NEX Firmware to be Opensourced!

Started Dec 12, 2013 | Discussions
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Richie Beans Regular Member • Posts: 278
NEX Firmware to be Opensourced!
2

...I wish!

It's the most flexible, adaptable, and quality system out there. Why are they hampering the possibilities (and sales) with this camera? Lego, Microsoft learned their lesson with their robotic-adaptable firmware/software and it boosted sales of some of their niche products. Sony should do the same with the NEX line: cut the number of models down to two.... and RELEASE THE KRAKEN of open-sourced firmware for those models! Think of the possibilities:

  • Remote tethering- wirelessly, over IP, worldwide of ALL of the camera's controls
  • Plug-In development for camera control through LabView and other tech software
  • Remote Flash integration
  • Improved wireless/IP download

What cool or hugely useful thing would you have your camera do?

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kaku Contributing Member • Posts: 620
Re: NEX Firmware to be Opensourced!
2

Because if people find more use for their old camera, it will discourage them from buying/upgrading to newer models.  Particularly if the new "features" of newer model are mostly software/firmware.

cwinte Regular Member • Posts: 326
Re: NEX Firmware dream - open for scripts is a first step?

My angle is that they could safely provide a script host app that keeps their environment and IP safe but allows us to develop and share scripts (save in folder on memory card) that can exploit the published API.

This will allow all those special requirements eg delay X secs, then shoot off a series of pics that suit my need (brackets or HDR RAW) then.... or shoot video  ... or anything else

Then I'd like the API to extend to cover settings in camera menus so I can create a file with all my settings for video work, night out, landscape, time lapse etc etc (like user memory options)

AND a step further also allow me to script my button allocations and settings configurations under areas other than just the restricted camera items ( some of these can be saved on RX and A7 series user settings, I am unsure what can be saved and what can't, nor what the rules are if you then switch something like shooting mode, WB, iso etc).

-- hide signature --

NEX7, NEX6, SEL 50/1.8, SEL1018, kit1855&1650PZ, SEL18200oss, 16mm & 12mmUWA, Sigma30 plus various manual glass, RX100 on hand

 cwinte's gear list:cwinte's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a6000 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +5 more
jpr2 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,710
re: WHAT newer NEX models?? have you seen any???

kaku wrote:

Because if people find more use for their old camera, it will discourage them from buying/upgrading to newer models. Particularly if the new "features" of newer model are mostly software/firmware.

the least S. can do (besides killing the NEX line) would be to open the source code indeed = splendid idea! And... as there will be no more of them, then... such a move won't "discourage" anyone, if anything it will encourage many to offload all reminder Nex'en from the shelves in a heartbeat

jpr2

LifeIsAVerb Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: NEX Firmware to be Opensourced!
1

Richie Beans wrote:

...I wish!

It's the most flexible, adaptable, and quality system out there. Why are they hampering the possibilities (and sales) with this camera? Lego, Microsoft learned their lesson with their robotic-adaptable firmware/software and it boosted sales of some of their niche products. Sony should do the same with the NEX line: cut the number of models down to two.... and RELEASE THE KRAKEN of open-sourced firmware for those models! Think of the possibilities:

  • Remote tethering- wirelessly, over IP, worldwide of ALL of the camera's controls
  • Plug-In development for camera control through LabView and other tech software
  • Remote Flash integration
  • Improved wireless/IP download

What cool or hugely useful thing would you have your camera do?

.

Is there a petition to sign?

I'd be happy with:

Separating bracketing from remote functions so both are possible simultaneously.

Enabling the user to place functions in a different order within menus and to change placement between menus.

.

kaku Contributing Member • Posts: 620
Re: NEX Firmware dream - open for scripts is a first step?

cwinte wrote:

My angle is that they could safely provide a script host app that keeps their environment and IP safe but allows us to develop and share scripts (save in folder on memory card) that can exploit the published API.

While there is already an emerging platform for app development (http://camera.developer.sony.com), I don't think Sony will allow or facilitate open sharing of apps. Just like Apple, Sony will want any/all developments tested and approved. Which makes sense because you wouldn't want Joe-schmoe running an app that somehow bricks their camera and then blaming Sony.

areichow Senior Member • Posts: 1,584
Re: NEX Firmware dream - open for scripts is a first step?

kaku wrote:

cwinte wrote:

My angle is that they could safely provide a script host app that keeps their environment and IP safe but allows us to develop and share scripts (save in folder on memory card) that can exploit the published API.

While there is already an emerging platform for app development (http://camera.developer.sony.com), I don't think Sony will allow or facilitate open sharing of apps. Just like Apple, Sony will want any/all developments tested and approved. Which makes sense because you wouldn't want Joe-schmoe running an app that somehow bricks their camera and then blaming Sony.

Not quite.

The app dev info available at that URL won't allow you to develop applications for the camera. It's just documentation for the web API exposed when you run the Smart Remote Control application provided by Sony. There is no "emerging platform" for developing on-camera applications.

For these types of apps - the only apps that people outside of Sony can write - there is nothing preventing people from openly sharing the apps they write, because they're applications for Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, etc.

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Canon PowerShot SD1000 Sony RX100 NEX5R Sony Alpha 7
Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 26,336
Some open source already exists

Richie Beans wrote:

...I wish!

It's the most flexible, adaptable, and quality system out there. Why are they hampering the possibilities (and sales) with this camera? Lego, Microsoft learned their lesson with their robotic-adaptable firmware/software and it boosted sales of some of their niche products. Sony should do the same with the NEX line: cut the number of models down to two.... and RELEASE THE KRAKEN of open-sourced firmware for those models! Think of the possibilities:

  • Remote tethering- wirelessly, over IP, worldwide of ALL of the camera's controls
  • Plug-In development for camera control through LabView and other tech software
  • Remote Flash integration
  • Improved wireless/IP download

What cool or hugely useful thing would you have your camera do?

I think that to an extent that it already is:  Last page on the NEX6 manual gives the usual GNU GPL/LGPL applied software licensing  which source code can be downloaded from the web: http://www.sony.net/Products/Linux/

I am not sure just to what extent this applies to the firmware - might be no more than "hooks" into functions and procedures.  However this is possibly how those that have made electronic adapters managed to access the Sony side of the  equation.

Details are in the license folder and you could always download the source code and check it out.

Go for it .... make our day.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

kaku Contributing Member • Posts: 620
Re: NEX Firmware dream - open for scripts is a first step?

You're right; I stand corrected. It's not app development for the camera itself, but just an open API to interact with the Smart Remote Control. Quite dismal indeed.

joe6pack Senior Member • Posts: 1,576
Re: NEX Firmware to be Opensourced!

I really wish the NEX can be hacked and reach status like CHDK and Magic Lantern.

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Olympus XZ-1 Sony Alpha NEX-3N Corel Aftershot Pro IrfanView DxO Optics Pro Elite
jpr2 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,710
re: exactly CHDK or ML

joe6pack wrote:

I really wish the NEX can be hacked and reach status like CHDK and Magic Lantern.

and... the beauty of it will be "no permissions" from S. will be neither required nor necessary !!

jpr2

nevercat Senior Member • Posts: 3,193
Re: NEX Firmware to be Opensourced!

This wish apears every now and then on this forum. I understand why people want the FW to be opensource, but I think many forget what the problems can be.

Remember when Sony comes with a FW update it is tested before coming to the market, so it will function properly and still sometimes (mostly minor) defects are found during use. When an unexperienced programmer starts to send not (good) tested FW in the world, who is responsable for the repairs?

Second problem is that a smart programmer can program the FW in a way that your camera send the pictures you took to them when you connect your camera to the internet. Who will be responseble then?

I think it is better to have some control over the fW then to get problems like we have with Windows...

Richie Beans OP Regular Member • Posts: 278
Re: NEX Firmware to be Opensourced!

kaku wrote:

Because if people find more use for their old camera, it will discourage them from buying/upgrading to newer models. Particularly if the new "features" of newer model are mostly software/firmware.

Just look at who bought the latest A7R, despite there being no lenses to speak of. People buy new stuff often because they CAN, or because it fills some sort of a void, not because they can do more things with the newer models. In fact, very few of these owners will take anything more than "snapshots".

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NEX5R +1 more
Richie Beans OP Regular Member • Posts: 278
Re: NEX Firmware to be Opensourced!
1

nevercat wrote:

This wish apears every now and then on this forum. I understand why people want the FW to be opensource, but I think many forget what the problems can be.

Remember when Sony comes with a FW update it is tested before coming to the market, so it will function properly and still sometimes (mostly minor) defects are found during use. When an unexperienced programmer starts to send not (good) tested FW in the world, who is responsable for the repairs?

Second problem is that a smart programmer can program the FW in a way that your camera send the pictures you took to them when you connect your camera to the internet. Who will be responseble then?

I think it is better to have some control over the fW then to get problems like we have with Windows...

The beauty of opensourcing is that bad/malicious software can be weeded out and faulty software improved. There is also no reason why Sony couldn't lock off basic functionality shells yet release their access, particularly if a model is to be phased out.

The Sony site already links certain products to modifiable firmware (thanks for the link TC!)....just seems to me that something in the NEX line should be in there.

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NEX5R +1 more
jpr2 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,710
Richie: there are already gazillions of happy users of...

Richie Beans wrote:

The beauty of opensourcing is that bad/malicious software can be weeded out and faulty software improved. There is also no reason why Sony couldn't lock off basic functionality shells yet release their access, particularly if a model is to be phased out.

The Sony site already links certain products to modifiable firmware (thanks for the link TC!)....just seems to me that something in the NEX line should be in there.

...CHDK (compacts and P&S) and esp. Magic Lantern (Canon DSLRs), but more to the point both packages are operated as overlays of the corresponding original FW, and can be loaded/or not on demand by end-users - any danger of "bricking" the HW is present only at the developmental stage, where teams of brave enough 'geeks' take care of SW development progress, and of course some  calculated risk to their privately owned cameras (or donated by happy users willing to bear the costs of such development by giving away their no-longer-wanted, old gear),

jpr2

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