Canon Uses Magic Lantern Footage In Its Own Advertising. Really?

by Hugh Brownstone4 Comments

For serious videographers committed to Canon DSLR’s, thank goodness for Magic Lantern.

As many of you know, this free firmware addon provides many of the desperately needed video functions otherwise missing from the Canon consumer and prosumer DSLR line, from software-enabled headphone monitoring to zebras, pull focus, extended dynamic range, and more.

Having used Magic Lantern myself, I can attest to its capabilities.

And, once again, having used Magic Lantern myself, I can attest to my disappointment that any of us should have to rely on the incredibly talented and generous Magic Lantern community for items that Canon’s competitors already offer (GH4, anyone? A7, anyone?) built in, production-robust and warranted.

OK, Apple doesn’t make all of the apps for its iPhone, either, and I’m still pretty happy with my iPhone 5.

But that is NOT Canon's business model, and I don’t need to go to the app store to buy an antenna to make the thing work like it should.

Still, as many of you know, I’m a huge Canon fan (see “A Love Letter — and Plea – to Canon”), and optimistic enough to hope that with its next major camera release, Canon gets back on top of their game.

And yet — when I first came across this tweet by @oceanblue5841, I saw red.

No attribution to Magic Lantern.

Was this deceptive advertising? Did Canon know the footage had been run through Magic Lantern?

What’s clear is that a small snippet from a larger piece of (absolutely beautiful) footage was used in a Canon commercial.

It’s also clear that what appears to be the original footage was posted on Vimeo with a subtitle by the poster who appears to be its creator, Pastel Glyph: “Canon 5D Mark III Magic Lantern Raw Video (1920×800 24p).”

If any of you can shed additional light on what transpired here, let us know.

OK, enough with the hand-wringing and microanalysis.

It was a beautiful piece of filmmaking; Magic Lantern is awesome; and this is just another example of the fact that Canon is an A-list player in an increasingly competitive industry, in danger of having its market share eroded by more innovative, nimble and customer-centric competitors.



(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. Another interesting article. Thanks Hugh. If it was not for Magic Lantern, I would have dumped Canon a couple years ago. The team at Magic Lantern has enable so many of the necessary features for video that Canon refused to put into their HDSLR cameras that Canon is starting to look silly at this point.

    Even now, I have a GH4 in my shopping cart at Amazon and it is only a matter of time until buy it and never look back to Canon. I have been exclusively using vintage lenses for all my video work recently making for a pretty easy switch. Unfortunately, I still need a fast wide lens with IS and thus it increases the initial purchase price by about $1,000. That one item has delayed my purchase decision thus far.

  2. DSLR Solutions I hear you.  Fast IS glass — especially at the wide end — is an increasingly recognized weak link that spells opportunity for the manufacturers who see it and act on it.  Thanks for the feedback!

  3. Pingback: Canon Used Magic Lantern RAW Footage For An Advertisement (no joke) - CanonWatch

  4. its just dispicable of the canon brand to use magic lantern in there adds like it was theres all along,,these japanese businessmen will even steal someone elses work and not even mention it was not theres,this has gone to far,no shame and making money off open source is just shamefull of canon.the faster you get off there brand the better.

Leave a Comment