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Canon_EOS_5D_Mark_III Gear Rumors

Canon Trying To Block Magic Lantern In Upcoming 5DIII Firmware?

By Anthony Thurston on January 6th 2015

Lost in all of the hubub during the last few days with CES announcements was this interesting little gem about an upcoming – apparently already in the wild – but unannounced firmware update to the Canon 5D Mark III.


So far, not much is known about this firmware update, other than that it is version 1.3.3, but an interesting note is that apparently the upcoming firmware contains some code that blocks Magic Lantern. If this rumor, which is all it is at this point, is correct, than this is a very strange move on Canon’s part.

ML being blocked? Just load an older firmware, right? Wrong. Apparently the new firmware also blocks users from downgrading to an older firmware. It is not super surprising that Canon doesn’t want people messing around in their firmware and running cod, ML, on their cameras… but their lack of enthusiasm for enforcing this over the years, and their praising of content produced using this ‘hack’ makes for very mixed messages from Canon.

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out. If this does, in fact, block Magic Lantern, could this trigger a mass exodus of video people from the Canon system (those that already didn’t jump ship, of course)? Also, new 5D Mark III bodies are apparently ALREADY shipping with this firmware, so it’s too late to get one without it unless you buy used.

[via EOSHD]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rui Pinto

    Don’t know if anyone has interest, but ML has an Alpha version for Canon70D :) Finally!!

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  2. Peter Paul

    Why would Canon do that? Some people are getting Canon because you can install third party firmware like ML. If ever an exodus will happen, where would Canon users go? Nikon? Nikon doesn’t have any ML.

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  3. Dave Haynie

    This would be incredibly stupid of Canon. Their behavior so far seems to have been the correct one: they don’t endorse ML, but they also know that’s a very good accessory for some photographers/videographers. And it sells cameras.

    And of course, at any big company, it’s possible to have some idiot come along, not understand the situation, and screw things up. Hopefully not true.

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  4. Raoni Franco

    Man, this gota be a false alarm and a rumor created do weaken Canon´s image even more. At least that´s what I would like to think. It would simply be just a f*** stupid move………..considering what the ML team have done so far, how could someone on their right mind think that a firmware block could stop them for long? I mean……..that´s just more bad words on you Canon, come on.

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  5. Ben Perrin

    Canon doesn’t let you downgrade firmware versions on your camera using the update via card method. At least I’ve never been able to do that so it’s all just standard procedure. In terms of blocking magic lantern I think you’ve just come to the wrong conclusion. So now we have a bunch of people bashing Canon for working on a firmware update like they normally do. Settle down folks.

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  6. Tyler Friesen

    just another silly little reason to leave them.

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  7. Tom Marvel

    I thought the new Canon countdown slogan was:
    We See Impossible
    We Be Impossible

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  8. William Emmett

    The EOS 5D Mark III is such a older platform as per firmware, I find it very questionable Canon would try to block ML firmware from this camera. Take a look at what Canon has going on, getting ready to introduce a new full frame high mega pixel camera, the recent introduction of the EOS 7D Mark II, working on the introduction of a new “M” series camera. Why would Canon want to write code to hinder Magic Lantern from installing firmware add on in a older generation of camera. Now, should a ML firmware come available for the 7D Mark II, and be blocked by the current version installed in the Mark II, you have something. It was mentioned the ML firmware was successfully installed using EOS Utility, no actual proof exists for the alleged Canon blockage. Just my 2 cents.

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  9. Austin Swenson

    Sure, maybe right now the new firmware won’t allow magic lantern, but I’m sure that can be fixed in no time by magic lantern just like the new IOS software initially doesn’t let you jailbreak your phone. They’ll figure it out.

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  10. Christopher Fuller

    Very interesting article. I am interested to see what is contained in the new firmware.

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  11. Rui Pinto

    Anthony, you can see in ML forum that some guys tried and the downgrade is possible using the EOS utility. At least one “good” thing.

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  12. Rui Pinto

    If this turns out to be true, it’s a silly move by Canon. Huge lack of vision and market positioning.

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  13. Adrian Jones

    This is so silly! Canon clearly has bigger problems than product software hacks. Heck if they really cared they would do more upgrades in the first place. They have the resources to beat hackers to the market and even charge for upgrades. What a waist of time money and energy Canon. Get your act together and focus on innovation. Meanwhile Sony and Fuji steal market share.

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