Are there digital cameras (mirrorless or DSLR) that allow the user to write their own applications for the camera? Is this even planned? I know that Sony offers proprietary applications for purchase and that Samsung is switching to Android OS for their cameras, but that's not what I'm looking for.

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    What's wrong with Android as a solution to this problem? Sideload the apps if you need to (assuming that's allowed). – Philip Kendall Dec 29 '13 at 21:21
  • I don't think Samsung allows to load custom Android apps on their new cameras. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Ideally I'd want to be able to use an API of the camera itself to make a meaningful application. If that's what Samsung is planning to do, then great. – m33lky Dec 29 '13 at 21:25
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    The Sony OS is open-source. So in theory, you should be able to write whatever you want. I'm not sure how easy it is to build and get the custom firmware on to the camera itself, but if they are following the spirit of the GPL, this should be possible. sony.net/Products/Linux/DI/category01.html – Chinmay Kanchi Dec 29 '13 at 22:30
  • @m33lky - I have not used the Galaxy Camera, but according to Xda-developers, it has been rooted and so even if it doesn't natively allow third party applications, it could be made to support third party applications after purchase. Presumably if you plan to write your own application for it, then you are comfortable with such a process. – AJ Henderson Dec 30 '13 at 2:16
  • Never seen any yet, maybe a good invention though! – jeffnkel Nov 25 '14 at 0:04

"Apps"? No.

Dedicated Firmware hacks that replace or run on top of a camera's firmware? Yes.

There is MagicLantern for Canon SLRs and there is CHDK for that runs on Canon compacts.



Basically, the question is whether the camera manufacturer offers an SDK (Canon does, Magic Lantern uses it) and whether the manufacturer condones/accepts such behaviour. If there is an SDK available you can assume someone will have written some mods for the camera if the user base is large enough.

There will however never be any cross-manufacturer modifications, because every camera manufacturer uses its own OS (firmware) with its own API.

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  • Interesting answer. I'm hoping that Samsung will have an SDK for their Android cameras. – m33lky Dec 29 '13 at 21:27
  • Samsung released source code for their cameras, but no one has yet made a custom firmware :) imaging-resource.com/news/2013/05/28/… – m33lky Jan 13 '14 at 20:43

Sony now has a REST API for its mirrorless cameras. Looks like something I was looking for! https://developer.sony.com/downloads/camera-file/sony-camera-remote-api-beta-sdk/

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