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David Mingay | all galleries >> Mynd Dagsins '15 >> Photo of the Day 2004 > Apr 13: FEC! HACK!
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Apr 13: FEC! HACK!

A clever chap from Russia seems to have hacked the Canon 300D firmware, opened up a hidden 'Custom Functions' menu, thereby endowing the poor little 300D with whole bundle of extra functions. One of the most eagerly anticipated features is FEC - Flash Exposure Compensation. A 10D feature missing from the cheaper 300D. If you believe certain digital photography forums, it's impossible to get a correct exposure with Canon's E-TTL flash system without constant tweeking of your FEC. I must be very fortunate. My E-TTL flash shots are fine. There were, however, a couple of minor new features I was interested in. So, I tracked down the hacked firmware and installed it in the camera.

So, how does it work? Of the minor features, one worked, and the other didn't. Hmmm. So, what about the FEC? Well, you just press the SET button, and roll the command dial and you can set your FEC level! Fantastic! Oh, except it doesn't work. Sure, the EXIF data say's your pictures have -1 FEC or +1 FEC or whatever. Thing is, it doesn't seem to actually change the exposure at all.

So here's my 300D is having been downgraded to the standard firmware. Firmware hack? FEC!

Update: With further testing, FEC *is* working on my 300D / 550EX combination, now running standard firmware. Can't think of anything I did wrong with the testing yesterday, but maybe I messed up. Maybe there's more to ETTL than any of realise! Anyway, as long as the pictures keep coming out good I don't mind.

Canon PowerShot G2
1/8s f/2.5 at 21.0mm full exif

other sizes: small medium original auto
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Joseph Levy14-Apr-2004 18:41
Don't know what you are doing wrong, but the FEC on my 300d works fine. Many people over at the DPreview forum have done tests to show that this hack works.
virginiacoastline14-Apr-2004 01:28
I have NO idea what you just said . . . .
mikiruaq13-Apr-2004 21:21
Great story, you're a brave man :) BTW what's a nikon????
Ian Chappell13-Apr-2004 20:51
I don't know what you're whittling about DM... just swap yours with LA's while she's not looking! Instant FEC fix!
Guest 13-Apr-2004 20:36
Did someone say Nikon?????
Pall Gudjonsson13-Apr-2004 20:34
I would never have thought you would fall for that - I´ve been having loads of fun reading these forums :-)
My 10D FEC works beautifully btw.
Guest 13-Apr-2004 20:30
I just thought of something funny......"Feckin' Hacks!!" Sorry, DM, I'm bored at work today!
Jvan Photography13-Apr-2004 20:20
Yes you are very brave!!
Guest 13-Apr-2004 20:18
DAVID!! You just said, "Time to switch to Nikon." LOL!! Welcome to MY world, My Mingay! And what a wonderful world it is!!
David Mingay13-Apr-2004 20:14
My tests show that the 300D doesn't do FEC at all, even with FEC set on a 550EX... 'They' don't know that either! LOL! Oh well time to switch to Nikon!
Guest 13-Apr-2004 20:10
How brave you are!! I'd be torn between doing it and getting the features and not doing it. Glad everything worked out all right, although it is a bummer it doesn't totally work :oÞ Pssst.. wonder how long it will take the others to figure it out ;)
Guest 13-Apr-2004 20:10
You're a brave man to play with someone's hack like that.
I like flash compensation and use it quite a bit. I've no doubt you can get good exposures without it, but some situations do benefit.
northstar3713-Apr-2004 20:10
Fec, drink, girls!
Guest 13-Apr-2004 20:08
LOL! Great story. Hacked firmware - you're a braver man than me!