Add features via firmware?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 8,957
Re: Add features via firmware?

David5833 wrote:

mosswings wrote:

Canon is somewhat unusual in that its operating system is partially accessible to clever hackers (the acronym CHDK should give you a hint as to how truly Canon-supported this accessibility is - the H stands for Hack). Sony created a more robust applications programming interface for their Play Memories feature in their cameras (now quietly being deprecated). Nikon has NEVER made its operating system available to consumers, and given Nikon's extreme aversion to open-source and NIH, almost assuredly never will.

So from just an API point of view you're out of luck.

From a practical point of view, your desire to hack top end Nikon AF features like Group AF into a lower end body would not really be possible, because these features depend deeply on components as well as programs not found in lower end bodies. The D7200 has a relative crude exposure sensor - so 3D Tracking and subject feature detection that plays into the performance of the higher end bodies isn't possible. It also doesn't have all the rest of the AF subsystem, processor, etc. that supports these features.

It was not my "desire to hack" features, just my curiosity about whether or not it would be possible via firmware upgrade. If it WAS possible and someone came up with a way to do it legally, safely, and inexpensively, I certainly might take advantage of it but my question was really just for the sake of curiosity. Your reply and those of others indicate that it would not only be very difficult to accomplish in software but would require different hardware as well, so that pretty much answers it (and probably explains why it hasn't been done already). Thanks, I appreciate your comments.

My apologies for being brusque. I was trying to point out that Nikon doesn't permit it, but really neither does Canon - the CHDK stuff was, indeed, hacked by enthusiasts taking advantage of a back door into the Canon UI. There are warnings all over the CHDK site to this effect. It takes a fair amount of UI programming to properly support 3rd party applications, as Sony has found out.

Certainly Nikon's UI has a firmware update portal - they do provide the rare firmware update - but hold the API protocol very close to the vest. It would be great if camera design was standardized enough that we COULD effectively modularize/appify them. The CHDK effort shows just how much can be done - at least outside of the very critical capture algorithms. I'd welcome it, although I'm skeptical as to whether or not providing such advanced features as Group AF with the desired reliability and speed would be possible without close cooperation with Nikon itself.

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Olympus XZ-1 Olympus Stylus 1 Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR +5 more
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