CHDK for the Canon SX20IS

One of the reasons I purchased the Canon SX20IS as a replacement for my ageing S2IS was the prospect of CHDK being ported. I’d been reading the forums and it seemed that the prospect of a port wasn’t far away.

Thankfully, it seems as though my wishes have been granted as there is a beta version of the SX20 port available on the ‘autobuild’ server. If a build reaches the CHDK autobuild server, its a good indication that the port is almost ‘mature’ and the bugs are gradually being ironed out.

I loaded the current build to a spare SD card (note that it will only load from a bootable SD card, instructions how to this are on the CHDK website) and a quick summary of my findings are as below:-

RAW mode isn’t working just yet as image file sizes don’t correspond to the 4000×3000 resolution.

Scripts act a bit strange, especially the ‘ultra intervalometer’ script I use a lot. At the moment, they can’t be edited, ie. Parameters can’t be changed on the camera, though you can edit them on a PC and the camera will run the script.

Occasionally the CHDK menu disappears and you have to keep reloading it from the shortcut key or the menu button, depending upon how far it drops out.

A minor annoyance is when the mode whell is turned to the ‘C’ position is that the lens fully extends, so you have to retract it. Not a show-stopper though.

However the ‘normal’ CHDK settings (photo menu) are there and work well, such as extended exposure time above the standard 15″. Full control of the ISO value is also there, even going all the way upto ISO5000, though in reality I think the actual result is closer to ISO3200.

CHDK for the SX20 can be found here:

Certainly worth monitoring for progress on an incredibly useful tool for the Canon Powershot series.


2 thoughts on “CHDK for the Canon SX20IS

  1. I’ve been using CHDK on my SX-20 since the first few alpha version came out. I too bought the SX-20 with the idea that soon CHDK would be developed for it. And I’m sure been impatient for it! It’s amazing how many people with Nikons and other cameras, and some cases even those with Canon Rebels (for the scripting ability) wish they had CHDK on their cameras.

    I especially like the functions that allow me to do quicker and easier (and better) HDR’s.


    • Thanks Marc, it seems as though the SX20 CHDK release is steadily being updated, lets hope it continues and gets past the beta release stage.

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