Magic Lantern – Photographers Take Control

Just a quick news flash, if you’re not up to date yet with the Magic Lantern.

Similar to CHDK, a firmware hack that allows you to take control over all the hidden features in your Point & Shoot, Magic Lantern unlocks some very nifty features on your New and shiny Canon 5D Mark 2.

Magic Lantern Firmware is mainly focused on video, but hey – if you’re techie enough, feel free to jump in and download the source code and add whatever feature you’d like. (A movie, feature list and some thoughts after the jump).

OK, so here’s what I am thinking. Point 1: The world is a big place, and among all the talented folks out there, there must be a few really, really good programmers. Similar to that matrix guy, the Neo dude.

Point 2: Some of us are tired by not having control over our equipment. I betcha those are the same kind of guys who changed their car to eat bio-diesel.  Some do it for the sake of anarchy, some for the pure technical challenge and some cuz  they want more. Whatever the reason may be, they are willing to invest the effort (and this is by no means a small effort) to study the internals of the camera and camera SW and write new code that will add features on top of it.

This is a cool way to look at life in general. If you see something you don’t like, or if you see something that you’d like to be better, fix it. It is way better from the other option – whine about it.

The other cool aspect of Magic Lantern is that it is open source and free. The fact that Magic Lantern is open-sourced allows people from all over the world to contribute to the effort of building it. If you know the Linux story, this is how it started. By letting others into the game. The numbers will win eventually.

Sadly enough I don’t own a shiny Canon 5D Mark 2, so review is not even close. If you had a chance to play with this, drop a note on the comments.

Here’s the list of features Enabled by Magic Lantern

  • On-screen audio meters
  • Disabled AGC
  • Manual gain control
  • Zebra stripes (video peaking)
  • Crop marks for 16:9, 2.35:1 and 4:3 

I am sure that there will be many more.