Nikon Datalink utils for N90 and N90s (F90/F90x) film cameras.
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Work in progress set of tools to use the Nikon DataLink remote control protocol present on the Nikon N90/N90s (F90/F90x).


Install the libserialport (https://sigrok.org/api/libserialport/unstable/index.html) lib on your computer, then checkout the repository:

git clone --recursive https://github.com/rhaamo/pikon/
# or
git clone https://github.com/rhaamo/pikon/
cd pikon
git submodule init
git submodule update


Using GCC:


Using Clang:

make CC=clang++ CXX=clang++



  • Nikon INQUIRY (camera identification)
  • 9600bps switch (check is deactivated, but the switch works)
  • Fire shutter (tested on N90s)
  • Settings retrieval:
    • only the first setting (see broken)


  • Sending focusing command (does nothing, sessionError)
  • Everything else
  • sending multiple sendCommand (settings/status retrieval) only the first one works
  • Settings retrieval
    • iso, focale, etc. everything returns 0 ???


  • Focus, commands, etc. (might be N90s only, waiting to receive it for testing)
  • Export of the 'exif-like' datas (the memo I think)
  • Setting various camera infos (exposure, ISO, etc.)
  • Library should return custom structs with raw and human values alongside


See the folder docs/.

  • Text files about the DataLink protocol (packet format, etc.)
  • N90 Buddy for Palm Souce source code for a PalmOS 3.x app


Example doing camera identification (N90) and triggering the shutter.

[email protected]:~/pikon$ ./pikon fire_shutter
11:47:17 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:36: Starting session.
11:47:17 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:133: libserialport version: 0.1.1
11:47:17 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:134: Port name: /dev/ttyUSB0
11:47:17 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:135: Description: FT232R USB UART - A50285BI
11:47:17 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:169: Identifying camera...
11:47:17 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:170: Sending wakeup string...
11:47:17 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:181: Sending nikon inquiry string...
11:47:19 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:181: Sending nikon inquiry string...
11:47:19 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:57: Camera is a N90s/F90x
11:47:19 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:644: Triggering shutter
11:47:19 INFO  src/nikonDatalink.cpp:79: Ending session.
[email protected]:~/pikon$

Connecting to the cameras

You don't need the Nikon DataLink cards, they were designed for old Sharp Organizers.

The 10 pin connector exposes serial, 1200bps 8n1 with 9600bps negotiation possible.

Pinout is here: http://www.avernus.com/~gadams/photography/nikon/datalink-protocol/MC31.pdf

Front view from the camera, you need to wire pin 5 and pin 4 to TX/RX and pin 6 (or 7) to GND, directly to a FTDI and that's it. (no need for pin 3 ! RX/TX/GND are sufficient.)


dashie (at) otter (dot) sh


Everything under docs/ are under their own and out of the scope of the utils.

Everything under ext/ are external libraries not packaged that we uses.

For our code:

  • MIT licensed
  • Some files has been used from 'N90 Buddy for Palm' by Ken Hancock
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