Upgrade your Canon camera to OpenSource nirvana

CHDK screen opyIf you have a simple Point-n-Shoot digital camera, you may not know it, but you are limited more by the marketing teams than by the real technical constraints of your hardware. But if your camera is from Canon you may find an easy way out.

The Canon Hacker’s Development Kit is an open-source software project that can be loaded on cameras using Canon’s DIGIC II or DIGIC III processors. Interestingly, it has the following features:

  • It’s free (as in free beer)
  • Its installation is completely reversible (it does not remove anything, does not replace the existing firmaware, just adds new features installed on-the-fly from an SD card)
  • Faster shutter speed: up to 1/60,000 of a second!
  • Slower shutter speed: down to 65 seconds!
  • Automatic bracketing of exposures
  • RAW file format
  • Live histogram display
  • Battery readout
  • Scripted actions
  • Longer videos
  • More image compression options
  • Use USB for remote control
  • Depth-of-Field calculator

Impressive! The list is long enough to give your food for thought and it applies to an impressive list of compatible cameras.

Sources: Wired article, CHDK source.