The code of the Samsung NX200 and NX300 mirrorless cameras is now available as open source


A reader informed me that Samsung released the code for the NX200 and NX300 mirrorless cameras as open source based on the Cortex A9 quad core CPU and Neon coprocessor. This means that everyone can download it and make their own modifications, fix bugs, add new features, etc. As far as I know, this is the first major camera manufacturer to release their source code to the public. Could this be the beginning of the open source camera?

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  • Renato S.

    Is Samsung NX cameras still laggy? Neon is optimized for multimidia and the Cortex A9 is a normal processor that is often used inside phones. Does the fact that Samsung doesn’t have a custom-made processor for cameras something to do with the fact that the NX cameras are/were so laggy?

    • Marco –

      Nx300 is very fast, compared both to older nx cameras and other mirrorless ones. I don’t know if all the components used are in the form of source, but since it’s all based on tizen, that woukld be very nice.

  • Anthony Villanueva

    grew up on open source platforms, I have been waiting for an open source camera, no doubt that it is a korean manufacture, just like the korean gamepark 32 which started the open source craze in handheld gaming. This is going to be big in the home brew world, is there a home brew photography community? If not there will be one now…

    • Sky

      There won’t be. Code their released is useless for creating true custom firmware. Admin misinterpreted what’s actually going on.
      Sony releases pieces of software like that for ages in their Alpha family, yet it got full homebrew firmware.

      • What is actually going on? I do not know anything about embedded software, but I think I reported correctly what happened.

        • fjfjjj

          No, they are only releasing already open-source code which they modified. They are simply forced to release their modifications under license.

          • keepitsimple

            It of course depends on the license. If it is LGPL, then your correct, they are only required to release the changes to that library. If it is GPL, the requirements are quite different. Under GPL, you can be (most likely are) required to also license your code under the GPL.

          • Marco –

            Tizen is gpl v2, not lgpl. So shouldn’t it be linked just to other open source sw?

        • fjfjjj

          You don’t need to understand anything about embedded software, but you should read about the GNU General Public License if you want to understand what happened and why it’s probably not very significant.

      • Anthony Villanueva

        oh my bad, I was thinking the skies to limit, open source firmwares, all out homebrew menu systems and filters and whatever else programers can come up with. I could only imagine a fully open source camera that programmers could go nuts with.

  • That’s a genius PR move – or is it required by one of the licenses they worked under?

  • Darren

    I doubt it is their proprietary source code. Normally the open source packages a company used in their product (and maybe modified) are published this way.

    • Darren

      Quote from the documentation: “This software distribution consists of GPL and LGPL components used in the Samsung NX2000 Series”

      So it is only source code for components that are ALREADY OPEN SOURCE. This is a GPL requirement as I remember it. If you use some GPL open source in your product you have to make the code available to your customers and include any modifications you may have made.

      The only thing you will learn from this is how Samsung chose to implement certain pieces of functionality i.e. what open source their developers chose to use instead of writing their own code 😉

      • fiatlux

        The Samsung announcement files contain detailed instructions on how to build and install a new firmware.

        So it looks like the release is complete.

        Whether it is properly documented or useable without further documentation is another issue.

  • gento

    It’s just that you have to know Linux,Tizen , ARM, Debian and webkit-stuff, befere you can hope to achieve something with the source. Also knowledge about the embedded systems and physics behind the photon capture won’t be bad.

    Releasing the source code is nothing but the PR-stunt.

    • Sky

      It’s not a PR stunt. It’s a requirement of a license for a code they used to create their own firmware. Sony does exactly the same.

  • CJ

    Go see Thom Hogan Sansmirror site for details.
    Thumbs down to Admin for not giving proper credit.

  • CJ

    This is so funny, geeks got another piece of trash to fool around with.
    Geeks NEVER wanted to take any pictures, they just want some crap to dicker around and get a high out of it…

    Real photographers will lose their job and reputation, and being a laughing stock, if caught using a korean camera !!!!

    • dude

      Captain Stereotype reporting for duty.

  • David

    Linux in Camera World???

  • peevee

    It is not NX200, it is NX2000.
    And inside there is TIZEN, basically Linux, and a lot of stuff around it, so they have to distribute source code according to GPL.

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