Add features via firmware?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
DStan Forum Pro • Posts: 10,726
Re: Add features via firmware?

mosswings wrote:

David5833 wrote:

DStan wrote:

The source code for the camera is proprietary, not open source. Who is willing to disassemble and or decompile the firmware, figure it out an make changes? That is a huge undertaking as in a fulltime job. When Nikon makes an update this would have to be figured out and reconciled into one's private fork. One would have to do this for every model. Then there's the possibility of legal issues.

So who's willing to take this on? Not me.

Is Nikon different from Canon in that regard, or is adding features like highlight weighted metering or group area AF different from what Magic Lantern does for Canon? I realize that ML does not replace or modify Canon code, it runs alongside it.

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.

The D7200 has 3D tracking. The D300 had this with far less processing power, although not as capable when it comes to response time. As far as hacking these cameras, I'd rather buy a higher end model then spend my life on a fool's errand. 

I don't think it would be in the best interests of any camera manufacturer to publish a public API for their cameras, let alone to open source their code.

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Stan ;o()
In the spirit of Occam’s Razor one should embrace the less complicated formulation or simply put, less is more.

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