What Is Magic Lantern? | How To Install It Properly.

Magic Lantern
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All about Magic Lantern that you need to know.

Magic Lantern is a FREE firmware add-on for Canon manufactured cameras written by Trammell Hudson primarily for Canon EOS 5D Mk II in 2009. Originally the software was created for the average film makers who used DSLRs to film their projects. The features base however has fortunately expanded since then and now a large array of options are available for all kinds of stuff for still photographers too.

Canon Logo

 Magic Lantern is a very safe and secure piece of software that DOES NOT interfere with Canon’s stock settings or software at all it just runs alongside it. Have no fear installing this amazing software does not affect your warranty in any way. The software does not interfere with Canon’s stock firmware but just makes tiny little changes that are completely reversible at any given time it is indeed very safe.

Currently Magic Lantern supports all the cameras in this list below:

5D2, 5D3, 6D, 7D, 50D, 60D, 500D/T1i, 550D/T2i, 600D/T3i, 650D/T4i, 700D/T5i, 1100D/T3, EOS M.

 If you are one of the lucky ones on the list you are good to go. Keep reading and I will get you started in not time.

Fast Cyclist

Follow the steps below for a new install:

  • Before loading the software it is advisable that you update your camera to the latest Canon firmware available for your camera. You can look up this Canon USA page for more details.
  • After updating your camera make sure is the camera is cleared of all camera setting on a low level format.
  • Now head over to the Magic Lantern website and then go to downloads.
  • Next from the drop down menu select your camera model. It is very important that you select the exact same firmware that you have on your camera.
  • Perform a quick format on a SD card and copy the contents form the download earlier.

We are almost done now.


  • Select the ‘Manual’ mode on you camera mode dial and put in a fully recharged battery.
  • Insert the SD card now that has the contents of the Magic Lantern software you just downloaded.
  • Then turn on your camera and navigate to the update firmware option and perform the update that the camera is prompting. This is called the “boot flag”.
  • Wait for the camera to take in all the updates. DO NOT touch the camera or press any buttons at this point of time. The camera will then prompt you to restart the camera, do it.
  • Restart the camera and move over to the video mode. You are now running Magic Lantern…yippee!



Magic Lantern

You may want to have a look at the user guide for starters.

Now a few things to remember here.

Magic Lantern is a great piece of software that does bring out the best in your Canon camera but there are a few things to remember here just to be on the safe side and not damage your camera in any way.

  • Always turn OFF the camera before you take the battery or the card out. Remember the firmware is still on the card and taking it out abruptly may damage your camera.
  • Even after you have opened the battery or the card door never take the battery or the card out until the led stops flashing. This is very important since the camera writes on the card as soon as it detects opening the card or battery door. Let the LED stop blinking before you proceed to take them out.

That is all that there’s to it. Play around will all the setting and see for yourself what works best for you. You are the only person whose opinion matters here.

Best of luck then.