Video: Programmer shows it’s possible to run a Minecraft server on a Canon EOS SL2 (200D) DSLR



We’ve already seen how DOOM can be played on a Kodak digital camera from 1998. It appears though that’s not the only gaming software that can be played on a digital camera. In a recent YouTube video, a programmer that goes under the pseudonym Turtius shows it’s possible to run a Minecraft server on a Canon EOS SL2 (200D) with a clever bit of reverse engineering.

The project started as a means of learning to reverse engineer the networking processor Canon uses in its EOS SL2 (200D). After Turtius managed to reverse engineer the network module, he was able to install avrcraft, a Minecraft server optimized to run on 8-bit devices, with the help of the forked version of the popular Canon software add-on Magic Lantern. More specifically, he was able to use Magic Lantern, which doesn’t even offer official support for the EOS SL2 (200D), to access code execution on the camera’s CPU, which he was, in turn, able to use to install the server.

A screenshot from the above video showing the Minecraft server code being executed as text overlaid atop the live view display of the EOS SL2 (200D).

In the 95-second video, Turtius shows the Minecraft server booting up on the back of the camera (the server is seen as the overlaid text) as its live view display shows his monitor in the background running the Minecraft game on their Linux Mint 20.1 PC. The perspective can be a bit confusing, but it was done to show that the camera can still be at least somewhat functional while running the server.

That said, it’s not always functional. Turtius says the camera can’t always take photos or videos while running the server and it often crashes the camera. Also, the server is extremely limited in functionality, as no world generation is possible.

It’s a rather primitive Minecraft server, but it is being powered by a camera.

You can find all of Turtius’ source code on GitHub, but you will need an EOS SL2 (200D) and the willingness to part with it if this bricks your camera. Turtius issues the following disclaimer, as this project isn’t for the faint of heart:

‘I don’t recommend running this without knowing what you’re doing as this could destroy your camera. I am not responsible if you attempt this and your camera breaks, try this at your own risk.’

We’ll repeat: Proceed with caution, unless you don’t mind your DSLR becoming a paperweight. If you do manage to get it running though, definitely send us a video and we’ll toss it in this article, too.

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