Mixing my favorite hobbies

One of my favorite hobbies is photography. But when you get a bunch of geeks hacking their cameras, then it really gets fun. Magic Lantern is doing just that for certain Canon DSLR users.[1].

Some of the neat things they’ve been able to do so far:[2]

  • ISO Settings: Magic Lantern opens up more ISO settings on the camera. This alone may be worth the price of hacking your camera.
  • HDR Bracketing: By default, most Canon cameras will shoot 3 images bracketed at a maximum of +/- 2 EV. Magic Latern will analyze the first image and then take the appropriate number of images to get the entire dynamic range.
  • Intervalometer: Normally this is an add-on device for DSLR’s, but the internal intervalometer with Magic Lantern is quite impressive. Using a submenu, Magic Lantern’s intervalometer can be set to shoot ‘X’ pictures, over a ‘Y’ duration, with a start delay of up to 8 hours.
  • Motion Detect: When camera is set to Live View, the camera will detect motion due to brightness changes and automatically take a picture.

Note the common warning posted through out the site:

This code changes low-level sensor parameters. In the technical doc you can see how this method messes with the feedback loop for optical black, for example. Therefore, it’s safe to assume it can fry the sensor or do other nasty things. We don’t pay for repairs. Use it at your own risk.

Look for more on Magic Lantern in the months to come.

  1. Current firmware works on the 5D Mark II, 50D, T1i (500D), T2i (550D), and the T3i (600D).  ↩
  2. For a full list of what Magic Lantern can do, check out the ML User Guide.  ↩