So, I’m one of those countless consumers who have a Canon compact camera (Ixus 850IS). It’s a great little thing with a nice lens. Sure it doesn’t compare to an SLR, but it’s small enough to keep with you, all the time. But there’s a way to make it a little better and give you more possibilities to get creative while keeping it light and mobile.

Enter the Canon Hacker Development Kit, or CHDK for short. This will take care of your most needed wants, like being able to shoot RAW, full manual, custom compression settings for video and a ton of other things. And really, you may not need all of the features, but who gives – it’s nerdy!

And best of all you don’t actually change anything inside the camera, so to speak. The hack will load from your memory card, which means that if things go pear shaped you can delete the script from the memory card and everything is back to normal. So: No fear!

Interrested? – It’s really easy:

  • Pick up the copy for your camera here and pop your memory card in a card reader, that’s – obviously – connected to your computer. If you have things on the card you want to keep, this would be a pretty good time back them up.
  • And there’s one catch: it has to be installed on on a 4GB partition or smaller. Meaning that if you’re installing on, say a 8BG card, you’ll have to split it up in two partitions (drives, for those less nerdy). If you’re on a 4GB card or smaller you’re good to go.
  • So now you’re all prepped and ready to go. The basic principle is that you need to get your SD card boot-able (don’t you already love the sheer nerdness factor of this?).
  • If you’re on mac follow the instructions for the scripted install here. For windows it’s all very nice and graphical with Card tricks, get the latest version here, install it and follow these instructions.
  • Make sure to lock the SD card (move the little plastic slider toward the middle of the card), this will make it auto-load, when you turn on your camera.

That’s it, you should be ready to go. To open extra menus press the “ALT” button (on mine it’s the printer button, this varies depending on model) and press menu and you’re ready to play around.


Cranking up shutter speed manually to 1/100.000  and using onboard flash


Shooting brackets and converting to HDRI


Hello world!

First post… More to come!


… or well: Hello U.S.!