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Hardware Hacking Build Technology

Hacking Canon Point-and-Shoot Cameras 242

Pig Hogger writes "If you're stuck with a cheap Canon point-and-shoot camera and have feature envy over the neighbor's sophisticated latest model, fret not! According to this LifeHacker article, the CHDK project allows nearly complete programmatic control of cheap Canon point-and-shoot cameras, enabling users to add features, up to and including games and BASIC scripting."
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Hacking Canon Point-and-Shoot Cameras

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  • by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @04:58PM (#23317104) Journal
    What's the cheapest camera on the list?
  • Take RAW Photos (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:20PM (#23317410)
    I've been aware of chdk for a bit now, and just haven't tried it out. One thing that it enables is the ability to take RAW photos. So if you are interested in taking pictures that have no compression artifacts or unknown filters, but don't want to shell out for a more expensive (and oftentimes physically larger) camera, this is an option for you. RAW photos are a standard that are used in some photo contests.
  • Re:Take RAW Photos (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:36PM (#23317628) Homepage

    RAW photos are a standard that are used in some photo contests.

    Isn't "RAW" really just an umbrella term for a number of competing and very ad-hoc formats?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:53PM (#23317836)
    Later revisions of 54G routers had less memory, and slower processors. Such a gimped amount of memory it took a long time to get a build of Linux that would fit.

    Or, they decided to reduce their manufacturing costs by only using the amount of memory & processor power needed to run their firmware.

    Saving a buck per router adds up when you're making thousands (millions?) of them.
  • Re:Take RAW Photos (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:54PM (#23317844) Journal
    That's my understanding as well. The RAW from a Canon SLR might have no relation at al to a nikon to a sony, etc (or even between canon models, etc). They are just the unprocessed raw data that the cameras use internally. Thus the need for import filters for programs like photopshop, aperture, and lightroom to be able to read the files from different cameras.
  • by doti ( 966971 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @06:22PM (#23318144) Homepage
    What I'd like is some simple tweaks to the interface.

    For instance, the ability to delete photos by range (e.g., this photo and all previous ones). Useful when you download the photos to the computer, forget to delete them from the camera, and discovers that after taking one more photo: shit! Now you have to delete all the other 400 photos one by one.
  • Re:Pointless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vought ( 160908 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @06:33PM (#23318248)
    which is mostly useless on a camera with a sensor that small.

    You don't understand what RAW is for, do you?

    RAW allows post-capture editing of exposure, white balance and possibly other parameters. Sensor size matters not - the 4MP Canon 1Ds generated RAW mode files from an APS-C-sized sensor...would you have pooh-poohed that capability?
  • by ColaMan ( 37550 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @06:51PM (#23318432) Journal
    It was hardly done just to spite the hackers.

    If your product still runs adequately with :
    - less RAM (cheaper!)
    - a slower processor (cheaper!)

    Then you go ahead and make the change to:
    - increase profit margins
    - keep up with your competitors so they don't price you out of the market.

    Pretty clear-cut business case. In their case, they went out of their way to provide the original model again, pretty much just for hackers. They could've just dropped the old version, y'know.
  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @07:17PM (#23318656)

    Pretty clear-cut business case. In their case, they went out of their way to provide the original model again, pretty much just for hackers. They could've just dropped the old version, y'know.

    For every hacker they retained by keeping the GL, they pissed off two others (like me) who resented being asked to pay $20 more than we had been for the same hardware (or the same price for inferior hardware). Prices on technology are supposed to go down, not up, as the product gets older!

    Because of that bullshit, I'm specifically avoiding Linksys for my future router purchases.

  • Re:Pointless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @07:25PM (#23318746) Homepage Journal
    Sensor size in that case is not measured in megapixels. APS-C is something like 28mm sensor. A typical point and shoot might have something like an 8mm sensor, and the smaller the sensor, the more likely it seems to be able to pick up noise. I think it stands to reason that if you want RAW, you might want to get a unit that's got a bigger / better sensor and lens anyway.
  • Re:Pointless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mungmaster2000 ( 1180731 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @07:33PM (#23318802)
    Everyone's got a camera-phone these days. Fuck that. I want to know when I can get a phone in my camera.
  • by WNight ( 23683 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @08:22PM (#23319140) Homepage
    Never. They're always trying to stop you from running non-Apple software on YOUR hardware.

    iPhones, iPods, etc. If Apple can break a hacked device they'll do it.
  • by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @08:27PM (#23319172) Homepage
    Considering that the reason this works is mostly because features are intentionally disabled by Canon, no, I don't see that happening any time soon.
  • by SoupIsGoodFood_42 ( 521389 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:13PM (#23320218)
    Didn't they just have a prominent iPhone hacker speak at one of their stores? And why on earth should Apple bother to support hacked devices? If you started hacking the hardware, you wouldn't expect them to support that, right? When they bring a DMCA suit against an iPhone hacker, let me know.
  • Re:Pointless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:01AM (#23320460) Homepage Journal
    >>Just what everyone in the world was clamoring for: games for their camera.

    I have had CHDK installed on my A620 for a while now, mainly so that I can use it to do exposure bracketing so that I can take HDR photos automatically (using Photomatix Pro to piece them together).

    But -- while hanging out at Tahoe with some buddies of mine -- we started talking about Nethack. Without saying another word, I clicked on my camera, turned on CHDK Sokoban, and handed it to a friend of mine, who was duly impressed.

    That's what hardware hacking is all about, kids - impressing your nerdy friends.
  • by ColaMan ( 37550 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @01:21AM (#23320868) Journal
    ....resented being asked to pay $20 more than we had been for the same hardware....

    Without being privy to Linksys's internal discussions on this, again I would suggest that economies of scale come into it.


      - You, the manufacturer, introduce another model with equivalent performance that supersedes the old model.
      - You recognise that there's a market for the old type , thus you want to keep the old model about for the hackers.
        - You figure that you'll only sell 1/10th of previous volume you were selling, considering that the usual plebs that buy your routers don't give a damn about modding them.
      - You need to make a profit on whatever you sell (you don't care about hackers *that* much).
      - Your manufacturing plant in China says that it will cost x percent more per unit to do a smaller production run of the old model, what with warehousing, having to stock different parts,etc.
      - You add x percent to cover the costs of this.
      - You add y percent simply because you know you're now selling a specialty product and hackers will pay a premium for them.

    This last percentage takes quite a bit of economic theory and experience to work out. I don't begrudge Linksys this premium. You do, and fair enough - everyone is different. It's the fine line between number of sales / total profit that they walk, and every manufacturer walks it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @08:33AM (#23322614)
    someone call a whaaambulance for mr chaotica.... boo hoo hooo.....the extra $20 is to cover the cost of keeping an additional assembly process running you stupid fucking prick. there's no reason to build those GL routers except for hobbyists who want to mod them. there's no point reducing overheads on the main model, only to piss those savings away keeping the other manufacturing process running in tandem. so if the hobbyinst want the GL routers, they'll have to cover the extra cost. if they didnt want to pay an extra $20, the routers wouldnt sell, and linksys would discontinue them. the only bullshit involved here is your pathetic adolescent notions that linksys owe you something. you give them money, they give you stuff. everyone is even. no one owes anyone anything.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato