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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Small Compact Digitals by Canon 
Thread started 23 Sep 2010 (Thursday) 17:02
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CHDK - is hacking the firmware really worth it?

 
nikmar08
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Sep 23, 2010 17:02 |  #1

I have SX10 IS and am seeking opinions of members of this forum if it is really worth hacking the firmware that Canon puts on your P&S cameras.

For those who are not aware what CHDK is - it is a hack for the firmware which adds a lot of features to your P&S which are otherwise not present on your camera with Canon's firmware.

Thanks,
Nik


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Sep 23, 2010 17:17 |  #2

it isn't hacking the firmware. it's a program that runs in conjunction with your camera's normal firmware.

nothing needs to be installed into the camera, only onto the sd card.


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Sep 23, 2010 17:29 |  #3

c2thew wrote in post #10965853 (external link)
it isn't hacking the firmware. it's a program that runs in conjunction with your camera's normal firmware.

nothing needs to be installed into the camera, only onto the sd card.

And yes it can be worth placing on the SD card - getting raw files to play with is well worth it, let alone some of the special stuff that can be done such as motion detection.

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the ­ jimmy
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Sep 23, 2010 18:50 as a reply to  @ pleb1024's post |  #4

Using CHDK on both of my Canon's, my A540 and G11, there are plenty of features to experiment with, I mostly like to do time lapse.
As far as being "worth it" it didn't cost me anything, except some time spent learning.




  
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MikeFairbanks
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Sep 23, 2010 19:50 |  #5

A lot depends on what you want to do.

Time lapse, as others mentioned, is a possibility. Shooting in RAW is a huge deal, as you can correct exposure mistakes a lot easier. I shot a plane that almost crashed when landing, and it was horribly underexposed because I had (a second earlier) been facing the opposite direction to shoot something else. Shooting in Raw saved the shot.

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Jon
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Sep 23, 2010 19:51 |  #6

Dang! That's a low fly-by. I'm amazed he didn't ding his prop!


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Sep 23, 2010 20:04 |  #7

Just the info that can be added to the screen makes it worth it for me. Then there is all the additional stuff like cable remote, programmable auto iso, manual controls, manual focus, flash power adjustment, RAW, bracketing, in camera .DNG conversion, and lots more


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nikmar08
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Sep 23, 2010 20:13 |  #8

I did some of my own research and found out that it is not indeed a hack to Canon in-camera firmware and runs from a bootable SD card. So thanks for helping me refine my understanding.

And yes, I do realize some of the features it adds opens a world of opportunities; but well that exactly was the reason for my question - is it worth it in terms of the final outcome - ultimately, a P&S is going to give you only P&S type of pictures or is it that with added features, it can deliver a lot more. RAW is just one brick in the wall of good pictures, isn't it?


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MikeFairbanks
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Sep 23, 2010 20:30 |  #9

Jon wrote in post #10966683 (external link)
Dang! That's a low fly-by. I'm amazed he didn't ding his prop!

Yeah, he was landing, but I guess he didn't feel the gear, so he went back up and circled around. There were a few gasps from the crowd. That's what caused me to swing around and start shooting.

Then, not five minutes later I started chimping and deleting underexposed phots until I realized what I was deleting. Managed to keep one just in the nick of time.


Thank you. bw!

  
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stevewf1
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Sep 24, 2010 01:28 |  #10

I have a question about CHDK... I'd just heard of this about 3 weeks ago, haven't tried it yet and haven't done much research into it - yet.

For example, The SX20 doesn't have "superfine" JPEG and it seems to me to get that would only require some kind of "parameter" being passed to the JPEG engine already in the DIGIC processor. My question is: Does CHDK actually "supply" the needed processing code to do these functions? Or is this code already included in the DIGIC "OS" but can't be accessed because they were simply left out of the menu and function options by Canon's marketing department?

So is CHDK basically an "expanded" menu/function system that allows access to code already there, or is it the code itself?

Hope all that makes sense...


Steve

  
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nikmar08
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Sep 24, 2010 02:11 |  #11

stevewf1 wrote in post #10968362 (external link)
I have a question about CHDK... I'd just heard of this about 3 weeks ago, haven't tried it yet and haven't done much research into it - yet.

For example, The SX20 doesn't have "superfine" JPEG and it seems to me to get that would only require some kind of "parameter" being passed to the JPEG engine already in the DIGIC processor. My question is: Does CHDK actually "supply" the needed processing code to do these functions? Or is this code already included in the DIGIC "OS" but can't be accessed because they were simply left out of the menu and function options by Canon's marketing department?

So is CHDK basically an "expanded" menu/function system that allows access to code already there, or is it the code itself?

Hope all that makes sense...

Well I did not go into the technical details of it. Hope I make some sense and helps in some way. At first glance, it looked like a combination of additional scripts in Basic and libraries in C running within a camera's OS/runtime engine; all of it gets stored on your SD card which is FAT16/FAT32 formatted and is made bootable when you install CHDK.


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Sep 24, 2010 04:27 |  #12

nikmar08 wrote in post #10968508 (external link)
Well I did not go into the technical details of it. Hope I make some sense and helps in some way. At first glance, it looked like a combination of additional scripts in Basic and libraries in C running within a camera's OS/runtime engine; all of it gets stored on your SD card which is FAT16/FAT32 formatted and is made bootable when you install CHDK.

Thanks, but I'm still not sure I understand completely...

What I'm wondering is if the DIGIC IV processor already has the necessary code/routines/librarie​s built in to do such things like SuperFine and RAW. In the SX20 for example, has Canon simply chosen not to include these routines in the firmware?

Does CHDK supply that "missing code"? Does CHDK simply allow access to the code already there?

Is Canon complaining about CHDK? Haven't heard anything along those lines...


Steve

  
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Sep 24, 2010 09:33 |  #13

It is added code that can control some of the mechanical components of the camera and also grab the data off the image sensor before it gets to the jpeg engine. It forces settings (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focus, flash) that you request regardless of exposure. It also allows you some file control like combining RAW files several ways in the camera, and converting CHDK raw into .DNG format that can be used in most RAW editing software.

I run it auto loaded all the time to get more screen info like focus distance(close and far) to make sure the camera chose the correct focus point and to know DOF distances. The battery gauge is better, and it can show optical zoom (X factor) currently being used. I also always use custom auto ISO to from ISO 50 to ISO 500 (camera default is 80-400) On my older canon SD900 it will display aperture, shutter and ISO where the stock camera wouldn't.
Hans


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nikmar08
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Sep 24, 2010 10:02 |  #14

stevewf1 wrote in post #10968793 (external link)
Thanks, but I'm still not sure I understand completely...

What I'm wondering is if the DIGIC IV processor already has the necessary code/routines/librarie​s built in to do such things like SuperFine and RAW. In the SX20 for example, has Canon simply chosen not to include these routines in the firmware?

Does CHDK supply that "missing code"? Does CHDK simply allow access to the code already there?

I guess Hans answered this better than I did.

stevewf1 wrote in post #10968793 (external link)
Is Canon complaining about CHDK? Haven't heard anything along those lines...

You should read the fine on their website... no known warranty-void, mechanical-screw-up issues have been reported yet AFAIK.


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the ­ jimmy
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Sep 24, 2010 11:10 as a reply to  @ nikmar08's post |  #15

You can go here (external link) to learn more and ask questions in the forum for CHDK.

One forum you may like is the Creative Uses of CHDK, there are many posts of what people have done.

Also do a search on You Tube for instructions and uses.




  
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