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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old March 21st, 2011, 09:38 PM   #1
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Questions on magic Lantern and other hacks

i have a few questions about the ML firmware and 550D and also general questions.. I havent been keeping up every step of the way and i had a quick look for other threads for this info but i couldnt see any so apologies if its common knowledge.

1. Can you record longer than 12minutes with ML without any gaps ? Ive heard that it will start a new clip after you reach the 4gig limit but does it do that seamlessly ?

2. Can you switch back to canon firmware at any stage to revert the camera back to normal or are you stuck with ML once you flash the firmware ?

3. Is there any auto focus to get it responding more like a traditional video camera ? Ive heard canon firmware included auto focus but it was too slow.. Does ML address that or is it in the pipeline ? or is there any chance a camera like the 550d could ever auto focus quickly like normal video cameras do in auto ?

4. is there anyway of running it off mains power ? or are you stuck with the battery ? If its battery only whats the longest running time you can get filming at 1080 ?
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Old March 21st, 2011, 10:36 PM   #2
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Re: Questions on magic Lantern and other hacks

1. There will be a short 1-2 seconds gap between each recording when using the automatic restart funtion of Magic Lanter.

2. Yep. The firmware stays on the card rather than uploading to the camera. So to revert to the original firmware, just insert a cleanly formatted SDHC card that doesn't contain any ML files. The downside is that you need to have all your cards set up with ML loaded and your settings saved on each card, otherwise you'll need to re-set everything the way you'd like it whenever you insert a new SDHC card. There's a function that lets you create a file that the camera saves on the card with all your ML settings, so i'd recommend using your computer to copy this file to all your other ML-enabled SDHC cards.

3. Unfortunately not. The 550d does allow you to half-press the shutter button to engage auto-focus during recordning, but it is slow, noisy and may hunt alot.

4. Not that I'm aware of, but a battery grip will hold 2 batteries (90 minutes each) so that should get you about 3 hours all up before you need to change. You can turn the LCD off with ML which saves some battery power and prevents overheating somewhat but then you obviously can't see what you're recording - so it's really only effective for stationary cameras.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:20 AM   #3
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Re: Questions on magic Lantern and other hacks

3 - the latest build of ml (3/13) has a couple of auto focus options, including using the up/dn arrows. you'll have to test to see. check the user guide, part of the download.

550d install - Magic Lantern Firmware Wiki


4 - there is an ac adapter for the t2i. pricey, probably a knock-off available on ebay.

AC adapter for canon t2i
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:29 AM   #4
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Re: Questions on magic Lantern and other hacks

1. Can you record longer than 12minutes with ML without any gaps ? Ive heard that it will start a new clip after you reach the 4gig limit but does it do that seamlessly ?

> Yes, you can set the Qscale in ML to a smaller bit rate for longer recording times (I think)

2. Can you switch back to canon firmware at any stage to revert the camera back to normal or are you stuck with ML once you flash the firmware ?

> Yes, you can set it back.

3. Is there any auto focus to get it responding more like a traditional video camera ? Ive heard canon firmware included auto focus but it was too slow.. Does ML address that or is it in the pipeline ? or is there any chance a camera like the 550d could ever auto focus quickly like normal video cameras do in auto ?

> The auto focus is probably too slow to be practical, but there are a number of GREAT focus assists while recording. There is auto rack focus, and auto/manual follow focus that works nicely.

4. is there anyway of running it off mains power ? or are you stuck with the battery ? If its battery only whats the longest running time you can get filming at 1080 ?

> I run my T2i from AC all the time. Just get a T2i/500D AC power supply. It plugs into the wall, and a fake battery goes into the camera. It works great.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:34 AM   #5
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Re: Questions on magic Lantern and other hacks

The latest beta versions of ML also have a feature that allow you to by pass Magic Lantern at start up so only the Canon firmware loads. These eliminates the need to have different cards if on occasion you do not want to run Magic Lantern.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 01:12 PM   #6
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Re: Questions on magic Lantern and other hacks

great thanks.. Would anyone know if there is any chance they will improve auto focus to bring it more inline with traditional video cameras response or is it something within the design of a DSLR that will prohibit it ever being as quick ?

You can probably tell from my questions i am seeking to run it for extended periods like a traditional video camera.. Id still use it manually but if it could also handle the role of filming on auto for extended periods it would be great..

Also has there been any word from ML about the gap when starting to record a new file ? I wonder if they could ever get it seamless ? Does anyone know why canon dont allow it to do this in the first place ?
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 07:48 PM   #7
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Re: Questions on magic Lantern and other hacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Boutin View Post
1. Can you record longer than 12minutes with ML without any gaps ? Ive heard that it will start a new clip after you reach the 4gig limit but does it do that seamlessly ?

> Yes, you can set the Qscale in ML to a smaller bit rate for longer recording times (I think)
Good point. I totally forgot about that. It would definitely be worth testing it beforehand though to make sure the compression quality will still be up to scratch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Sanchez View Post
Would anyone know if there is any chance they will improve auto focus to bring it more inline with traditional video cameras response or is it something within the design of a DSLR that will prohibit it ever being as quick?
It is to do with the Design of DSLR's and the fact that they cannot use their main phase-detect autofocus sensor when the mirror block is up in LV or video mode. Eventually the contrast-detect method used in video mode in DSLR's will improve but it won't be something the t2i can do even with ML. ML might be able to turn on continuous autofocus in video mode, but the system is so slow and hunts so much that it would be more of a hinderance than a help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Sanchez View Post
Also has there been any word from ML about the gap when starting to record a new file ? I wonder if they could ever get it seamless ? Does anyone know why canon dont allow it to do this in the first place ?

The camera has a 4gb file limit because it uses SDHC cards with the FAT32 format. Camcorders work around this problem by seamlessly starting a new file then joining them together later on with importing software. Canon probably didn't bother to implement it because it would be extra effort, it would increase the likelihood of people experiencing overheating, and it would attract i higher tax in some regions because it would also be classed as a camcorder. So all up, it results in a camera that's more expensive to produce and has a lower profit margin, all for a feature that probably wouldn't work consistantly anyway.

ML will probably never record the file seamlessly because it needs to stop the recording and then start it again, as opposed to just starting a new file as a contuiation of the previous shot (the way camcorders do).
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:13 PM   #8
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Re: Questions on magic Lantern and other hacks

If you're interested in a DSLR that works more like a traditional camcorder, you may want to take a look at the Panasonic GH1 or GH2.

With the GH1, 3 of the issues are addressed right out of the box. There's no time limit on video clips as long as you don't get a European model, AF is active and works very well, and the AC adapter comes standard (the newer GH2 does not include the AC adapter as standard).

I have a GH1, 7D and a T3i, so I get to pick and choose, but the GH1 is easily the most video oriented of the DSLRs.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 10:19 AM   #9
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Re: Questions on magic Lantern and other hacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
Good point. I totally forgot about that. It would definitely be worth testing it beforehand though to make sure the compression quality will still be up to scratch.
Tested by myself and others. I can record 29.59 minutes on Qscale 1. Video quality is not bad, but whether it suits your needs you'll have to see. I have European model (550d), so I would be interested to hear if the US model has the tax related 29.59 minute limit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
ML will probably never record the file seamlessly because it needs to stop the recording and then start it again, as opposed to just starting a new file as a contuiation of the previous shot (the way camcorders do).
Apparently the cameras lack a large and fast enough memory area to buffer the data stream while the recording is being restarted, so no, it's never going to happen.
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