4 Reasons for the still photographer to try Magic Lantern

4 Reasons for the still photographer to try Magic Lantern

I installed magic lantern on my EOS M a few weeks ago, and I am going to share 4 reasons why you might want to try it as well.

Magic lantern is a firmware hack for canon cameras. You install it in a process very similar to updating the firmware on your camera. I am using the most up to date version of ML for the M, which is still not a stable release. There are some potential bugs, but they do not seem to affect every camera, and I have had no problems with it.  The EOS M is already a great little camera, and the Magic Lantern firmware adds even more functionality to it.  The amount of stuff added to the camera is initially a little overwhelming. For the videographer, there is some really nice stuff, most notably – HD Raw video. I have not been able to test out the raw video because I do not have a memory card that is big or fast enough.
I just dabble in video, so I will be focusing on the features that I have found work for my needs.

  1. Focus Peaking
    If you use manual focus lenses like I do, this is probably the most amazing feature I have ever seen on a digital camera. There are 2 flavors here, the first is normal focus peaking, which overlays a color artifact on the parts of the image that are in focus. This makes focusing possible with out zooming the viewfinder in 5x or 10x. It work amazingly well if you are using a tilt-shift lens, or a very narrow DoF. The second flavor of the focus peaking is an edge contrast view rendered by the digic chip in the camera. It is very useful in some scenarios as well.
  2. In-camera  intervalometer
    I do a fair amount of time lapse shots, and a built in intervalometer is an awesome addition. The camera does not have a plug for a remote, so the possible way to trigger for a time-lapse is with this addition. It also adds bulb ramping and flicker removal in camera.
  3. RAW Histogram
    WHY DOESN’T EVERY CAMERA HAVE THIS? Canon? I am asking you!
  4. Custom Bulb Settings
    Again, this should be on every camera. I often want to take a 262 second (or some other random time) I should be able to put any time in the field and go.

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