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RAW Support (and more) For Your Canon Camera With CHDK - page 2

No Risk, How To Install

  • June 23, 2010
  • By Akkana Peck

Copy files to the camera

To install CHDK on your camera, you'll need to mount an SD card on your computer like an external disk. Canon cameras don't let you do that, so you'll need to use some sort of SD card reader. If your computer doesn't have one built in, USB SD card readers are very cheap to buy ... or you might be able to use a non-Canon camera, since cameras from most other manufacturers will work like a card reader.

It's best to use an SD card that's 4Gb or smaller. If your card is larger than that, there are ways of dealing with it (see the CHDK wiki) but it's easier to do your initial testing with a smaller card.

Mount the SD card as a disk, and copy everything from the CHDK zip file to your camera card. If your card is small and you don't have a lot of free space, you can probably get away with copying just DISKBOOT.BIN, PS.FIR and vers.req.

If you poke around on the CHDK wiki you'll probably stumble upon references to making the SD card bootable. But I found I didn't need that step if I copied everything from the zip file onto the SD card.

Load CHDK

Now umount the card and put it back in the camera. Power up your camera in image viewing (not picture taking) mode. Follow along in the readme file on your local computer or the CHDK wiki page specific to your camera model -- it will give instructions for how to make sure your camera's firmware is the right version. This will probably involve something like holding down the Func set button, then pressing and releasing Disp.

Then load the firmware. Again, follow the instructions in the readme or wiki page, since it may be different for different cameras. On mine, I press the Menu button and arrow down to the last item, "Load firmware". Select it, and confirm that you want to load the new firmware. (Remember, this isn't doing anything scary and permanent to your camera!)

You'll see some flashing lights and a splash screen (Figure 1) for a few seconds, then you're back to the normal playback menu. You're running CHDK! Switch to record mode and check out all the new icons on the screen.

It also gives you a whole new set of menus, accessed with the "Shortcut" key -- usually the Print key, if your camera has one. Press Shortcut, then Menu (Figure X). In the next article, I'll cover some of the cool features you can get with CHDK. For now, play around and have fun!

Links

CHDK for Dummies

Akkana Peck is a freelance programmer and writer, amateur photographer and the author of the book Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional. She's also a control freak who loves fiddling with devices and making them do things they aren't supposed to be able to do.

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