Magic-lantern-alpha-for-5d-mark-iii-224x149Earlier in the week it was mentioned that Magic Lantern was being developed for the Canon 5D Mark III, and that a version would be released this week. Well, the wait is over, because the first alpha of Magic Lantern on the Mark III is now available for download. While it doesn't contain all of the features of the major 2.3 release, it does have many essential video functions that make shooting easier. Check below for more details on the release.

From the Magic Lantern site:

Since a complete port may take some time and we realize that a lot of people are waiting for it, we have decided to release early a minimal version that should be useful and - we hope - with very little risk. This first alpha version is based on v2.3 core and only has a small feature set, like zebras and focus peaking (see screenshot). It will not attempt to change any Canon settings or do any kind of permanent firmware modification. This also means the autoboot feature does not work yet - you will have to load Magic Lantern every time by running Firmware Update from Canon menu. Since the 5D mark III has two card slots, we recommend running Magic Lantern from a small SD card that stays in the camera. All recording can take place on CF cards. The CF cards don’t have to be bootable or prepared in any way, and you can freely swap and format them without problems.

Here is the photo showing what is currently working on this first alpha version:


Obviously this is big news for Mark III owners out there because many have been waiting to have basic video features like zebras and peaking that have already been available on other Canon DSLRs. There is a catch, however, and that is you must be a donor in order to have early access to this download. If you're using your Mark III heavily, though, paying a few dollars to have these functions might be worth it. This process will take around a day for new donors to be able to download, but if you're already a supporter, you can download immediately. The team is always looking for donations because of the tremendous amount of time and resources it takes to develop these third party firmware upgrades.

The other good news is that once version 2.4 of Magic Lantern is ready, the Mark III will be receiving as many features as possible from the 2.3 release (all of them if they are stable). This means that we should be seeing everything currently available on the other Canon DSLRs ported over to the Mark III, which definitely makes the camera a lot more fully-featured. I am very curious to see what may be capable in terms of a bitrate hack for the Mark III, as the ALL-I mode produced some strange noise patterns that were not seen in the IPB mode. I also have not heard anything more about the clean HDMI -- and it's not clear if the camera is even capable -- but at the speed Magic Lantern is moving I would image we'll know in the next 6-12 months.

Head on over to the Magic Lantern site using the link below if you'd like to try out the firmware for the Mark III.