The Null Device

CHDK

Some enterprising hackers have reverse-engineered the firmware on a range of Canon digital cameras (based on the DiGIC II chip) and written their own firmware enhancement. Named CHDK, it offers features including RAW images (disabled in non-professional models), live histograms, depth-of-field calculations and a scripting language (based on BASIC, though we can't have everything) that can be used for automating your camera. There are some sample scripts here, which do things from setting bracketing to specialised modes for unusual photographic conditions to automating HDR photography.

What's more, the replacement isn't a new firmware per se, but rather a patch which boots from the memory card and runs from the camera's RAM (apparently making use of the original firmware's functions), so you won't brick your camera.

I wonder, though, what the performance tradeoffs of using it is; I don't imagine that compact cameras would have large amounts of RAM to spare that can be loaded up with third-party software that they were never intended to run in production.

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