Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Hack your Canon camera for rocket photography!

IEEE Spectrum recently featured an article on the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK).  CDHK is a series of scripts that reside on your camera's removable memory card.  These can be configured to load manually or automatically and don't modify you camera's internal firmware. So, if you boot with a new card installed, you will be back to your original factory configuration.  The CHDK scripts let you play with a wide range of things, including the format of the images, what is displayed on your camera's LCD and, most importantly, how  you take pictures.  What caught my eye were the motion detection scripts.  Instead of having to time those launch shots, these scripts will let your camera automatically trigger on the rocket's motion.  These scripts are fast enough to catch lightning.  The attached photo was taken by CHDK user Vkhim
 
I didn't get much farther than that after I discovered that the camera my son-in-law recently gave me was a Nikon, not a Canon. Rats!  If you want to learn more, you can follow the source link, above, or jump directly to the CHDK site.