Future Is Bright: Magic Lantern RAW Footage In Canon Official Ad


We love Canon for taking a positive stand with Magic Lantern (in fact, we would not be surprised if when the entire ML story unfolds, it would be Canon who either funded or heavily tipped the custom firmware team)

It’s not that Canon cameras takes bad video, but with Magic Lantern, the footage is unarguably better. The well known hack, is an open source project that is available as a third party add-on for certain Canon camera models. Filmmakers consider Magic Lantern essential and many still photographers utilize it as well. It delivers photographers full control over bitrate and framerate, while providing the option for custom bulb timers, bracketing for exposure, and more. It basically fills in all the gaps left by, what some may consider, underwhelming Canon firmware.

But even with Canon not actively fighting it, the firmware add-on is not, nor ever has been, officially supported by Canon. That’s why it’s so bizarre to see some Magic Lantern RAW footage pop-up in an advertisement made by Canon dubbed “Bring It”. Take a look and keep your eyes open at about 0:15 and 0:18 seconds for the aforementioned clips.

All of the footage from Bring It is beautifully crafted, so much ado to the photographers whose footage was featured. But, the advertisement is starting to gain momentum around the photography internet circles as being somewhat deceptive as Canon has made no mention of the use of Magic Lantern in the video which was aimed at showcasing what is possible with your new Canon camera. Yes, those clips were shot on 5D Mark III‘s, but not as the camera comes right out of the box which has some photographers questioning the integrity of the ad. What are your thoughts? Is Canon in the wrong for not putting a disclaimer on the advertisement?

You can see the original footage the Magic Lantern RAW clips were excerpted from by clicking here: Video Skiing Sample by Justin Majeczky (at about 15 seconds in) and A Flood of Emotion by Kim Jong Seong at Pastel Glyph (at about 18 seconds in). The clips are shown in full below:

How here is an interesting question to ask: Is Canon starting to openly and positively support Magic Lantern? We hope so!

[ via CanonWatch | No Film School ]

  • Renato Murakami

    The advertising agency probably didn’t even notice or knew that it was a clip taken with Magic Lantern RAW or anything like that…
    But if the buzz catches on to them and they are asked about it, I do hope they either give a good sum of money to it or even consider hiring as part of the team or something.
    Magic Lantern might feel a bit overwhelming to some, and perhaps the project is better kept open source, but it would be really interesting to see what those guys or at least part of the team would do if they could put their hands in the official firmware and design it.
    How many people went to or even switched to Canon because of Magic Lantern? How many photographers and videographers incorporate it into their workflows? The rest of the videos on the clip… perhaps they didn’t use RAW, but it’s quite possible that they used Magic Lantern…

  • J. Philip vanHeijkoop

    Wow, that’s kinda bad. Not so much that they used a RAW shot but that it’s shot with a different camera. In any case Canon will probably not openly support ML in case something goes wrong with ML (like bricking your camera) and people start to complain at canon (because people will, even if they would say it’s at your own risk). now they can simply say they have nothing to do with ML. It would by nice though, if they were to provide the ML developers with some insight in Firmware (and Hardware) since Canon is still a more interesting option over Nikon for video thanx to ML.

    • JJ

      Yes exactly, Canon won’t accept the consequences any ML frimware ‘may’ cause to your camera. In other words, Canon ‘could’ implement all these features themselves but isn’t confident enough to actually warranty these things, so it will left it to you to brick your camera!

      • vancian

        Or could it be that Canon doesn’t want to release these features because they want to release them slowly to make money on newer cameras. Notice the 7d mark 2 has a built in intervelometer? I’m pretty sure they had that feature sitting in the holster for quite some time now.

  • Mlb

    ML is not for everyone. It has a steep learning curve, and of course if it bricks one camera it is not ready for prime time. Most don’t really NEED it’s features. But I’m happy it is available even though I’ve barely used it. If the footage is from Canon cameras, it’s legit to include it in their advertising, especially with the emphasis that this is what their customers did, which includes ML.

  • klaporte

    So let’s take this in a different direction. What if GM while advertising a new car included in the commercial some aftermarket trim or rims and provided no disclaimer. This is not a conversation about the value of ML or the relationship between Canon and ML, it is simply about not promoting something that the consumer won’t get when they receive the box in the mail. This is cut and dry for me.

  • Bill Binns

    I don’t have any problem with this. We regularly see images that were shot with the advertisers $600.00 camera + $25,000 in lighting gear. Last I heard Magic Lantern cost ten bucks. I doubt that anyone buying a $3000.00 5D MkIII is going to scream “false advertising” over this.

    • Alex

      Even better magic lantern is free!