Canon EOS-M Has Been Hacked, Magic Lantern Alpha 3 for the 5D Mark III is Out

The team over at Magic Lantern continues to make things happen. The camera has barely been released and they've already gotten inside the firmware for the Canon EOS-M mirrorless camera (which shares a similar sensor with the Canon T4i). A firmware update is still a little ways off, but it's another good sign that most (if not all) Canon cameras can be hacked with a little bit of work. Also of note, Magic Lantern has released the 3rd Alpha for the 5D Mark III, which addresses a few issues from the last Alpha.

Here's what the guys had to say about the current state the hack for the camera:

With a little guesswork, we were lucky to notice that on the inside, the little EOS-M is very similar to the 5D Mark III. So, with a few tricks we were able to dump the firmware and print the familiar "Hello World" message – the proof that Magic Lantern will work on the EOS-M...

Follow the porting thread in the forum and stay tuned - you can expect an alpha version during the next weeks.

They also released Alpha 3 for the 5D Mark III, here's a little bit about the release, from a1ex in the forum:

The most important change is a card test executed at startup. My 16GB (Kingston 266x) card has problems, and I'm trying to diagnose the issue: maybe it's just my card, or maybe it's related to this. If the test fails on your camera, please report.

There are also a few handy tweaks:
- Histogram and waveform moved to bottom
- New experimental display for focus peaking (extreme sharpness)
- 16:9 bars for anamorphic preview
- Focus box moves faster (not yet customizable)
- After taking a picture and pressing Zoom In right away, you can scroll through pictures
- Saturation boost when adjusting white balance
- Warnings for bad settings (e.g. if you set picture quality to JPEG instead of RAW by mistake)
- Dim the red LED while recording (make it less distracting)

He also mentions that the Alphas are pretty safe, so that means at the very least you shouldn't experience any catastrophic issues. At the moment the rest of the photo features from Magic Lantern have not been ported over because the camera is experiencing some issues when a random stability test is run. There is no timetable for the next update to add the missing features (or even enable new ones), so for now you'll just have to be satisfied with the great work the team has already done.

Head on over to the Magic Lantern site if you've got a 5D Mark III and you'd like to get in on the action.


Your Comment


Just finish 7D Beta, pleeeeeeease . . :'-(

November 27, 2012 at 7:39AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


can you guys do a post on motion candescence, might have butchered that word but hope you can understand. i believe you where able to a achieve more of a filmic motion on a hacked gh2 with flowmotion patch. still remains very much a mystery as i initially thought 24 fps is supposed to give you that filmic motion but comparing different cameras at 24 frames most still give a kind of cheap feel to the movement.

November 27, 2012 at 8:59AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I've been using ML on my 5dm3 for about 2 weeks or so now. A few days ago during a shoot my camera started freaking out; camera freezing up, clips stop recording mid shot, cards not writing anymore.

At one point, I thought I had lost all of the shots I had shot on one card, because it wasn't reading anymore either.

Anyone else have issues with ML?

November 27, 2012 at 9:04AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


It may be a setting has been changed on your camera. One example: you can routinely crash it by turning up the data rate and over-cranking. I often forget and it takes a moment to realise what I've done. Or I forget I have switched to a slower card. (I've never experienced a card not writing. Could be the card.)

November 28, 2012 at 3:02AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


we are seriously thiinking about buying either a 1dx or c100 when it drops, then donating it to magic latern and adding some extra cash to see if they can hack the 1dx to do 4k or do a firmware for c100 for better codec etc

November 27, 2012 at 9:21AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


1dc has been internally altered to handle 4k. Its not just a firmware difference.

November 27, 2012 at 9:33AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Your best bet might be a goal of giving the C100 a bitrate boost.
The 1D X might also be a viable platform for hacking, but an outright resolution bump with the video might be outside the realm of what's possible with basic hacking; nothing like that has ever been done before, to my knowledge. There's also the extra consideration of, as Vince mentioned, the heat dispersion hardware added to the 1D C.
Now, what will be interesting is, after it has been released, if the firmware from the 1D C can be adapted over to the X. If that's the case, we might be able to get most of the functionality and options available on a much cheaper camera.

November 27, 2012 at 5:14PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Maybe magic lantern should focus on hacks that improve image quality. Easier said than done, I know. But New tech is becoming available making 5d, 7d and 60d irrelevant.

Does anybody think canons HDMI upgrade for the 5d3 will allow the footage to look like 1080pvideo instead of 720p? If it is uncompressed all the ugly macrobocks and artifacts should be gone, right?
I've never played with uncompressed HDMI footage but I haven't heard of anyone doing backflips over it.

November 27, 2012 at 9:44AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I'd be curious about Magic Lantern and the c100 as well, as far as better codec... is that even possible?

November 27, 2012 at 11:22AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Probably not an entirely different codec.. that would require a huge re-work of the entire recording nature of the camera.
What's more likely possible would be a simple bit-rate increase. The GH2 is a shining example of these types of hacks: the camera was hacked to be able to record at over 140Mbps compared to the original 24Mbps and, as a result, could retain a massive amount of detail. How much of a difference a bit-rate hack makes, though, tends to be based on how the image is recorded and compressed internally -- some turn out more successful and useful than others.

November 27, 2012 at 5:22PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I don't know if anyone remembers the Andromeda Reel Stream DVX camera "hack" that was going to allow 444 12 bit 720P from the DVX100A

I wish that had actually come out!

November 27, 2012 at 12:04PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I was all stoked about souping up my HVX200 with the Andromeda.

After that, I was excited about the Cineporter:
That also went up in smoke. :(

November 27, 2012 at 1:22PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


When I pulled the trigger on my C100, which should be arriving at any moment, the last thought I had before I clicked "buy" was, ok, it's clearly not all it could be, but surely ML will find a way to up the bit rate and perhaps overcrank it. Now, if they just had some magic drops that could grow the EVF...

January 8, 2013 at 8:11AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM