Add new functions to Canon's Digital Cameras

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 4, 2008
Updated • Dec 30, 2012

Adding new functions and features to hardware is normally accomplished by replacing the firmware with a new or hacked one that adds the new functionality to the device. It's slightly different if you are the owner of a Canon Digital Camera with DIGIC II or DIGIC III firmware because it is possible to load an alternative firmware from an SD card whenever it is needed which in turn means that the original firmware remains untouched.

The benefits of using the so called Canon Hacker's Development Kit, which is Open Source by the way, are manifold. Among other features pictures can be saved in RAW format, videos can be recorded with a length of up to 1 hour, faster shutter speeds, longer exposure time, additional data display on the LCD and more.

If you would like to try this you need to make sure that your digital camera is supported. Many Canon Powershot and Canon Digital Ixus models are supported right now. You'll also need a SD card and a SD card reader to add the files of the firmware to the SD card.

Now you simply download the appropriate firmware, put it on the SD card and do the following to manually load the new firmware.

  • Start the Camera in Play mode
  • Press the Menu button and select "firm update", say yes when asked if you want to update. Remember it's not permanent
  • The Camera will reboot and if everything worked fine you will run the new firmware
  • If the camera hangs it is not compatible with this firmware. Remove the batteries then and place them in again.

The FAQ on the developers homepage contains information on how to load the new firmware automatically once you checked that it is working correctly.


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  1. Jason said on April 4, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks! Some cool features added to my A630 :D

  2. Dam said on April 4, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Alas! My Ixus 75 is not supported (yet, I hope!)

    Please, let us know if this project evolves :)

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