Magic Lantern Firmware Wiki

New to Magic Lantern? Read me first!

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[ draft contribution from unity2k, feel free to improve ]

[ could be trimmed a bit ]

You are here because of your interest in this powerful Canon dSLR add-on called Magic Lantern (ML). This upgrade has proven to be an invaluable tool to the professionals and amateurs who are working with ML daily. Some of those same people are also supplying constant feedback regarding the development process.

With such power, you may encounter a steep learning curve. Without knowing the details of how ML or a specific function works, you may initially become frustrated. You may also be so inspired that you start thinking of what you want to see in ML. Before you join the conversation or voice concerns, please consider the following:

  1. If it appears broken, it likely is not, have you read the user guide?
  2. What you want or need, may already be in the ML software – read the user guide.
  3. The “New” function you desire may have been tried and wasn't viable. Read the FAQ regarding new features just below.
  4. Other “Great Features” may be under development with an active dialogue occurring in the message boards that you are not aware of yet. Visit the boards and start reading.

For these reasons, it is asked that you make a thorough reading of the user-guide. If you are too anxious and want to jump right into using ML and don't feel you need to read the user-guide, there is a built-in help file, simply move over the function you want to learn about and press the DISP or INFO key. This new help system is extremely useful and mirrors what is the .pdf and online user-guide.

Due to the learning curve, it is best that you try the functions you are interested in and read the user-guide – DO NOT get frustrated and go immediately to the message boards and blurt out that something is broken. The fact is, stable releases are usually that – STABLE. The online user-guide is always changing and when a user has information that could prove helpful to the community, links are provided to help you advance your knowledge. There are also video tutorials that may help – watch them.

The message board has about 8,000 messages on it. Before you jump in with comments or complaints, take some time to read what's being talked about. Start looking at older conversations so you have a better idea how ML has evolved and how quickly things progress. Most of all, be PATIENT.

The development team also needs positive feedback about what functions are essential and how they are benefiting photographers and filmmakers. If you feel something in the user-guide or the built-in help files can be improved with language that clarifies how a function works, step up and make a contribution that might help us all.

What can it do for me? Edit

Are you serious about DSLR filmmaking?Edit


Watch a few short films made with Magic Lantern!

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Do you care about proper exposure?Edit

RGB zebras, waveform, spotmeter, false colors are just a few tools.

Audio Conclusions02:17

Audio Conclusions

Are you a musician or audiophile?Edit

Magic Lantern will help you get the best audio quality in the camera, as well as monitoring and VU-meters.

Are you a manual lens shooter?Edit

Magic Lantern Focus Assist Feature on 550D02:42

Magic Lantern Focus Assist Feature on 550D

So are we! You will find plenty of focus assist tools (peaking, zoom box, trap focus...)

Do you like long exposures and astrophotography?Edit


You will appreciate exposures longer than 30 seconds and shake-free shutter release modes.

Are you a macro photographer?Edit

DOF and Focus stacking00:42

DOF and Focus stacking

Do you want a long depth of field with everything in focus? Try Stack Focus.

Are you an HDR enthusiast?Edit


Bracketing up to 9 frames with spacing from 0.5 to 5 EV should handle even the most difficult contre-jours.

Do you want to shoot timelapse?Edit

Hot Air Balloons Timelapse02:17

Hot Air Balloons Timelapse

Check out the built-in intervalometer and bulb ramping!

Are you a wildlife shooter?Edit


Motion detection, trap focus and audio trigger might be just for you.

Do you like to tinker with hidden settings?Edit


Check shutter counter, movie recording with 50D, ISO 25600, flash exposure compensation from -5EV, Kelvin white balance on all cameras...

Do you want to record more than 12 minutes?Edit

Check out Bit rate control and automatic movie restart.

Do you want to use HDMI monitors or recorders?Edit

You can have clean YUV422 signal (without focusing box) on HDMI Output.

Do you need custom grids or cropmarks?Edit


Simply draw them in your favorite image editing program and save them as bitmaps! Or use one of the included ones.

Do you use a fisheye lens?Edit

Turn it into a ultra wide rectilinear lens with live defishing preview!

Is that all?Edit


Check out the user guide for more! Custom focus patterns, focus stacking, transparent overlays for panoramas, fast zoom in Play mode... you name it.

FAQ Regarding New Feature Requests Edit

Custom scaling of LiveView image? Full HDMI out? Anamorphic lens correction? Edit

Unlikely. These features require understanding the communication with DIGIC (the ability to resize YUV image buffers).

Image on built-in LCD and on external monitor at the same time? Edit

Not possible; it may work with a splitter and two monitors.

It is possible to use "Remote LiveView" at the same time as the LCD, however framerates are very low. The Canon EOS utility (as well as some third-party software) supports this feature, via the USB port on the camera.

Full HDMI out while recording? Edit

Extremely unlikely. See Relocation.

Custom frame rates? 120fps? 15fps? Edit


Microfocus adjust? Edit

Very unlikely, even after understanding how it works on 50D.

Fixing aperture clicking on kit lens? Edit

Not possible (workaround: unscrew the lens).

More than 3 picture styles? Edit

Not possible

Custom ICC profiles? Edit

Not possible.

Timecode? Edit

Extremely unlikely. See here: Timecode.

Electronic shutter? (take pictures without moving the mirror) Edit

Currently possible at low resolution (up to 2 megapixels).

Higher resolution requires a great deal of reverse engineering.

In-camera image processing? Edit

For preview only (at 720x480).

More flash control options? Edit


At ISO 25600 you can trigger third-party flashes in LiveView on 550D.

Magic Lantern menu in other languages? Edit

Not a priority. There are translations of the user and install guides available online.

Autofocus in movie mode? Edit

Highly experimental; you have to compile Magic Lantern yourself with CONFIG_MOVIE_AF = 1.

Shutter speed of 1/31.4? Edit

Shutter speeds are only possible in 1/8 EV steps.

MRAW / SRAW on Rebel cameras? Edit

Highly experimental; if you know how to decode the RAW data (not just the embedded JPEG), please let us know.

Digital zoom in movie mode? Edit

Extremely unlikely; you will have to buy a 600D/T3i.

Bypassing the 4 GB limit? Edit

Very unlikely (it requires low-level manipulation of file pointers and could be risky).

AF confirmation without chips? Edit

Extremely unlikely

Output signal via usb or other connection on Shutter release? Edit

(basically to control the movement on a slider, camrea controlos when slider moves for timelapse or video, therefore no need for an external controller!!)


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