Magic Lantern

Thanks to Mik for the comment that brought this to my attention. Magic Lantern is a firmware hack for the Canon 5D Mark II that enables the following features:

  • Onscreen audio meters
  • Zebra stripes
  • Crop marks
  • Manual audio level controls
  • Lower noise than stock firmware
  • Possibly messing up your nice camera

I don’t quite know what to make of this, other than to point out the obvious: filmmakers are so keen on making this camera work for them that they’re willing to risk damaging their cameras.

It reminds me of what Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) said in Jurassic Park: “Life… finds a way.”

Personally, I’d rather have a peaking focus assist than audio level control. I don’t mind doing dual system with this camera. But the zebra feature is great, as are the crop marks.

If the Magic Lantern guys figure out 24p I may just have to install it, but until that day I’ll hold out hope that Canon will beat them to it.

Magic Lantern Firmware Wiki

Discussion on

Update on 2009-06-22 20:46 by Stu

Good and useful comments below, including one from Ville that links to a FAQ and prompted me to delete the line about voiding your warrantee.