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Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features

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Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features
« on: 18 / February / 2013, 15:50:54 »
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Hi, another CHDK-noob here. Hope some of you are willing to help me with this. I've researched CHDK over the past few weeks. I was hoping I could get some suggestions on cameras that would fit my needs (see below) and how I could go about making sure it's CHDK-compatable.

Questions:
Is there any way to DOWNGRADE a CHDK-compatable cam's fiirmware to a vers. I need? Like erase then reload the compat. ver., or overwrite? I read in another poster's thread that there's no way to know for sure if a cam I buy will have a CHDK-compatable firmware unless I can somehow get the seller to email me a pic taken by that cam (not that simple with ebay/Amazon sellers) especially when it's a "new" sealed item of an older model the stores don't sell/display anymore (like the Elph 300/500, etc). :(

Also, I'm trying to stay below the $300 mark as much as I can.

Uses/needed camera features:


Live video feed directly to my laptop (HD/slow-mo) for some important non-profit video projects.

Low light (sunset/sunrise)
 
80fps+  high-speed VGA (or better yet, HD) video
 
for use as a document-camera (digitally archiving all my text notes and drawings)
 
for photo/video of pets, nature, people (portrait)

smooth gradual zoom during video

HD video

below $300
« Last Edit: 18 / February / 2013, 15:55:56 by photonoob »

Re: Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features
« Reply #1 on: 18 / February / 2013, 17:07:17 »
Questions:
Is there any way to DOWNGRADE a CHDK-compatable cam's fiirmware to a vers. I need?
Simple answer =  no.

Canon only rarely issues firmware updates even though it regularly releases the same camera with different firmware versions.   Updates are usually only offered to fix major bugs.

They do not supply a means for reverting to earlier firmware versions.

As far as getting a compatible firmware version,  pick a supported camera and you will likely be able to find someone to port a new firmware version if the camera firmware version you receive is not already ported.
« Last Edit: 18 / February / 2013, 17:12:03 by waterwingz »
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features
« Reply #2 on: 18 / February / 2013, 17:36:37 »
Still not familiar with the lingo, but I assume by "port" you mean to have someone modify existing firmware to fit my version(?)

Not to seem ungrateful or anything, but if I manage to find someone with time on their hands to do that for me, does that mean I'm essentially potentially stuck with beta-testing a firmware version until the vers I'm given is bug-free (if ever)?

Re: Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features
« Reply #3 on: 18 / February / 2013, 18:43:15 »
Also forgot to include in that original post, what about UPgrading to a specific firmware vers (if I get my hands on a cam w/ earlier vers)? Where can I find it/how should I have that done?


Re: Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features
« Reply #4 on: 18 / February / 2013, 19:03:23 »
Still not familiar with the lingo, but I assume by "port" you mean to have someone modify existing firmware to fit my version(?)
Yes.

Quote
Not to seem ungrateful or anything, but if I manage to find someone with time on their hands to do that for me, does that mean I'm essentially potentially stuck with beta-testing a firmware version until the vers I'm given is bug-free (if ever)?
Yes.

Also forgot to include in that original post, what about UPgrading to a specific firmware vers (if I get my hands on a cam w/ earlier vers)? Where can I find it/how should I have that done?
Same answer as I gave for "downgrading" - you can't unless Canon issues a upgrade file.  Which they almost never do.  Here's a list of known firmware upgrades : http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Official_Canon_firmware_updates
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features
« Reply #5 on: 18 / February / 2013, 22:05:12 »
Ok.

So then in your experience (and anyone else's reading this, the more the merrier), is it really worth it? I mean, do these beta builds (if that's what I end up having to work with) GENERALLY work ok for people or is it a comstant tinkering and requiring the camera user to get involved in the coding or other heavy technical fix-ups?

And also, any recommendation on chdk point-n-shoot cams that would fit my criteria listed here, or a decent search-site to find one? Going through the wiki list one-by-one has been like looking for a needle in a haystack :(

Thanks for the info! :)
« Last Edit: 18 / February / 2013, 22:13:48 by photonoob »

Re: Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features
« Reply #6 on: 18 / February / 2013, 22:37:51 »
So then in your experience (and anyone else's reading this, the more the merrier), is it really worth it?
The H in CHDK stand for "hack".  And that's what it is.  Just something fun to play with and try out some new things. In general, most things work without any fuss,  some take a little playing with and occasionally some are just plain broken.

Quote
I mean, do these beta builds (if that's what I end up having to work with) GENERALLY work ok for people or is it a comstant tinkering and requiring the camera user to get involved in the coding or other heavy technical fix-ups?
The beta designation is purely arbitrary and left up to the discretion of the person who performs the port.  Sometimes they never remember to remove the beta tag,  which was usually attached shortly after the port seemed functional.  These days,  porting is a whole lot easier than even two years ago due to better tools and several people who have put a lot of effort into supporting newbie porters. So the quality of the product is a lot better.   But its still a hack built on things we don't always fully understand.  If that bother you,  you might want to find a different hobby?

Edit :  and yes,  most things generally work okay.

Quote
And also, any recommendation on chdk point-n-shoot cams that would fit my criteria listed here, or a decent search-site to find one? Going through the wiki list one-by-one has been like looking for a needle in a haystack
http://www.techradar.com/us/news/photography-video-capture/cameras/best-canon-powershot-2013-current-models-reviewed-963178

Its sort of like asking someone what car to buy?  There are a lot of them out there and people tend to mostly know about the one they own.  And most of your requirements seem to be for video - something I pretty much never use. Although I'm guessing you are not going to find anything to meet those specs anyway. 

So with that caveat,  in your price range I'd suggest looking at the sx260hs.   Its well supported by CHDK but I have no idea how good the video is.

Otherwise, you could try using this :  http://www.dpreview.com/products/search/cameras
« Last Edit: 18 / February / 2013, 22:57:03 by waterwingz »
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features
« Reply #7 on: 19 / February / 2013, 14:32:26 »
Well actually the MOST important thing I need a cam for is to use as a document camera, using the chdk to allow me to live preview papers/books and just press a key on my computer to snap a photo.

(2nd priority is live video feed to computer.)

Would the Elph 500HS or the one you mentioned be fine for at least document cam use?

And last question: I see the "HS" isn't always listed in the chdk list.  All I've found online with the elph is HS series, none without. And yet the sx260 does.  Typo? :blink:

« Last Edit: 19 / February / 2013, 14:37:03 by photonoob »


Re: Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features
« Reply #8 on: 19 / February / 2013, 14:57:36 »
Would the Elph 500HS or the one you mentioned be fine for at least document cam use?
AFAIK, pretty much any recent Canon P&S should be satisfactory for what you want here - and many are available for less than $100.

Quote
And last question: I see the "HS" isn't always listed in the chdk list.  All I've found online with the elph is HS series, none without. And yet the sx260 does.  Typo?
Its all Canon marketing.  Just ignore the "IS" and "HS" after the model number.  Each camera either has the designation or doesn't  - they don't make an sx260,  an sx260is, and an sx260hs.
« Last Edit: 19 / February / 2013, 21:45:54 by waterwingz »
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: Need help finding cam w/ compat. firmware + features
« Reply #9 on: 19 / February / 2013, 22:26:34 »
Ok great, that clarifies things alot for me. After checking out the specs on the sx260 I've realized that's definitely a better choice for me. THANK YOU for all your help!  :D
« Last Edit: 19 / February / 2013, 22:28:25 by photonoob »

 

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