Nikon Patch: Added FAQ and tried to make patch tool better

Just changed the layout a touch of the web tool trying to emphasize you don’t have to pay for the patch tool. To help with this added a Big ugly link to the Help and a FAQ.

So if you have Patching related questions, feel free to ask them here or on the FAQ page.

If there are any web designers that want to make the patch tool less ugly, or simpler etc, I’m very open to less ugly. Also open to better work flow etc.

Nikon Star Eater – Solved

A while back I posted some sample images, based on service mode on my D5100, and it was noticed that the mode we called Overscan (because it shows the dark pixels of the image) also had the Nikon Star Eater filter turned off.

I released a patch that turned overscan on for the D5100, but the black area makes the processing of the images ugly, and I never released it beyond that as it didn’t seem like a good end goal.

I have today tracked all the code paths down to find the two that turn the Star Eater filter on/off for over scan photo and/or when the exposure is longer than 1/5 second.

After some testing where I was getting confused with default exposure setting of RawDigger, I can verify it works.

NEF files, of 10 second exposures, showing it working as compared to the overscan mode and compared to orignal firmware http://simeonpilgrim.com/photos/nikon_star_eater_samples.zip

I expect this will be released to the BETA firmware patch tool sometime this weekend after more testing is done by the core team, but I would be interested in what Models astro people are keen for this on (no promises), I’ve got the D5100,D7000 done, but other models look “the same” albeit a touch different.

Next Astro features in the “to be done” list, is trying to remove the ~1.4 multipliers on the Red/Blue channels, and removing the black pixel = 0 adjustments also made.

Live View Silent Raw on D7000

The D5100 had a string “A:\\LvRaw  .raw” that I notice soon after first decoding the firmware files. I could never fulling put together the how and why of what the code was doing (looking in Task 30 of the D5100 firmware or @0x1AC268 of v1.01 firmware)

After the Magic Lantern guys announced RAW movies and it becoming a hot topic I doubled my efforts to work out how the code worked. But still it evaded me.

Then I bricked my D5100 and I stop working on the project for a month as I’d lost my mojo. Also my replacement D7000 was pretty much all a man could need. But that elusive RAW video mode the Magic Lantern guys have was a very shinny target.

So reading the D7000 firmware with more vigor I discovered why the D5100 didn’t make sense, Nikon had removed the liveview raw saving code, because it’s present in the D7000, and with a simple tweak I got it working.

So for now it’s truly the raw buffer (the part that’s put in the .NEF but with none of the EXIF data), and it takes a hack to turn on, and I’ve not nailed the FPS, nor do I have a clue how to speed it up, but it’s all very cool.

Form the two test video’s I’ve done, the first took 25 frames in 18 seconds so 1.33 fps, on an Extreme 45MB/s San Disk SD card. The second video with an Extreme Pro 95MB/s San Disk SD card, I got 15 frames in 10 seconds, so 1.5 fps. Not ground breaking stuff, but the code to do this was already present in the D7000 firmware. So making it “better” will take a while.

I’ll post a couple of files in case anybody is keen to try decode them. http://simeonpilgrim.com/files/Liveview_silent.zip

Turns out that after some data review, the files contents appear to be the left over ram from taking previous pictures and not the current raw buffer. sigh. Well at least we now how a button, that is wired up to run in live view and a complete understanding of the file handling process, albeit a slow process.

Web Browser Based Nikon Firmware Patch Tool

I have just released a Silverlight based patch tool. Thus it works on both Mac and Windows PC’s

http://simeonpilgrim.com/nikon-patch/Nikon-Patch.html

It auto-detects the supported firmware models (D5100, D3100, D7000) and shows a list of available changes (current just one for each model).

This will be how I’ll release future versions of patches.