Sony DSC-G3 Camera Has Wi-Fi and Linux

Jan 12, 2009

Outwardly Sony's DSC-G3 is a 10-megapixel camera with Wi-Fi, but inside lurks the Busybox Linux system.

Sony camera with Linux and WiFi integrated.

At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show Sony presented the new camera from its Cyber-shot product line. The DSC-G3 comes with a Zeiss lens with 4x zoom, a large 3.5" touch display and 4 GBytes of internal memory. Most interesting is the camera's software that includes, among other things, face and scene recognition, based on Busybox and Kernel 2.6.11 for the Access Linux Platform (ALP). The kernel code makefile reveals further:

NAME=Woozy Beaver

ALP is successor to the Palm OS, for which there have been few devices produced up to now, but notably the Emblaze Edelweiss mobile phone.

The camera's additional WLAN module and integrated browser allow photos to go directly on the web or to be sent over e-mail, via a deal in the U.S. with AT&T. Unlike competitor products from Nikon or Kodak that have their own Wi-Fi functions, the Sony camera works with AT&T hotspots so that external access point software isn't necessary. The Sony webpage has a general overview of the camera's features.

Sony DSC G3 Interface

Source code for the kernel, Busybox and other components are available for free download here. The DSC-G3 costs about $500 in the U.S.

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  • Remove proprietary software/drivers?

    Sure. Remove proprietary software/drivers so it's all non-proprietary, never mind it won't take pictures...
  • Can we make it completely free?

    I would love to purchase a camera that was free of proprietary software. I wonder if it uses any proprietary software on top of GNU/Linux. I'm doubtful that it doesn't have some proprietary driver or software on it. If it does I wonder how accessible the firmware on it is. If it is semi-open maybe we could remove the proprietary components somehow.
  • Awesome

    This is a nice camera, my uncle owns one and the picture is just amazing!

  • Re:Other cameras

    There is no access point software running on the DSC-G3, so you won't be able to upload pictures to other cameras, but as there is a built in browser in the DSC-G3, you might be able to download fotos from e.g Flicker, so if one camera uploads the foto to Flicker...

    As it's Linux based, maybe there will be such a programm in the near future.
  • Not only AT&A

    According to the description on Sonys homepage, it's absolutely not limited to AT&A hotspots:

    "Enjoy the freedom to connect to any public hotspot including hundreds of premium hotels and airports, major quick-serve restaurants and select book stores. The built-in browser lets you acknowledge terms and conditions and enter codes often required for access, and even enter credit card information required for fee-based hotspots. You'll also receive complimentary2 Wi-Fi access at thousands of AT&T locations across the United States, including participating Starbucks®3 coffee shops."
  • What if you have no AT&T hotsport around?

    How is it compatible with existing wireless networks? Like a normal home network?
  • Other Cameras

    Can this camera upload pictures to other DSC-G3 cameras? For an example: a group shot with 30 people is taken with one camera but then uploaded to the other 29 cameras so everyone has a copy on their own camera.
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