Nikon firmware decrypted

Nikon D5100 motherboard

Nikon firmware has been decrypted by Simeon Pilgrim (with the help of  Vitaliy Kiselev - the person who hacked the Panasonic GH2 firmware). The decryption worked on D5100 and D7000 and is currently being tested on higher end models.

The decryption itself doesn't mean much at that point, but it may offer some neat "adjustments" in the future.

This entry was posted in Nikon D5100, Nikon D7000, Nikon Software and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • I’m assuming its just a typo when it says D700 firmware, not D7000.

    • I hope it isn’t, but I think it is….

      • first one who releases scriptable firmware, gets 1000Eur from me.

        there are many people who would love some kind of customization not done by any camera.


        – I would love to have working Autoiso which starts at LO1
        – or one which goes up to ISO 3200 with 1/160 then drops to 1/80 then goes to ISO6400.
        – or one which lets me switch between A or M mode (with last settings) by press of button
        – etc

        • António

          Please ask for more than 1 stop of maximum AE bracket steps also. Up to 2 or even 3 stops would be great.

        • Joe

          – Auto-ISO that automatically sets the longest shutter speed depending on the focal length, e.g. 1/50s at 50mm, 1/200s at 200mm
          – a timer that displays the time the shutter is open in bulb mode

          Wasn’t there a form on the Nikon website where you could submit suggestions? Maybe their firmware development team could do some nice things while the D800 is delayed! 😉

        • Joe

          Got another one:
          – Less compression of the JPEG previews in RAW files. The previews are often full of compression artifacts and it’s hard to tell if the images is okay onscreen.

          • jeff


        • Cameramanben

          25 (and 30) fps @ 1080 on the D7000 would make a big difference to the usefulness of the camera for video, plus make my day, week, month while waiting to hear more about the D800.

        • BenH

          Is there a site we can donate to to support these Nikon hacks? Maybe we should start a bounty for features we want.

  • AS

    Very good, if Nikon can’t give us manual controls on D5100, somebody will!

    May the Gods bless Simeon Pilgrim and his team and and help them delver us a good hack!

    • Not Surprised

      Simeon Pilgrim vs. the Camera World!

  • Samuel

    With rooted firmware ist so much possible.
    It Is time for it.

    • Paul

      agreed, let’s see what features can be unlocked here.

  • well maybe we will be able to increase the FPS and maybe increase the ISO and loads of things the GH2 hacked has

  • …this may be the best news I’ve ever read here. Thanks “Admin”!

    • I am in touch with Vitaliy, will keep you guys updated.


      • LGO

        Excelllent excellent excellent …. did I say excellent?!!!! 😀

  • I AM VERY PLEASED OF THIS POST! HIP-HIP HURRAY for Simeon Pilgrim and Vitaliy Kiselev!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOO!!!!


  • Carlo

    if someone could get rid of the on screen display while outputting from hdmi, i would buy them beer for life.

  • Art

    I have thought for a long time that the large camera manufacturers should include a scripting engine such as Python or Lua so that people could modify the behaviors of their camera to fit their specific needs. If you don’t think people will come up with all sorts of really cool ideas, just look at what cell phones can do now that they have been opened up. (Yes, some are junk or games but just imagine being able to do both focus and exposure bracketing automatically that you can use for further processing.)

    • Craig

      What Art says.

    • derWalter


      @craig: lua and phyton are very common script languages, because easy to learn and very good performance.

      • Ruben

        @derWalter: “What Name says.” Is a common term used to express agreement to a specific statement. 🙂

    • Kuv


  • Brandon

    Would this also work on the D5000?

  • ummagumma

    I’m drooling over the possibility of a “1-click 100% zoom” to the active focus point in my D7000 !!! (As implemented in Nikon’s “high-end” bodies) I’d actually donate $50 for that !!

    Thanks Admin! And please pass on my offer, maybe we can start a donation fund for suggested hack features? 😉

    • AMEN TO THAT! And how about bringing back the new folder creation with on+”?” button? Even the new pro models don’t do that. It’s a shame!

    • bitpeak

      You can donate on his site (the one linked in the blog post). I’m sure if you give him $25 dollars now and say you would be willing to give him more if he does this feature he will do it.

      • yes exactly, I cannot take any donations for third party, please go their website

      • I can probably make a list of suggestions and send it to them.

        • jeff

          assigning ISO to the Fn button or depth of field preview button.

          • to-mas


          • Filen


        • Not Surprised

          Make a dedicated post for requested Features, Admin.

          That will be very good.,

    • Iris Chrome


    • Paul

      That’s a simple feature that seems like it would be easy to implement and would be very welcomed.

  • KHH

    i would love a D7000 more than 3 brackets

    • apb

      I think this would be an ideal first hack, something that a lot of people would like but not as involved as increasing the FPS.

      Then, I’d either like the scene position of the mode dial to become U3 or used as a selection for multiple user modes, these could even be renamed so that for example scene n becomes “Macro with R1 kit” or the name of a studio setup as a reminder.

    • Richard


  • Mr Hahn

    YES!!!! I’m another D7000 owner that can’t wait to see how this turns out!

  • Kevin

    Magic Lantern on Nikon?????? 🙂


    IT HAS BEGUN !!!!


    I’m ready to make donation too to the angel willing to improve d7000 video mode

    come on come on come on do it.

    tired of Nikon’s boooring firmware updates

  • marco alvarez

    Great work, can he add HDR to the D7000?

    • Paul


  • OMR

    I don’t like it, it is insane.

    • Andrea Leganza

      This is madness…THIS IS SPARTAAAAAA….:)

  • rockland01

    I would love to have the D7000 have 8 frames per second shooting?? I would pay for that!!
    Can this be done?


    • IanZ28

      Probably not. It’s likely a mechanical limitation.

    • AM

      I am one of the many who believes that the D7000 is physically able to give more than the current 6 fps, and Nikon didn’t enable more just because that would put the D300s out of the market.
      So, yes I am also for 8 fps and more than 3 brackets.

  • alvix

    thx God for Vitaliy!!

  • Paul

    From his site: “So while it could be fun to sit down and try reverse engineer the code, I think I’m more interested using my camera to take photo’s.”

    It doesn’t sound like he’s that interested in creating a hacked firmware.

  • bharatwd

    D7000 —> more than 30 frames a second video? is that possible?

  • First order of business, better (customizable) controls:

    1. Move the ISO button to the right hand (exposure comp button?). I shoot manual anyway). We’re shooting digital here, I wish to change ISO just as often as aperture and shutter speed, and don’t want to have to pull my hand from the lens every time.

    2. Deactivate the Quality button. It really sucks to shoot 1000 small JPGs when you thought you were on RAW, this is best left in a menu.

  • derWalter


    1080p in all different FPS for all nikon cameras?

    1080p for d300 d700 d3 d3s?

    i WISH!!

    hat thats maybe even better than a d800 😛

  • Simon

    I do hope this will be compatible with the d5000!

  • BlackWolf

    If they can accomplish higher bitrates on the d3s… *spooge*

  • Seshan

    FINALLY!! Maybe after Nikon sees what people do they might open up the firmware like Canon 😀

  • Eric Calabros

    I love you Peter

  • Samuel

    May be now I find the answer why my D700 starts to backfocus when I enable AF assist in flash menu and when I disable it everything is back to normal 🙂

  • for all you programmers – here is some tech talk:

  • grayscale

    Lets get going on Magic Lantern for Nikon!

  • Need to get this guy talking to Arty at Promote Control. Check out their facebook page and scroll down a little to the conversation starting with “Some good news and bad news”. Would be nice to have focus stacking and bulb ramping with my Promote Control and D700. 🙂

  • Here’s their facebook page:

  • Ruslan

    It doesn’t decrypt D700 firmware. I tested on 1.02.

    • That’s because the D700 firmware is not encrypted, but the underlying package file format appears different

      • matt

        Are you the same Simeon I used to work with at ATR? That picture looks awful familiar…

      • Jabs

        A quick question:

        Don’t you think that you are opening up yourself and others to lawsuits in America when you teach people how to, plus supply instructions or software to get into the Patented Firmware of Nikon cameras?

        Maybe you check with a patent Attorney in America before Nikon sends Lawyers after you!

  • Jabs

    I hate to be a ‘killjoy’ or one bearing bad news here, but do you realize that Nikon could sue you for doing this hack to your camera?

    Not only would your warranty be void, but no one might be able to repair your now useless or bricked camera = bad trend for a few miserable gains.

    And NO, digital cameras as not cellphones, as when you hack many cell phones you are actually hacking the Linux underpinnings of the phone.

    Imagine destroying your camera because of a careless hack and then send it to Nikon or one of its’ representatives and then get told – we cannot repair your camera, as you modified it yourself, so send it to the one who hacked it or instructed you to do this – duuuh!

    Irresponsible user and now with a bricked and expensive paperweight – must be a slow news day!

    • cowboycoffee

      How long have you worked at Nikon, Jabs?

      • Jabs

        Are you that dense that you cannot understand why Nikon would sue you for such an act?

        Get up to speed, please!

        • cowboycoffee

          Nikon isn’t suing anybody. Do you know how much it costs to sue someone? I do.

          I’m now positive you work for Nikon.

          • Oplya

            I think he is just a troll.

            • Tero

              Do you seriously think that this guy cares if the warranty is voided??
              Voiding warranty is damn fun when you know what you’re doing

    • fred

      > I hate to be a ‘killjoy’ or one bearing bad news here, but do you
      > realize that Nikon could sue you for doing this hack to your camera?

      I own the camera, and I can do what I like to it. If you believe there is a legal basis for your statement, spit it out. Otherwise you’re just blustering.

      > Not only would your warranty be void, but no one might be able
      > to repair your now useless or bricked camera = bad trend for a
      > few miserable gains.

      This is the risk I take as a hacker. Why does it bother you so much?

      > And NO, digital cameras as not cellphones, as when you hack
      > many cell phones you are actually hacking the Linux
      > underpinnings of the phone.

      You are wrong. I hacked my old RAZR. It doesn’t run Linux, does it? From my perspective as a hacker, a computer is a computer. My D700 is one. So is the old RAZR I hacked.

      > Imagine destroying your camera because of a careless hack

      Been there, done that.

      Get off your high horse.

    • Jabs

      Two words:

      Copyright Infringement as Nikon owns it.

      Android Phones and Apple phones are basically Linux or Open BSD.

      Get up to speed in Technology!

      • fred

        > Copyright Infringement as Nikon owns it.

        This book “The Litigators” sitting on my desk is copyright John Grisham, yet I can cut off the spine with a bandsaw, rearrange the pages, dye them rainbow hues, and glue them back together — and Grisham can’t sue me.

        Get up to speed on copyright.

      • Jabs

        Nikon owns the Firmware and you breaking into it means INFRINGEMENT.

        Get up to speed on intellect and understanding.

        Buying a book and destroying it is your right, even if you are an idiot or airhead about it.

        Someone else breaking into COPYRIGHTED Firmware and then telling others how to do this = An Injunction can be levied against them and then SUED when they do not desist.

        Get REAL!

        • fred

          The copyright on the firmware and the book are identical.

          Get smart.

        • Jabs

          The Book never came with a Warranty plus a HOW TO USE IT Manual.

          You definitely do not know what Copyright entails.

          BOOK – you cannot reproduce this in its’ entirety.

          Camera – Any modifications to this gear VOIDS your Warranty.

          Copyrighted FUNCTIONS via the Manufacturer supplied camera and then breaking into it illegally is a CRIME – see the Digital Millenium Act in America.

          Apple has sued many over people breaking into their iDevices especially the iPhone. Many States in America will arrest YOU for breaking into a smartphone as you sign a Contract with your Provider to NOT modify the gear connected to their Network, so you probably do NOT understand the seriousness of this issue.

          This place is filled with argumentative people shy of Knowledge and when you tell them facts, they go on and one all day like they get it.

          You CAN destroy your camera as long as you own it, just like any Book – copyrighted or not. Create a disturbance destroying it and you just might get arrested.

          Modifying a camera’s Firmware without the express permission of the Manufacturer not only voids your Warranty and USAGE terms, but could get you arrested in some US States = you probably are clueless or do not live in America.

          The person who supplied the way to violate the Manufacturer’s copyright is the guilty party and those hosting and downloading this are also guilty as in contributing to the fact. Learn what Fair Use is versus violating a copyrighted item and get real, please! Changing something copyrighted by a Manufacturer is a violation of their Copyright = FACTS!


          • fred

            > Apple has sued many over people breaking into their iDevices

            No, they haven’t. They’ve gone after people who have distributed the tools that enable breaking into them. Do you know the difference?

            The warranty and instruction manual have nothing to do with copyright.


            • Jabs

              Last comment perhaps!

              The warranty expressly prohibits you from modifying or reverse Engineering the camera that you bought and thus gives the Manufacturer a right to sue you or refuse to service this now modified camera.

              The Instruction Manuals give them an OUT to refuse service to you as now they have legally shown you how to use their product and you have violated those terms, so BOTH count.

              I have worked in Warranty Service for over 30 years and thus you indeed are clueless – have fun!

              You can’t claim IGNORANCE in Court, as the fine print in the Warranty and Instruction Manual indemnifies the Camera Manufacturer – go read it yourself.

              Terms of sale and terms of USAGE!

              Read under what voids your warranty for a clue AFTER they sue you or refuse service to you – LOL.

          • Jabs

            Maybe you live in a ‘bubble’ somewhere but the US Federal Government ruled on it – so maybe you search for that yourself.

            Look up the Digital Millenium Copyright Act too.

            Guesses does not equate reality.

            Cell phones based upon Android are based upon Linux too.

            iOS is based upon OpenBSD which is based upon a Linux-Unix fork.

            If someone has to explain to you why you could be sued for changing or modifying the contents of a PATENTED Firmware, then you really have bigger problems than I can explain.

            Copyright exists WHEN it is created.

            Patent exists when it is Published via the respective Patent Office in your country or worldwide Patents published in multiple countries that signed Trade or Cross Licensing Agreements via Trade Pacts for example.

            Why don’t we ask a Patent Attorney or ask the original creator of this IF they are liable to be sued by Nikon, thus ending this charade.

            Why don’t you also take your now modified Nikon camera to Nikon for repairs and then see if they will Service it?

            Earth to YOU – changing or modifying something Patented like the Firmware in a Nikon camera opens you up to lots of possible lawsuits unless the Camera Manufacturer chooses to NOT do this because of possible bad publicity BUT that does not make what you push or do LEGAL.

            You bought the camera and NOT the Firmware = your possible confusion.

            Usage permission versus Ownership is what you don’t seem to understand.

            That is what is lost on you and many here!

            • Dave

              Damn it Jabs, we don’t care.
              He did it out of curiosity, posted how it’s done and satisfied our curiosity too.
              Indeed it is impressive your knowledge on laws, and maybe you should sue him yourself because noone here is going to do that. We just love to see what can be done with our camera firmware and really don’t care about Nikon’s legal actions neither your experience on warranty service.
              Get over it.

            • Jabs

              One of the hallmarks of a professional is that they learn what are the results of their own actions.
              How would you like someone to now make a derivative of your work that you just photographed?

              See how it sounds when the tables are turned?

              I was offering some real advice here and then look and see that the author of this DID not reply to my query about them being sued by Nikon – WHY?

              Maybe they know what you don’t know or care about.

              As a contributor here, I find that it is imperative that I inform real photographers here about the possibilities before they get sued and lose their livelihood, so it does count.

              Lose your Business possibly and you don’t care because you are enamored with a few more features = you don’t know the reality of current Litigation or maybe you have nothing to lose.

              Your problem!

            • fred

              “warranty expressly prohibits you from modifying or reverse Engineering the camera” … “changing or modifying something Patented like the Firmware in a Nikon camera opens you up to lots of possible lawsuits”

              You’re mixing up patents and trademarks, mixing up warranties with EULAs, etc. I’m not going to rebut again, because you’re a blockhead. But I encourage everyone to do their own legal research.

  • I just couldnt help myself, I had to put down a wish list for a D7000 firmware. Note that this is a list for serious still image shooting. People are welcome to comment in the doc if they like, but features like HDR, movie modes and other fancy consumer stuff belongs in some other list.

  • Steve Starr

    I shoot a lot of ‘water stuff’ and would like to ditch the 6 to 12 stop N.D. filter. Maybe something really low like ISO 8 or ISO 10? ISO 200 as the minimum on the D700 is ridiculously high. Not everyone is wanting 125,000 ISO numbers or whatever – although the more-is-merrier crowd like high ISO numbers, probably because they cannot understand flash photography and want to deal with it.

    Still cam noise levels improve with each generation of processor and sensor anyway. More MP means better cropping ability too. Why go back to an archaic 2-6MP camera and try to crop with it? Better Nikon lenses can help in the rez. too as has shown in their comparisons of the better Nikon lenses on different bodies with the higher MP count: D3x as an example over the D700 or D7000.

    Don’t care a hoot about video as I have video cams for that and that I don’t use that much anymore. Video is sort of being forced to watch someone’s old 8mm movies where the viewer’s attention span wanders and even I nod off (true) having to sit through them at a party.

    • rkas

      I do agree that way lower iso would be nice (fast glass in broad daylight without killing highlights nom nom!), but Im pretty sure a custom firmware could fix that. :\

    • roos

      Have a look at the simulatet low iso modes on the kodak 14n and SLR/n. It should be possible to implement something like that and that would truly open a new world of long exposure.

    • Tero

      I’ve understood that the lower ISO limit is not dependant just on the firmware… It has more to do with the sensor than we think.

  • Phil

    So I guess that wasn’t a typo about the D700. It is NOT a D7000 hack. Everyone here posting all sorts of wish lists for the D7000 should take note, D7000 need not apply!

    • You correct it’s not a hack for any firmware, it’s just decryption of the firmware package. It works for the D3S, D300S, D3100, D5100 & D7000 firmware files. However all Nikon firmwares appear to have a similar style, thus follow-on work to decode the firmware could lead to options for all system.

      • jsa

        Love your work Simeon !

        If D300S can be decrypted does it follow that D300 can be, or even D200 ?

        Thinking about bringing forward D200 flash/focus assist light behaviour to the D300.

        Reprogram the Qual button.

        Add focal length priority to Auto ISO with user settable multiplier.

        Thanyou for your efforts.

  • How about video fir the D700?

  • I am sorry, the decryption was tested on D7000 and not on a D700 – it has been a crazy day, you will soon find out why.

  • TBO

    This is great news… hopefully custom firmware will follow! I have played with CHDK a bit and it gives some nice functionality. Similar things for Nikon SLRs would be very welcome (my vote is for added functionality for the Fn button, perhaps map ISO to Fn so you can change it one handed; also auto ISO where the selected shutter speed is determined by the formula “speed = max(X, 1/(Focal Length) * Y)” where X and Y are configurable from the user would be simply amazing, and much more useful. Currently I have mine set to 1/180s, since I shoot long lenses mostly and this keeps the images sharper, but on shorter lenses I need to remember to turn it down in low light.

  • double E

    Simeon now as a donation button if anyone would like to contribute.

  • alienated

    As anowner of D300 I would donate some bucks for ISO on the second roller in A/S mode. Like with the new models. Please. I know it is an old camera for someone, but still…

  • simpleguy

    finally they did it , very interesting , what nikon dslrs can do when hacked 🙂

  • Andrea Leganza

    Allowing to change aperture during video recording on D7000 🙂 i’m dreaming 4 it.

  • Yavuz Paksoy

    Simeon removed the donation button. I think he wants to stay legitimate. We need a hero to give us the modded firmware.
    Come on Simeon! You are the chosen one.

  • Peter

    Looking at his recent post, we wont get any custom firmware – at least not by Simeon 🙁

    great work though – maybe you’ll had it over to someone willing to take the next step… or two, or three…

  • Asideloco

    I really don’t think that the ability to change aperture while on live view on Manual mode on the D7000 is a hardware one, why? Because you can change aperture in live view when you are on aperture priority mode.

    So if it was a hardware limitation you wouldn’t be able to do it no matter what mode you are shooting on.

    And just for telling, my dream hack would allow the D7000 to change aperture while on live view on manual mode, an exposure meter, and the ability to assign a button to iso that can be access with my right hand.

  • phentex

    I’ve always been pretty surprised nikon firmware were never hacked (especially D700 to enhance auto-iso capabilities). Lack of interest or hard protection ?

    Canon have had custom firmwares for ages. Ixus can shoot RAW, EOS’ have their awesome Magic Lantern.

    I’ll really be thrilled the day custom firmware comes to D700…

  • Arturo

    Avchd intra codec for video recording please! Same as Panasonic gh2.
    Iris control during the live view with my nikon d7000 would be great also.
    And 60,30 and 25fps 1080 please!

    • André

      I think this is almost impossible to happen. As far as I understand, there’s an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) in the camera motherboard assigned specifically to convert video, with only minimal software support. It would take a complete revamp on the ASIC software (if this is possible and that’s a big IF) or an exchange on the chip for AVCHD to work. I don’t like AVCHD that much, many of their implementations is with interlaced video, and when we convert it in Vegas, Final Cut Pro or wot not result is not always on pair with progressive video coming from this camera or from the T2i/T3i.

  • Jack Shen

    A nice feature would be disable the median filter for exposure longer than 1 seconds that impede astrophotography!
    And also would be good to stop cutting black point to zero ( There’s a serial line to ADC that send command, and black point is one of them.) This would also be good for astrowork.

  • Andre

    Make it full manual control for video, to compete seriously with T3i from Canon and also more fine tune adjustments for audio input (only 3, seriously?)

    T2i and T3i have Magic Lantern customizable firmware, I myself have a T2i but also bought a D5100 to give it a try. Pretty neat camera, with crisp colors and depending on the situation images are a notch better than the ones I get with my T2i.

    • butyouforget

      So if you are happy with the t2i and magic lantern is superior to anything nikon.. Then why do you care about what Nikon does?.

      Most of us and yes i’ll speak for most of us.. Use Nikon for its photo capabilities.. Not for it’s video capabilities. Ense why most of us don’t care about it’s video capabilities.

      And before any of the rest of you who come on saying you’re wrong i want video on my Nikon… Well i wasn’t including you as most of us who don’t shoot Nikon for it’s video capabilities 😀

      • Alberto Carboni

        I know that I’m not included in your group, but I’d like to add that someone can prefer nikon to the T2i cause he have lot of nikon lenses (I do) and also the body is cheaper or cause he prefer nikon images (I do, I think they are more neutral and so much better for video), or he is just maybe used to the nikon now they hacked the firmware and is possible to use it in manual mode 🙂 before of that yes it was a lame choice, but that’s why people did demand to hack it ..I think that if a camera have a potential is good to let to use it, and even if you don’t make video by time to time I bet you will enjoy to get some video just to document a situation, why don’t doing it in manual if you can? there are situations, specially in nature where is not a matter of style, but a need (in the jungle for example) where the automatic get crazy as the light change extremely in a bunch of seconds or just panning a little.

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