How to Hack a Point and Shoot Camera and Give It DSLR Features





Introduction: How to Hack a Point and Shoot Camera and Give It DSLR Features

About: So basically i am a crazy person, who loves to think the most odd way ever possible,who makes what he thinks and also let other also make those . Check out my crazy projects if you like do follow me :D

There was a craze of point and shoot cameras when i was a kid , it was expensive then and slow with the rise of electronics made them cheaper , by the time DSLR were common ,I had a power-shot that was the first camera i bought with my first earnings , it is so dear to me , but i felt it lacked some control with was supposed to be in it .

By using this hack My camera became more powerful and better than any time it was before , the fun of getting DLSR feature is really great.

Btw this is up for summer fun contest do vote if you like it.

with this hack you can enable RAW, intervalometer,HDR mode, and lot more

.Watch this video if you have less time and consider subscribing if you like it .

Step 1: Get Your Items Ready

Before starting the hack you need to know something really before you need to know that this hack won't damage your camera at all .
This hack is an software update method that gets rollback easily .
Now we can list all the thing that we will need for this hack.

  • Canon Point and shoot camera
  • SD card
  • SD Card reader / some laptops already have an inbuilt reader.

and little time.

Step 2: CHDK- Canon Hack Development Kit

The firmware we will be using for this hack is CHDK .
It stands for Canon hack Development Kit.

There are two segments in the digital camera market: people who just want to snap pictures, and professional photographers. Accordingly, many camera manufacturers have two "families" of product:

  • Point And Shoot cameras (also called Digital Compact cameras) intended for consumers who want to take snaps. P&S cameras are small, easy-to-use digital cameras, without fancy lenses. First time camera users should get a Point And Shoot camera.
  • DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) or SLR cameras are for professionals and advanced amateurs. Digital SLR cameras are more versatile, have higher quality removable lenses. but are also more complicated, heavier, and expensive. DSLR cameras offer much more manual control over the camera settings, to support e.g. RAW files and bracketing.

The CHDK (Canon Hacker Development Kit) software makes the extra settings of a DSLR available on Canon's point-and-shoot cameras.

Step 3: Finding the Right Firmware for Your Model

Go to the CHDK websites

There you will get the list of supported cameras on the Right hand side of the page.
Go down and search your model once you find it , you will see two or three version .
Click any one you will go to the same page .
In the page click download icon on the latest build heading.
then you will be redirected to

where you will see a similar list go and click on the model and version that suits your one.

There are two option

one full download and the other small version

download any one i use the complete version

Step 4: Installing the Firmware

After downloading the file , unzip it and extract the file to the SD card.

Eject the SD Card and put it back to the camera, and then open the camera in playback mode.

Turn on the camera on in playback mode, and hit menu button.

Go down and hit the update firmware option .
It will ask for a confirmation .
Click OK and your firmware will be updated.

Once update press shutter to get into the camera mode and enjoy the new camera features.
Now you can save in RAW format / see battery life in real percentage

Or you can use intervalometer to create stunning time-lapses, you make you own script .

Step 5: Results

I am an amateur and by this mod i got access to the real possibilities with my camera.
All the pics are clicked in RAW format and edited in Light room .
The extent by which the device can now work is just beyond my expectation.
I have been extensively testing this and will lay down a detail about all its features.

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    32 Discussions

    The title "How to Hack a point and shoot camera and give it DSLR features" is misleading. I thought this instructable will cover some hardware hacks where as it is just a firmware update. Disappointed...

    very nice hack brother; esp. those firmware changes and modes exploit great :) Only problem is probably you do understand; Sensor Size and those awesome lenses. But good for personal photography and hobbyist or may be as beginner. Very cool.

    interesting hack but if you're using the compact's original lens, it's not really a DSLR, is it?

    16 replies

    only optics won't be changed , but it will have some pretty extra features like a DSLR as said

    I had no idea you could access that sort of functionality with a software upgrade. Nice hack, but DLSR stands for Digital "Single Lens Reflex", so the optics are very very different.

    Yes I know it stands for Single lens reflex and you can't change the lens , but with the PowerShot sx 500 series you are already powered with an 18-250 mm lens and that is really powerful, in A series you are given 28 mm wide lens which is average good especially for landscape and macro.

    While this is a cool software hack, there are many non-DSLR cameras which support RAW, HDR, etc. My old Canon G1 which is more then a decade old supported RAW for example. So while I think this is a good hack, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with the title since the features you've added have nothing to do with a DSLR. I would suggest something like "Hack your point and shoot to give it more advanced features!"

    I also agree with synfinatic. The title is a little misleading. It seems from the title that the optics have been tinkered with to give it DSLR features. All that is done is to make the camera think it's a DSLR. Nevertheless, the mod is nice and useful.

    the cost of those cameras is double or triple compared to simple point and shoot . in that price you get a DSLR with good lens ,all this feature were only seen in DSLR can be also given to the basic model with a software upgrade .

    The Canon PowerShot G1 point & shoot which was released in 2000 had RAW (as every new version of that camera since). I'm sure there are others, but I'm a Canon guy so I don't know them off the top of my head. :) The latest PowerShot G1X MkII adds HDR as well.

    A DSLR just says it's a digital SLR (ie, you have an optical viewfinder which looks through the lens). My original Canon 10D DSLR had RAW, but no HDR or many of the features you've added with this hack. Even my newer 7D doesn't have some of the features your hack adds, but that doesn't make it not a DSLR.

    Basically these features your hack adds are orthogonal to the DSLR vs. point & shoot classification. To say these features are "only seen in DSLR" is incorrect. That said, these are still useful features and it's a good hack to make an inexpensive camera better!

    what i am saying is the price of canon ps G1 and Sx or ixus is hell lot, besides ok HDR are not in all,but what about raw and intervalometer. i know what a DSLR means :)
    I have used both canon and nikon.

    The Canon PowerShot G series has had RAW for 16 years; I'm sure it's not the only one. I'm sure you can pick one up off eBay for cheap :). You've added more advanced features on a cheap point & shoot. That's really cool. You didn't add "DSLR features" though.

    Man here canon doesn't sell G series , if even i buy from eBay it is expensive after duty , lucky you man those are cheap there i didn't have these here i had to hack it

    == I would suggest something like "Hack your point and shoot to give it more advanced features!" == I agree 100%.

    One other thing I would like to see, to demonstrate how useful this technique is. First, take a photo of some scene using the camera "as is", set up as best as possible using the standard software. Then, take a second picture, using the hacked software, set up as best as possible. The second photo should be noticeably better, right? Otherwise, what is the point of installing the hack?

    Pre and post photos would be awesome! For example, how much better is the white balance of the manually tweaked RAW file vs the auto-white balance of the default .jpg?

    I agree with "Hack your point and shoot to give it more advanced features!" as a more accurate title - this hack doesn't give the camera DSLR features. For example, it does not change the sensor size of your camera, so you are still going to be working with an image which is limited in sharpness and quality by the small size of the camera's sensor, which is what forms the image. If you are going to the effort of doing all that post-production work in Lightroom, it's worth starting with an image created on an actual DSLR, which will have a larger and better sensor, enabling it to capture a better quality image in the first place. However, this is a clever way to give a compact camera more features.

    Well, either way it's a nice upgrade for a compact. Thanks for sharing!

    They're just extended latin characters that look upside down :)

    Hey, great tutorial! I'm wondering if there's a different website or a compatible firmware I can try with my Nikon L810?