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7/9/04 Friday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

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Tweaked Canon Digital Rebel/300D Firmware Unlocks some 10D Features
Posted: 7/9/2004


As an owner of a Canon Digital Rebel (aka 300D), I'd always hoped that someone would find a way to tweak the firmware to unlock some features of the more expensive 10D model. (Either Canon in response to later Digital SLRs in the same price range, or some individual.) I hadn't searched the web for any firmware tweaks since last Xmas when I got the camera, but today a reader sent a note that there is a modified 300D/Rebel firmware to unlock some of the advanced features of the 10D model (like IS0 3200, custom functions menu, button remapping, Flash Exposure Compensation, mirror lockup and more).

It turns out there's been several revisions to the 'unlocked' firmware the last few months, with the latest version released on June 16th. For a list of changes (as well as many other tricks and cost-saving tips for Digital Rebel/300D owners) see http://www.bahneman.com/liem/photos/tricks/digital-rebel-tricks.html. That page links to a PDF file with info on the Firmware's features features and known issues (such as problems changing the language), as well as how to revert back to the standard 1.1.1 firmware. (A link to the Canon site for the 10D PDF manual is also included there.) The source of the firmware is http://satinfo.narod.ru/en/download.html. Of course the usual disclaimers (warranty is void, etc.) applies to any unofficial firmware like this, so use it at your own risk.

It took a -long- time to download the firmware .rar file from the primary site (typically less than 500bytes/sec, often stalling). The mirror site link was faster, but displays in the browser if clicked rather than downloading, although save-as is an option, I chose the primary source download. My (non-updated) Stuffit Expander 7 reported an error trying to uncompress the .rar file (not confidence inspiring...) however I downloaded UnRarX 2.0 which worked without any errors. I copied the .FIR (firmware) file to the root of a Compactflash card and updated the firmware (powering the camera up with a .FIR file in the root of the CF card prompts to update the firmware - it will allow applying the (modified) 1.1.1 firmware over the existing official 1.1.1 firmware. This takes several minutes so make sure your battery isn't low. The flash update went fine, and the 2nd setup menu now includes a new "custom functions" menu with 17 options (not all functions are verified working in current version - see PDF doc).

  1. SET Button function when shooting (none, change quality, change parameters, Menu Display, image replay)
  2. Shutter release w/o CF card (possible/not possible)
  3. Flash sync speed in Av mode (Auto, 1/200sec fixed)
  4. Shutter button/AE Lock button (AF/AE Lock, AE Lock/AF, AF/AF Lock - no AE lock, AE/AF, no AE lock, )
  5. AF-assist beam/Flash Firing (emits/fires, does not emit/fires, only ext. flash emits/fires, emits/does not fire)
  6. Exposure level increments (1/3 stop, 1/2 stop)
  7. AF point registration (several options)
  8. Raw+JPEG rec. (several jpeg quality options)
  9. Bracket sequence/Auto cancel (0,-,+/Enable, 0,-,+/Disable, -,0,+/Enable, -,0,+/Disable)
  10. Superimposed Display (On, Off)
  11. Menu button display position (previous/top if powered off, previous, top)
  12. Mirror Lockup (disable, enable)
  13. Assist button function (Normal, Select Home Position, Select HP while pressing, Av+/- AF point by QCD, FE lock)
  14. Auto reduction of fill flash (enable, disable)
  15. Sutter curtain sync (1st-certain sync, 2nd-curtain sync)
  16. Safety shift in Av or Tv (disable, enable)
  17. Mirror Lockup pause time (1.5 sec, 3 sec, 4.5 sec, 6 sec, 7.5 sec, 10 sec, )

Although I updated the firmware, I may never use most of these features (I don't have much free time to use the camera) but if anyone with a Digital Rebel/300D that's more experienced tries this firmware, I'd welcome your feedback. Feedback I've seen posted in camera forums on the net so far seemed positive, noting most of the advanced features worked, including FEC and Mirror Lock.

(Almost forgot - Thanks to Macbidouille for posting the links to the pages on this firmware.)

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