Sunday, March 16, 2014

5DMkIII comes of Age!

As you will know from my past posts I’m a big fan of the Magic Lantern firmware enhancement (as well as the CHDK ‘equivalent’ for the Canon Point and Shoot cameras).
My 50D has had ML running on it since day one and I have kept up to speed with all the ML developments, eg: Auto-Bracketing, Auto-ETTR and Dual ISO etc etc.

Like many, however, I have held off putting ML on my 5DMkIII, as the ML developers were still in alpha/beta mode and there was a ‘complication’ with how the Boot Flag was handled.

This weekend all that changed. Alex, at ML, posted, what I will call a pre-production version of ML for the 5DMkIII:
This version, although not fully functional in all areas, for example some of the ML-enhanced videography features; addresses the boot flag issue and, from my perspective as a photographer, stably has everything ‘up and running’. So what would you get if you have a 5DMkIII and loaded ML? Well here are a few of my photography favorites:

  • A very simple way to load and unload ML from the 5DMkIII – note you need to be at Canon Firmware 1.2.3 (which you should anyway); 
  • Auto-bracketing and bracket selection up to 12 in Ev increments between 0.5 and 8; 
  • Dual ISO which takes in a single capture, ie at any shutter speed, two interlaced images at a base ISO, say 100, and a higher ISO, say, 800 or 1600. Thus, at the expense of resolution, boosting the dynamic range of the camera by 2-3 Ev;
  • Auto-ETTR which, when selected, means you are guaranteed a scene-specific ETTR capture without the additional complexity of using external metering, ie guaranteeing the ‘best’ data for post-processing in a single image;
  •  Live View focus confirmation without the need to visually squint at the LV screen;
  •  Many other LV aids, eg RAW zebras and an enhanced spotmeter;
  • Intervalometer for timelapse and a motion detection;
  • Up to 8 images taken at each trigger event; 
  • Focus bracketing, ie for macro and landscapes;
  • Autofocus fine tuning of your lens via DOT-tune; 
  • RAW histogram in LV, ie not the normal 8-bit one, but a full RAW one.

Of course all the above runs on any Canon DSLR!

I have had ML up and running on my 5DMkIII for a day now and I can recommend 5DMkIII owners now take the ML plunge. Of course, using ML comes with all the usual caveats that neither ML or Garry is responsible for you loading ML. Having said that, I have it up and running and am very happy.

Bottom line: the 5DMkIII with ML represents one of the best full frame DSLRs you can buy, maybe the best. 

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