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Magic Lantern Risk

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Ben Edwards
Magic Lantern Risk
on Feb 23, 2011 at 8:31:44 pm

Hi everybody,

I have a Canon 550D I got mainly for shooting video. I am considering using the Magic Lantern firmware. I am trying to work out how risky it is.

Firstly how easy is it to revert back to the Canon firmware. Do I just download the latest one from the Canon site and update in the normal way.

Secondly if the update goes wrong can I easily revert to Canon firmare, if all else fails can I get canon to put the original firmware back. If I can is it lickly to be expensive.

Just trying to work out how risky Uning Magic Lanter is.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Magic Lantern Risk
on Feb 24, 2011 at 12:27:41 am

I downloaded it and I've gone over the site, but it still looks pretty harmless with the exception that it can totally screw up your camera. Supposedly, bad things are rare and usually happen when you don't get the correct updates. Make sure you have version 1.0.9 of the firmware, too. Remove the battery and card from the camera AFTER EACH USE and keep a separate card for ML than other cards. Get the software they recommend for your SD card(s) (I use MacBoot).

Going back was as simple as the directions on the site say they are (format the card in the camera). The risk is basically that it kills your warranty if something goes wrong and you will need to pay to fix or buy a new one.

If you're not sure, check the wiki site for Magic Lantern and read the issue tracking area.

My personal warning: this is a hack. The site is hacker-friendly. Many of these folks are coders and hackers first and filmmakers or videographers or even photographers second. If you are not real comfy with terms like "boot sector," not real good with technical terms, or wouldn't know a bit from a byte (okay, I'm getting dramatic here), consider NOT working with ML and wait for a camera that will do what you want. I mention this because many years back, I was a computer guy and I wrote lots of code, but got really bored with code and decided I wanted to work with machines not code them. I have a background in code and I'm comfy swapping out bootable SD cards and such.

That said, until I have some time to really test it's capabilities, I'm not comfortable using Magic Lantern for any professional use, BUT you gotta start someplace.

Jonathan Ziegler

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