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August 16, 2012

Significant Magic Lantern Update, Version 2.3 for Canon DSLRs, Now Available to Download for Free

Magic Lantern, the well-known third party firmware solution for Canon DSLRs that we discussed a few weeks ago, has finally released their newest firmware version 2.3 as a free download. Since it takes a tremendous amount of work to put together these firmware updates, they were asking for a donation in exchange for the download, or you could compile the firmware update yourself for free (which isn't very straightforward). Check out the video below to see some of the great features that have been added in this version.

Here are just a few of the new features and the cameras/firmware versions that work with the software:

  • Full support for 5D mark II
  • Fast Zebras
  • Customizable menu and shortcut keys
  • Automatic HDR bracketing
  • Timelapse features
  • Advanced ISO control (ISO 80, improved highlight rolloff, ISO 51200…)
  • Advanced FPS control (24.000 FPS and 0.2 FPS possible)
  • New menu design
  • Image analysis tools in photo mode
  • Contrast and saturation adjustments for LiveView
  • Improved Stability
  • Very fast playback zoom
  • Compatibility with: Canon 5D Mark II 2.1.2, T2i/550D 1.0.9, 60D 1.1.1, T3i/600D 1.0.2, 50D 1.0.9 and T1i/500D 1.1.1

One of the most impressive parts of the new update has to be the HDR compatibility. Luke Neumann put together this video showing off that capability:

http://vimeo.com/lukeneumann/canon5dhdrvideo

The team at Magic Lantern have worked incredibly hard, so if you do use your camera for professional jobs, and you install ML on your DSLR, it might not be a bad thing to head on over to their site and donate a few bucks. This stuff isn't easy, and all of the added features have taken years to really implement. The money also allows them to continue developing updates and possibly get them working with newer cameras, like the Canon 5D Mark III and the Canon T4i.

Head on over to the Magic Lantern to read more about the new features, or download the update using the link below.

Links:

Your Comment

86 Comments

Will the bitrate increase hack, have greater effect on image quality on the 5D3 because there is no line skipping?

August 16, 2012

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VINCEGORTHO

Yes, but the quality increase won't be that visible, in tests we've done, we were able to push IPB to 62Mbps (this is the max value defined by H264 spec) and 151Mbps for ALL-I (max 300Mbps defined by H264 spec). The noise patterns are slightly finer and the image holds slightly better against aggressive grading.

August 16, 2012

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Marvin

So Marvin, you've tried the hack on the 5d3? Nice! I can use a slightly better image.
Is clean hdmi out a real possibility.

August 16, 2012

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vinceGortho

I did the early tests with Alex and took that "Hello World" photo :-)

The possibility of clean HDMI on 5D3 is higher than other cameras, because according to Alex, 5D3 uses full HD image buffer.

August 17, 2012

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Marvin

And last... Would you say, image quality boosts are the top priority for the 5D3 research? And aside from upping the bitrate, are there any other means being considered to further it, beside the previous mentioned.

August 17, 2012

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VINCEGORTHO

According to Alex, on 5D3 we plan to first get all basic ML features to work. Then explore and do whatever has the highest possibility and feasibility.

There is a chance that M-JPEG 8bit 422 could be possible on very fast CF card, but that's just a hypothesis.

August 17, 2012

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Marvin

It is another sad day for Canon 7D owners.. :(

August 16, 2012

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Ben

C'mon, don't be a cry baby, you just got the audio control last week ; )

August 16, 2012

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Bob

I don't think its being a crybaby considering that low cameras like the t2 set, and 60d, all get zebra's and we are forced to buy an EVF or use that horrid internal light meter, which is good for just about nothing.

August 16, 2012

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But with the 7D you also get full 720p out of the HDMI during recording to your preview monitor - so you win some, you lose some.

August 16, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
220

I am glad the sound level issue was addressed on the 7D but I still wish I could use ML's other great features. Thanks for your positives on the 7D - just bought it early this year and then realized ML wouldn't work.. that was sad. and now i wish i had gotten the 5Dii - anyway- i need to do with what I have and yes, it is a nice camera. I just need to be reminded of it now and then

August 23, 2012

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Omar

No way, dude. The 7D is a badass camera. You can gut the shutter area and put a PL mount onto it, it has full HD monitoring during recording, a gyroscope to check balance, 8fps still shooting, the new 2.0 update, and a wicked autofocus system- and even though I dont use autofocus for stills or movies, I tried one out when taking pictures at a party and it makes it 10x easier to take great photos, especially when drunk.

August 16, 2012

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john jeffreys

"Very fast playback zoom" ?? Not sure that I understand what this means. The HDR looks amazing. Is it significantly different then that of the December 2011 update?

August 16, 2012

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Antony Alvarez

It speeds up the rate at which you zoom on photos when viewing in playback mode. Just means you don't have to hold down the zoom button for ages to pixel peep!

August 16, 2012

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Luke

It means that it instead of going (hit once) ---> 5x and then (hit again) ---> 10x, it just makes it so one press goes straight to 10x.

August 16, 2012

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john jeffreys

Just want to second donating to the ML team. They've worked incredibly hard over the past couple of years and achieved ridiculously impressive stuff! I don't know what I'd do if I had to go back to shooting without ML now.

August 16, 2012

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Luke

How do I install this on my T2i once I head to the website??? I've never installed anything like this before, that's why.

August 16, 2012

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Phil

There is an install guide within the folder you download.

August 16, 2012

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Edge

Quick query for those who know: is the HDR function actual video, or is it taking multiple photos? Ie, in the video above, is that motion control, or some guy pushing the camera around on a slider?

I'm having trouble finding out for sure, but from what I'm reading at the Magic Lantern site, it sounds like photo and therefore timelapse only.

By the way, if anyone's really keen for HDR video on a DSLR, I imagine you could do this with a 3D rig (rather than trying to do mulitple takes with different exposures). One tedious post process might be to export the videos as image sequences, then use the auto HDR in Photoshop to combine it all. Not sure, though, whether you can create a batch process from within Photoshop to do this, or whether you'd need someone to program a script. Alternatively, of course, you could mess around with masks and blending modes, but the results wouldn't be as good...

August 16, 2012

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And there are cheap 3d rigs available. The cheapest is gaffer tape.

August 16, 2012

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It's video taken using alternating ISO values. If you are shooting at 24fps you would have 12 frames at your low ISO setting (ISO320 lets say) and 12 at your high setting (ISO1600). It is not a timelapse though.

I was using a slider for those shots.

August 16, 2012

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What??? So it is fully functional at 24fps? That's awesome! so this will improve greatly DR right? You could use it virtualy for any shot with a good result.

But the motion rendering is fine? No ghosts or blurs?

August 16, 2012

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Alex Mand

Lot's of ghosting and blur sadly. The only real world use I could find with it was on a Real Estate job (the HDR video in this post). Still an awesome function even if you can only use it sparingly.

August 16, 2012

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You have a very steady slider hand.

Thanks for the reply!

August 16, 2012

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You did a great job on the beach house clip Luke! Well... HDR fully implemented on a MKII would be asking too much... lol but it's a start... :-)

August 16, 2012

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Alex Mand

So basically like what you did on the house scene.
If I were to set my final outcome at 24fps, I need to film my HDR shots at 15 sec with ML FSP override and fix everything up in post?

August 17, 2012

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zino

What about shooting at 720 50P (pal world here) instead?

August 24, 2012

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Ash

<3

August 16, 2012

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Ben P

I am interested to install this on my new 60D however not sure whether this will render the warranty invalid or not. And , on the website there is also a disclaimer stating that the installation could damage the camera itself. That's kinda hinder me from installing and let alone donating for this.

Could someone confirm that if the installation went wrong, can I actually go back to the original Firmware? How? any guide on this?

August 16, 2012

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Yes you can. At any time, you can reinstall the original canon firmware from canon's site and the camera will be good as new.

August 16, 2012

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john jeffreys

Slight addition to what John says - ML doesn't replace the canon firmware, it's a temporary addon. Every time you restart the camera, ML is loaded fresh from the card (or not if you put a non-ML card in).

There's only one change it makes to your firmware, which is turning on the bootflag, allowing the camera to boot from the firmware present on the card. You can reset that and then there's no evidence that ML was ever on there.

August 17, 2012

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Luke

Do you guys think the 5d3 image quality will ever be pushed to be as good (or close to) the c300? I've heard that it is capable of being as good.

August 17, 2012

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Omar A.

With a GH2 type of hack to unlock crazy data rates it would be a lot closer I think!

August 17, 2012

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Luke Neumann

Well that's good news! However do you think that will actually be created? For example, if the magic lantern people aren't able too, will anybody? There was a interesting quote I read today on a forum... the guy said that "the Canon 5d3 is just one firmware away from being a monster!" I am just hoping it's sometime soon! What do you think?

August 17, 2012

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Omar A.

I am taking an educated guess here, but Canon Mark III simply does not have the powerful base structure to unlock, like Vitaliy Kiselev has done for GH2.

Bill

August 20, 2012

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You DO know that the C300 has an entirely different sensor built from the ground up to be optimized for video, right? Data rates are only one part of the picture.

August 17, 2012

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john jeffreys

Well I'm not to tech savvy. I am just hoping the 5d3 resolution gets pushed to look as clean and sharp as those other cameras. Just trying to capture the opinions of you all who actually know what your talking about! haha

August 17, 2012

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Omar A.

If you wanted something cleaner/sharper, you could have spent your 3500 + a little more on a sony fs100 or something. The 5D3 isnt a video camera lol, its a high end dslr that happens to shoot video fairly well. Not exceedingly well, but fairly well.

August 17, 2012

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john jeffreys

I personally think the C300 is priced $9,000-$10,000 too high though. It doesn't excite me in any way. The Missionary position of cameras.

August 17, 2012

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Yeah, its a shame. The high price tag is probably the reason why there isn't much fanfare/hype around it now. I haven't heard of any major/festival/indie films that are using it

August 17, 2012

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john jeffreys

It will never get as sharp as the C300, you're stuck with the way the sensor deals with resolution, but you could potentially get a cleaner picture with smoother gradients thanks to higher bitrates - which really starts to show up in post-production during color correction/grading. Somehow getting 4:2:2 color would actually also be very helpful.

August 17, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
220

Agreed. I just see the before and after of what a bit rate hack does to the GH2 image (a lot) and think with something similar, the 5D Mark III would produce a really nice image!

August 17, 2012

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And I think the sensor in the C300 is the main reason for it's price tag. Just from an image stand point though, if the Mark III could improve on it's (arguably) biggest weakness (resolution) then it would be a lot closer to the C300 in terms of pure image quality.

I would argue that a Mark III with high data rates and sharp video would be borderline "exceedingly well". That's just coming from seeing the difference between a hacked GH2 vs. a non hacked. Unhacked Mark III has a LOT more going for it than an unhacked GH2. Now people are talking about the GH2 and the Sony f65 in the same breath (which is a bit of a stretch...)

August 17, 2012

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I tend to ignore the GH2 propaganda, because at the end of the day its a plastic consumer toy and has no place on a real film set.

August 17, 2012

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john jeffreys

Ditto, the C300 is a very specialised camera but it does deliver beautiful beautiful images. Been shooting extensively on the FS100 the last year and the 700 adds that unreal high speed performance too. That's one seriously powerful piece of kit. For an indie shooter that's some serious hardware at a properly affordable price. Luke, you rented it and did a monster piece of work with it which I loved. It's a proper video camera, it has XLR inputs, you can shoot moderately flat, so go shoot! Peepers will peep though I guess and while it's nice to talk about definable, knowable numbers and tech, wouldn't it be nice to see some people spend a bit more time on technique?

GH2? Film camera? Give me a break!

August 17, 2012

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My point is that resolution and clarity go a long way in overall image quality. I don't give two f bombs about how it looks. All I care about is the video it spits out and for the price I would suggest a GH2 over a Mark III every day of the week.

Sony FS700 was a great cam. I loved it. That just shows you how overpriced and boring the C300 is. The FS700 is HALF the price and spanks it in features and specs. I'm not saying features and specs are everything because they aren't, but they are the bar a company should use to price their stuff IMO.

Half the price, you could potentially end up with a 4K/Raw FS700 for the price of a C300...hmmmm, I know what camera I would choose.

August 17, 2012

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The C300 is overpriced, but it certainly is not boring. If lit and exposed and graded correctly, it looks almost as good as an Alexa.

August 17, 2012

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john jeffreys

@john jeffreys "I tend to ignore the GH2 propaganda, because at the end of the day its a plastic consumer toy and has no place on a real film set." And a 5D MII or any Canon DSLR is?

August 17, 2012

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Vas

I get your poitn Vas, but you have to admit that the GH2 praise and comparison to the F65 is, a bit over the top.

August 17, 2012

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You can ignore "propaganda" without saying pointlessly inflammatory things like "The GH2 doesn't belong on a real film set", whatever a "real" film set is.

August 17, 2012

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Luke

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