5D Mark II Team

Improvements & Gear

Magic Lantern AJ 5.0

MAGIC LANTERN AJ 5.0

Our friends at Planet5D have recently posted the announcement of a new version of Magic Lantern.

This version includes many improvements, along with a great and enhanced user interface (menu). Just check the video and you’ll see what we mean.

Here is a brief list of improvements:

1) AJ MENU: *
Have a play and let me know what you think.

**2) CANON ISO MENU* :
When you change the ISO (using the button) – the Canon menu is now displayed for about 5 seconds

3) HOTKEY* : Enhancement
More details in the FALSE COLOURS MENU. When you press/hold the Joy-Centre for a period of time (eg 1 sec) – on release, the false colours is toggled.

4) AUDIO* : Enhancement
When configuring audio – the audio meters are shown.
Options for Microphone source, analogue gain and digital gain dashboard display.

5) KILL OVERLAY* :
Activatable from GREEN SCREEN MENU.

6) ML CONFIG SAVE* : Enhancement
You can save config either immediately, every time the camera is switch off, or Once (eg to save the exact state you want ML to start up in).

7) AF-ON* : Enhancement
I have tried to untangle the DryOs spaghetti of ‘events’ to enable more keys to be on the Camera. I didn’t have much success (mainly because when AF-ON and ISO keys is pressed, the Dry-Os has a bit of fit). What I have done is try and stop these keys from interfering with the keys in ML.

You can find the original post by Antony Newman at Magic Lantern firmware development group here.

For LOT more details of this latest Magic Lantern version, check Planet5D article: Fantastic New Magic Lantern Canon EOS 5D Mark II Firmware Version Announced.

You should also check Magic Lantern Wiki.

CANON FIRMWARE UPDATES

This is one of those things that makes you wonder… “WHY Canon doesn’t improve the official firmware when there is so HUGE potential inside this camera?”

Well, that’s exactly what we ask and request to Canon since SO long ago…

Check the article Canon Firmware Updates: List of Fixes & Improvements.

EXTRAS – Firmware 2.0.4

Please note that this new version of Magic Lantern only works with Firmware 2.0.4.

If you need Firmware 2.0.4 for Canon EOS 5D Mark II, you can get it clicking on “Extras” at the bottom of this page.

1) AJ MENU: *
Have a play and let me know what you think.

**2) CANON ISO MENU* :
When you change the ISO (using the button) – the Canon menu is now displayed
for about 5 seconds

3) HOTKEY* : Enhancement
More details in the FALSE COLOURS MENU. When you press/hold the Joy-Centre
for a period of time (eg 1 sec) – on release, the false colours is toggled.

4) AUDIO* : Enhancement
When configuring audio – the audio meters are shown.
Options for Microphone source, analogue gain and digital gain dashboard
display.

5) KILL OVERLAY* :
Activatable from GREEN SCREEN MENU.

6) ML CONFIG SAVE* : Enhancement
You can save config either immediately, every time the camera is switch
off, or Once (eg to save the exact state you want ML to start up in).

7) AF-ON* : Enhancement
I have tried to untangle the DryOs spaghetti of ‘events’ to enable more keys
to be on the Camera. I didn’t have much success (mainly because when AF-ON
and ISO keys is pressed, the Dry-Os has a bit of fit). What I have done is
try and stop these keys from interfering with the keys in ML.

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March 22, 2011 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, News & Info | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Hidden Potential of 5D Mark II

Contents:

  • Update
  • Introduction
  • Magic Lantern: Video Interview
  • Conclusion

UPDATE

March 2nd, 2010: Canon announced the new firmware update 2.0.3 with the standard frame rates (23.976,25,29.97fps) and some few additional “extras”.

That is a great update, long awaited and deserved for such a best seller camera.

Unfortunately Canon didn’t implement some additional features, that ARE possible. Just to mention few: AutoISO limits in M mode (for stills and video), Audio meters on real time while on LiveView (so easy), Focus programming (Focus Rack, etc.), Full HD output through HDMI, etc. (check our link to the list below).

There are LOT of possible fixes and improvements still possible to this camera, that was a real unexpected success to Canon. Let’s hope Canon take advantage of that success in a smart way, that contemplate all 5D Mark II customers, ensuring their loyalty that will reflect in more sales on full frame lenses too.

INTRODUCTION

After the release in Q4 of 2008 of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and its unexpected and huge success in the world of cinematography, thousands of users started to request “Full Manual Control” in video mode, to  “fix” the most obvious limitation that Canon put on this camera: it was released without manual control in video.

After many months of requests, in May of 2009 Canon announced the release “By Popular Demand” of firmware 1.1.0 which gave that basic function to customers.

The requests didn’t stop there, because there were (and still are) evident limitations: the camera only records video in one and non-standard frame rate (30.00 fps).

That means every single video clip has to be converted to the standard 29.97fps (NTSC) or 25fps (for PAL users) or 23.976fps (for real filmmaking purposes) with all the big time consuming tasks, technical problems and many times bad results (footage degradation) that implies.

So, thousands of customers kept requesting for all the “standard frame rates” that were even introduced on the EOS 7D but still not in the 5D Mark II.

Then after a big campaign (“Calling Canon“) and all the previous requests from all around the world (by amateurs, professionals and even companies) Canon USA launched an on-line survey specifically aimed to video on the 5D Mark II. A couple of weeks later, in October of 2009 Canon made the official announcement (.PDF version) they will release a new firmware update.

MAGIC LANTERN – VIDEO INTERVIEW

Since Q1/Q2 of 2009 one person, “tired” of requesting to Canon for full manual control and 24/25p modes, started the process of analyzing the firmware of the 5D Mark II with the hope of fixing it. His name: Trammell Hudson. The project: “Magic Lantern“.

That process had many stages and is still in continuous development. The first step was to fix the easiest automatic function: Auto Gain Control (audio gain/level is automatically controlled when recording, not allowing manual override). It’s a remarkable fact that Manual gain control is even available on many P&S cameras like the G line, but still not provided by Canon on the 5D Mark II (a $2,700 body-only DSLR).

After that, many features and “fixes” were introduced in this project. Lot of them were never seen on a DSLR before, and probably not even dreamed by Canon (check the List of Fixes & Improvements).

Below there is a link to a recent video interview with Trammell Hudson, a pioneer who Canon still seems to underrate.

CONCLUSION

If only one person with the help of a tiny group of people, without knowing a piece of the firmware source code has achieved so amazing results, how much more could Canon do if they wanted?

What could be concluded in a scenario like this?

A: Canon is not really “listening to customers”, but only willing to give to customers what “it’s enough to sell”.

B: Canon’s high level executives and managers still didn’t understand what they have achieved with the introduction of 5D Mark II. Do they forget thousands of customers who already invested so much?

C: Canon is not treating customers correctly and professionally. Thousands (really thousands) of customers from all around the world have requested by any possible way all these fixes and improvements to Canon. But Canon declines to tell anything else than the last brief announcement about a firmware with 24/25p modes.

Maybe Canon is forgetting that people who invest in a $2,700 body-only camera and full frame lenses (and in most cases several thousands dollars in Canon gear) are not entry-level users nor hobbyists. They are mostly serious amateurs, professionals or even companies. So as a serious company, Canon should give clearer answers and better attention to what thousands of customers are asking for.

– The most interesting fact about all of this:  Magic Lantern has proven lot of those features requests are possible via Firmware Update. No redesign of the camera is needed, only an enhanced firmware to let this camera take advantage of its huge inner capabilities, and give improved functionalities (for stills-only shooters & filmmakers).

– The “funniest” fact (if we can call it that way):  Even many Canon representatives are using Magic Lantern, because they do know the extraordinary features and functionalities it provides to the 5D Mark II.

Our last conclusion still are questions:

  • WHY Canon seem not willing to implement these fixes and features when they really CAN?
  • Is Canon not interested to make this camera more competitive, more featured with an insignificant investment cost on firmware enhancement, then getting more profit of an already in-production camera?

They could perfectly apply this concept to the 7D and 1D Mark IV as well, and then have a full line of full featured DSLRs capable of Full HD video, something that no other company on the world still have.

Please take a look at the List of Fixes & Improvements that has been elaborated with thousands of customers’ feedbacks and requests.

Some years ago Canon (like many companies) would have paid a lot to know what customers needed and requested. Now Canon can get it for free.

February 7, 2010 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, News & Info, Special Info, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Magic Lantern – 10 Questions

There is a VERY interesting interview to the leader of Magic Lantern Project, posted on November 1st at Cinema5D, that is really worth reading.

Please check it here: 10 Questions with Magic Lantern’s Trammell Hudson

Some quotes from it:

It would really please me if Canon incorporated all of the features from Magic Lantern into their firmware.

(…)

“Perhaps they hadn’t considered the filmmaking market for the DSLR form-factor. In any event, Magic Lantern brings the ability to add these features to the user, not just the manufacturer.”

(…)

“The 5D is a great camera and I hope that my project helps Canon sell more 5D camera bodies. We’re not in competition, despite the rhetoric on some of the forums: Canon has created an incredible camera and I’m really pleased to be able to add some measure of additional value to it. The fact that they have added manual exposure control and will be adding 24/25p frame rates indicates that they are engaged with their user base and that they are working to improve the cameras that have already been sold.”

(…)

It would be great if Canon would provide some documentation to make this easier (…)”


If you are interested on this project and/or in what CAN be improved on Canon 5D Mark II and 7D, please consider supporting us. It will certainly benefit all users.

We are acting as Community, your are not alone and your help is VERY valuable.

It can be provided in many ways. One is Calling Canon and registering your Features Request for the 5D Mark II and/or 7D. Please check the Features Request List that has been written as reference by lot of 5D Mark II users.

Another way is supporting Magic Lantern Project.

You can of course do both things 😉

We sincerely hope that Canon take a deep look on what the huge Community of Photographers and Filmmakers are requesting all around the world, and release so many improvements that can really be implemented via Firmware Update with minimal costs.

That will not only improve their own product line and make it more competitive and versatile, but also keep big sales on existing models, and that is a great deal from a business point of view.

It is MUCH cheaper to exploit the inner capabilities of an already designed and already in-production camera, than making a new whole design with its respective firmware and all the process it implies. The costs between both actions have no comparison, the difference is astronomical.

Additionally, if customers see that Canon is engaged with their users to improve the existing cameras, exploiting their huge potential, then they will certainly increase their LOYALTY to the brand. And that is a KEY factor for the long-term company profit, especially in the high competitive market of DSLRs.

As some reader and customer said:

“If Canon want to maintain customer loyalty people need to know when they purchase a Canon product they are going to be looked after. If I knew Canon would add if possible any features wanted by customers, I’d buy Canon EVERYTIME.”

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS 7D, EOS T2i/550D, News & Info, Special Info, Tech Ideas | , , , , , | 1 Comment

5D Mark II Features Request

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • List of Features Requested
  • List of Additional Filmmaking features
  • The importance of Standard frame rates
  • Information & Testimonials
  • Can I help?

INTRODUCTION

This is a list of improvements that have been requested since months ago by lot (thousands) of customers around the world. Please check “I Called Canon” and previous posts to see testimonials and procedure.

Some improvements could be more difficult or hard to achieve due “possible” hardware limitations, but others are really easy for Canon.

This Campaign has reached Canon departments in the past for the Manual Control request, and now is reaching them again for improvements that are possible to this camera and VERY important for Film makers.

Most (if not all) of these features CAN be implemented via Firmware Update, and that means: no big costs to Canon at all.  “Refreshing” this camera and keeping big sales and profit on an already designed and already in-production model, keeping it more competitive (especially important when competition arrives) is a big deal, isn’t it?

Doing so would reflect in: more sales, but also more loyalty to Canon, more credibility, then more long-term profit for the company.

The more customers requesting, the more chances (check Info & Testimonial).

As someone said:

“ If Canon want to maintain customer loyalty people need to know when they purchase a Canon product they are going to be looked after. If I knew Canon would add if possible any features wanted by customers, I’d buy Canon EVERYTIME. ”

LIST OF FEATURES REQUESTED

Frame Rates as in 7D Done
29.97 / 25 / 23.976 fps: STANDARD 30/25/24p video modes.

720p mode at 29.97 fps
It will allow LONGER video recording time before reaching the 4GB file size limit.

▪ Improve AF contrast detection algorithm and/or add Focusing Aids
Magic Lantern has done a lot on this, and proven it is extremely useful, even essential. See additional Filmmaking features.

Digital Zoom Video mode
To record on video a smaller area of the sensor as “digital zoom”. Very useful.

1:1 Crop Sensor Video mode
To record a native 1920×1080 area of the sensor, which extremely minimizes “jello” effect and eliminates aliasing issues/artifacts. This is possible in a similar way how Zoom level x5 and x10 works, but recording on video what you see on screen. This function could be part of the above one.

720p mode at 59.94 and 50 fps X Removed from final release 2.0.3

File Spanning function
A new video file is automatically created when 4GB is reached without stop recording. Very important for lot of users.

“EDIT” option in playback mode (for Video mode)
This would allow Cut and Save part of recorded video clip. It is available on 7D and much cheaper P&S cameras.

Noise Pattern Bug/Issue (Stills and Video mode)
FIX. Noise pattern/banding visible on shadows at high (and not so high) ISO.

More frames in Bracketing mode
For still photography. Very easy to fix.

Auto ISO in Manual mode
For still photography, improved and with selectable limits.

REMAP” hot & stuck pixels function
This will save Canon Technical Support LOT of money and time. It is an essential feature. We still don’t understand why it wasn’t already implemented.

Full HD through HDMI output while recording

Live Histogram for video mode   Done

Remote Start/Stop video recording using cable release (if hardware possible)

Audio Manual Gain for video recording   Done
FIX. Very easy, and essential for acceptable audio recording.

LIST of additional FILMMAKING features

Hugely demanded and used (until now only via Magic Lantern)

▪ Control of focus
▪ Peaking, false-color and edge detection on LCD
▪ Focus Assistance
▪ Focus rack
▪ Focus stacking
▪ Zebra stripes (video peaking)
▪ On-screen audio meters

… and LOT more features that has already been proven to be possible (and VERY useful) by Magic Lantern Project.

They are helping thousands of users on filmmaking jobs
, and Canon could do even a better implementation of them via Firmware update. That would be another BIG BANG to keep big sales on this great camera.

Focus Assistance System / Focus Detection Area
It would tell (in LiveView mode, and in real time if possible) when a specific area of the frame is in focus or not. This feature would be very helpful and very much appreciated by filmmakers.

Magic Lantern’s New Features Request:  Check them here, you will get very good and creative ideas on new features.

  • We hope Canon consider all these features very seriously to be implemented via Firmware update, because they ARE possible and they ARE VERY IMPORTANT for Film Making jobs (Nikon could do it before indeed…)

THE IMPORTANCE OF STANDARD FRAME RATES

EDIT: This is corrected with Firmware version 2.0.3 released on March, 2010.

Until now the 5D Mark II has not even a single frame rate compatible with any other video camera made by Canon, 7D included! That’s why we request the standard 29.97 fps too.

We hope that Canon is now aware of what this unique camera has started: a revolution in DSLRs, and the huge importance it has for professionals who already adopted it (along with lot of expensive full frame lenses) for serious videography and filmmaking jobs.

INFORMATION & TESTIMONIALS

See by yourself, this is HUGE, you are NOT alone:

(*) Web in japanese, you can use online translators, although results might be not very clear. It was translated by japanese people and sent to us. This is only a paragraph:

“24fps and 60fps were made possible (on the 7D) not because of dual DIGIG 4, actually a single DIGIC 4 can handle 24fps and 60fps.”

CAN I HELP?

Absolutely! You CAN help. Community efforts DO bring results, like in the “Manual Control” request campaign.

Just check “I Called Canon” and the links above to see the procedure, more information, some experiences and testimonials.

EVERY effort by every individual or group in the right way is VERY important and valuable, and will benefit all users. But remember that only online complains are not enough.

That’s the way this works.


Last update: March, 2010.

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

CANON: WHAT IS GOING ON?

Edit: Please also check next post  Canon: What is going on? (2)


In the light of the 7D having the features we all (owners of 5D Mark II) want and NEED,  we will say this very clear this time:

1- Canon DID have a Firmware with “full manual control” for the 5D Mark II since many months before their release on June 2009. Actually, the firmware was created around end 2008. So the statement about “big engineering efforts” to bring full manual control to customers due “popular demand” is NOT true, is a farce.

The only truth is that they already had it, and the demand was HUGE. So they decided to give it to customers (after improving the unofficial firmware a bit, to give more accuracy on settings and ease of use)

2- Canon ALREADY has 24/25p firmware for 5D Mark II, it was tested in many productions since months ago.
It seemed it needed to be improved though.

1 & 2 are something that some few more people do know for a fact.

NOW, WE SHOULD ASK CANON :

– Are you still “listening to customers”?
What about all the cinematography/videography market that invested in 5D Mark II and Full Frame expensive lenses?

What about the so long requested 24/25p and some other (very possible) improvements?
And the HIGHLY needed 29.97 instead of the current non-standard 30.00?

– Even more, what about a 720p option, that could help so many customers/professionals a lot in many jobs, which would also extend the current recording time limit (which is in fact a 4GB file size limit)?

– Are you going to offer 24/25/30 at Full HD (1080p) and HD (720p), and even 60fps at VGA (640×480) in a $1,000 cheaper, cropped sensor camera and forget everything you achieved in the market with the 5D Mark II and all your customers?

– Or are you going to put more efforts and improve the 5D Mark II Firmware too ?

The full manual control was publicly released due the HUGE demand and popularity, it was a convenient move in business terms.
If we all (community around the world) hadn’t requested it by every possible way, it could have probably been never released (officially, cause it was already “there”).

– Canon should take care of customers loyalty, even for a matter of business.
So many responses given by tech support when asking about manual control were kind of joke, completely unprofessional, like some statements in the original 5D Mark II White Paper (removed from 5D MK II webpage after a while)

– If Canon does not improve 5D Mark II, we are getting used to be treated VERY unprofessionally, with silence as answers to our questions/request, or with responses that say nothing but “we can not tell anything about what Canon is or is not going to…”

– Customers of a professional camera and professional line of lenses, investing thousands of dollars in Canon equipment deserve respect, good customer service, attention, and clear answers to their inquiries and requests.

We are not talking about a $200 camera, but a $2,700 body-only camera…

– Magic Lantern Project team has proven to be more efficient and creative in few months, than Canon with all their resources in a much longer period of time.

So, WHAT IS GOING ON CANON? ARE YOU STILL LISTENING TO THOUSANDS OF CUSTOMERS AROUND THE WORLD?

We are tired of being a kind of toys in the business topic.
In the facts, customers are EVERYTHING for a company. Without customers’ purchases and loyalty, the company will not survive.

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, Special Info | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

What Canon will NOT give…

Last Update: September 1, 2009

BRIEF LATEST NEWS:
– Check: Canon 7D and WHAT IS GOING ON?
– New Magic Lantern 0.1.6 released!!


What Canon will NOT give to customers…

Magic Lantern

The Magic Lantern Project:
Improvements for Canon EOS 5D Mark II

– This Blog was firstly created and intended to spread the Petition to Canon Inc. requesting for FULL Manual Control in movie mode and other improvements that can be really implemented via Firmware Update. With the help of thousands of people signing and requesting by every possible way through many months, enough “noise” was achieved to bring Canon’s attention and make them realize the benefits of giving FULL manual control in video mode to their customers.

It was a long and hard task though, that even many people didn’t believe as possible. Canon kept complete silence until the announcement; and there are also some secrets regarding the matter of “manual control” for video that were not revealed to public, and will be probably never widely known…

At least, and at last, the firmware with Full Manual Control in movie mode was released to the public…

– Aside that, while Canon is capable of, but unwilling to make more and very possible improvements (due to business reasons, etc.), there are few people who spend lof of efforts and their valuable time to bring us improvements to this great camera, the EOS 5D Mark II.

What is Magic Lantern ?

It is an open platform for developing enhancements to the amazing Canon 5D Mark II full frame digital SLR. This camera is a “game changer” for independent film makers. This Project will allow every user of the 5D Mark II to freely enjoy and use improvements for the camera that Canon will not include in their Firmware (if any update is still to be released).

It is very remarkable that this very small  group of programmers does not have the source code nor the resources that Canon does have. That means:  LOT of hard work to figure out how the camera system works, how to make changes and how to implement improvements to it.

(Having the source code, or even some kind of guides, would help VERY MUCH indeed. If you can provide some help on it, please contact us. Any help in this regard will be kept completely confidential and private.)

While still in development (this is a work in progress), we want to share this great and exciting project with people who might still don’t know about it. Below is the link to the official website and some screenshots and videos of progress.

Please consider supporting this very big effort, as it will improve the existing features of the camera and more interestingly: is adding new ones that Canon will never include.

Official Website: http://magiclantern.wikia.com

Support this Project:

Rev. 0.1.6 released !:

“After a month of development and testing, Magic Lantern 0.1.6 is finally ready!
Some of the new features:

* Custom cropmarks bitmap file
* Live histogram while recording
* Time remaining estimate indicator
* Automated focus pulls
* Focus stacking
* HDR exposure bracketing
* Lens data (hyperfocal distance, DOF, etc)
* Cleaner, multi-level menus that timeout automatically
* Audio monitoring can be turned off during clip review
* Internal mic can be used (must enable audio.mic-power=1 in config)
* Output audio volume control
* Configuration can be saved into magiclantern.cfg

More info at official site and also at: www.cinema5d.com/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=4589

Focus screen
Curren Features  (rev. 0.1.5):

. On-screen audio meters
. Disabled AGC . Manual gain control
. Zebra stripes (video peaking)
. Crop marks for 16:9, 2.35:1 and 4:3
. To do list for more ideas
. and MORE…
. See the official website for updated fixes and NEW features

Screenshots of Progress and Features:

Pre release 0.1.5

Zoom & Focus info

Pre release 0.1.4

Zebra Stripes

On Screen Audio Meters


VIDEOS:

intro

zoom-focus-info-1

audio

zebra

onscreenaudio


Last Edit: September 1, 2009

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, Special Info, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hack Progress #3 – Zebra stripes

New Hack Progress: Zebra stripes

Zebra stripes

An amazing improvement: Zebra stripes showing the overexposed areas of the scene while recording video (not recorded in the real video file)

Some Questions…

– If an only-person effort made this almost possible (still not available for people’s use but already running properly) along with Onscreen Audio metering bar and automatic audio gain control disabled in just 2-3 weeks (and without having the source code), WHY Canon does not offer any kind of improvements that are REALLY possible to implement?

There are LOT of improvements that can be done…

– Is it because they have no new ideas nor imagination or because it is not of their interest?…

Links:

http://cinema5d.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2664#p17709

http://vimeo.com/4858670

Would you like to help?:

– Share and spread all the information posted on this blog and everything else you have as much as possible. The  more spreaded, the more chances that Canon do something…

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, EOS 5D Mk II, News & Info, Special Info, Tech Ideas | , , | Leave a comment

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