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.