daily planet5D 37 – magic lantern v2.3 review – man this rocks!

by planetMitch7 Comments

I finally made the time to sit down with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and put Magic Lantern v2.3 (read the announcement of the new version) on it – and man was I shocked at how complete and seemingly stable this release is!

You have to get Magic Lantern – at least give it a try – after all it is free!

My biggest reaction was that I'm now disappointed that Canon hasn't put more of these kinds of features in the latest round of cameras. If the Magic Lantern team can do it, why can't Canon?

Canon – you're about to be trampled by the competition (did you see the announcement about the camera running Android?). [poll id=”29″]

This video is just over 30 minutes long – I got carried away with showing many of the features. Oh, and to get it uploaded, I had to upload in 540 resolution. Sorry about that too. Hope you enjoy it none the less.

I recorded the screen with the Atomos Ninja-2 that I've been testing out. You can see that here

planet5D magic lantern v2.3 review

[tentblogger-youtube XcQY-zQuwRk]

Magic Lantern v2.3 features

This thing has some incredible features (this is just a partial list!):

  • Audio:
    • Change source
    • Wind filter
    • Mic power settings
    • Switch off Auto Gain Control (AGC)
    • Headphone monitoring (requires cable)
    • Audio Meters on screen
  • Exposure:
    • White balance
    • ISO
    • Shutter speed
    • Aperture
    • picture style
    • Exposure override
  • On screen overlay:
    • Zebras (over exposure)
    • Focus Peaking (also known as focus assist)
    • Magic Zoom
    • Cropmarks (see the right screen ratio while recording!)
    • False Color
    • Histogram in video with live updating
    • Waveform in video with live updating
    • Vector scope live
  • Movie mode:
    • Change video bit rate – constant or variable bit rate
    • Movie Logging (get text file with clip settings)
    • Movie auto restart at 12 minute end (does include 2-3 second delay tho)
    • Recording/not recording notification (large red slash when not recording)
    • HDR Video! (records alternating frames at 100ISO and 1250ISO )
  • Photography (stills – remember them?):
    • HDR Bracketing
    • Intervalometer! (Canon – still don't know why you can't build this in!)
    • Bulb/Focus ramping on timelapse (attempts to adjust for change in daylight at sunset for example)
    • Take a photo on these situations: LCD face detection / Loud sound (clap for example) / Motion detection
  • Misc:
    • Shutter count function!
    • Sensor temperature detection
    • battery level %
    • Full Magic Lantern manual is in-camera – and accessible for each screen option
  • MORE! There's so much in here it is impossible to cover it all

Here's how to get all the episodes:

Don't forget! You can get this as an audio only file: daily planet5D audio #37

What has been your experience?

Have you used Magic Lantern version 2.3? What did you think? Was it stable?

Sound off in the comments!

(cover photo credit: snap from the podcast)


  1. I was at an official Canon photography class a few weeks back at one of the national parks. They were discussing HDR and how to do an HDR image with more than the standard three images on the T2i. I asked if they ever planned on updating the lower end cameras to do five image bracket sets or have the higher end ones do seven or more image sets and the instructor said that they had no plans that he knew of but that that I should look around for some “third party” solutions obviously referencing Magic Lantern without officially mentioning it.

  2. Hello,
    Just wondering if you did a “low-level format” on the CF card before installing the ML firmware? The instructions say to do this but I don’t see an option in the 5d2’s menu to do this. Thanks for the help!

  3. ML seems to run cool on my 60D but I’ve notice my 5D2 runs hot, and the batt.life is not as long when I’m running ML… do you guys run into the same problem?

  4. Still exploring ML myself and it was one of the reasons I opted for getting the 5DMKII. One great feature is the ability to change the LCD preview to a ‘Standard’ PS while you shoot with a custom flat PS(Cinestyle). Also, I think it’s possible to do automated pull focus although I haven’t tested this yet…

    1. You know, I wondered why they had that extra setting on the display menu – now it makes sense… set the lcd to see in a brighter picture style.

      i barely even touched the focus menu!

  5. Very thorough – I am picking up a 5Dm2 body in a couple week – THIS will be the first thing I load onto it. And I will be donating to the ML team. Support those who support us…. and then some.

  6. Pingback: How can I find out the shutter count or actuations for my Canon DSLR? | answers @ planet5D

Leave a Comment