CHDK - Canon Hacker's Development Kit

Some days ago, Arve posted a very interesting link in Twitter: Turn Your Point-and-Shoot into a Super-Camera. It was about something called CHDK (Canon Hacker’s Development Kit), which is a non-official firmware enhancement for many Canon cameras.

It sounds pretty scary, but actually it’s really safe and easy to use: you just copy some files into your memory card, and ask the camera to upgrade the firmware via some menu option. The awesome part is that it only “upgrades” a copy in memory, so if you simply turn off the camera, the next time everything is back to normal. Of course there are options to load it on startup if you’re happy with it.

The goodies: saving in RAW format, some new menu options, more information on the OSD, configurable OSD, BASIC scripting, and even games (Sokoban and Reversi). One of the features that caught my attention in the article was a special mode for motion detection, that apparently works well for making pictures of lightning strikes. And it’s actually a user-written script, how awesome is that?

I haven’t played that much with it yet, but I have tried and it works as advertised (YMMV). I can’t wait to use it more, and maybe even try some silly BASIC program.

Thanks a lot Arve! ;-)