers will already have it installed, Asian and Australian cameras seem to have had 1.04 for a while. The last body we bought in the UK, in August, had Firmare v1.00. It must have been sitting around for a very long time on the shelf.

The web direct links for downloading the update are:

For Mac:





For Windows/PC:





The file downloaded should be executed/opened and will unpack two files which need to be placed on a CF card which has been formatted in the A100. It is a good ideal to use a small CF card which has no images on. Do not format the card in your computer, and do not remove the DCIM image folder from the card.

Copy the unpacked files on the root level of the card – that is, OUTSIDE the DCIM image folder, and not inside any other folder or directory which your system may make visible on the card.

Remove the card from your computer.

Follow the instructions given by Sony for the earlier firmware updates:

In brief, with a fully charged battery, you place the card in the camera, switch on, and press the > plackback button as if reviewing images on the card. The camera will detect the firmware files, and will ask whether you want to update the firmware. Confirm this, and wait until the rear screen displays a message saying the update is complete. Switch off, remove the card, and that’s it. If you do not have a card reader, the URL above gives the procedure for tethered USB updating. I do not advise this, and suggest that if you want to do the update, you spend £10 on a card reader. They are pretty useful to have anyway.

– DK


  • Thank you !
    It worked well.

  • Hey

    My father has a Sony Alpha from Japan. the menu is in Japanies and chinies. if i put the new firmware on it. will that work? so i can read the menu.



  • Sorry. Stupid of me. I’ve got an A200, not the A100. Never mind.

  • I’ve put the files in the root directory of the card. When I hit the Play button nothing happens. Has anyone seen this?

    I’ve got firmware v1.00.

    I see from an earlier comment that the camera refuses to update if it’s from the wrong region. In this case, does nothing happen, or do you get an error message? Should I try a different region? Is there a way to figure out the region from something on the camera?

  • HI, greetings from The Netherlands.

    Been downloading the last firmware 1:04 and didnt succeed in upgrading my firmware from 1:01 to the promised 1:04. The upgrade does seem to work but after restart my A100 is still on the old firmware.
    The unpacked files have the date 15-12-2006 wich seems to be old and not the promised upgrade to 1:04.
    Anyone has the same problem and ….even better … solved this ??

    tnx and have a great day

  • Thanx for this. It worked perfectly.

    b shaw

  • Hi, from 1.02 do you need 1.03 first or is the jump to 1.04 OK and does that include 1.03 as well?

    Editor’s reply: you can go straight from any version to 1.04. No intermediate upgrade is needed.

  • Hi…

    What update is advisable for A100 bought in LatinAmerica, Venezuela??

    Editor’s reply: the USA update, if it has been imported officially. This applies to the whole of the Americas. However, it seems that some Asian stock has been sold in South America, so you may need to try both. The firmware will just refuse to update the camera if you try the wrong one.

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