Canon 7D Has Been Cracked, Magic Lantern Firmware Finally Running On It

Canon 7D Magic Lantern

The Canon 7D has been a tough nut to crack for the Magic Lantern firmware crew.  After 3 years in the process, they finally had a breakthrough and figured out how to run Magic Lantern as add-on software on the 7D.

Check out the video below for a demo of Magic Lantern running on the 7D.

The Magic Lantern team is currently working on the debug process to get the firmware in a state for release.  You can read more and donate to the cause here at Magic Lantern’s website.

[via Planet5D]

Magic Lantern Firmware for Canon 5D Mark III Alpha Version Released

The Magic Lantern crew have been knocking it out of the park lately.  The first public alpha build of Magic Lantern firmware is now available for the Canon 5D Mark III.

Magic Lantern 2.3 recently launched for other Canon DSLRs and delivered some impressive and stable new features.

Magic Lantern 5D Mark III Firmware

While the first alpha build of Magic Lantern for the 5D Mark III doesn’t quite offer all the features of version 2.3 on the 5D Mark II, it still presents some features that many HDSLRs want to see. [Read more...]

Magic Lantern Update Version 2.3 Now Available for Free

Magic Lantern Version 2.3

Magic Lantern’s latest firmware release version 2.3 is now available for free download from the Magic Lantern website.

By all reports, this version looks to be the most stable, ambitious and feature-packed version yet.  Magic Lantern 2.3 works on the Canon 5D Mark IICanon 50DCanon 60DCanon Rebel T1i / 500D,Canon Rebel T2i / 550D and Canon Rebel T3i / 600D.

Magic Lantern 2.3 Key Features

  • Fast zebras
  • Customizable menu and shortcut keys
  • Automatic HDR bracketing
  • A powerful timelapse tool
  • Advanced FPS control
  • Advanced ISO control
  • Contrast and saturation adjustments for LiveView
  • Image analysis tools in photo mode
  • Very fast playback zoom


Magic Lantern v2.3 is Out and It’s No Longer Being Called a “Hack”

Magic Lantern

The Magic Lantern team has released version 2.3 of its impressive Canon HDSLR enhanced firmware.  It’s reportedly more stable and more feature-packed than ever.

Magic Lantern v2.3 represents an important milestone – professionals from all around the world are already trusting it for their paid work. We can safely say it’s no longer a hack, but it’s strongly heading towards a solid piece of engineering that you can trust.

We have worked a lot on bug-fixing and usability improvements and we sincerely hope you will find it a great companion for all your shooting sessions – from hobbyist to professional.

Currently, Magic Lantern is available to those users who are willing to make a donation of $10 or more.  Beginning on August 13, 2012, it will be free for everyone to download. [Read more...]

Magic Lantern Development Underway for Canon 5D Mark III

5D Mark III Magic Lantern

The Magic Lantern guys look to be hard at work on development of custom firmware for the Canon 5D Mark III.  A couple of days ago, one of the developers tweeted the above image of a 5D Mark III displaying a “Hello world” message to Planet5D and others.

While the 5D Mark III is quite the step up for video users when compared to the 5D Mark II, there are still some key concerns in what it is lacking.  Two of the top “missing” features are 1080/60p frame rates and clean HDMI output for external recorder capture.  No doubt if the Magic Lantern crew can get these two features cranking reliably on the 5D Mark III, there will be a lot of happy shooters out there.

Magic Lantern Firmware Update for Canon 5D MK II

Magic Lantern firmware introduction from Trammell Hudson on Vimeo.

If you’re a Canon user, the camera that you probably dream about is the Canon 5D MK II. Despite the fact that B&H and Adorama never have units because it moves so fast, the camera does have its flaws. Adding onto the recent manual control firmware update by Canon (blogged about earlier by Eric), users and potential buyers of the 5D MK II may want to consider the Magic Lantern Firmware update.

The programmers state that, “Within some limitations, we can fix many of the Canon firmware problems and plan to write widgets to address the requirements of the film users of this amazing camera.”

The Magic Lantern update is similar to the Canon Hacking Development Kit, known as the CHDK to photographers.  As such, it is not officially recognized by Canon as an official update to the camera’s software (and users know that it isn’t perfect either.) The features that are added are common to what may be found on professional camcorders and could prove very valuable to photojournalists, indie filmmakers, and others that really appreciate the ability to capture beautiful video from the large sensor. A truly useful add-on is the on-screen audio meters for monitoring sound recording levels–which is instrumental because there 5D MK II doesn’t have a headphone jack. Additionally there are zebra stripes to help compose a more balanced image (which is a bit laggy as seen in the video), on-screen crop marks for different aspect ratios (16:9, 2.35:1 and 4:3) and the ability to switch off the Auto Gain Control and control video gain manually. That means that image noise/grain will be reduced and less work will be done in post to get rid of it.

Like the CHDK though, it’s not all perfect for everyone. Users will need to reload the firmware after the camera is switched off, goes to sleep or you remove the CF card, and you should remove the battery after each use lest the hacked processes continue to run in the background and kill the battery. However, keep in mind that the update s in it’s beta stages. Like the CHDK, the firmware will constantly be tweaked and initial issues will be resolved until the recording capabilities and usage issues meet the needs of the users. Another plus is the fact that it’s free, possibly stemming from the fact that it is a homebrew solution to the problems encountered while using the camera.

I’ve used the CHDK before on a Canon S5 IS superzoom, and was very pleased with the results–especially the RAW image capture capabilities. Granted, the 5D MK II has all that, but supercharging your camera is always an awesome alternative that can help you out without the need for extra equipment that you (and me) may not be able to afford. Additionally, you won’t be burdened down by external monitors, beachtek adapters, etc. In my tests with the Canon 5D MK II when it was first shown off at PhotoPlus Expo 08, I found it to pair very nicely with a Rode Shotgun mic for my needs–which are photojournalistic. Monitoring audio levels and singling out the exact sounds that you want/need is sometimes a problem with this camera. Perhaps the Magic Lantern update may push Canon to release another firmware update since bodies continue to move off the shelves.