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“How to Hack an Expensive Camera and Not Get Killed by Your Wife”
Old 01-26-2019   #1
ninjin
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“How to Hack an Expensive Camera and Not Get Killed by Your Wife”

An amazing write-up about diving into the M240 firmware [1] that popped up on my computer science channels, perhaps it will give you some enjoyment too?

[1]: https://alexhude.github.io/2019/01/2...eica-m240.html

One can only dream that we would see something along the lines of CHDK [2] or Magic Lantern [3] for our Leicas.

[2]: http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK
[3]: https://magiclantern.fm/
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
shorelineae
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I came across this article today. Major geek respect to this dude. Major!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
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Wow, this is a world I did not even know existed. Impressive.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
Steve Bellayr
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My wife just read this post and said: "If you want another camera get it."
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
Richard G
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Wife pride lives. There’s hope.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
Richard G
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Now I’ve read the whole thing. It is absolutely wonderful and so very very funny. What a guy.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
charjohncarter
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Was this about cameras?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
peterm1
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Holy cr#p. If understood a single word of that article I would be very impressed.

Well actually I am impressed.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
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I now realize how much I don't understand. Thanks.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
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I have a Masters degree in Computer Science and I gave up trying to understand this...
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
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Wow. That is a whole new world.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
p.giannakis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Was this about cameras?

I was about to say the same but I am pretty sure I saw a camera somewhere in that....
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #13
David Hughes
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by "hack" I guess they mean"understand and adjust" but I may be wrong; I'll ask my wife.

Regards, David
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #14
CharlesDAMorgan
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Many years ago I decided my skills were not technical in any way, with limited exceptions to do with car tuning. So such things now serenely pass me by.
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #15
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This article is impressive in its detail. Well done. The writer's LinkedIn profile page is very impressive also.

I have worked as a Hardware Configuration Manager in hi-tech (in multiple defense/commercial industries) for 30 years and counting - and work predominantly with mechanical engineers (ME's) and electrical engineers (EE's).

I have also worked with a lot of software engineers and they are in a whole different world on the development side. This article proves it. Very technical/complex, but logically broken down.

I can jaw with the ME's and EE's about their world and understand it, but with the software folks, not so much. It's like a whole different language. Well done!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #16
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Ultimately unintelligible. To me. It must have value since his skills brought the poster in question from Siberia to Australia.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #17
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Now here is a guy who could open all our 32 bit drivers to hack them into 64 bit so to work in MacOS Catalina.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #18
Ko.Fe.
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I get what he is high skilled in reversed engineering, hacking and coding. This is very good skills for now and for the future.
But what is beneficial in this particular exercise for me as photographer? Another quirky Magic Latern for IT geeks rather than everyday photographers like me?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19
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So rocket science is a real thing?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20
Ko.Fe.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
So rocket science is a real thing?
Then Soviet took over German FAU-2 plant it was after American.
American took the brains, Soviet has the rest. Soviet rocket technology is based on reverse engineering.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #21
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Reminds me of an episode of The Graham Norton Show where French actress Marion Cotillard was on the show with Irish brothers who won silver at the double sculls in the Rio Olympics, Michael Fassbender and James McAoy. Now I know how Marion felt.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #22
Ronald M
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I was a major in industrial management 50 years ago. Should I understand this?

My M8 has 2.xxx software and Leica says it is the latest. It will run that way until it dies.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #23
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I didn't understand a word of that ha ha. I guess the big question and maybe someone could explain is why would you want to to do that?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
I didn't understand a word of that ha ha. I guess the big question and maybe someone could explain is why would you want to to do that?
To add some controlling device (via port on the camera) or to use different firmware.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #25
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In another life I was asked to write a program. Not knowing how to program I taught myself how to use Excel and it's programing capabilities. Most fun I've ever had and got paid for doing it too. When I hit a problem with a 'If-Then' statement that was four layers deep, I asked the local IT guy for some help. He looked at what I'd done and said he had guys working for him with 3 years experience that still couldn't do that. Did I want a job?
This guy is WAY over the top though.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #26
Richard G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysOnAuto View Post
In another life I was asked to write a program. Not knowing how to program I taught myself how to use Excel and it's programing capabilities. Most fun I've ever had and got paid for doing it too. When I hit a problem with a 'If-Then' statement that was four layers deep, I asked the local IT guy for some help. He looked at what I'd done and said he had guys working for him with 3 years experience that still couldn't do that. Did I want a job?
This guy is WAY over the top though.
My brother is an engineer turned programmer. When I whinge about the appalling software I have to use for work sometimes he assures me that most IT people should not be allowed to touch a computer. The impressive ones I’ve met all started as engineers.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #27
airfrogusmc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
To add some controlling device (via port on the camera) or to use different firmware.
Thanks for explaining Ko.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjin View Post
An amazing write-up about diving into the M240 firmware [1] that popped up on my computer science channels, perhaps it will give you some enjoyment too?

[1]: https://alexhude.github.io/2019/01/2...eica-m240.html

One can only dream that we would see something along the lines of CHDK [2] or Magic Lantern [3] for our Leicas.

[2]: http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK
[3]: https://magiclantern.fm/
Far as I'm concerned, this stuff is a nearly complete waste of time photographically albeit a fun hobby for a camera enthusiast.

The guy's article is just a bunch of software engineering jargon referencing the techniques and tools used for reverse-engineering the binary code of firmware updates. Nothing particularly difficult to follow or understand if you've spent your lifetime career pounding around the world of software development tools and debuggers, analytics, etc like I have.

None of this stuff is rocket science. Cameras—mechanical, electronic, film, or digital—are just little precise machines that someone designed and built. They all bend to the appropriate tools of analysis and decomposition by a knowledgeable technician. The myth and mystery of this stuff is as much just simple science as it is magic and craft woven together.

I was not formally trained in chemistry past second year high school science classes. The little book "Making Kodak Film" by Robert L. Shanebrook has more amazing and mysterious stuff in it than a description of reverse-engineering firmware does, for me. Never mind "A Triumph of Genius" by Fierstein (about Dr. Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Polaroid-Kodak patent war).

G
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I get what he is high skilled in reversed engineering, hacking and coding. This is very good skills for now and for the future.
But what is beneficial in this particular exercise for me as photographer? Another quirky Magic Latern for IT geeks rather than everyday photographers like me?
Little or nothing. Look at it as his posting an addendum to his CV.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
Far as I'm concerned, this stuff is a nearly complete waste of time photographically albeit a fun hobby for a camera enthusiast.

The guy's article is just a bunch of software engineering jargon referencing the techniques and tools used for reverse-engineering the binary code of firmware updates. Nothing particularly difficult to follow or understand if you've spent your lifetime career pounding around the world of software development tools and debuggers, analytics, etc like I have.

None of this stuff is rocket science. Cameras—mechanical, electronic, film, or digital—are just little precise machines that someone designed and built. They all bend to the appropriate tools of analysis and decomposition by a knowledgeable technician. The myth and mystery of this stuff is as much just simple science as it is magic and craft woven together.

I was not formally trained in chemistry past second year high school science classes. The little book "Making Kodak Film" by Robert L. Shanebrook has more amazing and mysterious stuff in it than a description of reverse-engineering firmware does, for me. Never mind "A Triumph of Genius" by Fierstein (about Dr. Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Polaroid-Kodak patent war).

G

Lol ... you've just sucked the magic right out of it Godfrey. I was really impressed there for a while!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #31
Richard G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semi-ambivalent View Post
Little or nothing. Look at it as his posting an addendum to his CV.
I have a friend who on hearing of this wants to contact him to hack his electric bike’s software.

The universal triumph of Alex Hude’s piece is his clear writing and sense of humour.

And he’s put Novosibirsk on the map for me. Remarkable place.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #32
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Fascinating article. I understood more than I thought I would, but two things on the debug menu were of interest:

- Adaptive Dynamic Range
- Focus Confirmation

Are these just new names for contrast settings and focus peaking or something else entirely?!

D
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #33
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Lol ... you've just sucked the magic right out of it Godfrey. I was really impressed there for a while!
Sorry, I call 'em as I see 'em.

I've spent most of the past thirty years de-mystifying stuff like this in the various positions that made up my career. People talking about how 'magical' it is are just speaking from a place of unfamiliarity, that's all.

For example, my little car is a magic space ship to me. It's very sweet. But when I take my rose color glasses off, having worked in the auto/motorcycle mechanics world for a good while and having played their for most of my life, it's just another car made of all the bits and pieces that make up cars. Any machine can be analytically deconstructed to the designs and implementation of its being.

What makes a machine special is when all those designs and implementations are in harmony together. You don't need magic for a thing to be greater than the sum of its parts ... you need insight and well-thought-out design, clean implementation. And getting those things is rare and should be celebrated.

Reverse engineering firmware? Just hacking around. A lot of tedious work, to me. There has to be a huge benefit for it to be fascinating...

G
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