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Magic Lantern Announces Improved 5D III and 7D Dynamic Range

By Anthony Thurston on July 16th 2013

The team over at Magic Lantern has really been on a tear lately with all of the awesome new features that are adding to Canon cameras. The latest of which is the news they released today that they have increased the dynamic range of the 5D mark III and the 7D by 3 stops. So on the 5D Mark III that means a total of 14 stops of dynamic range, pretty impressive.


Apparently this new hack is not from the Canon firmware, but is actually hardware based. They take an image using ISO 100 on some vertical lines and ISO 1600 on the rest of the image. It is rather confusing and honestly makes no sense to me, but apparently the result is an image with 3 stops more of dynamic range than a standard image shot from one of these cameras.

Works for both photos and raw videos on Canon EOS 5D Mark III. On Canon EOS 7D, photo only (since it can’t do raw video).

So basically they have hacked the hardware in these two cameras to shoot at two different ISO’s and are then combining those through a process that gives you the final image at full resolution. As I mentioned above, it’s really quite confusing, but the benefits of 3 extra stops of dynamic range and less shadow noise is amazing.

If you are unable to replace your camera if you brick it then I suggest you steer clear of this new method. That said, if you would like to learn more about this and how to set it up on your 5D Mark II or 7D then you can do so on the Magic Lantern Forums.

[via Canon Rumors]

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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. Nakean

    Magic lantern is kicking has been living up to it’s name and has been introducing magic ever since I’ve heard their name mentioned! Keep it up guys!

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  2. Nakean

    Hmmm…. Focus peaking for video, Highlight alert during video, raw video recording…where are these in the Nikon lineup???? I’m not saying they don’t create a great lineup, and I have thought about jumping ship many times but, come one man!

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  3. M. Saville

    People always complain that Magic Lantern never does this kind of stuff for Nikon. The reality is though, Nikon already has most of these features built in LOL. :-P (I kid, I kid. But sort of not…)

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    • xxx

      Couldn’t agree more plus no worries of voiding warranty.

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    • Matt

      Canon has stated it does not void your warranty to use ML. Nikon not so much.

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    • xxx

      There is no such thing as “voiding” the Canon warranty, there are simply repairs that are covered, and those that are not.

      For instance, the repairs for a failure of the buttons on the back of the camera within the warranty period, on a camera that does not show any evidence of mishandling or misuse, would likely be covered. Repairs for a camera that is “bricked” or otherwise having issues directly related to using a third party firmware would not be covered.

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    • Trevor

      Ooooo fanboys, I’m so tired of that. What the hell drives people to this loyalty anyways? hahaha They are all really close anyways, it’s also too dynamic to compare brands.

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