If the proverbial record just scratched for you, don’t worry, it did for me when I read about Canon’s CHDK, or Canon Hacker’s Development Kit.
What is it?
It’s a firmware update for your Canon camera. You install a few files to your Canon camera’s memory card and presto, you’ve got some kick ass options that you’d usually fined in high end prosumer cameras.
What are some of the options?
I think the coolest option is the ‘motion detecting’ feature, which means it won’t snap a photo until it detects movement. In addition to that, you can download ‘scripts’ that will perform an action based on a set of criteria. I haven’t done this yet, so it’s hard for me to explain at this point, but the motion detecting feature is an example of a script.. The CHDK can also enhance image capture so you can snap photos in RAW format. You can also record movies up to 1 hour assuming you have a 2GB card (I do, and if you don’t get one, it’s worth it). You can also add some additional on screen info, but this, at least to me, is the least exciting of the options added through the CHDK. If you’ve ever wanted to increase exposure time to ridiculous amounts, now you can, up to 65 seconds and increase shutter speed to a mind numbing 1/25,000 of a second).
How dangerous is it to install on my camera?
Accordingto my source, it isn’t damaging at all and can be reversed by just deleting the files on your memory card. So NO, your camera won’t become ‘bricked’ like an iPhone.
What do I need to get started?
A brain (grin), a Canon digtal camera and an SD card. For complete install instruction go here.