Tag Archives: chdk

Canon ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS – CHDK Alpha available

The devs have been hard at work the last couple of weeks and an alpha version of CHDK for the Canon ELPH 300 HS and Canon IXUS 220 HS is now available on the CHDK forums.

For the latest as of right now, go to this post in the porting thread.

At the moment there are 2 versions for different firmware versions of the camera. You can check which you will need by using this software, along with a jpg you have taken with the camera.

If you are able and willing to test out this alpha build, please post your feedback on the CHDK forums to assist those who are developing. Also keep checking for new builds!

Check out my previous post for details on CHDK and its benefits.

Update: The builds are coming quick, this one is now the latest. Always check the thread for newer builds

Canon ELPH 300 HS (Ixus 220 HS)

Done Deal

As mentioned previously, I was looking for a new Point & Shoot camera and had thought the Canon Powershot ELPH 300 HS (also known as the IXUS 220 HS) fit my requirements. Yesterday afternoon I went down to Henry’s Camera store in downtown Toronto and purchased one. Mainly this will be my wife’s camera, but I intend to make use of it when I want to try shooting some more timelapse’s with CHDK or when carrying my SLR around proves to be a problem.

Why the ELPH 300?

The main reasons I chose this camera over others are:

  • 24mm equivalent lens (wider than most point and shoot cameras)
  • A new CMOS sensor for low light performance (this model was only released in March 2011 so its nice new sensor technology)
  • HD video; 1080p and 720p are available, as well as lower quality modes
  • Size, it is a very small camera
  • It is a Canon, which means it can run CHDK (eventually)

What Is CHDK?

CHDK stands for Canon Hack Development Kit, and it allows you to unlock many features on most Canon Point and Shoot cameras. It works by placing a custom version of the software which runs on your camera onto your memory card, which is then loaded by the camera on startup. The custom software allows you do all sorts of things you couldn’t otherwise do on the camera, such as save images in RAW format, full manual exposure controls, in camera HDR and my favourite which is running scripts. A great benefit of CHDK is that the software is loaded on startup from the memory card which means there is no need to modify the software which exists on the camera. Modifying on camera software (the camera’s firmware) can be a risky process which can result in a bricked (unusable) camera. With the method CHDK uses you can simply flick the write protect switch on your SD card or swap to another SD card and be back up and running with the standard software immediately!

So What is the Point

Why would you want these extra features? These are my favourite features, a full list of features can be found on CHDK Wiki.

RAW Format

RAW mode allows you to get more data from the camera’s sensor into your image. JPEG is a lossy format, which means not all of the information the camera gets from its sensor ends up in your image file. Usually this doesn’t cause any problems, but if you want push the processing of an image to the extremes then RAW format will allow you to access extra information, usually in the form of more bits/pixel than the JPG format allows. RAW files are also larger than JPG files, so make sure you have plenty of memory available.


In camera HDR is another great benefit of using CHDK. It can be setup so a single shutter press will capture various exposures and automatically blend them all into 1 file, allowing greater dynamic range in your photograph. It is like taking 3 exposure bracketed shots on your SLR and processing them in Photomatix all with the press of the shutter button!

Manual Controls

CHDK’s extensive menu system allows you to change pretty much any setting in the camera, even those you would not normally have access to. For example, you are able to adjust the camera’s focus setting. This gives you the ability to focus manually, or even ask the camera to calculate the Hyper Focal distance for your current focal length and set the focus to that. There are so many settings you can adjust that I couldn’t possibly mention them all here.


The scripting feature of CHDK is definitely my favourite. The script feature allows you to load a small file onto your memory card which can automate various tasks on the camera. The main use I have for this is a timelapse script. A timelapse script, once started, will automatically take images at a predefined interval, giving you the images you need to generate a timelapse video. Another script I have looked at briefly is the motion capture script which takes a photo anytime something moves, it is reported to be fast enough to capture lightning! Again these 2 scripts are just some examples of the many scripts you can run on the camera. You can write your own or see what you can find on the internet.

CHDK on the ELPH300 HS (Ixus 220 HS)

The Canon ELPH 300 HS is a new model released in March 2011, this means at the point of writing this post an official CHDK release for the camera does not yet exist. The CHDK software needs to be rewritten to suit each camera model released, and because this is done by volunteers in their own time it can take a little while. To see the current state of CHDK on the new Canon ELPH 300 HS camera you can visit the ELPH 300 page on the CHDK Wiki. If the information on this page is not detailed enough you can have a look on the CHDK forums to see how the porting process is progressing. A quick search for “Elph 300″ should turn up any progress reports.

At this stage there has only been 1 attempt to port the software which was abandoned soon after it began. In time I expect to see the software successfully running on the ELPH 300. Be patient.

Update (21/06/2011): A member of the CHDK forum has picked up the porting process where the previous attempt left off, good luck!

Update (12/08/2011): Unfortunately there has been no action on the development forum for a while now, hopefully some more people are buying the camera and we will see some progress soon.

Update (26/11/2011): First build of CHDK for the ELPH 300 HS/Ixus 220 HS is now available for testing! See the thread here on the CHDK forum for details,

Where is the Review!

I will be posting a review on this camera when I have really tested it out, so keep an eye out here or subscribe to my feed to make sure you don’t miss out.

Now A Canadian (Life Update)

As you might have noticed, my recent shots are all from Toronto, Canada and its surrounds. The reason for this is that I have made the move across the globe, from sunny Brisbane to not as sunny Toronto.

A Big Move

My wife and I decided to make the move in late 2010, and after much organizing, paperwork and hard work we were finally able to move in mid April 2011. Of course we had to get rid of most of our possessions, rationalize what we had and bring as little as possible with us. This meant that I had to get rid of, or leave behind, quite a lot of photography gear. I have updated my list of gear, and hopefully I will be able to acquire some new gear soon!

Replenishing Stocks

In particular I am missing my tripod. I have my eye on 1 at Vistek but I need to save up a little first, hopefully a tripod review is just around the corner. I am also looking to replace my point & shoot camera. At the moment the one which catches my eye is the Canon ELPH 300 HS (IXUS 220 HS). The reasons this one strikes me are it features a proper wide angle lens (24mm equivalent), the lens is quite fast at f2.7 (at the wide end) and being a Canon it will be able to run CHDK software. The camera is quite a new release, so currently CHDK is not available for this model (it is still being ported), but I believe it will be in the near future. Another bonus is the full HD (1080p) video recording the camera offers, and its relatively cheap price. Again, you can look forward to a review of this model as soon as I get my hands on it.


If anyone has any tips for living in Toronto, places I should visit (and photograph) then please let me know.

Sunset Reflection Timelapse

Timelapse Fail
Originally uploaded by jezza323

I set this shot up before i left work last week, to try and get sunset and the city lights coming on, however I totally failed to think about the reflections on the glass in the office, this timelapse could have gone on for another 2 hrs worth of seeing the chairs and desks in my workplace, but I decided to cut it once the reflections started to take over from the outside view. Something to remember for next time!

On a more positive note, i have finally found a really good CHDK script for sunset/sunrise timelapses. If you have CHDK look at the CHDK forums, in the scripts section, for the Sunset F16 script. works wonderfully, even if it takes 4-5 shots at the beginning to get the exposure right.

I will set this shot up again tonight, with less reflections (i hope!)


Originally uploaded by jezza323

Another street shot from yesterday, taken from the hip with the Canon Powershot A590 IS running CHDK, shot in RAW. Was taken at 5.8mm (35mm @ 35mm equivalent), ISO 200, f3.5, 1/500″.

I have discovered that the Manual Focus option gets reset as soon as the display goes blank on this camera, will try to work that out…

Today I think I will take the DSLR out for some street shots, provided the rain holds off. I will take the 28mm prime, set to hyperfocal and see what I can come up with.

Processing was the same as the shot I posted last night – Hold On To Your Hat

Hold On To Your Hat

Hold On To Your Hat
Originally uploaded by jezza323

Another from the hip street shot with the Canon Powershot A590 IS point and shoot. This one was taken at 5.8mm (35mm @ 35mm equivalent), ISO 200, f3.5, 1/800″

Went for a walk down to the Queen St Mall at lunchtime to get some shots, this is one I got on the way. Managed to get a couple of others were decent too.

I even managed to get EXIF on this one! Processed as follows:

  • Copied RAWs + JPGs off camera
  • Converted to DNG with DNG for Powershot 2
  • Imported DNGs to Lightroom 2.5
  • Edited in Lightroom 2.5 (contrast, exposure, noise reduction, greyscale)
  • Exported to JPG for Web

Back to Work With You & Some Tips

Back to Work With You
Originally uploaded by jezza323

Here is the first of a few upcoming street shots taken with the Canon Powershot A590 IS point and shoot digital, running the CHDK software. I am going to try and get my confidence up shooting street with this little camera, before I try getting out with the wider lenses using the DSLR.

I shot this from the hip, using hyperfocal distance and Av (aperture priority mode). The shot lost its EXIF in the RAW conversion (CHDK generates unsupported RAW files) but was taken at 5.8mm (35mm @ 35mm equivalent), ISO 125, f6.3 and 1/60″

By the way, if you want a great read on street photography, check out this fantastic post by “Street Vision”, an LA street photographer.

Timelapse – Video

From My New Toy
Originally uploaded by jezza323

Here is the output from my latest ebay purchase. It is a Canon Powershot A590IS Compact Digital Cam. I bought this model as it is able to run the CHDK software, which allows many new features, one of which is to run timelapse scripts.

So this was my first go at a timelapse of something interesting. This was filmed? shot?, 1 of those, from my balcony. Unfortunately the script I used didnt allow the camera to go into long exposures as it got dark, so I couldnt use the full set of images I took, but still, this is about 935 shots for this timelapse, taken at 5 second intervals, and pieced together into a 20 fps film. I used Picasa to create the movie.