TOOLZ: Magic Lantern is Finally Available for Canon 7D DSLR Cameras
As most of you know from many previous posts, I’m not the biggest fan of DSLR shooting, but I’m not a DSLR hater either. I just prefer all video equipment to be to be as user-friendly and hassle-free as possible, regardless of whatever it can do technically. And generally speaking, DSLR’s still have not crossed that threshold for me.
But one digital tool that I think has done more than anything to help push DSLR’s toward the threshold of real user-friendliness and less hassle is the popular 3rd party firmware for Canon DSLR’s known as Magic Lantern. Up until just a few days ago, Magic Lantern has not been available for one of the most popular and widely-used DSLR cameras – the Canon 7D. (*Magic Lantern is already available for Canon’s 5Dmk2, 50D, 60D, 500D, 550D, 600D models and soon will be for: 5Dc, 1100D, 5Dmk3)
Now if you own a Canon DSLR camera and you’ve never heard of Magic Lantern before, let me pop a breath mint before I tell you what it does, because you’re gonna want to kiss me in gratitude when you find out…
In short, by modifying the firmware (the mini-operating system that runs the camera), Magic Lantern adds in a bunch of features that make DSLR’s perform more like traditional video cameras by adding some simple, but crucial functions:
- Focus peaking (This is worth installing it alone!)
- Audio meters while recording
- Zebra Stripes
- Histogram, Waveforms and Vectorscope
- LiveView settings (brightness, contrast…)
- Live HDMI out (coming soon)
And that’s still not everything that Magic Lantern can do, just some of the key features. This is a brand-spanking new “ALPHA” release. The ”BETA” release and subsequent upgradeswill ultimately include even more functions. Installing Magic Lantern firmware is like a mini-camera make-over that will make it much easier to do those minor little filmmaking tasks such as setting proper focus, exposure and audio levels.
Check out the quickie installation demo video below to see Magic Lantern in action.:
…Now you may wonder why the hell were none of these features included in the DSLR’s to begin with if it’s technologically possible? Simple- these cameras go for cheap, so the manufacturers didn’t want to make it too easy to shoot great video on a DSLR when they sell other video cameras that cost many times the price. However, just like any other technology that’s artificially stripped down, resourceful indie maverick’s have found a way to unlock the full potential of the technology.
Download Magic Lantern for the Canon 7D for FREE right HERE.