Canon 500D Firmware Hack – The End :(

Guys, it’s with a very heavy heart that I must share with you this bad news. . .There really is no other way to say it so I might as well just be out with it.

Jonny Petts was not successful in his attempts to hack the 500D and he has put the project to an end. There will be no 500D firmware hack. At least not from Jonny Petts anyway, but to my knowledge there is nobody else still working on it.

For those of us who were hoping and praying for this to come to fruition, it is a tough blow and to the 500D owners out there still hanging for Manual Controls, I’m sure it is gutting to hear but I hope this will at least will give you some kind of closure.

I think it’s all got a bit difficult, with the advent of the 550D, now the 60D and the inexorable march of technology it seems it’s inevitable that the 500D will remain as it always was, a great but somewhat limited camera that is still capable of some fantastic images in the right hands.

I have extracted the following from Jonny’s most recent message to me and will share it with you here. Don’t hate on the guy though, he did give it his best shot and tried to lead the charge in a task that was immensely challenging, even for the most knowledgable hackers.

Well, from the start I had alot of issues. I had no real experience with these programs, I made small amounts of progress and began to understand what I was doing and so on. I mean, this is why i did not want any payment for it. This was meant to be a little project I could work on and learn from. I mean I am still working it, rarely, but I doubt i will get anywhere. I appreciate all your support and interest, it means a lot to me, you took a big risk in doing so, I have tried my best to produce it, but as you know I am no Trammel Hudson who has this database of knowledgea and has all the resources. I know I’ll get a wave of hate comments for this but i didn’t wish to get peoples hopes up, I just think that the 500D really is for point and shoot with some creativity, but I really think that if you want these manual controls we will need to get the 550d. Which is what I am currently saving up for (that or a 7D). My message to 500d users is to use what you have! I got drawn into hating on Canon for not giving us manual controls, but a photographer recently told me, that it’s the vision you have that makes the shot not the gear, and with the 500d i have found work around for these issues.

I really feel the 500d is a great camera, and I do love it, it produces some great shots but this camera is not for pro’s. It’s for the small time beginners like me, but as i have learnt so much I feel i want these features so I am ready to upgrade.

Sorry mate,


So there it is, straight from the man himself with some wise words that ring true no matter what the profession. It’s not so much the tools as the vision of the creative behind it. . .

I’m sorry to all of those that feel they have been misled, it was neither Jonny’s nor my intention to mislead anybody at all. It’s a real shame it hasn’t come off, but don’t let it dishearten you. Go out, shoot great pictures, enjoy what you have and keep smiling! :)


24 comments to Canon 500D Firmware Hack – The End :(

  • The Pope

    that’s really bad news, but thanks for your work, maybe someone can pick it up where you left off.

    is it really time to sell my 500d? i hope not.

  • yimmy

    nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo…. thanks for the update and your efforts!

  • Maxim

    We will be dressed in black for the next few days, but anyway, thanks for the enormous amount of effort you’ve put into this project!

  • Meiji

    its alright, thanks for the effort man, respect all the way from .ph! Godbless

  • Sam

    For clarification, it’s only the video that doesn’t have manual controls, correct? I’m about to buy this camera primarily for taking stills and I just want to make sure that the shortcomings mentioned here only relate to video. Otherwise I’ll have to rethink.

    • I really want to know that too. I’m looking at the 500D as my first DSLR, and I need control above all else.

      “I just think that the 500D really is for point and shoot with some creativity”

      Whoa, what?!

  • barry

    Yes sam. just the video. Although there are some clever workarounds that give you some manual control over video. And as said its a great stills camera.

  • Scot

    How about releasing what you’ve done so others can carry it on?

  • David McCormick

    Sad, but thanks for trying :) its the effort that counts even if it didn’t work. All I actually wanted was apature controls so you could focus how far or close you wanted. If I had the option now, I’d get 550D but limited budget for a while, anyway 500D has given me great shots so far and may last me as long as my 400D did (had it for 3 years a still use it at times) if you want a camera to take great photos on a budget, 500D is it, want that and videos, 550D.

    Anyway, thanks again!

  • Roald

    Any updates on releasing the work? This could be the foundation for an open community project! Now that the one man part is done (yet sadly unfinished), we can have a variety of people work on the sub-problems they are proficient in (interacting with the hardware, figuring out code dumps, writing now software) etc. I, for one, am interested in participating in the coding part.

    @editors: You can contact me at the mail address I filled in here.

    This work deserves to be released to the public (with the proper respect for the author, of course), otherwise it will have all been in vain!

  • Flex

    ohhhh, ich, arrgggh… I’d missed the post… sad sad situation… respect for your work and I hope that an other community will manage the project and bring it to the light


    Thank you a lot for trying ;-)
    I work in IT so I can imagine a bit what you found behind these walls…
    Ouf, it’s possible to make good videoclip with the f_ing basic firmware
    The public project is a good idea

  • Dave

    So get a 550D and Magic Lantern….

  • alin

    how about this:
    sounds to me that somebody is still moving forward and there’s been some progress

  • Peter


    I am sure you did your best, but it simply did not work. Very sad for us, but I highly appreciate your work.

    I do NOT understand people sending hate emails.

    You put a lot of time into this project, that it did not succeed is simply bad luck. But it may never be a reason for ugly behaviour!

    Thank you for trying, perhaps we see something for another camera from you in the future. Even if not, you did much more than all those people who can only send complaints.

    Best regards

  • barry

    Hey just wanted to point to the link to posts up. Someone still appears to be working on it.
    wonder if there are others who could lend a hand.
    I wish I had the smarts to help. At this stage its just an interesting thing to watch and see if this thing
    can be beaten by the development community. Hope something comes of it.

  • Dave

    No really get a 550D and ML, I just upgraded to a recent build to get:
    Audio metering and level adjust, White balance presets, Timelapse, HDR braketing, 65Mbit recording, Zebra, Histogram live, and recently focus peaking. As well as focus trap for shooting without focusing!

    I mean, really, what do you want?

  • Imo

    That is what I have worried about all the time: The community expected too much and maybe liked to get too much. Maybe it would have been the better idea to get 25 fps in the full hd mode only to make it useable. No need to hope for dozens of extra functions that will make the one who is working on the hack so confusing that he´ll give it up as he did now. You hoped to get everything, now you get nothing. :-/

  • Jonny Petts

    Hello guys,

    Yeah its me Jonny the guy up in tht post ^^^^

    Being frank, 500D great for people who want to shoot HD video and just get a picture, if u want a dslr 550d but if u want sound then go 60D (what i have now).

    Basically, i didnt promise anything im sorry to let you all down, i was a guy who wanted to help small time film makers, with a little programming know how ! But it beat me, i really think, if you have a 500d that it isa great camera, just i and many other got caught up in its faults, if you wanna make a great video make a great story line, i mean i know that is hard, i find it hard you want the good and working gear like everyone else, but if u have a 500d work you way up to a 7d or 60d, bypass the 550d, treat urself we deserve it ! Sorry again guys and sorry for the poor grammar im on my ipad and i cba to type good :P

    Anyway, keep shooting guys!

    Sorry again !

  • alin

    guys, you should really head over here:
    magic lantern on 500d start working. we don’t have all the features that you can get in ML for 550d but it’s getting there

  • Matiss

    OMG so happy :) and this looks for real!

  • Dave

    Finally the Magic Lantern version of this hack has arrived. So 500D not dead yet!

    Don’t know if you get improved frame rate however?

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>