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  1. Ferdy has been doing a superb series on DSLR photography ( ) but what if (like me) you do not own a fancy DSLR camera?
    I use a simple Canon compact camera. It's a quick point-and-shoot camera. My particular version (an IXUS 900) has a 10mega-pixel sensor and a simple 3x optical zoom. So how can this compete with top end cameras? Simple answer, it can't. But there is a simple trick which can unlock a lot of the power of this simple camera which you can normally only find on those top end cameras.

    The magic which does this is called the Canon Hack Development Kit. The CHDK can be obtained for free from
    It is aimed at the Powershot and Sureshot range of cameras (although not all models are covered as yet) and it can give you a lot of extra functionality not normally available.

    This is just a brief outline of some of the extra features it can add to your photography arsenal. Some are direct features, some are enabled with the use of scripts.
    Shooting in RAW (Ferdy has already proclaimed the benefits of RAW photography )
    Ultra-long shutter speeds - up to 64 seconds.
    Ultra-fast shutter speeds - up to 1/10,000".
    Motion-detection trigger - Fast enough to capture lightning strikes.
    Zebra mode - a live view of over and under-exposed areas of your picture.
    Timelapse photography.
    HDR photos (High Dynamic Range)

    Over the next few weeks I will write up some of my findings and how they can help you in taking nature shots.
    Replied 8 years ago, modified 8 years ago
  2. Cool, looking forward to these tips and thanks for mentioning mine. Haven't looked at the kit yet, but is this essentially firmware to be installed on the camera itself, or is it used during postprocessing? I would assume on the camera itself? Replied 8 years ago
  3. It's additional software that is installed on the SD card which you use in the camera. You trick the camera into loading it by requesting a "firmware update" to activate the software. Switch the camera off and it will go back to the default inbuilt software. It does not replace any software on the camera directly, it's loaded and run as and when you need it.
    Whilst it's running you still have access to all the default options for taking photos, but you also have extra capabilities to do all sorts of fancy things.
    Replied 8 years ago
  4. Interesting, wasn't aware of such options at all. Looking forward to the details. Replied 8 years ago

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