In case you did not know, there is a guy pretending that he hacked the Rebel 550 to record 4K clips. More info on Planet5D here.
When I initially saw the teaser video, I discarded it has some hoax and did not act on it, given my very bad track record with rumors.
Then got this tweet:
Then another one from PlanetMitch asking us to join in the conversation in his chat room. One thing leading to another, I ended up watching a uStream conference with the developer teasing us with his hack.
Teasing is the keyword here. We did not learn much and did not see any proof of the hack other than the menu.
I understand the guy wants to create some excitement about the release (scheduled for Jan 1st) but, without a proof, it is hard to trust him. Thank god there is only two more days of waiting before we know the truth!
While I really wish for this to be true, there are a few elements making my hoax theory plausible:
The 6 seconds 4K recoding limit
Maybe this is just pure coincidence but the first person who talked about a maximum recording time at 4K of 6 seconds was ME as a joke in the planet5D chat room. Some people missed the joke part and start asking about the 6 seconds limit in the uStream chat and the developer went with it as if it was an official number. Wow, what a coincidence!
Changing the line skipping procedure
Maybe I am wrong here but I am pretty sure all the procedures used by HDSLR to read data from the sensor are not managed by firmware but are strictly hardware for efficiency reasons. But hey, I am a web programmer, not a hardware engineer.
Portable to all Canon HDSLRs
The other thing I found weird about this hack is how easy it seems to port the code on the various Canon HDSLRs. Within a month, the code is supposed to work on the Rebel, 5dMrkII and 60D to name a few. I find it very hard to believe all these camera share the same architecture or have, miraculously, in common the required elements to make the 4k hack work.
All of this being said…
I know a lot of top programmers/hackers/geek and I can usually tell within a few seconds if someone has the geek gene or not and this guy does look like a geek. So, maybe, he really found a way to hack the hell out of the camera and if so, I would be very interested in knowing how!
We will know very soon…