Canon Powershot A620 Raw Format Hack

January 8, 2007

A few weeks ago, I was looking for enhancements for my Canon Powershot a620 camera. While digging around, I found a spectacular hack which will make the camera shoot in Raw Format, instead of Jpg. However, after hacking around with it, I found that the directions are a little flawed, due to the writer of the page being russian. So, here’s the new directions:

1) Download this file, and extract it anywhere.

2) Take camera, and format your sdcard completely

3) Take out your sdcard, and put it into your computer’s card reader. If you don’t have one, you might have some good luck using This uploader, though I never tried the ladder. Uploading via usb connection to the camera will not work, because the sd-reader in the camera rejects it.

4) Navigate to the card via ‘my computer’, and put the PS_A620.FIR file into the root of your sdcard, after that’s done, turn the camera on in ‘playback’, or ‘view’ mode.

5) Hit your ‘menu button’, and navigate to the tools section (middle tab), and go down to “File No. Reset”, toggle this from off to on, or just hit the “func set” button to ensure things are cool

6) go back up to the main menu (first tab), and scroll down to the bottom. There should be a “firm update” option. Select it using the func/set button, and click okay to apply it.

7) After that, the camera will reboot. Pay attention to your printer button. It should blink blue once. This is the camera telling you that the raw shooting software was loaded. Flip the camera into shooting mode, and your lens should expand out. Take three or more demo shots, and the first one may or may not shoot in raw format. The two+ after that should be in raw format, you can tell if they are shooting in raw format by looking at the printer button. It will blink blue if you are shooting in raw format.

With each photo you take, one raw format shot will be created, and one jpg format shot will be created. The raw format photos will be up around 8MB, while the jpg format photos will be around 1.5MB. For managing your raw photos, i have had a good time using Adobe Bridge. You won’t be able to use the regular windows picture and fax viewer for these files.

With each set of photos you take between power cycles, you will need to re-load the firmware hack, this can be done by following these directions:

1) Turn camera on in view mode
2) Verify your file no. reset thing, hit the func set button to verify it
3) Navigate to play menu, go to “firm update”, say OK to everything, the camera will reboot, everything after that will be shooting in raw/jpg format.

The files will be wrote to the “100CANON” directory. If you get another directory, for instance: “102CANON”, you may be able to ignore it. However, I think the photos will get wrote to the 100canon directory whenever the hack is loaded. In your 100CANON directory, raw format photos will be named IMG_1001.jpg, while jpg should be somethin’ like IMG_0001.jpg.

Resources:

Original Article
PowerShot_programming_research

If you have any questions related to the hack, I might be able to help if you comment. I got some good feedback from this guy who’s email is vitalyvb [@@@ttttt] ukr.net .

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53 Responses to “Canon Powershot A620 Raw Format Hack”

  1. Kyle Says:

    Do you know of anyone else whom as tried this yet? I would really like to be able to shoot raw with my A620 but I don’t know how many people have done this with success yet.

  2. Twofry Says:

    Kyle,

    I’m using this hack on my A620. It does take firmware version 1.00F (maybe 1.00E would work), not the plain 1.00. It’s my understanding that the raw data is only 10 bits per channel; better than the 8 of an in-camera JPEG, not as good as 12 bits from cameras designed to shoot raw out of the box. I did a lot of testing (subjective) and I concluded that the raw images are better than the in-camera JPEGs, but that the in-camera JPEGs are really very good indeed! In other words, for daily use, the JPEGs are fine, and a lot less hassle to deal with. I would recommend using the raw hack only for the fun of it or getting that last little bit of quality out. Processing the “raw jpegs” (the hack still uses JPG as the extension for the raw files) can only be done, I think, with the raw conversion utility dcraw, or an application like UFRaw, which is based upon a recent version of dcraw. That’s okay, because dcraw is very good, but it does fragment the workflow, if you’re used to using any all-in-one app to go from raw to finished product. I know that Picasa does not recognize the raw files from a hacked A620, and neither does Picture Window Pro. Once converted to TIFF, of course, any editor that can handle that format will do. There is one drawback to shooting raw with the A620, and that is the noise. Canon does a very good job at suppressing noise when producing in-camera JPEGs; I presume this is done in the signal processing. By shooting raw, this noise reduction in-camera is lost, and you have to handle it in software – another potential external step in the workflow, and the products I’ve seen don’t equal what the in-camera NR is capable of. I also have a Canon G6, which allows me to shoot raw without a software hack, and the noise is even more problematic there, in the older Digic I image processor. This noise issue I suspect is part of the reason that Canon has ditched raw format in small-sensor digicams. I can’t imagine what the noise levels would be if the new 10MP, 1/2.5 sensor G7 could shoot raw format!

    Finally, check out the “(hacked) RAW support for Powershot A610″ thread at the dpreview.com Canon Talk forum.

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=21263144

    –2fry

  3. Steve Says:

    Any idea if this works on the A640?


  4. [...] und mit ihr sehr zufrieden. Nicht schlecht durfte ich staunen, als ich heute über ein paar paar Beiträge zum Thema RAW-Bilder mit der A610/620 [...]

  5. Filas Says:

    The same question about A630.. will it work there? Maybe, somebody also know how to enable bracketing in A630?

  6. fitzhugh Says:

    I gave this a shot but don’t see the firm update option under the first menu. It is not there normally on my camera, does it only show up when it finds the file you’ve added? I’m wondering if I have the old and incompatible firmware. I don’t know how to tell what version I have. Any ideas what I should try next? Thanks!

  7. freedom2000 Says:

    Hi,

    I have tried the hack for my A620

    The blue light blinks and then the canon switches off…
    No solution to turn the hack working…

    It seems that I have the 1.00 firmware installed. Any idea to help me either upgrade the firmware or have a working hack ?

    Thanks

  8. freedom2000 Says:

    to be more precise my firmware is 1.00E

    and it seems that this firmware is NOT supported…

    Any idea if it will be one day ?

  9. anom Says:

    Comment on using uploader. You need to open the FirmInfo.txt file and change #1 [Firmware File Name] and #2 [Camera Model Name(s)] to match your respective firmware/device. The uploader app will cancel if these any of these don’t match.

  10. nick Says:

    Hi,
    We have a Canon a620. While on holiday, we took alot of photo’s including video’s. I went into menu and into format and pushed ok not knowing what it would do. It started doing something so I pushed cancel and all our photos were deleted. After this i took alot more photo’s. I urgently need to get these photo’s back, and is there any way I can do this? I would appreciate your help,
    Cheers,
    Nick

  11. Anonymus Contributor Says:

    Format wipes your SD card… sorry for the bad news. You may be able to find a data management software to go and recover from an SD card… but if you overwrite the sector the photos previously were on… the possibility of recovery gets less and less.

  12. Prezent Says:

    Thank you Mikey for this interesting info!
    Please can you offer a link for downloading some samples, I mean some pairs of jpeg and raw (same image)?

  13. Prezent Says:

    …and if possible the raw converted in Tiff so we can take a look in our image editors. This can help much.
    Thank you

  14. 4Wallz Says:

    I tried this little RAW trick on my A620. Then I converted the files using DNG4PS and opened them in Adobe Lightroom. The results were surprising. The images are actually a little sharper when shot RAW and processed in Lightroom. Not to mention the ability to control white balance and better dynamic range (and other inherent advantages of RAW images).

    I like it.

  15. Pranav Phadke Says:

    hey hi!!!i have a540 can u help me??,,how to get the hacked firmware for this cam!!and from where,,,can u give me the email of the guy who actually did this stuff(programming,etc),,thanx in advance,,pls reply me at seti_prandi@yahoo.com,,thanx again!!

  16. a620 bod Says:

    Well the uploader works a treat, however the hack needs a folder called /DCIM/100CANON/ on the card for it to work, so you will still need a card reader, to create that folder. Darn looks like I got to buy a card reader anyways. Unless anyone got any ideas!!

  17. Lion Says:

    Has anyone have anu idea if I can replace the date with text or add text to the date So that all my photos can be itentified as mine?

  18. Nancy Says:

    I would be interested in trying this ONLY if I could erase the software from the camera at will. I don’t know if I really want to be forced to always take RAW + JPEG because sometimes I would want to conserve space on my card. Does anyone know if it’s possible to remove the software? For some reason, the description above made it sound permanent.

  19. Daniel Hogberg Says:

    I have looked everywhere! Where the F*** can I download firmware update 100F??????

  20. kelox Says:

    I just thought I’d let everyone know the hack works with the A630. I now am faced with a new problem, I cannot open/read the raw files taken with my camera. I have tried PS CS, RawShooter Essential, and two versions of Adobe DNG-all with no luck. What have you folks had luck with opening your raw images after the hack?

  21. Michael Says:

    Thanks for the info!

  22. naiko Says:

    Firmware update 1.00F: http://rs138.rapidshare.com/files/28437724/A620.F.original.rar (found it linked here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=22966768&page=6)

    Now that I’ve got the 1.00F firmware update myself, I’ll probably be putting it up on creative commons (probably a copyright violation, but oh well..) so you don’t have to go through the advertising on the above link. Also hopefully will have the time to put up a meta-post about this one that includes links to the original CHDK hack page, wikipedia, etc. so people don’t have to go link-hunting on google.

    my blog: highinquisitor.wordpress.com

  23. Cyril (NL) Says:

    Dear Mikey,

    I’ve found another source for hacks on Canon-firmware:

    http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

    This website also handles about DIGIC II cameras.
    This firmware-hack deals with RAW-format, some focussing-details, bracketing, and to top it some games, a calender, an extended histogram-feature and file-handling capabilities.

    Do you know if your hack also works on the newer powershot A560 cameras (with new DIGIC III processor)?
    I need advise for these hacks’ validity on A560 cameras.

    Please reply to: c.heesbeen(at)casema.nl

    Kind regards, Cyril (NL)

  24. Adobe Says:

    i am intresting too about the Canon Powershot A560 hack!
    i want so much to shot in .raw files!
    please help me!!!

    Please reply to: ram887766(at)yahoo.gr

    Best Regards
    Adobe

  25. Krista Antonini Says:

    You always need more than one language to translate. That’s nice that you wrote those instructions again. I like film cameras myself.

  26. Krista Antonini Says:

    Das Schandblatt >>Blog Archive >> Spielzeug fur grobe Kinder (2)

    I get a few frames down and fucking kicked out….pardon the hell out of me for not taking the term Neo-Nazi seriously. I type: Ich sein Kunst Leipzig / Normandy. Du sprichen Art und nix Kunst. Kunst sein gut fur English ubersetzsung.
    then…Sorry we cannot…..blah blah blah blah blah…
    Nix spaz…..Ich ernst. Nix lachen matre.

    What a fucking freak show.

    I think there running some kind of prison camp over there.

    God forbid if anyone make some kind of joke.

  27. Krista Antonini Says:

    My art is not the problem people….maybe you peoples attitude is the problem. God forbid if I have any fun. Geeze….just sell me a nice German slave boy and get off my ass. You try having this I.Q. …..anyway, I left a nice little story on Owen Winkler for you guys. I like that name….Owen Winkler. Pretty cool.

  28. Krista Antonini Says:

    Whach out for the crotch gustapo.

  29. Patrick Says:

    Hey,

    I’ve done the hack om my A620 but when I tried to open te “RAW” files with CS3 or LightRoom I got an error saying the files are not supported of are dammaged.

    What must I do!!!!

    I also can’t recall the RAW menu om my camera as shown on other sites.

    I hope some one can help….

    Patrick

  30. 4wallz Says:

    PATRICK: you will need to convert the files before you can open them in Photoshop or Lightroom. At least that is what I had to do.

    I tried this little RAW trick on my A620. Then I converted the files using DNG4PS and opened them in Adobe Lightroom. The results were surprising. The images are actually a little sharper when shot RAW and processed in Lightroom. Not to mention the ability to control white balance and better dynamic range (and other inherent advantages of RAW images).

    Make sure you start the camera in the correct sequence to have full access to the RAW menu. Read the article carefully about putting the camera into RAW mode. It is a little tricky the first time, but once you get it into the RAW mode properly, you will know.

    Hope this helps.

  31. Vishal Says:

    Hi

    I have a different question. Whether I can take photos on my A620 in widescreen mode? Natively its not supported but can it be done by any firmware/software hack??

  32. 4wallz Says:

    Well, all you really have to do is take a picture then crop it for widescreen on your computer. The camera’s sensor is physically limited to a certain field of view, with or without a hack. The only thing a hack would do for you is to crop the picture for you on the memory card.

  33. Peter Says:

    Thanks for your great Canon Powershot A620 Raw Format Hack article.

    canon powershot sd1100

  34. pvanderh Says:

    For anyone who is interested in shooting RAW you will want to start here…

    http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

    CHDK is available for all different Canon cameras. I have a SD550 and it is now able to shoot RAW. The loader is not permanent and is not destructive in any way. You can turn it on and off any time. On that link you will also find how to update your firmware and other help is on the forums.

    Peace

  35. chrisjx Says:

    pvanderh,

    Which version did you use for the SD550? Or did you write your own.

    It appears as of 5.30.2008, there is no upload for the SD550.

  36. 4walls Says:

    http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK is an amazing resource. If you have not already checked it out then go there now. Updated scripts and conversion utilities along with detailed instructions, it is all there.

    Thanks to pvanderh for posting the link.


  37. [...] Ik las op enkele sites dat het mogelijk is om dit via een omweggetje te veranderen naar RAW. (Klik) Heeft iemand hier ervaring mee? __________________ [...]


  38. [...] Ik las op enkele sites dat het mogelijk is om dit via een omweggetje te veranderen naar RAW. (Klik) Heeft iemand hier ervaring mee? [MOD] Link verwijderd, in strijd met forumreglement Daar heeft [...]

  39. jack felsot Says:

    7-31-08

    Mickey:

    Thanks for your info on raw conversion for A630. Is this the best way to cure “barreling”. My wife is an artist and when shooting framed art, we get the barrel effect. Suggestions?

    Jack


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  46. Good…Thank for the new knowledge.Thank very much.

  47. rif Says:

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  48. Shoot high-quality digital photos with Canon PowerShot digital cameras


  49. Video reviews to come! This body is rock solid and worthy of purchase for ANY and ALL people entering or needing an advanced DSLR camera. I purchased the body only – I have several lenses from my previous Canons which are NOT currently ‘IS’ lenses. I’ve been shooting people, places and other things for more than 45 years and LOVE this camera. It’s extremely mobile. I can just flip open my tripod lock and GO! My only issue with the T3i concerns the GRID functions. These work only in LIVE VIEW MODE (as I’ve found so far). As soon as you move up to manual for full control, you lose the grid (I use the 3×3), which helps me set my composition. Yes, I can use my eye to place an imaginary grid in the viewfinder, but WHY when one is readily available.

    With my additions on the camera already, video/image reviews will be plentiful. As I learn new tricks and shortcuts, I’ll inform the public so they too can enjoy ALL of the features of this outstanding camera. The articulating screen wasn’t necessary, yet it IS what made me choose this model over the T2i. The prices were just too close to pass it up. I’ll be adding more T3i and T2i cameras to my photo biz in the coming months, as well as trying out the ‘IS’ lenses. This camera is very tight on power consumption and has extreme accuracy when you set it for pinpoint focusing as I do for model and portrait photography work. The macro features are also on par with its more advanced (and WAY higher priced), big brothers to this camera. Now, the 18.1MP sensor…..WOW! The image sizes of the CMOS sensor allow me great latitude in adjusting and tweaking my RAW images anytime I wish to be creative. If you are just starting out, are bored with the out of date “point-n-shoot,” want to upgrade your digital cams, or you want to move from film to digital, the T3i will not disappoint. It’s an excellent camera for ANY level of photographer – beginner or experienced pro, this camera really shines. Oh, and the video…..It’s 1080p HD, nothing more needs to be said. Canon, you’ve been ROCKIN’ my images for years!!!! Stay cool and keep up the great work. Dr. C, Photographic Adventures, Ltd – I’m outta here and back to taking pics!!!


  50. Like it’s Powershot siblings, the Canon A1200 is a heck of a nice piece of equipment for shooting nature close-ups. I’ve taken this camera out twice now, and so far it has taken wonderful photos. I’ve posted some samples from a single hike.

    Although the A1200 can’t squeeze in on a subject as closely as the A480 (one of my all-time favorite cameras), this new Canon camera is capable of focusing just an inch and a half away from the subject in “Macro” mode. I usually carry one or two Pentax DLSR cameras as I hike through miles of woodland trails every weekend, and although they’re great cameras, they simply can’t beat Canon Powershots for capturing the tiniest nature subjects, in my opinion. If a subject is smaller than a quarter, out come the Powershots.

    This camera takes photos that easily match or beat the quality of images you’ll find in typical nature guides by Peterson or Simon & Schuster. Spend a year on the trail with it, and you could easily have a full set of quality publishable photos. Unlike more expensive point-and-shoots or DSLRs, this Powershot doesn’t have camera raw or enough pixels to fill a wall, but the image quality and output is suitable for small posters, so who cares? Frankly, counting pixels and foaming over camera raw are not admirable traits, and neither of those things produces good pictures.

    Image noise seems to be a bit improved since the A480s and A490s came out, especially when shooting in lower light. This camera has 12 versus 10 megapixels of its predecessors, so in theory you can get a larger photo now and still retain sharpness and detail. The controls will be familiar to anyone who has used a Canon point-and-shoot. I like the general layout of buttons compared to other brands, but that may be just because I’m more familiar with Canon. The A1200 has a viewfinder, which I’ll never use because the thing is usually shooting photos right on the ground, and although I like the outdoors, I’m not sticking my face in the dirt and squinting through a viewfinder when I don’t have to. The LCD screen is good enough. I’ve banged and tortured the daylights out of one A480 and killed another one after multiple assaults due to clumsiness. So far, this camera has taken a little knocking around without a complaint.

    The A1200 shoots HD video, which isn’t nearly as good as even an inexpensive video camera, but nonetheless I was surprised that the movies looked as good as they did. When shooting video, you’ll get the best results if you stabilize the camera on a tripod, the back of a chair, a railing, or tree branch, depending on where you are. Video compression is a little cleaner that way, and you can avoid making people sick from zinging the camera around like a roller coaster.

    Here are some tips for taking good close-up nature photos with this camera. I usually shoot with the dial in “P” mode. Most importantly, always remember to set the camera on “Macro” (the flower icon button). That allows it to focus as close as 1.5 inches away. Since the camera resets when you turn it off, Arggh!, you have to turn “Macro” on each time you restart it. On this camera, macro focus becomes dysfunctional if you zoom in, so keep it zoomed all the way out. Next, go into the menu and change the general settings. AF Frame should be “Center” so you can pick the point to focus on, AF Frame Size should be “Small” so it doesn’t get confused as to where it should focus, and the Digital Zoom is garbage and should be banished forever. Unlike the “Macro” setting, these settings will NOT go away when you turn the camera off, fortunately. Since this is not an image-stabilized camera model, find some way to keep it still when shooting. When you’re focused on a close-up subject, even a tiny movement is enough to blur your photo. To keep my camera still, I swear by a monopod with an adjustable pivoting head. Basically it’s a one-legged tripod. A monopod can remove the worst of your hand jitters, and it doesn’t even need to be extended to the ground — just having your camera mounted to a stick helps stabilize your shot. Practice photographing coins or small subjects in your yard to get a feeling for macro photography. You’ll notice that the area of sharpest focus is not as deep as it is when subjects are father away. You have to make deliberate choices on the point of sharpest focus. Check the photos on a computer if possible, so you can really see how well you’re doing. And finally, shoot a million pictures. This is the digital age. You don’t have to pay for dud prints any more. Be vicious when culling out the duds, because believe me, nobody wants to see 75 views of the same buttercup flower.

  51. C. Streeter Says:

    I was able to take good pictures right out of the box. They are clear.
    The camera goes from light to dark conditions very well for great pictures in any light.
    I am very happy with it and would recommend it to anyone who wants a
    small digital camera that is easy to use.

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