Wednesday, 7 September 2011

£15 Camera and CHDK (Swinging synth shots)

The shots above are what you get when you take a £15 camera, hack the firmware to enable long exposures and then string up a DIY Synth (BLARP) and take some shots of her LED's swinging! This has come about as my elderly canon powershot a430 was getting mightily outdated so I picked up a canon a470 for £15.56 from ebay. I was particularly interested in this model as it is the lowest canon powershot model that is reported to work really well with CHDK (stands for Canon Hacking and Development Kit). Basically CHDK is a firmware patch that's loaded from the SD card (you can return your firmware to normal whenever you like). CHDK opens up the firmware in many ways and gives you much more functionality than standard, I have full control of exposure times up to 64 seconds and down to superfast, full control of ISO (the shots above are shot at an ISO of 5 with an exposure of 4 seconds). Whilst the shots above are JPEG I can now shoot in RAW, do bracketing for HDR etc etc. One of the finest features of CHDK however is it's ability to load user written scripts from text files. There are loads of examples of user scripts online that can acheve many other functions, I've been playing with a script intervalometer for time lapse, motion detection scripts and thats just the tip of the iceberg. I'll post the results of further experiments.

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