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Canon 5D2 - With Magic Lantern Firmware

Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:42 pm

I know that the Magic Lantern firmware for the Canon 5D2 greatly improves video usage, but I heard that the latest version also offers a lot of nice features for stills.

Has anybody here tried Magic Lantern? If so, what are your observations? Is it worth the switch?

[Edited 2013-07-17 12:29:19]
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RE: Canon 5D2 - With Magic Lantern Firmware

Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:43 pm

As I understand it, the new version offers an increase in dynamic range for still images (14 stops!) but this version is only for the 5DIII and 7D.

Is it worth the switch? Well a big thing to be aware of is that Magic Lantern voids the Canon warranty. It is possible that Canon will not even service a modified camera or will charge you to restore the original firmware (which probably means a chip replacement).

For video shooters, I can understand the risk may be worth it as magic lantern does add useful functionality - but for an improvement in still image quality? Consider

- 5D (any version) IQ is pretty close to as good as you can get with a DSLR already
- You may see some improvement in certain conditions and/or when pixel peeping, but are you going to see a significant difference in any practical use of the images?
- the software is currently alpha - do you really want to risk trashing a camera?

I think if I had a spare (ie 3rd body) 7D lying around unused I would give it a try, but not on a camera I rely on regularly.

There are always people who enjoy tinkering with technology and pushing things to the limit, and that's great but there's always a down side. Think of modified cars - you generally can improve aspects of performance, but there's usually a downside in terms of economy or reliability or maintenance costs.


Colin K. Work, Pixstel
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Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:41 pm

RE: Canon 5D2 - With Magic Lantern Firmware

Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:43 pm

Thanks Colin for your input.

I agree, running 3rd party software is always dangerous, especially if it voids your warranty. If it is worth the risk for me is hard to assess, that's why I opened this thread. Before I go ahead and take the risk, I want to find out if the upsides really warrant it.

I am not looking for a vast improvement in IQ. I am already happy with it as it is. I am more interested in the additional features, mainly:
- Automatic Exposure Bracketing
- focus stacking
- Intervalometer
- bulb ramping
- bulb timer

Pretty much all the stuff that would either require external tools or can't even be done at all otherwise.

At this point, I agree, I am not willing to take the risk. But if I can find some first hand experience with the software, I would be more inclined to do so.  

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