Calling all Canon geeks

Canon Hackers Manual

Ya gotta get this one. It’s The Canon Camera Hackers Manual, from Rocky Nook, Santa Barbara, Calif. It’s aimed right at “geeky” owners of Canon consumer cameras, such as the Powershot and IXUS, who would like to explore the possibilities of their cameras and eventually tweak them to do things way beyond their original specifications.

The hacks are based on the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK), free software maintained by a group of enthusiasts. Many scripts are already published on the web, and this book teaches how to use existing scripts and how to write new ones.

Apparently Canon cameras allow the user to temporarily upload so-called add-ons into the camera through the memory card. The next time the camera is powered on, the add-on is active; when the camera is switched off, the camera returns to its original state.

According to Rocky Nook, the book lets readers produce RAW (or DNG) files in addition to the camera’s JPEG output; manually control aperture, shutter speed, and ISO; expand shutter speeds beyond the specification limits; and enable bracketing, among other things.

The author is Berthold Daum, who studied photography in Melbourne and has both exhibited and published his images of Australia’s natural beauty. He also holds a Ph.D in mathematics and is a professional Java and XML developer.

Rocky Nook’s books are distributed internationally by O’Reilly Media, Sebastopol, Calif.