The Wasia Upgrade
Recently I noticed a book in London Drugs about 'hacking' digital cameras. This is not something I would normally be interested in, but there was a section in particular on the Canon Rebel. Apparently two programmers realised that Canon had used the same firmware (control) chip in the Rebel as in some of their higher end camera's costing thousands of dollars more. Canon had simply disabled the features in the lower priced Rebel. The programmers, Ravel and Wasia, unlocked the firmware code and released the custom functions menu.
Since I've had the Rebel sometime now I thought it was worth the risk of trying the non OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) firmware upgrade. It literally took about half an hour to find the Wasia website, download in install the firmware upgrade. http://satinfo.narod.ru/en/
When the Rebel was turned on, following the upgrade, a new menu option appeared 'Custom Functions'.
New Custom Functions Menu
Entering the new custom functions menu allows access to many higher end features - the main ones of interest to me are 'mirror lockup' with programmable delay, and increased ISO to 3200. There is also FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation) a very useful feature for indoor shooting. I checked out the menus and tried out the new features.
Mirror Lockup Feature
When you now select ISO and rotate the selector wheel beyond ISO 1600 the new setting reads 'H' for High. If you shoot at this setting and use review you will see the setting was 3200. The results are grainy but definitely usable. I will experiment to find the best way to remove the noise.
New ISO 3200 Setting 'H'
A few test shots using the new ISO 3200 - I've yet to try this with night shooting.
Update - Feb 16, 2009
Some prime focus shots using ISO 3200 - Large JPG's Unprocessed
2 min unguided
2 min unguided