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Thread: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    Ever since I got a new edition artificial knee joint that was faulty and had to be removed/replaced two months after it was installed; I don't buy or try the first edition of anything. Let someone else try it and suffer the consequences. However Magic Lantern for the Canon 7D has been on the street for a while and any bugs should have been ironed out.

    I want the some bells and whistles added to my 7D with Magic Lantern, I don't shoot video with the DSLR so any video enhancements would not interest me.

    Important additons for me:
    1. Extended bracketing
    2. Voice tags for images

    Nice to have additions
    1. In camera intervalometer
    2. Motion detection

    I am under the impression that the Magic Lantern add-on may also extend the dynamic range of the camera...

    I have two questions for those who have installed and use Magic Lantern on their 7D:

    1. Can it hurt my camera?
    2. Does it work as advertised?

  2. #2
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    Re: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Ever since I got a new edition artificial knee joint that was faulty and had to be removed/replaced two months after it was installed; I don't buy or try the first edition of anything. Let someone else try it and suffer the consequences. However Magic Lantern for the Canon 7D has been on the street for a while and any bugs should have been ironed out.

    I want the some bells and whistles added to my 7D with Magic Lantern, I don't shoot video with the DSLR so any video enhancements would not interest me.

    Important additons for me:
    1. Extended bracketing
    2. Voice tags for images

    Nice to have additions
    1. In camera intervalometer
    2. Motion detection

    I am under the impression that the Magic Lantern add-on may also extend the dynamic range of the camera...

    I have two questions for those who have installed and use Magic Lantern on their 7D:

    1. Can it hurt my camera?
    2. Does it work as advertised?
    1. I'd wait to see what someone else says and you know someone is going to try it.
    2. Seems to work for other camera models, I only read a quick review on Amazon and the features look worthwhile.

    If you have more than one camera body and are willing to sacrifice its functionality then why not?

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    John,
    I am not sure that I understand what you mean by "willing to sacrifice its functionality".

  4. #4
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    John,
    I am not sure that I understand what you mean by "willing to sacrifice its functionality".
    I briefly read about the firmware not working on some camera models. See below.

    In addition to Magic Lantern's usual warning that its software has been created by reverse engineering and cannot be guaranteed 100% safe, we stress that Canon never intended the EOS 50D to record video at all. Issues of heat buildup could potentially pose significant risk for those who choose to enable this functionality.

    I know you have a different model than what is described above but you did say you had access to a beta version.

  5. #5

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    Re: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    Richard, I've been using ML on a 550d and 600d for some while with no problems - I've not explored everything but still...

    1. Extended bracketing - Yes, to a great extent
    2. Voice tags for images - not that I've found

    Nice to have additions
    1. In camera intervalometer - yes.
    2. Motion detection - yes.

    1. Can it hurt my camera? - yes.
    2. Does it work as advertised? - yes.

    Here's the user guide - http://wiki.magiclantern.fm/userguide#hdr_bracketing

    HTH

    Peter

  6. #6
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    I use Magic Lantern on my 5DMkII and 50D, but if I were a 7D owner, I'd probably wait for stable release. YMMV. Right now, the only firmware versions supported by the latest 2.3 stable ML release (i.e., not nightly, alpha, beta, or release candidate builds) are:

    • 5D Mark ii 2.1.2
    • 50D 1.0.9
    • 60D 1.1.1
    • 500D 1.1.1
    • 550D 1.0.9
    • 600D 1.0.2

    There are development efforts to bring ML to:

    • 5DMkIII
    • 5D Classic
    • 6D
    • 7D
    • 40D
    • 700D
    • 1100D
    • EOS M
    • 100D/SL1

    Generally speaking, in software development terms, a nightly build is a compilation run on the current code in development every night. Bleeding edge-may-be-broken, but you get visibility into what's being currently developed. An alpha build is more stable, but is one that's not feature-complete (i.e., new features could be added/deleted/changed), and obviously is not full debugged. A beta build is one where the features are complete, but full debugging and testing hasn't yet happened. A release candidate is one that they think could be good enough for release, but they aren't ready to commit just yet for wide adoption.

    Typically the worst that can happen is that you have to pull the battery on the camera as something crashes and then reboot the camera. BUT. The 7D and 5DMkIII are special cases. All the cameras on the "official" release list are single DIGIC cameras. The 7D and 5DMkIII are dual-DIGIC (which has yielded the new zeronoise-DR extension algorithm: one DIGIC does the low-iso, the second does the high, and then they're combined. I think). The firmware that runs on two processors has different datapaths than the ones that run on a single processor. So it's taking them a bit longer to iron out the kinks and suss out what goes where. Remember, this is FIRMWARE hacking. We're talking assembly code, not high-level stuff like with app development.

    IIRC, the 7D's version of ML is in its 2nd alpha. It's getting there. But I'm chicken enough to wait until my camera's in the official supported list before using ML. I'm not a video shooter, so a lot of the features were "nice to have"s but not "have to have"s. Again, YMMV. Chances of bricking are low even with an Alpha build, since ML runs on top of the firmware--it doesn't replace it. But there is a higher risk with the alphas/betas than with the stable release and probably a lot more crashing and non-functioning features.

    Hey, it's not like Magic Lantern is anyone's day job.
    Last edited by inkista; 2nd October 2013 at 07:58 PM.

  7. #7
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I am under the impression that the Magic Lantern add-on may also extend the dynamic range of the camera...
    This sounds fallacious. Dynamic range is determined by the sensor, which Magic Lantern doesn't change. So I suspect this info comes from someone who is either talking about the bracketing utility for HDR images, or Magic Lantern enabling RAW and HDR video.

    I'm using a stable release of Magic Lantern on my 60D, and when I use it, I really like it. But it will always be relatively untested software. Just a question of when you're comfortable jumping in. Which doesn't tell you anything because the risk can't really be quantified. But suffice it to say that I've recovered my phone and tablet from bricking, and while it's never happened with my camera, testing an early Magic Lantern release wouldn't worry me too much. It's way less important than an artificial knee.

  8. #8
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    This sounds fallacious. Dynamic range is determined by the sensor, which Magic Lantern doesn't change. So I suspect this info comes from someone who is either talking about the bracketing utility for HDR images, or Magic Lantern enabling RAW and HDR video. ...
    No, it's not blowing smoke and it's not bracketing or the HDR video mode; although it is HDR-related. You probably haven't heard about the latest new feature that's now in a lot of the beta/alpha releases--most notably the beta 3 for 5DMkIII: the dual-ISO mode. This actually does extend dynamic range, but not physically on the sensor (obviously). And while it still requires post-processing, this is different than the HDR video mode, which alternated isos between frames.

    It's basically similar to Guillermo Luijik's ZeroNoise algorithm. In Luijik's method, a base exposure is taken, then another is taken at +4EV (in this case. ML is going one better by sampling half the sensor at iso 100 and the other half (alternate scan lines) at iso 1600 [or whatever settings you choose]). The +4EV exposure data is used to reduce noise, and since noise is a limit on DR, this extends the DR. You lose half the vertical resolution in shadows and highlights (it's interpolated back in the midtones) and there may be moire and aliasing in the deep shadows, but you gain about 3EV of DR, and have the huge advantage of not needing to align and deghost multiple exposures to get the final image (i.e., it can be used for video and it cuts down post-processing time).

    It's a little astounding. They've written a post-processing utility called cr2hdr that you use to turn the dual-ISO RAW file into an HDR file.

    The ML board has a thread for sample images, if you're curious.
    Last edited by inkista; 3rd October 2013 at 06:14 PM.

  9. #9
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista
    The ML board has a thread for sample images, if you're curious.
    Pardon my French, but damn. That's very clever. Basically a 1-frame, real-time HDR. I would kill for that when shooting roller derby. 'Scuse me while I go see if it's in the works for the 60D.

  10. #10
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    Re: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    It's worth looking at the 7D specific board on ML forum to get the low down on why it's not stable branch. My model version isn't stable because it only goes so when it is rock stable. Still have memory related issues (lack of), still occasional lockups and video features don't all work such as no raw video but I've noticed since June it functions fine and hardly had issues since the nightly build released mid month. In fact I was updating regular until then and am waiting for stable branch now unless they fix something since I hardly ever get issues since the new buffering strategy for my 1100d. Seldom occasion I have locked camera I turn off and just pull the battery for a sec and it's back to normal but it hardly ever happens now.

    Original fw stays intact and a few people on ML mention Canon don't dislike it it seems so I never had problem; had warranty issue I had to send my cam away for sensor line issue unrelated to ML. No problem with getting replacement. Obviously they cover themselves with the extreme may damage hardware although it's hard to see how that may happen you never know.

    The bigger issue is if the functionality is lacking to the degree it's not usable or where lockups are feasible even if not everyday thing it may make the missing a shot an issue. My tripod qr plate obstructs the battery door when I have a hand strap attached to it so it takes me half a minute to find a coin and get the battery out which is NOT good if you can't afford a lockup mid session.

    Checking the 7D board you'll be able to judge if it's gonna work well enough for you before you jump in and let others do early testing. I watched it for long time before jumping on. Looking at picking up a &D in future and admit I'd miss ML.

  11. #11
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Magic Lantern For Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey
    ...a few people on ML mention Canon don't dislike it...
    This is Canon's official policy, according to PetaPixel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canon
    There is no such thing as “voiding” the Canon warranty, there are simply repairs that are covered, and those that are not.

    For instance, the repairs for a failure of the buttons on the back of the camera within the warranty period, on a camera that does not show any evidence of mishandling or misuse, would likely be covered. Repairs for a camera that is “bricked” or otherwise having issues directly related to using a third party firmware would not be covered.

    Even if a camera had to have the main board replaced due to it being “bricked” by a third party firmware, and then at some point later (but still within the warranty period) the buttons malfunctioned, the same rules still apply.
    So their warranty policy still applies. If a button stops working, and ML is on the camera, they will replace the button. But if ML causes damage directly (not sure that's ever happened), it's not covered. Even if ML burns the camera down and you get it rebuilt, the original warranty terms apply to the rebuilt camera. Bricking seems to be the realistic worst case, and for nerds, it's fairly easy to recover from.

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