Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Really Powerful PowerShot

You're lucky if you own a Canon PowerShot and/or IXUS camera that's in this list as of today:

(model, firmware)
A450, Fw: 1.00d
A460, Fw: 1.00d
A530, Fw: 1.00a
A540, Fw: 1.00b
A550, Fw: 1.00c
A560, Fw: 1.00a
A570, Fw: 1.00e, 1.01a
A610, Fw: 1.00e, 1.00f, 1.00d with CHDK version for 1.00e
A620, Fw: 1.00f (1.00e is not compatible, update to 1.00f is needed, see here))
A630, Fw: 1.00c
A640, Fw: 1.00b
A650, Fw: 1.00d
A700, Fw: 1.00b
A710, Fw: 1.00a
A720, Fw: 1.00c
S2, Fw: 1.00e, 1.00f, 1.00g, 1.00i with CHDK version for 1.00g
S3, Fw: 1.00a
S5, Fw: 1.01a 1.01b
G7, Fw: 1.00e, 1.00g, 1.00i, 1.00j
SD400 (IXUS 50), Fw: 1.01a, 1.01b
SD450 (IXUS 55), Fw: 1.00b, 1.00c, 1.00d
SD500 (IXUS 700), Fw: 1.01a, 1.01b
SD550 (IXUS 750), Fw: 1.00f, 1.00g
SD600 (IXUS 60), Fw: 1.00a, 1.00d (beta)
SD630 (IXUS 65), Fw: 1.00a
SD700 (IXUS 800), Fw: 1.00b, 1.01b, 1.01a with CHDK version for 1.01b
SD750 (IXUS 75), Fw: 1.01a, 1.01b with CHDK version for 1.01a
SD800 (IXUS 850), Fw: 1.00e, 1.00d with CHDK version for 1.00e
SD850 (IXUS 950), Fw: 1.00c
SD870 (IXUS 860), Fw: 1.00c
SD1000 (IXUS 70), Fw: 1.01b, 1.02a, 1.01a with CHDK version for 1.01b
SD1100 (IXUS 80), Fw: 1.00c, 1.01a
SX100, Fw: 1.00b, 1.00c
TX1, Fw: 1.00g, 1.01b

Why? The Canon Hackers Development Kit, better known as CHDK, is software that enhances your Canon PowerShot's firmware. Stored in the camera's memory card, CHDK beefs up your digital camera with more functionality, including the ability to program your camera in such a way that it can execute a series of steps over the desired time frame. With all those features, tech-oriented DSLR owners will surely want CHDK for their cameras, and I believe they will in the not-too-distant future. Actually, point-and-shoot isn't quite descriptive of the PowerShot. It's more than just point-and-shoot.

Think about these:
  • still pictures in RAW format
  • increased video recording times and lengths
  • on-screen enhancements that include a histogram, a battery life indicator, depth of field setting, et cetera
  • up to 65 seconds of exposure time
  • shutter speed of 1/25,000 of a second or even faster
  • programmable, can run scripts written in uBASIC
  • simulated cable release via the camera's USB port
  • file browsing capabilities
  • games
  • stereo photography
  • bracketing
  • time lapse
  • motion detection
  • high dynamic range imaging or HDR (Search using HDR or hdr as keyword and prepare to be blown away.) 
... and the list goes on.

Can't wait to install CHDK? Rather than be redundant, I better provide you with a link that shows you how to do just that.

Here's where to download the latest Autobuild:

Go Google it up. For inspiration, check out the Flickr site and search CHDK up. Have fun!