Magic Lantern is Working on the 5D Mark III After Canon Firmware Update
Canon recently announced a firmware update for the Canon 5D Mark III, and that led the way for the great folks at Magic Lantern to begin porting their hack. Already a big hit on the Mark II and other Canon cameras, Magic Lantern could open up specific features many believe Canon should have included in the first place. Chuck Westfall has said that the 5D Mark III and the 1D X might never get a full, clean HDMI, mainly because Canon (obviously) puts more money and attention into the video features on their expensive video-centric Cinema EOS line (though he also says they are always listening to consumers). Most of all, they want to keep the two product lines separate, and possibly the only hope for this feature (and others like it) is for something like Magic Lantern to unlock the hidden power of the camera.
One of Magic Lantern’s first big developments was the ability to give better audio by disabling automatic gain control. Later in its lifespan, a host of other features were unlocked, including increased bitrate, peaking, and false color. I know there are plenty more features offered by ML, but these were some of the biggest and most requested by people who were used to having these options on a real video camera. While the 5D Mark II didn’t really need increased bitrates, on the opposite end of the spectrum, using decreased bitrates, the camera could shoot for much longer without worrying about the 12 minute take limit. All of these features and more were also available to other Canon models, like the Canon T2i and Canon 60D, but the 7D was never able to be hacked. Thankfully, this will not be the case with the 5D Mark III, as the first firmware update has already given the ML people the ability to begin writing their own code.
Personally, I think it would be very interesting to see how high the internal bitrate could be taken – even though there is certainly a point of diminishing returns – just like we’ve seen with the GH2 hack. The bigger limiting factor other than bitrate is the internal color space – and if the HDMI could be unlocked to give a full 1080p signal, we could be recording with much higher bitrates and have a better color sampling like 4:2:2. DSLR footage can only be pushed so far, but if we could use the HDMI port to get a full, clean signal, we can really see what the camera is capable of. Below is the first image proving that the camera has been hacked.
Which features would you guys like to see with Magic Lantern on the 5D Mark III?
- New and Improved Magic Lantern AJ5.0 Firmware for the Canon 5D Mark II Released
- Magic Lantern Firmware Now Available for Canon T2i/550D