Hack Your Canon Digital Camera Safely with CHDK

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Here’s one of my favorite mobile device hacks. And, it has nothing to do with phones. If you have one of Canon’s many digital camera models, you may be surprised to know that it can do a lot more than Canon’s firmware lets it do. The key here is that digital cameras have firmware that can be updated just like phones and other mobile devices. Canon itself provides updates now and then for various models to fix problems and, very rarely, add features.

If you have a Canon digital camera, you should check out this site…

CHDK Wiki

It lists which cameras can be hacked using the community developed unsupported firmware add-ons. The key here is “add-on”. This means that the camera’s firmware is actually left untouched. The add-on is run from the camera’s flash storage card every time it is turned on. You can revert back to the original firmware function by just replacing the flash memory card with another card that does not have the CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) add-on software on it.

A CHDK enhanced Canon digital camera can add features such as shooting RAW images (instead of JPEG), visual histograms (on camera models that do not support it), battery level indicators and even playable on-screen games.

I haven’t had a problem with CHDK running on my Canon PowerShot A710 for over a year now. However, this doesn’t mean that you will not have any problems. Again, note that this is unsupported software. Your mileage may vary.