There was a time when a digital camera was a surprisingly simple affair whose on-board processor didn’t have much in the way of smarts beyond what was needed to grab an image from the sensor and compress it onto some storage. But as they gained more features, over time cameras acquired all the trappings of a fully-fledged computer in their own right, including full-fat operating systems and the accompanying hackability opportunities.
Prominent among camera manufacturers are Fujifilm, whose cameras it turns out have plenty of hacking possibilities. There’s something of a community about them, with all their work appearing in a GitHub repository, and a cracking April Fool in which a Fujifilm camera appears able to be coaxed into running DOOM.
Corrections: We’ve since heard from creators [Daniel] who assures us that not only was the DOOM hack very much real, but that he’s released the instructions on how to run the classic shooter on your own Fujifilm X-A2.
Fujifilm cameras past 2017 or so run the ThreadX real-time operating system on a variety of ARM SoCs, with an SQLite data store for camera settings and some custom software controlling the camera hardware. The hackability comes through patching firmware updates, and aside from manipulating the built-in scripting language and accessing the SQLite database, can include code execution.
Don’t have a Fujifilm? They’re not the only hackable camera to be found.