Now that cameras have become software-based image capture devices, they share a characteristic with many products in the digital age – the ability to be hacked. In fact, a regular cottage industry has arisen around reverse engineering commercially released cameras and figuring out how to enable additional features or disable unwanted features. Some notable examples of this are CHDK and Magic Lantern for Canon Point-ans-Shoot and DSRs, respectively, and MewPro for GoPro Hero3 cameras.
The plus side of this is the ability to un-lock additional features. I have used CHDK extensively on a $99 Canon Powershot camera and have gotten some very nice time-lapse and long exposure sequences that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Here’s an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5MhWEEXVH4
The down side is that you probably void the camera’s warranty in using these hacks and open up the possibility of putting the camera in a mode that either fries the electronics or damages the optics.
I’ll be investigating these and other camera hacks in upcoming posts, so (as they say) “Stay Tuned…”