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Be careful using this for production work: Please test your camera and the firmware extensively before committing to using it on a set or any "one-take only" events. It has proven fairly stable in use, but there are still some rough edges.

Please review the FAQ. You have questions. It has answers.

General Instructions

  • Very important: remove the battery after each test run. Sometimes the tasks are not properly shutdown when it enters power save mode, leading to the CPU to stay in a tight loop and run down your battery.
  • Copy the magiclantern.fir and magiclantern.cfg file to the root directory on the CF card
  • Select "Updated firmware" from the menu
  • Camera reboots directly into LiveView mode
  • Press Picture Style button once LiveView is displayed to bring up the Magic Lantern menu
    • Use the joystick to move between items.
    • Click the joystick to select items to toggle them.
    • Press Picture Style to exit the menu.
  • You must reload the firmware after every powersave event or card removal

Release 0.1.9

From Trammell Hudson, Nov 28 2010:

I have been neglectful of my favorite camera these past few months and left it running the older 2.0.4 Canon firmware. Today I spent the afternon locating the necessary symbols (thanks, patchdiff2!) and have built a version that boots on the 5D Mark II with 2.0.8.

Attached is a version for folks to test. I put it through some tests and the few things I tried seemed to work (autoboot, MBR writing, zebras, int/ext mic switching, etc). I also fixed (?) a bug in the bmp_load() code: by reading into an uncacheable region of memory it seems to never get the bad results from the read.

Please give it a go and let me know if there are any outstanding issues. Once we have it a stable we should make this one generally available since all the new cameras have 2.0.8 pre-installed.

FYI: if you have a camera with a serial console, there does appear to be a password on the port now.


Download link

  • [1] first announcement
  • [2] with QScale support
  • [3] Canon 2.0.8 firmware update

If you have any problems, please report them on the issue tracker. If you are interested in building your own version, you can download sources under the terms of the GPL.

Please note that this firmware requires Canon firmware 2.0.8 ONLY. If you have upgraded to 2.0.9, please be aware that this release will not work at all with it.

Good luck!


Without their hard work on understanding Canon's point-and-shoot cameras, this would not have been possible. They did the hard-core reverse engineering on their cameras using only a LED to blink raw machine code and built an entire community on top of it. And since they released it all under the GPL we were able to learn from their efforts.
Jon Fairhurst @ Poorly Projected Pictures 
Jon did the alpha testing to find a decent set of input gains and to compare the Magic Lantern firmware against other recorders. He also handles much of the tech support and has a few thousand posts over at
Robert at juicedLink provided guidance on the audio testing procedures and provided a CX231 preamp for testing.
Cinevate has donated a matte box and rails system. Their DSLR shooting rigs turn the 5D into a cinematic camera system.
Chris Barcellos @ MYF Media 
Chris does a great job of bravely beta testing the Magic Lantern firmware and has been providing tech support.
SmallHD has provided a DP1 HDMI field monitor so that Magic Lantern can be extended to support external displays.
Glidetrack produces high quality, low cost and very compact tripod mounted tracks for dolly shots. It's amazing how much a tracking shot adds to the cinematic feel.
5D Film Making 
5dfilmmaking produced a much better intro video for the Magic Lantern project and can teach you to make better films with your 5D (or 7D or other DSLR), too.
Thanks to everyone who made a donation via PayPal or through equipment donations! You can donate via PayPal to help keep the project going, too.

Older releases

Good luck! And don't forget to read the FAQ

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