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Thread: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

  1. #1
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    Default Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    I ran across some interesting information regarding Canon PowerShot Point and Shoot Cameras (not the DSLR types, but the pocket sized auto and auto/manual types). People have figured out how to load custom software into the cameras and expand their operating parameters.

    The Project is called "CHDK", is open source, and worked by folks around the world. Some of the basic functions include:

    • Save images in RAW format
    • Ability to run "Scripts" to automate the camera
    • Live histogram (RGB, blended, luminance and for each RGB channel)
    • Zebra mode (blinking highlights and shadows to show over/under exposed areas)
    • An "always on" full range Battery indicator
    • Ability to turn off automatic dark-frame subtraction
    • a higher compression movie mode, and double the maximum video file size
    • exposure times as long as 65 seconds
    • exposure times as little as 1/64,000 of a second
    • ability to use the USB port for a remote trigger input
    There are several different builds that include other functions (like motion detection triggers, bracketing on multiple parameters--Time, Aperture, ISO, etc.). The cool thing too is that these cameras are only $150-$600 list price and are very popular lines (A5xx, A6xx, A7xx, S2, S3, G7). They are also working on newer models (G9, A720IS, etc.--new OS but very similar code).

    My camera is not currently supported, but it appears to be a very safe and easy. Just drop the code (and script files) on a data card, and it is loaded into RAM on boot (does not save itself over existing code in flash memory).

    -Bill

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* greenlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Great, more stufff to try to figure out! Thanks a lot.

    edit-
    I spent the last three hours learning how to implement these features in my camera. It has some cool features that I wanted. Thanks again.
    Last edited by greenlight; 01-12-2008 at 12:06 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    I applied a CHDK hack to my Rebel 300D as Canon intentionally severely crippled the firmware. I got some basic features back such as flash exposure compensation.
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Flashaholic Tubor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Super! An already great camera, customized!

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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Dang I have the SD 600 and I see some features I really wanted.

    I used to set our old camera to take a 30 second shot over and over until the camera was full. I did this during lightening storms to catch the lightening, I havenít been able to do it for a long time and miss it.

    I also like the idea of a higher compression movie mode as well as an always on battery meter.
    Brock - Used to have some web sites

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    Flashaholic Gaffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    The battery meter is a fantastic addition alone.

    Kind of crazy that you have to do a little hack to get a battery meter. What use is a battery icon that flashes when you have 10 minutes of juice left while you are out in the woods away from a charger?
    "When Armageddon comes, it would be good to be an Olympic athlete, because running real fast and jumping over stuff could come in handy." -Jack Handey

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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Aaaarrrgh no - lol they are quite complicated enough already without even more features!
    Resistance is futile...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Thanks! Totally, completely cool! RAW... RAW!

    I was wrestling with my wife's old S400 this morning, so too bad it's too old to be on the list. I got myself a point & shoot from another brand only because Canon dropped the ball with RAW on their P&S line at the time. CHDK changes the whole equation for the future purchasing plans. (The S400 is nearly at end of life.) Why the companies cripple their P&S's is beyond me.

    Makes me wonder if I should go fishing for a used G7. (Pinky to corner of mouth... "Hmmmmm.")
    Peter

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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Yep, CHDK seems to be pretty cool... I am waiting for (I hope) the Canon A720IS port. Folks are working on the new OS ("DryOS" Canon's in-house OS?). Unfortunately, the Board supporting these discussions crashed yesterday--so I can't point you to the ongoing discussions about the porting work...

    The board where I found out about CHDK, www.dpreview.com (and specifically, Canon discussion forum) has some talk that Canon (and others) are trying to protect their highly profitable DSLR camera lines by constantly crippling their "point and shoot" lines.

    It appears that the old focal plane shutter, moving mirror, digital SLR cameras should be nearing the end of the line as the new non-SLR cameras are able to do 99% of what a DSLR can do, plus things a DSLR can never do (like video and high speed photography).

    -Bill
    Last edited by BB; 01-15-2008 at 01:33 PM. Reason: added: focal plane "shutter"...

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    Flashaholic* adamlau's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Sweet. Too bad my S70 is not currently supported.
    强光手电是我最爱得

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    Flashaholic* WNG's Avatar
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    Buttrock Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Thanks!
    At least one of my Canons are supported.
    RAW! Motion detection! Woohoo!
    "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."

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    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    Aaaarrrgh no - lol they are quite complicated enough already without even more features!
    +1

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Thank You for this info !


    _

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    Flashaholic* chimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Got it and installed it on my A620! Works great, small learning curve. Gives lots of great features. Thanks for the link!

    Now, has anyone tried Rockbox for their MP3 players?....

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    Flashaholic MatajumotorS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    will wait for ixus950is custom firmwares.....

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Sweet! Thanks for posting this. The reasons why I purchased my A560 were (1) it takes AA cells, which I have a tone of; and (2) it's more expendable than a cell phone. Can't wait to apply some firmware hacks!!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    ok do ya all recomend this hack?to me id think canon could make better firm ware with all there techs how can these guys from that site make better firmware then canon
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Quote Originally Posted by geepondy View Post
    I applied a CHDK hack to my Rebel 300D as Canon intentionally severely crippled the firmware. I got some basic features back such as flash exposure compensation.
    Wait, isn't that the same as the Rebel? Which version of the hack did you use? Would it work on the Rebel XT?

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* chimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Been messing with the high speed shutter options.

    Water drops in sink





    (dirty) SSC running at about an amp

  20. #20

    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Quote Originally Posted by chimo View Post
    Been messing with the high speed shutter options.

    Water drops in sink





    (dirty) SSC running at about an amp
    well what speed was that?
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* chimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Quote Originally Posted by raggie33 View Post
    well what speed was that?
    raggie, I'm not sure. I am still picking up the interface and I was trying a bunch of things. As well, with some of the override functions, the actual shot info does not get written in the EXIF data (yet?). They are continually working on new builds so that feature may come in time.

    BTW, I can't wait to get the focus bracketing sorted out - that should be handy for macro shots. The "shutter" speed is supposed to go to 1/60,000sec with this build.

    Paul
    Last edited by chimo; 01-16-2008 at 06:07 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    i have a a570 is . i have no idea what firmware to even dl for it.that website isnt to clear.id love faster shuter speeds for shots like u took awesume pic btw
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    From looking at the file information, it is a Canon A620 running a shutter speed at 1/2,500 or faster (the EXIF data does not show faster shutter speeds).

    CHDK can run the shutter speed up to 1/60,000 of a second--but from what I have read, you require more than full sun (like a specialized microscope stage light) to get good exposures at that speed.

    There should be no damage to the camera--these are electronic shutters (no mechanical parts being slammed inside). And CHDK is just a boot/memory resident program. If you have any problems, just turn off the camera (and/or remove the batteries for few seconds) to bring the camera back to normal operation.

    -Bill

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    CHDK made the Feb 2008 Popular Science Magazine in a short blurb...

    -Bill

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    Flashaholic* chimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Here's a another great feature example for the macro folks - Focus Bracketing.

    I used a -/+ 10mm bracket (manual focus, continuous mode). It takes the center focus, then -, then +.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    I don't recall which hack version it was but it was quite some time before the CHDK hacks for the point and shoots came out. The Rebel XT has a lot of the features that Canon choose to omit from the original Rebel.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenLED View Post
    Wait, isn't that the same as the Rebel? Which version of the hack did you use? Would it work on the Rebel XT?
    I live in a van down by the river

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    I wonder if a company would have "leaked" their firmware on purpose. I mean, it seems it'd be pretty hard to reverse engineer it. If they wanted to test the waters for how well-received an open-OS firmware was, without risking the liability for releasing it themselves? Well, I'm just thinking out loud on this and wondering with no factual basis whatsoever except the existence of CHDK and its load method.

    Maybe they thought "Gee -- look at how Linksys stock went up when the market took on customizing its firmware in the router. And TiVo grew on that too. Maybe we could benefit."

    I dunno though.
    Peter

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* RA40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    This would be nice to see Canon integrate directly on future models. The people who did CHDK, if they continue on, it has some nice possibilities.
    Mike

  29. #29

    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    can one of you fine people tell me which firmware i should get for a canon a 570is.im confused as hect reading that site
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Canon Point and Shoot Cameras Hacked "CHDK"...

    Raggie,

    It looks like not all builds support the A570is... But, to get started, you need to find the current version of your camera's internal firmware. Follow the steps here (basically, create an empty file ver.req and boot the camera in playback mode--it will display your version number).

    Once you know your firmware revision, you can look through which sets of CHDK support your specific camera/version.

    Looking here, there are a couple builds that support various version of the A570is...

    A560, A570, SD500, SD700, and G7 have a more limited selection currently, although growing. Fingalo and Microfunguy (in the SDM section) also have builds for some of these cameras. See the links in the sections near the bottom.
    That is about all I can add to the discussion at the moment (my camera is close to being ported, but is not supported yet)...

    -Bill

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