Oct 5, 2008

Canon Open Source Firmware

I came recently across CHDK project that provides an open source firmware for several Canon Point and Shoot cameras. Installing their CHDK firmware on your Canon will provide you with new possibilities not possible with the official firmware image.

From CHDK website:
The current set of extra capabilities fall into six categories:
a. Enhanced ways of recording images - you can capture still pictures in RAW format (as well as JPEG), and for video images you can have increased recording time and length (1 hour or 2 GB), and a greatly increased range of compression options.
b. Additional data displays on the LCD screen - histogram, battery life indicator, depth of field, and many more.
c. Additional photographic settings that are not available on the camera by itself - longer exposure times (up to 65 seconds), faster shutter speeds (1/25,000 sec, and faster in some cases), automatic bracketing of exposure, etc.
d. The ability for the camera to run programs ('scripts', written in a micro-version of the BASIC language) stored on the memory card - these programs allow you to set the camera to perform a sequence of operations under the control of the program. For example, a camera can be programmed to take multiple pictures for focus bracketing, or take a picture when it detects that something in the field of view moves or changes brightness.
e. The ability to take a picture, or start a program on the memory card, by sending a signal into the USB port - you can use the USB cable to take a picture remotely.
f. The ability to do a number of other more useful (and fun) things, such as act as a mini file browser for the memory card, let you play games on the LCD screen, etc.
I am looking forward when a similar project is realized for the Canon DSLRs.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to debate this, I feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If potential, as you gain experience, would you mind updating your weblog with additional information? It is extremely helpful for me.

nyxyn said...

I am glad that you find my post useful.

Unfortunately I cannot provide any information more than those provided at the official website,
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK
which covers all sorts of questions and camera models.

Good luck. :)