Back in August, Magic Lantern, the group working on the very successful firmware hack for Canon DSLRs, released their most impressive and fully featured release to date. A culmination of a few years of hard work has become a true third party firmware solution, and not just a hack. Stability has been increasing steadily with each update, and now Canon DSLRs have certain features (like HDR in video mode), that aren't even available on any current camera. The one missing camera from the list of compatible options is the full-frame 5D Mark III that was released earlier this year. It was proven that it was possible to boot into the camera's firmware back in April, but now it's official: the Mark III will be getting a version of Magic Lantern this week.

While the first alpha release this week will not see all of the features of the big 2.3 ML release, it will still be a significant step forward for people looking to get some more video functionality out of the Mark III. The image below shows everything that will be enabled in this first release -- thanks to Luke Neumann for the info:


So it's not going to include some of the more interesting features like higher bitrates and HDR, but at least for the time being we know that Magic Lantern is working for the basic features that Canon keeps reserved for its Cinema EOS line. There's no clear timetable for a bigger release of Magic Lantern for the Mark III, but a lot of that will depend on those testing.

As far as higher bitrates, even though the ALL-I mode theoretically should have higher quality because of its high bitrate, people have noticed that the shadows are overly noisy, even when exposed. I have only noticed a little bit of this, but it would be interesting if a higher bitrate version of the regular H.264 codec would actually produce better results than ALL-I. Only time will tell on that one, but it's certainly exciting news for owners of the Mark III.

What parts of the new Magic Lantern firmware version 2.0.3 would you like to see ported over first?

Link: Magic Lantern -- 5D Mark III Discussion