While back in New Zealand I picked up a couple of the “Canon Ixy Digital 10” digital camera. Yes, it’s actually a Japanese model – I got then through Parallel Imported Ltd who as the name suggests, Parallel Import things.
I had a different project in mind for them at the time (which I still may do) but the main reason for this particular model was it was the most compact camera with a decent resolution (7.1 MegaPixels) which supports CHDK, the Canon Hacker Development Kit.
In a nutshell, CHDK is a modified firmware for the camera with the exception that it’s not actually firmware, it’s software and as such is booted from the memory card. In fact, take the memory card out or format it and the camera will use it’s standard built in firmware.
I wanted to play around with CHDK as it had a very basic scripting functionality which allows you to script (In a BASIC type language) the taking of photos, etc.
Anyway, one of the many branches of the CHDK code, StereoData Maker has been optimized for dual camera 3D photography. It supports a very basic USB interface for a remote switch and can (supposedly) synchronize two cameras pretty closely (something like 1/100 of a second).
I’ve decided to play around with it and will be documenting my results.
CHDK will allow you to write scripts for super high resolution time-lapse photography, or if you install the motion detection code, you can take photos of Lightning. I suggest checking if your camera is supported and if so, have a play with it. Unfortunately as the name suggests, it’s for Canon cameras Only.