Magic Lantern conquers Canon EOS 5D Mark III firmware 1.2.3!

by planetMitch25 Comments

Alex over at Magic Lantern announced today that the Magic Lantern team has a version of their software that should work on Canon EOS 5D Mark III firmware version 1.2.3 (which is the latest version)

Alex stated:

“Not alpha, not beta, nor zeta, just a bleeding edge that happens to work for me. It might work for you or it might not.

(note that my standards are fairly high, so what I call bleeding edge, others may call semi-stable or whatever)”

There are significant updates in this version too… like the elimination of the need to mod the boot flag – but Alex also warns there are still issues with portions of Magic Lantern including the HDMI output in this version – so be cautious and aware!

What does Charlie Locke say?

Before we get into the details of Alex's announcement, I got a quick statement from someone you'll want to meet – Charlie Locke – who is the author of a new Magic Lantern ebook (that we were about to release but now Charlie's back editing late into the nights).

“It’s very late, but I don’t care! Magic Lantern, those treacherous geniuses have gone and done it again. The dedicated developers at Magic Lantern have been working (no-doubt), tremendously long and hard hours, in order to port their Software add-on for the 5D Mark III to the latest and greatest 1.2.3 firmware from Canon.

This means big things for the Magic Lantern community, and I for one cannot wait to do some extensive testing with it. External monitoring is only the start of it.

The very first version for 1.2.3 that has been released publicly as “5D3.123-bleeding-edge”, suggesting it is for those risk-taking early birds (such as myself) that want to get right in on the action with new opportunities!

With .MLV RAW recording just around the corner, and no doubt many other new features being introduced, I can’t wait to see just what other doors upgrading to 1.2.3 opens, as I’m sure there are many! Only time will tell.”

Here's what one person who's had an early look at Charlie's book (and has done some consulting with Charlie about Magic Lantern)

“Magic Lantern gives your camera a whole new set of features to improve your production. Raw video, intervalometer, HDR video all on your 5D Mark III. You can spend days trying to figure out how to install and use Magic Lantern or you can call Charlie Locke. Read the eBook!”

Look for it soon on the [email protected]

Magic Lantern announcement

1) Format the card from the camera.
2) Make sure you are running Canon firmware 1.2.3.
3) Copy ML files on the card and run Firmware Update.

1) Run Firmware Update from your ML card.
2) Follow the instructions.

What's hot:
– bootflag issue solved!
– installation is really easy (simply unzip the files on the card, update firmware and you are ready to go)
– uninstallation is equally easy (update firmware and follow the instructions)
– EosCard is now optional (might be required for 64GB cards or larger; didn't try)
– ML restores itself after formatting the card (man, that komputerbay card is fast!)
– you may install on any card combination you may think of.

What's not:
– unlike most firmware updates which fix minor things, this one changed a LOT, especially on the display side (for example, LiveView is now quad-buffered and most of the display registers were changed).
– watch out for corrupted frames (from my limited testing, I'm not fully convinced the issue is fully resolved on 1.2.3 => for serious video use, please consider staying on 1.1.3)
– fast zebras not working, but can be fixed
– no full-screen magic zoom (I never used it anyway, but was nice)
– no brightness/contrast/saturation adjutments (registers changed)
– HDMI issues (possibly worse than 113, didn't try yet)
– no documentation (yet).

For photo use (raw overlays, ETTR and so on) it should be just fine (that's how I use it).

Source code:
– the 5D3-123 branch in the main repository.
– feel free to merge it locally with unified or experimental branches to get a sneak peek for the future updates.
– I'll merge it to unified when I'll be confident it's at least as good as the 1.1.3 branch (based on your feedback).

Thanks to:
– chris_overseas for initial porting and testing
– horshack for advice about safely toggling the bootflag
– Audionut for early builds and support in the early porting thread
– marekk, pompeiisneaks, jpaana, rufustfirefly, sinubis and others for early feedback and small fixes
– mk11174 for getting the 700D port in sync in this one
– everyone else who volunteeres their time to make a great community project.

Final notes:
– check nightly builds often and stay up to date! I'll do my best to make sure there are no critical issues in the nightly builds.
– there are quirks and bugs waiting to be fixed (please report them properly, with details on how to reproduce).
– grab the ARM toolchain and start hacking! (start with something easy or just tweak/fix whatever you find interesting).
– If anything goes wrong, we don't pay for repairs. Use Magic Lantern at your own risk!

coming soon: a lot of stuff, including a real sensor upgrade, a C compiler that runs on your camera and other geeky stuff like this

What do you think?

Earth shattering or ho hum? Sound off now in the comments below!

First video with new ‘1.2.3' release

User EXIV has posted this youtube video shot with the new 1.2.3 version of Magic Lantern

Great!!! Here is the very first test of the Magic Lantern for 5D Mark III 1.2.3 I just installed this new ML version and then I made a couple of shots to test the raw, which WORKS PERFECTLY!

The only issue, I was so in rush trying it that I committed the mistake to shoot with a very low ISO, so I had to increase the exposition in Lightroom, and this is why there is an incredible amount of noise, which indeed it wouldn't be there if I would have shoot at a decent ISO.

I will keep testing the other functions and then come back with updates!

Thanks a lot ML guys!

The video has been shot on:
Canon 5D Mark III
Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 USD
CF Lexar Professional 1000x 32GB

Special thanks to EXIV

Music: “Yiourgh” by DoKashiteru (feat. Coblat)
is licensed under a Creative Commons license:

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


    1. Author

      Boy that’s a good question – I haven’t seen any hints about it – but someone somewhere is thinking about it I’ll bet 🙂

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  6. NO WAY on 113.
    there are no repercussions with it now.
    no boot flag damage… and if you don’t like it you can always go back to normal..
    I will wait a little bit to the major bugs are fixed then start playing and put my canon cine primes to real use….

  7. Hi planetMitch, thanks for posting my video! Today I have made another test, this time I have tried to shoot shots longer than 30 seconds… the first one is OK but the second one is totally corrupted, meaning that I can’t use it at all. I don’t know if this is a unique unlucky event or not, I will test more and then I will keep posted… other than that, it seems to me it works great!

    Here is the second test I have made today:

    Thanks a lot!

  8. -No bootflag damage.
    Does this mean I can completely uninstall Magic Lantern without leaving any trace of ML?

    -How is the startup speed?
    Heard many people are headache about this during the nighty builds.

  9. With respect to this latest update, does anyone have insight as to whether you’ve got access to control the Exposure slider in Manual Mode (not video mode)?

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  11. I went here to get the new ML for 1.2.3:

    I downloaded the file called “Installer: updated 5D3-123 FIR binary”, and placed it into the root of the SD Card (it was about 41KB, which I found rather small), went to the 5F menus and applied the firmware update, and finally restarted the camera, *but* after this step I don’t see the ML menus anywhere (by pressing the trashcan button).

    Am I missing some files? where do I get them from?

  12. Did you have any issues recording more then 1 minute of video in raw? For some reason I can’t record longer then that in either the mlv raw or the old raw modes.

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