NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

Started Nov 9, 2015 | Discussions
NewToCameras Junior Member • Posts: 31
NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations
8

Hello, I've been working on this recently, and thought I'd share. I've modified Samsung's stock firmware for the NX300 (not the NX300M) to remove the silly video recording limitations. By default, videos recorded by the camera are limited to 30 minutes, or 4GB file size, whichever comes first. This meant that all videos recorded were limited to just 30 mins, or in the case of 1080p@60fps, just a little over 20 minutes, since the file size limit is reached first. This firmware removes both limitations.

I've done some testing and everything appears to work as expected. One vitally important thing to note is, because the filesize limit has been removed, your memory card MUST be formatted as ExFAT. The FAT32 filesystem does not support files over 4GB in size, as opposed to ExFAT, which will happily support files larger than you can imagine (~128 PetaBytes, according to Wikipedia). What this means is that, when recording on a FAT32 memory card, the video has a very good chance of becoming corrupted.

Recording video for extended times doesn't appear to have any ill effects from what I've seen. The camera becomes a bit warm to the touch, but that's all. Not hot, just warm, which is not unexpected. I ran out of battery before I was anywhere close to filling up my memory card. Recording at 1080p@60fps for 100 mins produced a video file approx. 18.5 GB large.

I hope you all enjoy this, I know there have been a few threads in the past about modding the camera in this way, so I hope more than a few of you can get some use out of it. I'll continue to poke and prod at the firmware to see what else I can figure out, but don't expect miracles. I'm actually very new at this sort of modding.

Link to download: nx300 1.45b unofficial fw.zip

I have to give credit to the person who created this website, which contains some very useful info about taking apart and putting the firmware back together. I probably would've bricked my camera without it.

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Samsung NX300 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Samsung NX 20-50mm F3.5-5.6 ED Samsung NX 50-200mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
Samsung NX300
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ttbek Veteran Member • Posts: 4,838
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

Very nice, I admittedly didn't end up figuring it when I looked at the firmware before. Was this limit in the camera app per se, or elsewhere? In other words, any chance we might see other changes? If so, then keeping the focus peaking on when using manual lenses instead of having it turn off after each shot might be a good next target. I guess all the stuff I want to change is in the app as far as I know.

Also, I could check, but what format does the in camera formatting give? And if it's not exfat, then could you change that?

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Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Canon EOS 5D Samsung NX300 Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Samsung NX30 +37 more
OP NewToCameras Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations
1

The changes made in this firmware were done to the di-camera-app-nx300 program via a bit of hex editing to change just two variables. The other changes you're suggesting may be possible, I'd have to have a look at those functions to see just how feasible it is. This is a learning project for me, I've never done hex editing up until a week ago, and I'm not a programmer. I'll see what I can do, but don't hold your breath. As for in-camera formatting, I think it's fat32, if the formatting command is implemented the way I think it would be, then it should be a matter of just changing a string somewhere in the program.

 NewToCameras's gear list:NewToCameras's gear list
Samsung NX300 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Samsung NX 20-50mm F3.5-5.6 ED Samsung NX 50-200mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
OP NewToCameras Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

Just a heads up, I may have identified a bug, and I need someone else to verify. It appears that for some reason, importing photos taken while this firmware is active into Lightroom appears to crash it while it's converting to DNG. Opening the photos in other programs appears to work as expected. When I reverted my firmware back to stock, the crashes stopped when importing photos taken while on stock, but when I applied this firmware again the crashes came back. I don't know how it's even possible, but I'll see if something can be done about that.

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Samsung NX300 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Samsung NX 20-50mm F3.5-5.6 ED Samsung NX 50-200mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
tecnoworld
tecnoworld Veteran Member • Posts: 7,232
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations
2

INCREDIBLE ACHIEVEMENT! Not for the time limit per se, but rather for the fact that it proves that nx fw could be hacked!

Do you plan to work on nx1 fw as well? There are tons of features that could be implemented on it via fw, and that samsung is not doing.

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bancika
bancika Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

that's awesome! Does it work with the "multi motion" fast videos? They are also limited to 30mins of recording, but if you use x20 speed you end up with a video just over one minute long.

 bancika's gear list:bancika's gear list
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OP NewToCameras Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations
1

I didn't think to check. Looking through the code, I can see that when multi-motion is turned on, execution can go through one of several paths, most of which do in fact hard cap the time limit. I don't quite know what each of the conditions that lead to those paths mean yet, but I'm going to take a guess and say no, this mod doesn't affect multi-motion yet, or at least not all of the modes. Unfortunately I won't be able to use my camera for the time being to test it myself.

 NewToCameras's gear list:NewToCameras's gear list
Samsung NX300 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Samsung NX 20-50mm F3.5-5.6 ED Samsung NX 50-200mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
flip 21
flip 21 Senior Member • Posts: 1,289
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

Hi Newto cameras...

You are a genious.

By the way, what a about audio limitations?

Can you please turn the stupid AGC - (auto gain control) off? Please, with sugar on top? It is ruinning my precious audio, and I already bought the expensive Samsung EM10 mic.... Can you also add manual mic levels?

PLEASE, PLEASE, I PAY YOU....

look what is doing to my audio (is the same seen in this vídeo, of the NX30)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbMwUntRXZU

tecnoworld
tecnoworld Veteran Member • Posts: 7,232
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations
3

what can be done via fw hacking? I mean...could you increase the bitrate for video? Or add a video resolution?

For example: nx500 does cropped 4k. The nx1 does not. Could you merge these features and enable both modes for both cameras, by comparing their fw?

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flip 21
flip 21 Senior Member • Posts: 1,289
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations
1

WE ALL PAY YOU

OP NewToCameras Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

Potentially. I haven't studied that part of the code yet so I can't say for certain. Like I mentioned elsewhere, though, I'm fairly new at this so it may take me a while to figure it out.

 NewToCameras's gear list:NewToCameras's gear list
Samsung NX300 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Samsung NX 20-50mm F3.5-5.6 ED Samsung NX 50-200mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
tecnoworld
tecnoworld Veteran Member • Posts: 7,232
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations
2

Fair enough! But it'd be really interesting if you could delve into the code of nx1. It's such an interesting camera, with a lot of unexpressed potential.

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Samsung TL500 Samsung NX100 Samsung NX200 Samsung NX300 Samsung NX1 +15 more
OP NewToCameras Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations
3

Speaking of which, I took a look at the firmwares for the NX500 and the NX1. The firmware's in a similar, but different format than the NX300. The image for the root filesystem for the NX500 and NX1 are compressed, I believe using a tizen tool called mic. I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult to figure out how to safely unpack the root filesystem, make changes, then repackage it all together. The big question is, if I ever get around to modding those firmwares, who's going to be the brave person to risk their $700+ or $1500+ camera by flashing a firmware? AFAIK no one else has documented the steps to safely unpacking and repackaging the firmwares on those cameras. The process isn't completely unlike the NX300, but it's different enough that there's still a few things that need to be figured out.

If you happen to have one of the older firmwares for the NX1 or NX500, it would be very helpful if I could get a copy. I tried to look on Samsung's website, but they only offer the latest versions. If they offer the older versions, then it's really hard to find, cause I had no luck doing so. Anyway, if I had a copy of some of the older versions of those firmwares, it could potentially help to figure out the format of the final firmware image. Everything is very similar to the NX300 firmware, except I can't figure out the purpose of 8 bytes that are present in the headers of the NX1 and NX500 firmwares. I don't know how important they are, so if I can compare that section of the file with the older versions I could potentially figure out if that section is somehow important or not.

 NewToCameras's gear list:NewToCameras's gear list
Samsung NX300 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Samsung NX 20-50mm F3.5-5.6 ED Samsung NX 50-200mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
OP NewToCameras Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

Haven't looked into it, but I'll see if I can find that section of the code. Does this only happen with the EM10 attached?

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Samsung NX300 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Samsung NX 20-50mm F3.5-5.6 ED Samsung NX 50-200mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
tecnoworld
tecnoworld Veteran Member • Posts: 7,232
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations
1

Tomorrow I'll look on my pc. I don't know if I have the older fw for my nx1.

I'm sure that some owner of nx500 would risk, in order to have a full readout for 4k instead of a cropped portion.

Not so sure about nx1. Having the crop would be a nice 'plus', but not something worth the risk of loosing the camera, I guess.

It would be interesting to figure out a way to inject the fw from the pc to the camera, even if the camera is 'bricked'.

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flip 21
flip 21 Senior Member • Posts: 1,289
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

Hi, thanks for replying

No, the problem is with and without the EM10 mic attached. The AGC is ON everytime so it screws the áudio completely.

I had the same problem with a canon DSL camera, but they turn the AGC off, with magic lantern firmware, otherwise, nobody could record áudio with that camera. They also add manual recording levels.

They also disabled the AGC with the NX1 most recente firmware (1.40). Maybe you could see how they did it if you analise NX1 latest firmware?

firmware 1.40:

- Improved sound quality of external Mic. (only for Auto MIC Control OFF)

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/3558764819/samsung-nx1-firmware-1-40-now-available

http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=15189.0

PLease, please please!!! Turn it off... THANKS

tecnoworld
tecnoworld Veteran Member • Posts: 7,232
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations
1

I just checked; I have one dated march 2015. I don't know its version, but it's old...how can I pass it to you? It's...BIG!

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Samsung TL500 Samsung NX100 Samsung NX200 Samsung NX300 Samsung NX1 +15 more
flip 21
flip 21 Senior Member • Posts: 1,289
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

If anyone could solve this stupid issue of the AGC on the NX500, I would buy it... How can you have good vídeo, with crappy áudio?

OP NewToCameras Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

I used mega to upload the firmware in the OP, but you can use any other cloud service to upload it. Google drive or Onedrive would work well for that purpose. Just turn on sharing and post the link.

 NewToCameras's gear list:NewToCameras's gear list
Samsung NX300 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Samsung NX 20-50mm F3.5-5.6 ED Samsung NX 50-200mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
amanieux Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: NX300 firmware hack to remove video recording limitations

i also am a software developer and nx500 owner, do you feel that your work on nx300 could also work on nx500 ?

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