January 22, 2019

Turn Your Compact Canon Camera Into a Super-Camera With CHDK - page 2

Movie Zoom, RAW Mode

  • July 8, 2010
  • By Akkana Peck

Histograms and Zebras

Histogram parameters lets you enable an on-screen histogram to show the bright/dark distribution of your photo, and you can even configure the type of histogram.

Zebra parameters controls "Zebra mode" -- in which the camera flags parts of the scene which may be overexposed, like the red areas in Figure 3, or underexposed.

<em>figure 3</em>
figure 3

Tou can toggle Zebra mode by holding the shutter button halfway down and pressing LEFT or RIGHT on your 4-way dial. Use the shutter button and UP or DOWN to toggle the histogram.

You can control other aspects of the on-screen display with OSD Parameters. Too cluttered with all that CHDK info showing? No problem -- you can hide it, or move it to another place on screen. You can also control colors and fonts with Visual settings.

Miscellaneous stuff gives you all sorts of toys, like a calendar and even a few games.

Loading CHDK automatically

Going through menus to load the firmware every time is fiddly and time consuming. Fortunately, there's a way to get CHDK to load automatically. In the Miscellaneous Stuff menu, select Make card bootable and press Func set. You won't see any indication that anything happened.

Power off, remove the SD card from the camera and slide its write protect tab to the locked position. Don't worry, your camera will still be able to save new photos to the card. (Did you know that the write protect tab was only a suggestion, and devices can still write to the card? I didn't.)

Pop the card back in the camera and power on; CHDK should load automatically. If you ever want to disable it temporarily, just slide the card's write protect tab back to Unlocked.

If CHDK still doesn't load automatically, it might be that your card's size or formatting. Autoload generally only works on cards 2G or smaller, formatted as FAT16. First try reformatting the card from your camera's menus, then recopying CHDK back onto it.

If that fails, or if your card is larger than 2G, you can format the card in Linux using a tool like gparted, or from the command line with mkfs.msdos. If all else fails, see the CHDK FAQ.

That's enough to get you started, though there's plenty more to explore. For now, go shoot some photos!

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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