Magic-lantern-mark-iii-alpha-2-224x149The first alpha for Magic Lantern on the Canon 5D Mark III added quite a few of the basic functions that were released in the major 2.3 release. The second alpha has just been released, and it brings some interesting features, including clean HDMI, a High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode in video, and gradual exposure, which allows the camera to slowly ramp up to the selected exposure settings, rather than abruptly changing them. Check below for the rest of the details.

Here is an example of HDR on the Mark III from Luke Neumann:

Some of the new additions in this Alpha 2 firmware:

Gradual Exposure

  • In movie mode, just change your exposure settings (ISO, shutter or aperture) and Magic Lantern will perform a smooth transition
  • Can be useful, for example, when filming from indoors to outdoors
  • This feature is new, and so far the 5D Mark III is the only camera that handles it almost perfectly

Focus assist tools

  • Magic Zoom (zoom box or full-screen - 2.6x while recording)
  • Experimental focus peaking modes (alpha blending, raw display)

Display tweaks:

  • Brightness, contrast, saturation (useful if you record with flat picture styles or you use the camera in bright sunlight)
  • Display gain (LiveView usable in very dark environments)
  • Anamorphic lens correction (preview only, in LiveView)
  • Fisheye correction for Samyang 8mm, using rectilinear or Panini projection (LiveView and Playback)
  • Clean HDMI out with pillar boxes (just erases the overlays)
  • Screen layouts, especially for HDMI (16:10, 16:9 etc)
  • Customize menu colors (e.g. dark themes - easy on your eyes during night shooting)
  • UniWB correction (attempt to remove the green color cast from the screen when you use UniWB)
  • Upside-down display (for inverted tripods)

These new additions make this a far more fully-featured camera than Canon ever intended. The HDR mode is particularly impressive, and even though it may not work correctly in all shooting situations, it can make a huge difference in a pinch when you don't have complete control of your environment. Autoboot, HDR photos, timelapse, and long exposures are still disabled, but we should be getting them soon enough as the firmware becomes more stable and more of the kinks get worked out.

The clean HDMI is now available for all Canon cameras that use Magic Lantern (except for the 7D, but it's coming), but with the Mark III, the HDMI preview does not completely fill the screen, so you'll have to enlarge in post to fill a full 1080. One of the other big features, anamorphic lens correction, gives you a proper picture to judge the frame when you're using anamorphic lenses. While this doesn't affect the actual recording area, it is still useful if you don't have an external monitor capable of correcting.

You can try out this new firmware and also read about the other intracacies of the release using the link below.

Link: Second alpha for 5D Mark III -- Magic Lantern