CHDK: Canon Hack Development Tool + Intervalometer Scripts
Don’t let the title scare you off…I was a little intimidated myself but jumped in anyway and I will walk you through the process, but first an explanation of what CHDK is and why it removes the need to have an intervalometer.
CHDK is a firmware enhancement which can be loaded onto some (but not all) Canon PowerShot compact digital cameras. It gets loaded into your cameras memory when you turn it on via some installation files on your memory card. Then you can turn its menu off and on to see it display a brand new set of options on your LCD display of your camera…pretty cool! It is important to note that: No permanent changes are made to your camera – therefore it will not void your warranty.
Some features that installing CHDK will unlock:
- Create RAW files, full exposure control, zebra mode, histogram, grids, etc…
- Use your camera for motion detection – trigger exposure in response to movement – actually fast enough to capture lightning!
- DIY remote access for your camera (useful in many situations)
- And the best feature of all, Scripting! You can upload from many many scripts found online to enable intervalometer settings, motion detection and so much more!
- Here is a complete list of features.
I am not going to write all of the procedures and information about CHDK here because there are entire thorough websites dedicated to this purpose. Here is the main authority for the CHDK. But. I will tell you how I installed it on my camera – because after reading over the main website info I was a little discouraged….
I found the holy grail of CHDK installation!!!
Dave Mitchell is a saviour. To be honest I never tried to install CHDK according to the laborious instructions on the wiki site and then thankfully I stumbled across Dave’s STICK tool. This amazing program will download the correct version/build of the firmware for your specific camera, prepare the SD card (partition, formatting and making it bootable), and also copy all necessary files to the SD card…amazing! If you actually read the wiki then you know how much work this STICk tool actually does with the click of a button.
Without further ado here is his site: Simple Tool for Installing CHDK (STICK)
I simply followed his instructions and had CHDK installed on my Canon SX230HS in no time flat! And it worked the first time! Basically all you have to do is make sure you have java installed on your computer, then take a photo with your camera and upload that photo to this STICK tool and it will do the rest for you…just follow his instructions…that simple.
Kudos to you, Dave Mitchell, I appreciate your work, thank you!
So, you have CHDK installed….now what?
Thoroughly read the wiki site…yes, there is a lot of info there but it’s worth the read to get the most out of your awesome new camera! I will sum up some important points though:
- You will notice on your SD card a little plastic slider lock you can move up and down on the side – this locks your SD card. When your SD card is locked it will make the CHDK program installed on it bootable for your camera – if you don’t have your SD card locked the CHDK will not run when you turn your camera on. Also, when you go to download or delete your images from your SD card you have to unlock your card or else you cannot move or delete your photos.
- The existing install of CHDK comes with some included scripts, you can find them on your SD card and using your CHDK menu on your camera. You can find countless user contributed scripts on the wiki site for all your needs…so far I have only dabble with the intervalometer scripts.
- I wrote this page because I wanted to introduce you to CHDK and show you the easiest method to install it on your Canon camera (STICK)…any additional info beyond that is best sought straight from the source: http://chdk.wikia.com