User Guide thread for the latest nightlies (Help Needed)

Started by Redrocks, March 30, 2014, 08:37:35 PM

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Erik Krause has continued the work started by Redrocks.
Let's restore ML help together!

I want to start a thread where we collect all the information in one place. I've mapped out the menu & submenu options of the latest nightly (30/03/14) and pretty much all of the accompanying  documentation could do with an update - Please feel free to add any information, and your post can be merged into the guide. I've also added a few other topics that deal with post production which I will edit with more information and links as I go along. I'm far from an authority on any of this though and I'm hoping that the rest of you will contribute information and correct any of my mistakes. In time all this information will be transferred to the official User Guide and you will have it on your camera, but we have to create that text first and this is one way non developers can help the community.

ML menu options

01  Audio
02  Expo
03  Overlay
04  Movie
05  Shoot
06  Focus
07  Display
08  Prefs
09  Modules
10  Debug
11  Help

General topics

12  Model Capabilities
13  Workstations
14  Conversion Software
15  Editing Software
16  Colour Correction software
17  Things to do
18  Workflows
19  Production Equipment
20  Shot With ML



Manual audio controls. This menu is not available on Canon 600D / T3i. The 600D/T3i already has manual audio control, but right now it's not possible to change audio settings from Magic Lantern. You can only use audio meters during recording. 5D2 and 600D have more audio controls than any others, with 5D3 having very little.

Analog Gain

Gain applied to both inputs in the analog domain.

Submenu options:

0-32 dB

Analog does a great job of boosting the signal while retaining a low noise floor and hence, dynamic range. If you use an external preamp, set this parameter as low as possible otherwise, set it as high as possible without clipping (audio meters should be green).


In-camera digital gain.

Submenu options:

Left Digital Gain 0 to 36 dB in 6 dB increments

Right Digital Gain 0 to 36 dB in 6 dB increments


Applying digital gain in-camera is not recommended as any nonzero value reduces audio quality and you can achieve the same effect with more control in post, but it can serve as an evaluative tool on set. You can apply digital gain in 6dB increments to the left and right channel independently. AGC is auto mode and is applied only in digital domain. It overrides digital gains, but you can still adjust analog gain.

Input source

Mic configurations.

Submenu options:

internal mic your camera's internal mic

L:int R:ext

external stereo

L:int R:balanced (internal mic on Left, external mic on Right from both external pins as balanced audio)

Auto int/ext camera detects if a mic is plugged in. Int is dual mono, ext is stereo.

Balanced audio allows for very long cable runs without interference. Usually balanced mics have three pin XLR connectors and it is very easy to put together an XLR to Canon mic input cable. Balanced allows us to use such pro mics with our little Canons and this is a very welcome surprise for audio guys. You can feed an external audio source into the camera giving you the option of using higher quality mics, although this is not straight forward.

Wind Filter

Digital high-pass filter.

Submenu options:

On or Off

Canon's audio controls have no effect, they are completely overriden by ML and the wind filter has been known to mute external mics, so if you're having that problem on an earlier build turn it off. To use or not? Also see AK4646 datasheet p.34.

Mic Power

Power for mics.

Submenu options:

ON input impedance is 2 kOhm.

OFF input impedance is 30 kOhm.

Required for internal mic and certain types of external mics, but it reduces input impedance. This setting is always ON when input source is either internal mic or L:int R:ext. See AK4646 datasheet p.31. and the Mic power control thread. Results of audio tests with ML and Canon 550D, T2i.

Headphone Monitoring

Audio monitoring with headphones, using the A/V cable.

Submenu options:

On or Off

To use audio monitoring, you need a special cable: your Canon A/V cable with a RCA - 3.5mm jack adapter a dedicated cable from Sescom or you may solder it yourself (you will have to cut your A/V cable). Mobile phone cables will not work; even if the connector looks similar, it's not identical. You must use the original cable which came with your camera. For details, see Audio monitoring HOWTO on Vimeo group. Disable this setting if you are using a SD monitor. This feature is not available on 600D/T3i.

Output volume

Digital output gain for audio monitoring.

Submenu options:

0 dB
2 dB
4 dB
6 dB

It does not have any effect on the internal camera speaker. For best results, you should a pair of low impedance headphones, for example Audio Technica ATH-M50 (38 ohms). With high-impedance headphones, you may have to use a headphone amplifier like FiiO E5.

Audio Meters

Display the input audio level.

Submenu options:

From -40dB to 0dB, meters become yellow at -12 dB and red at -3 dB. Audio meters are only displayed in movie mode.

Speaker Volume

In-camera speaker.

Submenu options:

1 to 5

Beep, test tones

Customise camera sounds.

Submenu options:

Enable Beeps

Tone Waveform

Tone Frequency

Play test tone

Test beep sound

MLV Sound

RAW video (MLV) now comes with audio!

Submenu options:

Sampling rate 8 - 48kHz the basic quality of your audio, the higher the better.

Trace output ON or OFF

When MLV Sound is ON, a separate WAV file is generated at the framerate determined by your FPS setting in Canon Menu. When FPS Override is used, only the framerate of raw video is affected, the WAV file will remain either 24fps or 30fps depending on the FPS setting in canon menu. It is not possible to playback mlv sound in-camera.

This menu is only available when the mlv_snd module is loaded and active.  See Modules



Adjusting the exposure parameters. Most of these settings only work in Manual (photo and video), and some of them work in P, Av and Tv too.


White balance controls.

Submenu options:

White Balance: Rated in Kelvin, manually adjust from 1500 to 15000K.

WBShift G/M: Green-Magenta white balance shift. Useful for fluorescent lighting.

WBShift B/A: Blue-Amber white balance shift. 1 unit = 5 mireks on Kelvin axis, according to this post.

Custom RGB multipliers: Fine-tune custom white balance.

Black level: This parameter is applied on RAW data, before applying white balance. Adjust it if you have problems with green or magenta shadows.

Auto adjust Kelvin + G/M: In LiveView, ML will compute the white balance for the current scene, using the center (200×200 pixels rectangle) as reference gray.

The preferred method is manual White Balance, but when shooting raw video this is more of evaluative tool as you have control of your WB later. Best practice is to have a reference colour at the beginning of each shot, with neutral grey being preferred to white as whites can blow out and give you a false reading.


Advanced ISO control.

Submenu options:

Equivalent ISO: Overall ISO rating

Canon analog ISO: 100 to 3200 ISO at which the sensor is driven

Canon digital ISO: Digital ISO is the process of pulling or pushing your analog ISO to affect detail.

ML digital ISO (DIGIC): -2 to +7 EV Preferred to the Canon implementation, in movie mode negative values will reduce noise, but may cause color issues in highlights. This feature
enables ISO 50, ISO 51200 and many other intermediate or astronomical ISOs.

Display Gain (night vision): In photo mode, for previewing night scenes.

Highlight Tone Priority: Increases dynamic range by 1 stop in movie mode. Use with negative ML digital ISO.

ISO selection: Canon ISOs or ML ISOs. Only used in movie mode.

Color coding:

  • orange = Standard Canon ISO with good noise or dynamic range characteristics.
  • green = ISO with negative digital gain applied via DIGIC obtained by setting ML digital ISO to a negative value. These can have lower noise or better highlight rolloff than their Canon counterparts.
  • red = ISO with positive digital gain, avoid these values.


Fine-tune shutter speed.

Submenu options:

1/31 - 1/3900 Without Expo.Override enabled

1/24 - 1/7900 With Expo.Override enabled

In photo mode, Magic Lantern displays shutter values rounded to 2 significant digits, so 1/48 may be displayed by ML as 1/50. This is not a bug. In movie mode, shutter values are displayed with 3 decimal places for example, in PAL mode, Canon uses 1/33.333 to avoid flicker. To use shutter speeds normally not available in Canon firmware like 1/25 or 1/8000 in movie mode, enable Expo.Override. The shutter can be locked (perfect for video) in the Movie Tweaks section of the Movie menu, meaning you have to go into the ML menus to change it.


Adjust aperture.

Submenu options:

Requiring a chipped lens, when Expo.Override is enabled, you can adjust in 1/8 stop increments.


Change picture style or adjust its parameters. 

Submenu options:

Picture Style




Color Tone


You can use a different picture style when recording (toggled automagically). May be useful with flat picture styles. Raw video makes no use of this feature.


Automatically expose to the right.

Submenu options:

Trigger mode Always ON, Auto Snap, Press SET & HalfS DblClick. Method for executing Auto ETTR.

Slowest shutter 32" to 1/4000. Set your lowest speed.

Exposure target -0.5, -1, -2, -3 & -4EV. -0.5 or -1 recommended.

Highlight ignore 0 to 50%. Percentage of bright pixels allowed above target level.  Use this to allow spec(ta)cular highlights to be clipped.

Allow clipping OFF, Green channel & Any channel. Choose which channels to be clipped.

Midtone SNR limit 0 to 8EV. Stop underexposing when at least 50% of the image gets noisier than selected SNR.

Shadow SNR limit 0 to 6EV. Stop underexposing when at least 5% of the image gets noisier than selected SNR.

Link to Canon shutter Hack to adjust slowest shutter from main dial.

Link to Dual ISO Let ETTR change Dual ISO settings so you get the SNR values in mids & shadows.  It will disable dual ISO if not needed.

Show metered areas Show where the white point and SNR levels are metered (what exactly is considered highlight, midtone and shadow).

Show debug info For nerds.

See in the modules post.


Locks different exposure controls.

Submenu options:





Toggles for exposure presets.

Submenu options:


Press SET

Press INFO

Dual ISO

Capture using 2 different ISOs for better detail in certain ranges.

Submenu options:

Recovery ISO

Dynamic range gained

Midtone overlapping

Alternate frames only

Custom file prefix

See in the modules post.


This mode bypasses Canon exposure limitations for ISO, Tv & Av.

Submenu options:

OFF: Canon default exposure mode.

ON: ML overrides exposure values (change them from Expo menu).

Auto: ML enables it only when needed.
  • Manual video exposure controls - 500D/50D/1100D.
  • Non standard shutter speed, aperture or ISO - 550D/60D/600D/5D2.
  • Fix LiveView underexposure bug with manual lens - 60D.
  • 1/25s in movie mode (24p/25p) → 1/3 stops better in low light.
  • 1/8000s in movie mode, useful for slow motion.
  • ISO 12800 is allowed in movie mode on 60D and 600D.
  • Full-time DOF preview in photo mode, without blocking certain keys.
In photo mode, anything slower than 1/25 seconds will be underexposed in LiveView. Low framerates in FPS override have fixed shutterspeeds. To compensate exposure adjust aperture and ISO. In daytime, this is tough as even at ISO 100 it would still be bright even if lens is closed down, I recommend a VARI-ND.

LV Display

Selects or displays LiveView display type.

Submenu options:

Photo display, no exposure simulation (for framing and for flash photography)

Photo display, with exposure simulation

Movie display

Auto exposure

Automatic control of your exposure during a take.

Submenu options:

See in the modules post.



Graphics overlays that can be used in LiveView or in image review mode: histogram, zebras, cropmarks, spotmeter, focus peaking, false color...

Global Draw

Choose when to enable Magic Lantern overlay graphics such as zebras, cropmarks, histograms, audio meters and other ML shooting info.

Submenu options:



QuickReview (photo mode outside LiveView)

ON, all modes

If you used display presets, press Q on this item to switch the presets while you are in ML menu.


Enable/disable zebra stripes, which indicate overexposed or underexposed areas.

Submenu options:

Color Space:
  • Luma: zebras are computed from Y channel only.
  • RGB: check overexposure for each RGB channel. Clipped channels are displayed in the opposite color (i.e. clipped red shown as cyan, underexposed as white and so on).

Underexposure - JPG only.  Set the RGB point where underexposure zebras are displayed.

Overexposure - JPG only.  Set the RGB point where overexposure zebras are displayed.

When recording - Show or hide zebras while recording.

Use RAW zebras - Enable raw based zebras.  This uses the raw sensor data for zebras.

  • Off - Disable raw zebras.
  • Always - Always show raw zebras, including in live view mode.
  • Photo only - Only show raw zebras in image review.

You may adjust thresholds for underexposure and overexposure, or you can disable zebras while recording. Note: when using the Technicolor CineStyle picture style, luma will have values between 16 and 255; therefore, you will have to set the underexposure threshold to 16 or greater.

Focus Peak

Focus assist function.

Submenu options:

Filter bias:

Image buffer:

Threshold: how many pixels are considered in focus (percentage).

Color: either fixed color, or a color coding according to focus intensity.

Grayscale image: if enabled, LiveView will displayed as grayscale, but still recorded as color.

High-contrast lines will be marked by blinking dots showing which part of the image is in focus. To see how it works, check this article from Luminous Landscape.

Magic Zoom

Displays a zoom box for focus assist. Can be used while recording.

Submenu options:

Trigger mode
  • FocusR+HalfS: triggered by turning the focus ring, or by pressing shutter halfway.
  • Focus+ZREC: triggered by turning the focus ring, or by pressing Zoom In while recording.
  • Zoom In (*): triggered by Zoom In button (overrides Canon's default zoom modes). To bypass magic zoom, press both zoom buttons at the same time or cover the LCD sensor.
  • Always On: no trigger key needed. You can use both Canon's 5x/10x zoom and Magic Zoom.




Focus confirm When ML believes you have achieved perfect focus, Magic Zoom will display a focus confirmation:
  • Green Bars
  • Split Screen: when the image is out of focus, the zoom box looks like a split focusing screen from old film cameras.
  • Split Screen with ZeroCross: will reverse the split direction whenever you achieve perfect focus.

Zebras, focus peaking and false color are disabled automatically when the zoom overlay is active. Focus triggering only works with lenses that report Focus distance, or when you use follow focus / rack focus. In some modes, half-pressing the shutter may temporarily hide the zoom overlay. Original implementation: Magic Circles by AJ.


Cropmarks or custom grids for framing and composition.

Submenu options:

Bitmap (1/9)

Show in photo mode

Show in PLAY mode

If you use custom cropmarks, place them in ML/CROPMKS folder on your SD card and give them short 8.3 names. You can place at most 9 cropmarks on the card. Get more cropmarks from the ML cropmark repository or draw your own (see Cropmarks).

Ghost image

Shows a transparent overlay which can be created from any image in Play mode.

Submenu options:


To select the image, go to Play mode and press the LiveView button. Move the ghost image in LiveView with arrow keys; center or hide it with SET or joystick press.


Preview the rectified (defished) image from Samyang 8mm fisheye lens, using rectilinear projection.

Submenu options:

This feature works best in photo mode (outside LiveView). Defishing uses a pre-computed look-up table (LUT). It is possible to create LUT files for any other lens or projection by defishing vram/xy.png with your favorite defishing software, and then running vram/defish-lut.m to get the LUT file. All the required files are found in the ML source tree. Project files (*.PTO) for nona (hugin) are provided for both rectilinear and Panini projections.


Measure brightness from a small spot in the frame.

Submenu options:

Spotmeter Unit
  • Percent - 0 to 100%.
  • 0..255 - RGB levels.
  • RGB (HTML)- Displays HTML-like color codes.
  • RAW (EV) - Exposure level from sensor saturation using raw sensor data.

Spot Position

  • Focus box - Spot meter linked to the focus box.
  • Center - Spot meter linked to the center of image.

False color

This is a tool for evaluating the exposure.

Submenu options:





Banding detection


It shows different luma (Y) levels using a color map. You may configure a display preset with False Color and toggle it with a single button press. You may also use false colors to highlight 50% and 70% brightness levels, or to reveal color banding, or to check for uniform green screen lighting.


This exposure tool will show the distribution of image brightness levels in a histogram.

Submenu options:

Color space

  • Luma - Overall brightness
  • RGB - Individual Red, Green, and Blue channels


  • Logarithmic
  • Linear

Clip warning - Display a warning is the histogram with clipping.  This will display a warning for each color channel, when that channel is being overexposed.  The numbers represent the percentage of pixels being clipped.

Use RAW histogram

  • OFF - Disable raw based histogram and use JPG based histogram.
  • Full Histogram - Use the full histogram.
  • Simplified Histobar - Only use the simplified histobar in liveview.

RAW EV indicator

  • OFF - Don't not use the indicator.
  • Dynamic Range - Display the dynamic range at current ISO, from noise stdev.
  • ETTR hint - Show how many stops you can push the exposure to the right.


Waveform Size


This tool shows the color distribution with an U-V plot.

Submenu options:

UV scaling

Useful for color grading. To learn how to read it, see Introducing Color Scopes: The Vectorscope.



Functions specific to movie mode. 

Bit Rate

Controls H.264 bitrate used for video recording.

Submenu options:

  • CBR is constant bitrate. You specify a factor for multiplying default video bitrate, between 0.1x and 3.0x. CBR 1.0x is the firmware default setting. CBR actually works by adjusting QScale on the fly; the instant value is displayed near the recording dot.
  • QScale is constant quality, variable bitrate (VBR). Available values are -16 to +16. Lower numbers mean higher bitrates, but it's not as stable as CBR and increasing the bitrate may cause recording to stop. You need a fast card. In QScale mode, bitrate is completely out of control (don't use it!).
  • Firmware default completely disables bitrate control.
CBR factor 0.1x to 3.0x.

QScale -16 to 16.

Bitrate Info ON or OFF.

BuffWarnLevel 30 to 100.

In CBR mode, QScale will not go outside [-16...+16]. When QScale reaches the extreme values (-16 or +16), bitrate will be different than your CBR setting. Watch the bitrate indicators. This is not a bug, please do not report it. You can push the bitrate higher if you record without sound, then use Audio RemoteShot to sync the video with an external audio track. You can't change this setting during recording. If buffer usage gets too high, ML will pause all CPU-intensive graphics. Change the BuffWarnLevel setting to customize this.

REC key

This option enables you to start/stop movie recording by half-pressing the shutter button.

Submenu options:

Require long press

Allowed actions

With this, you can use a wired remote to start/stop recording.

Gradual Expo.

Submenu options:

1EV / 8 frames
1EV / 16 frames
1EV / 32 frames
1EV / 64 frames
1EV / 128 frames
1EV / 256 frames
1EV / 512 frames

FPS override

This setting alters FPS for all video modes.

Submenu options:

Desired FPS 0.150 fps to 65 fps depending on your model capabilities. If the desired value is not possible, ML will choose the closest safe option (see 'Actual FPS' below).

Optimize for Presets that will suit different situations:
  • Low light - use this option for recording timelapse with shutter speed set to 1/fps (360 degrees); at high FPS values, you may be able to use other shutter speed values.
  • Exact FPS - try to achieve an exact FPS value, such as 24.000 or 30.000 or 12.500. If more exact solutions are found, ML will choose the one with lowest jello effect.
  • High FPS - changes FPS without altering shutter speed and allows a slight overcranking (60D, 600D).
  • LowJello - 180d try to minimize the jello effect caused by rolling shutter, while allowing you to expose at 180 degrees (0.5/fps) if possible.
  • High Jello: maximize the jello effect and enable fast shutter speeds. You can use this mode for recording slit-scan frames (distorted images like these, which use the extreme jello effect in creative ways).

Shutter range displays the available shutter speed range with current settings. When you use FPS override, Canon menu will still display 1/30 to 1/4000, but the actual shutter speed will be found on ML displays. You can alter shutter speed range by changing the ratio between the two timer values - decreasing timer B will result in faster shutter speeds available.

FPS Timer A FPS is changed by altering two timer values. Increasing either of these values results in lower FPS, faster shutter speed and alters rolling shutter. Only undercranking works well.  Timer A gets you in the ballpark and ML will re-adjust timer B to match your FPS choice.

FPS Timer B ML will not re-adjust timer A, so this option will let you fine-tune the exact FPS value.

Main Clock displays the crystal oscillator frequency of the FPS circuit driver (read-only, depends on your camera).

Actual FPS this displays the current FPS, computed as TG_FREQ / timerA / timerB (read-only).

Constant expo

Sync w.Shutter

FPS ramping

Ramp duration

This function will not change the frame rate from the video header; the video will playback at the setting from Canon menu. Set FPS to a very low value like 3fps to record a timelapse. This feature also works in photo mode, making LiveView usable in dark environments. Combine it with display gain. To get 180-degree shutter speed at very low FPS, simply discard half of the frames in post. If 0.2 FPS is not enough, use Frame Merger (a VirtualDub plugin). Exact frame rate may be rounded to be an exact multiple of PAL/NTSC frame rates.
  • PAL modes: 25p/50p. Rounded frame rates: 33.333fps, 12.5fps, 11.111fps and so on.
  • NTSC modes: 30p/60p/24p. Rounded frame rates: 29.97fps, 23.976fps, 11.988fps and so on. For fine-tuning and calibrating custom frame rates, use EOSTimerGen.

HDR video

This feature allows you to shoot a high dynamic range video by alternating ISO every other frame.

Submenu options:



Select the two ISO values from the submenu. Possible postprocessing workflows:
  • Interframe script: user-friendly version and bare-bone version
  • GingerHDR (plugin for Adobe After Effects and Premiere)
  • Magic Lantern HDR Compose generator for FCP X
  • HDR Glogger Web Service
  • etc (please help me filling the list!)
Discussion thread, postprocessing workflow, FAQ...


In camera vignetting.

Submenu options:

Mid-range correction Correction applied between the central areas and the corners.

Corner correction Stronger bias towards corners.

Extreme corner correction Heavy correction in the corners.

Minus values increase the vignette.

Image Finetuning

Settings for fine control of your image.

Submenu options:

ML Digital ISO Pull back the ISO to achieve superior highlight roll off.

Black Level Set your black level to control green shadows.

Absolute Zero Sharpness Disables any kind of sharpening.

Edge Emphasis Picks out edges in bright areas.

Noise Reduction In camera noise reduction.

Creative Effects

Custom image effects found by investigating DIGIC registers.

Submenu options:

Desaturate lets you record grayscale with any picture style.

Negative image Inverts your luma values

Swap U-V Red becomes blue.

Cartoon look for this to work, set sharpness in your picture style to any nonzero value.

RAW video (MLV)

Magic Lantern (RAW) Video format v2.0.

Submenu options:

Resolution 640 to 3584. Width of captured image in pixels. 5D2 tops out at 1856.

Aspect Ratio 5:1 to 1:2. Height of captured image. 

Create directory ON or OFF. Saves video chunks in separate folders.

Global Draw ON or OFF. Disables GD while recording, though some previews require it.

Frame skipping ON or OFF. Stops recording if you drop a frame.

Preview Auto, Canon, ML Grayscale, HaCKeD & Hacked No Prev.

Status when recording Icon, None & Debug.

Start delay 2, 4 & 10 second delay, useful for stabilizing.

Digital dolly Pan your frame in camera digitally.

Card warm-up Some cards perform better after warming up.

Extra Hacks Small tweaks to maximise writing speed.

Fix black level Forces the black level to 2048 to combat green shadows.

Debug trace Writes an execution trace to your card and causes performance dips.

Show buffer graph Shows current buffer usage and expected frames.

Buffer fill method Select your method for filling buffers.

Reserve card space Reserves a chunk of space before recording to write over if you fill the card during a take.

Tag: Text Custom filenames.

Tag: Take

RAW video

Magic Lantern (RAW) Video format v1.0.

Submenu options:

Resolution 640 to 3584. Width of captured image in pixels. 5D2 tops out at 1856.

Aspect Ratio :1 to 1:2. Height of captured image.

Digital dolly Pan your frame in camera digitally.

Preview Auto, Canon, ML Grayscale, HaCKeD & Hacked No Prev.

Frame skipping ON or OFF. Stops recording if you drop a frame.

Card warm-up Some cards perform better after warming up.

Small hacks Small tweaks to maximise writing speed.

Debug info Shows detailed info and buffer allocation graphs.

Playback Playback the last raw video you shot.

Raw video has come a long way in a year 2014: NEW Current Raw Capabilities.

Movie Tweaks

Submenu options:

Time indicator When recording a movie, ML will display a small time counter in the upper right corner, which can be:
  • Elapsed: duration of the current clip
  • Remain.Card: estimated amount of recording time remaining on the card.
  • Remain.4GB: estimated amount of recording time until reaching 4GB (or until filling the card, whichever comes first).
Unlike Canon's timer which assumes constant bitrate, ML timer assumes variable bitrate and works even if QScale is enabled. However, due to variations in bitrate, the estimated value will fluctuate a lot, and this is normal.

Movie Logging If this setting is ON, Magic Lantern will write out a metadata file for the each movie to MVI_1234.LOG (numbered after the movie). The log file contains lens and exposure info, as well as a timestamp every time any of the parameters is changed during recording. Log files are placed in the same folder as the movies: DCIM/100CANON/, 101CANON etc. Tip: you can rename LOG files to CSV and import them in MS Excel.

Movie Restart While this setting is on, movie recording will restart automatically, unless you stop it. There will be a few seconds skipped during restarting.

REC/STBY notify Custom notifications for recording or standby:
  • Red Crossout highly recommended if you forget to press record
  • Message it shows STBY or REC
  • Beeps it will beep when recording starts or stops
  • Blue LED obvious if your camera has it
Force LiveView bypass the dialog saying Press LV button to activate movie shooting.
  • Always: force LiveView even if you use an unchipped lens, or no lens at all. Be careful, you may get dust on the sensor while changing lenses.
  • Start & CPU lenses: it will force LiveView at startup, regardless of the lens used. After this, it will only bypass the dialog when a chipped lens is attached (i.e. it will enter LiveView as soon as you attach a chipped lens).

Shutter Lock This option locks the shutter value in movie mode (you will be able to change it only from ML menu).

Movie Record (50D)

Submenu options:

Enable movie recording on 50D (1920×1080, 30fps, without sound). To start recording, go to LiveView (P/Tv/Av/M) and press SET. WARNING: Canon 50D was NOT designed to record movies. Keep in mind: This feature was not thoroughly tested by Canon and may be unstable (even if you record without ML). Always disable movie recording when you don't use it. Battery will drain quickly when recording; also, the camera may overheat.

Limitations: The camera will not record sound. You can use an external recorder (for example, Zoom H1, H2 or H4n) and sync the sound in post with a clapperboard. You can't play back movies in the camera. This setting remains active even if you start the camera with standard firmware (until you clear your settings).

Shutter Button (50D)

Submenu options:

Block during REC blocks the shutter and related (AF, *) buttons while recording. In 50D, taking pictures while recording would result in ERR99; with this option, you can avoid taking pictures while recording by mistake. Side effect: this will disable image stabilization during recording.

Hold during REC (IS) ML will keep the shutter button pressed half-way during recording, which will enable image stabilization (IS). Side effect: you need to press the shutter button half way to turn IS off before the camera will let you stop recording.

Exposure Lock (50D)

Submenu options:

Locks the exposure in movie mode. You can also use the * button (you don't have to hold it pressed).



Functions for stills shooting, some of them work for movies too.

Advanced Bracket

Exposure bracketing for HDR images and timelapses.

Submenu options:

Bracket type Choose the variables to bracket.

Frames Number of bracketed shots. Can be computed automatically.

EV increment Exposure difference between two frames.

Sequence Bracketing sequence order / type. Zero is always first.

2- second delay Delay before starting the exposure.

ISO shifting Also use ISO as bracket variable. Range 100 - max AutoISO.

Aperture bracketing In M mode, this function does shutter and/or ISO bracketing. In the other modes it does exposure compensation bracketing. To start bracketing, take only the first picture and ML will continue the sequence. To preview HDR images in camera, set SET+MainDial: ExposureFusion from Prefs menu, Image review settings, then go to playback mode, hold SET and turn the main dial (wheel). For each HDR picture set, Magic Lantern may also write a bash script for stacking the exposures with enfuse (version 4.x), with optional alignment (align_image_stack). More info: Exposure Fusion: What is it? How does it Compare to HDR? How Do I Do It?.


Take pictures or movies at fixed intervals.

Submenu options:

Take a pic every Duration between two shots.

Start trigger Options for how to trigger intervalometer.

Start after Start delay (up to 8 hours).

Stop after Stop after X pictures. In movie mode only: duration of a movie clip.

Manual FocusRamp

You can stop the intervalometer by rotating the mode dial, by pressing MENU or PLAY, or by turning off the camera. To avoid flicker, shoot in manual mode, use manual white balance, avoid short exposure times and use a manual lens (if you use an EF lens, lock the aperture and unscrew it). To make a timelapse without increasing shutter count, do not use the intervalometer; instead, set FPS override to a very low value (for example, 3fps) and start recording. When using the intervalometer in LiveView with noisy mode, your shutter will wear twice as fast than outside LiveView. If the intervalometer can't be stopped (it may happen in crazy mode), turn the camera off or open the card door. Adjust your auto-off setting to longer than your timelapse interval the camera will turn off before the second shot. When not in LiveView, press DISP or INFO to turn the display off. In LiveView, ML will turn the display and the sensor off during idle times if you enable this option from Powersave menu. While the intervalometer is running, the card led will blink once per second to let you know it's alive and kicking.

Submenu options:

Sidecar file type Sidecar file format for deflicker metadata.

Deflicker percentile Where to meter for deflickering. Recommended 50%.

Deflicker target level Desired exposure level for processed pics. 0 = overexposed.

Bulb/Focus Ramping

Bulb Ramping allows the capture of a timelapse that gradually changes exposure, compensating for the transition from day to night.

Submenu options:

Auto exposure ramping: this option will adjust shutter and ISO automatically, by looking at image brightness of previous shots.

Manual exposure ramping: this option will adjust shutter and ISO to follow a fixed exposure ramp (a fixed amount of EV change per shot). Can be used as standalone or combined with auto ramping.

Manual focus ramping: this lets you adjust focus gradually while shooting the timelapse. It requires a lens with autofocus and it can only work in LiveView.

Settings for auto ramping:

Mode: sunset / sunrise / auto. In sunset mode, the exposure will always increase. In sunrise mode, the exposure will always decrease. This idea was suggested by Tom Lowe on forum.

Maximum ramping speed: this parameter is used for computing the optimal smoothness factor. A lower value will reduce flicker, but if the value is twice as low as the real rate of brightness change, ML will lose the ability to ramp correctly. For example, if you set a maximum ramping speed of 0.1 EV / shot, and the scene requires a ramping of 0.2 EV / shot, ML will start flickering heavily.

Quick start guide for auto ramping:

1. Take a picture of your scene. You will use it to say: I want my timelapse to be exposed like this picture.

2. Enable Bulb Ramping and Intervalometer.

3. Leave the camera still while ML runs a calibration step:

Make sure you have a static and well-lit scene (any static scene which does not require long exposure should be fine).

After calibration, you should get a nice S-curve on the screen.

4. Now you will have to say what tone range to meter for (i.e. highlights, midtones...). Follow the wizard:

Use arrow keys to select your reference picture (which you just took).

Use the main dial to select the tone range to meter for. You can't perfectly match two images just by varying one parameter (exposure), so you have to choose what's important for you in this picture.

For lowest flicker, meter for midtones (choose the 50th percentile, i.e. median, because it's a robust estimation, unlike simple averaging). Leave some headroom for highlights (underexpose a bit).

If highlights are important, meter for them (choose 80th percentile for example). You will have to shoot RAW and remove flicker when you develop the RAW files.
The algorithm works best when brightness is close to 50% (try not to choose extreme values for it).
When you are ready to start, press SET.
5. Sit back and relax :)
ISO is chosen between 100 and maximum auto ISO value from Canon menu.
Shutter speed is chosen between 1/8000 (lower limit) and the delay between two shots minus two seconds (upper limit). Example: for 10-second intervals, shutter speed will be between 1/8000 and 8 seconds.
Aperture is fixed (you can change it manually).
Don't adjust ISO and shutter before the timelapse, they are fully automatic.
Use a ND filter to reduce flicker during daylight.
Reduce flicker in post. We recommend VirtualDub with MSU Deflicker plugin (free, works with Windows and Wine). See also Timelapse workflow using free software tutorial.
Technical notes:

Exposure is metered using a condition like this (for example): 70% of pixels should be below 50% brightness.

Exposure for every shot is computed from previous shots, using a feedback controller algorithm with a smoothing factor.

ISO is chosen using the 180 degree rule, so the resulting shutter speed stays between 90 and 270 degrees (that is, between 1/4 and 3/4 of the delay between two shots).

Only full-stop ISOs (100, 200, 400 etc) are used (because you are supposed to shoot RAW).

Shutter speed can be adjusted with a resolution of 10ms.
Frames with fast shutter speeds (less than 1 second in Rebel cameras, less 0.1 seconds in 60D) are taken in Manual mode. You will get flicker.
It can go from 1/8000s @ ISO 100 (daylight) to several minutes of exposure time @ ISO 6400 (complete darkness).

Exposure algorithm is a feedback controller designed with pole placement - the closed loop response will have two real poles placed at the smoothing factor value. Smoothing factor is computed in such a way that, when scene ramping speed matches the speed selected in menu, ramp is followed at exactly 1 EV behind it. If the lighting changes suddenly a few stops between two shots (for example, you change the ND filters or the aperture), the algorithm should recover completely after 2 or 3 shots. A sudden exposure change is considered when the exposure difference is greater than 2 stops.

Logging: When you use bulb ramping, Magic Lantern will save a log file with the exposure parameters, metered values and so on. Please send this file to developers. These log files can be used to see how well the ramping went and to fine-tune the algorithm.

Bulb Timer

Very long exposures with Bulb mode and ML timer. This feature is useful for night shots and astrophotography.

Submenu options:

Exposure duration

Display during exposure

Bulb timer is started by holding the shutter pressed halfway for one second, or by remote triggers / intervalometer. You can cancel the exposure earlier by half-pressing the shutter button.

LCDsensor Remote

Start/stop remote shutter release mode with the LCD sensor.

Submenu options:

⨂ Near: To take a picture, put your hand near the LCD sensor.

⨀ Away: Picture is taken when you get your hand away from the sensor. You may combine this setting with Mirror Lockup.

〰 Wave: Picture is taken after you wave your hand 3 times near the sensor. You can leave it on without interfering (too much) with normal shooting.

This feature is useful for avoiding camera shake. In Movie mode, the Wave 〰 setting is able to start and stop recording movies. The other modes can only start recording (because it's too easy to stop recording by mistake). While recording, the Near and Away modes can trigger the rack focus operation.

Audio RemoteShot

Start/stop remote audio trigger.

Submenu options:

Trigger level (dB)

To take a picture (or start recording a movie), make some loud noise, for example, clap your hands or pop a balloon. With the audio trigger you can sync a video recorded without sound with an external audio track. This may trigger the shutter from the sounds made by camera (like focus beep or noise from operating the buttons).

Motion detection in LiveView

Submenu options:

Trigger by Exposure change: it only reacts to brightness changes. Detects large moving subjects which cause significant change in exposure.
Frame difference: it computes the difference between last two frames A and B (luma channel only); this detects smaller movements which do not change exposure.

Trigger level High values = less sensitivity to motion.

Detect Size Size of the area on which motion shall be detected.

Delay Delay between the detected motion and picture taken.

Detection time is somewhere between 200 and 300 ms according to DataGhost's speed test and it's faster with silent pictures.

Silent Pictures

Take pictures in LiveView mode without moving the mirror.

Submenu options:

Silent Mode Silent Picture: simple, low-resolution. Image resolution is usually around 1 or 2 MPix, and depends on the current mode (zoom or not, recording or not, and movie resolution). For almost-FullHD resolution (1720×974), choose FullHD to record a dummy movie.
Silent Pic Hi-Res: emulates high-resolution by taking a matrix of small silent pics, in zoom x5 mode. You need to have the camera on a tripod and the subject should be static (a picture is taken in a few seconds). Could be useful for focus stacking or for timelapse without increasing shutter count.

Slit-Scan Mode Choose slitscan mode.

Silent picture setting is applied to intervalometer and remote triggers. It will also go to LiveView when you press the shutter half-way. Therefore, you should only enable this setting when you actually use it. When enabled, it saves uncompressed YUV422 frames from the LiveView image buffer when you press the shutter halfway. Make sure you don't have autofocus assigned to half-shutter press (put it on * or turn it off) Images are saved in DCIM/1xxCANON/ after the following rules:

If intervalometer is OFF, silent pics are named after last picture/movie taken without this function (e.g. 12340001.422). You are limited to 10000 silent pictures for each noisy picture.

If intervalometer is ON, silent pics have names like 12345678.422. Tip: use File Numbering → Manual Reset from Canon menu to increase folder number (to sort them easier).

To convert a 422 image to JPEG on the PC, use one of the following programs: (command-line tool, runs on all platforms, you need to install Python, PIL and numpy).

422toimage (Windows only, source code available).

YUV422 Convertor (Windows only, closed source).

Mirror Lockup

Mirror lockup. See Canon user guide for details.

Submenu options:

MLU mode Choose when MLU should be active.

Handheld Shutter At what shutter speeds you want to use handheld MLU.

Handheld Delay Delay between mirror and shutter movement.

Normal MLU Delay MLU delay used with intervalometer, bracketing, etc.

Timer+Remote will auto-enable MLU under one of the following conditions (and disable it otherwise):

self-timer mode is on (either 2 second or 10 second, but not continuous)

LCDsensor Remote is in Away mode.

Flash tweaks

A few tweaks for flash users:

Submenu options:

Flash expo compensation (-10..+3 EV). Tip: you may use -10EV to trigger an external flash without putting light on the scene coming from the onboard flash.

Flash / No flash: use this when you are not sure whether to use flash or not. Odd pictures (by file number) will be taken with flash, even pictures without flash.

3rd party flash in LV: a trick for using a non-Canon flash in LiveView on Rebel cameras, which disables LiveView on half-shutter press. DISABLE this option when you don't use it!!!

Shoot Preferences

Submenu options:

Pics at once How many pics to take at once for each trigger event.

Use Autofocus For intervalometer, audio remote shot and motion detect.

Post scripts Post processing scripts for bracketing and focus stacking.

Intervalometer Script Scripts for sorting intervalometer sequences.

Snap Simulation Takes virtual pictures for testing purposes.



Different controls for focus.

Trap Focus

Takes a picture when the subject comes into focus.

Submenu options:

Hold AF button you need to hold the autofocus button (half-shutter, * or AF-ON, depending on your settings).
Continuous  you don't need to hold any button; ML will hold the half-shutter pressed for you. This will also block most buttons; press the shutter halfway to unlock them for two seconds.

Outside LiveView, it only works with lenses with chip. In LiveView it only works for photos, and it will take a picture when the focus indicator has (almost) maximum value on the focus graph. You may have to turn the lens back and forth a few times in order to let ML compute the correct focus scaling factor for the current scene. If you move from a high-contrast scene to a low-contrast one, you will also have to wait a bit until the high-contrast data disappears from the focus graph. Press SET to temporarily disable automatic scaling of focus magnitude.

Follow Focus

Very simple follow focus (like a rack focus controlled manually).

Submenu options:


Arrows: you will be able to focus with the arrow keys. LCD Sensor: on 550D/500D, focus by placing your hand near the LCD sensor (avoiding shake). To use this, you may need to disable LCDsensor Remote. Recommended focus step settings:
Focus StepSize: 1 or 2
Focus StepDelay: small values, without Wait flag.
If the motion is not smooth, try larger delays (100ms)

Quick rack focus while recording:

Press MENU to save current focus point (this means I want to return here);
Use follow focus to change focus point (focus somewhere else);
Press PLAY to go to saved focus point;
Press PLAY again to go back.

Focus End Point

This is end point of rack focus (X focus steps from the start point, i.e. from current focus point).

Submenu options:

First you have to set the end point. Focus the lens, then press SET on this menu item. After pressing SET, ML will display Focus End Point: 0 steps from here.. This means the end point is now assigned to current focus position. At this point, you will see the LiveView image and set the start point using left and right keys (just like with follow focus) or the main dial (scrollwheel). The start point will be always the current focus point (which you are changing); the end point will remain fixed.

Rack Focus

Triggers the rack focus operation that moves between the start and end focus points.

Submenu options:

After the move is complete pressing again reverses the move.

SET: rack focus will start after 2 seconds;

Q: rack focus will start immediately;

PLAY: ML will automatically record a short clip with the rack focus operation.


Pick the end point of rack focus by focusing on it (manually or with AF). Configure focus parameters (step size and delay). Different lenses may require different parameters. Open the Focus menu, go to Focus End Point and press Set to zero it out. Pick the start point by focusing on it with the LEFT/RIGHT buttons while the Focus menu is active. Make sure the number from Focus End Point is changing as you focus. Fine-tune the position with scrollwheel. Go to Rack Focus and press SET or PLAY to start rack focus. To return to the starting point, run rack focus again. Tip: when LCDsensor Remote is set on Near or Away, you can trigger rack focus from the LCD sensor, avoiding camera shake.

Recommended focus step settings:

Focus StepSize: 1 or 2

Focus StepDelay: - without Wait flag: large delays (around 100 ms) ⇒ will ignore small position errors - with Wait flag: small delays (only lens is in very good mechanical condition)

Focus Stacking

Submenu options:

Run focus stack
Num. pics in front
Num. pics behind
Focus steps / picture
Flash Delay
Copy rack focus range

This selection will shoot a series of photographs with varying focus points. It is used in macro photography to assemble sharper final images by merging photos where each has a different focus point.

This function can also create scripts named like named FST_1234.SH, which can be used for stacking the images with enfuse. See Exposure bracketing for details on how to use these scripts, and the focus stacking section from Enfuse reference manual. To enable (or disable) the post-processing scripts, go to HDR bracketing submenu.


Configure rack focus and use it to preview the focus range.

Select the number of focus steps to skip. This will determine the number of pictures to be taken.

Press PLAY to start the focus sequence (PLAY mode) or take the first picture (SNAP mode).

You can also combine this function with HDR bracketing and silent pictures.

Recommended focus step settings: same as for rack focus.

The following items are display only:

Focus StepSize

Step size for one focus command, as used by EOS Utility.

Submenu options:

Focus StepDelay

Delay between two successive focus commands, with an optional waiting flag.

Submenu options:

If Wait is not active, ML will only wait a for fixed delay before sending next focus command. This will reduce stutter, but may affect rack focus accuracy. This setting is recommended if you only use follow focus.

If Wait is active, ML will wait until each focus command is completed, and then it will wait for a fixed delay, as configured here. This will increase rack focus accuracy, but may cause stutter with certain lenses.

Rack Delay

Sets the number of seconds before starting a rack focus.

Submenu options:

This lets you film the start point first, then initialise the rack focus without touching the camera.

Focus Patterns

Custom focus patterns which can be used either with autofocus or trap focus.

Submenu options:

Center selection
Horiziontal selection
Vertical selection
Shortcut keys

To change the focus pattern:

Set your camera in photo mode, non-LiveView. Look through the viewfinder and make sure the main display is off. Change the focus pattern with the arrow keys and SET. You may or may not receive visual feedback. Press the Zoom In button twice to see the current selection. You can use the custom focus patterns in LiveView Quick Focus mode, too, but the pattern won't be displayed on the screen. This feature was ported from 400plus.

Focus Dist

The distance to the focal point. Value is returned by most newer Canon lenses.

Submenu options:

If the lens does not report any distance information, 0 will be displayed and the DOF calculations will not be correct. See also Focus distance.


The hyperfocal distance is the point of focus where everything from half that distance to infinity falls within the depth of field. This is the largest depth of field possible for the current f-number.

Submenu options:

DOF Near

The nearest distance in which objects appear in focus.

Submenu options:


The farthest distance in which objects appear in focus.

Submenu options:



Options for display - most of them are for LiveView.

LV Digic peaking

Submenu options:

Slightly sharper
Edge image
Edge + chroma

LV contrast

Adjusts the contrast in LiveView. It doesn't affect recording. This helps when focusing with very flat picture styles.

Submenu options:

Very low
Very high

LV saturation

Adjusts the saturation in LiveView. It doesn't affect recording. This helps you focus without being distracted by color.

Submenu options:

Grayscale (zero)
Normal (no effect)
Very high
Boost on WB adjust

LV display gain

This feature increases the brightness in LiveView, making it usable in very dark scenes (where Canon's LiveView would be pitch black).

Submenu options:

1-6 EV

Combine this with FPS override for better low-light performance in photo mode. For movie mode, use ML digital ISOs for a similar effect.

Color Scheme

This affects the colors and brightness of the on-screen information including LiveView overlays, Canon menus and ML menus.

Submenu options:

Range from: Bright (default), Dark, Bright Gray, Dark Gray, Dark Red. Tip: dark themes may reduce the eye strain during night shooting.

Clear Overlays

Clear bitmap overlays from LiveView display.

Submenu options:

HalfShutter Hold the shutter half-pressed, or the * button, or DOF preview for around 1 second to clear all the overlays from the Live View display (audio, zebra, crops, shutter speeds...).Tip: assign autofocus to * button (from Custom Functions, set Shutter/AE lock button = AE lock/AF).
WhenIdle In this mode, all the overlays are erased from the screen (100% clean display) when the camera is idle (i.e. you don't press any buttons).
Always In this mode, all the overlays are erased from the screen; you will have to change shooting settings blindly. You can still use the menus.Tip: this feature may be useful with External Recorders, since it removes the focus box and other graphics from the display.


Correct wide angle lens distortion.

Submenu options:



Adjust display for anamorphic lenses.

Submenu options:


Advanced settings

Submenu options:

Screen Layout Choose screen layout (position of ML top and bottom bars), for different cameras or for external monitors.
Top/bottom layouts:
Inside 3:2: default layout for 3:2-screen cameras (550D and newer).
Inside 16:10: for 16:10 HDMI monitors.
Inside 16:9: for 16:9 HDMI monitors.
4:3 movie (for 5D Mark II, 500D and 50D in movie mode).
Bottom-only layouts:
Under 3:2: useful for 4:3-screen cameras (500D, 50D, 5D Mark 2) in photo mode.
Under 16:9: suitable for low-resolution external monitors and for 4:3-screen cameras in movie mode.
Color scheme
Image position This may make the image better visible from different angles (especially on cameras without flip-out screen). Auto Mirroring For cameras with flip-out LCD, this options prevents mirroring the display when you open it at 180 degrees. Display: Normal/Reverse/Mirror For cameras with flip-out LCD, you may select a different flipping/mirroring option.
UpsideDown mode This mode is useful if you want to mount your camera upside-down.
LV crazy colors
Force HDMI-VGA This option will force a low-resolution mode on HDMI displays (720×480), which avoids black screen when you start/stop recording.

Focus box (LV)

With this setting you can choose to show the Focus box in liveview or hide it when not needed.

Submenu options:

Level Indicator (60D)

Shows if the picture levels with the horizon. Can be used while recording.

Submenu options:

Kill Canon GUI

For 50D only: disable Canon graphics elements to avoid conflicts with ML graphics in LiveView.

Submenu options:

Idle/Menus: only enable Canon graphics when some transparent menu from LiveView is active.
Idle/Menus+Keys: only enable Canon graphics when you press some keys or navigate the transparent menus from LiveView.



Config files

Magic Lantern saves its settings in a configuration file named MAGIC.CFG, located under ML/SETTINGS directory on your card. This submenu lets you customize how these settings are saved.

Submenu options:

Config preset Create different presets of menu configurations.

Config Autosave  Saves settings automatically to magic.cfg whenever you change a setting in ML menu. Config saving process will take place as soon as you close the menu.

Save config now Save ML settings to ML/SETTINGS/MAGIC.CFG.

Restore ML defaults use this to restore ML default settings. After deleting the config file, restart the camera.

Image review settings

Customize the image review (playback) mode.

Submenu options:

Play mode actions When you hold SET pressed and turn the main dial (scrollwheel), ML may perform one of these functions:
  • Play 422: display silent pictures from DCIM/100CANON (low-res only).
  • Exposure Fusion: combine two or more images, useful for previewing HDR images or multiple exposures.
  • Compare Images: compare two images with a diagonal split view. The current image will always end up in the top half.
  • Timelapse Play: scroll through all your pictures quickly.
Image Review
  • QuickReview default: just like in standard firmware.
  • CanonMnu:Hold→PLAY: if you set Image Review: Hold in Canon menu, it will go to PLAY mode instead. This allows you to zoom in as soon as you take the picture (without having to press PLAY). Credits goto Ken Rockwell for suggesting this.
Quick Zoom Faster zoom in PLAY mode, for checking critical focus:
  • OFF
  • ON - zooms faster than Canon firmware.
  • SinglePress → 100%: a single press of Zoom In will zoom all the way in (to 100%) - on center point. Next press will zoom out (full screen image).
  • Full zoom on AF point: similar, but it will zoom on currently selected autofocus point.
  • Full zoom on last position: similar, but it will remember the last position of the zoom box.
LV button Customize the LiveView button in PLAY mode:
  • Default (enter LiveView)
  • Protect image
Quick Erase Shortcut for erasing images without confirmation (hold SET and press ERASE). Be careful!

LiveView zoom tweaks

Customise zoom features.

Submenu options:

Zoom x5 Disable Zoom function.

Zoom x10 Disable Zoom function.

Auto exposure on Zoom Auto adjusts exposure so you can focus manually wide open.

Increase SharpContrast Increase sharpness and contrast when you zoom in LiveView.

Zoom on HalfShutter Enable zoom when you hold he shutter halfway pressed.

Zoom with Focus Ring Zoom when you turn the focus ring on some Canon lenses.

Focus box settings

Determine the behaviour of the focus box.

Submenu options:

Speed Allows you to move the focus box quicker.

Snap points Pick points of your image to snap the box to.

Display Show or Auto-Hide.

Arrow/SET shortcuts

Select the features you want to adjust quickly with arrow and SET keys.

Submenu options:

Audio Gain
  • LEFT/RIGHT: input gain
  • UP/DOWN: output gain
  • SET: input

  • UP/DOWN: white balance
  • SET: PushWB

  • LEFT/RIGHT: shutter
  • UP/DOWN: aperture
  • SET: 180d shutter

LCD Bright/Saturation
  • LEFT/RIGHT: LCD bright
  • UP/DOWN: LCD saturation
  • SET: reset

Use SET button Enable functions for SET when you use arrow keys:
  • Audio input (internal mic, external mic, balanced...)
  • Push-button white balance
  • 180-degree shutter speed
  • Reset LCD brightness to 5 and saturation to Normal.

Misc key settings

Submenu options:

Sticky DOF Preview Makes the DOF preview button sticky (press to toggle). Enabling DOF preview will block certain buttons. Enable Exposure Override to preview DOF without blocking the buttons.

Sticky HalfShutter Makes the half-shutter button sticky (press to toggle). Use this to prevent the camera from turning off LiveView after 30 minutes.

LCD Sensor Shortcuts
Use the LCD face sensor as an extra key in ML (e.g. for triggering arrow keys, for blocking follow focus or for bypassing magic zoom key).
To fully disable the LCD sensor in Magic Lantern, disable LCD auto off from Canon menu (Wrench 1). You need to do this if you are using a device which covers the LCD sensor (e.g. a loupe).

Swap MENU <-> ERASE (60D)
Swaps MENU and ERASE buttons. This feature allows one-handed navigation in ML menu on 60D, but will have to use MENU button to delete the pictures.
DigitalZoom Shortcut (600D)
On 600D/T3i, this lets you customize the behavior of DISP + Zoom In / Zoom Out shortcut key in movie mode:
1x,3x : toggle between 1x and 3x digital zoom modes (FullHD)
3x...10x: default Canon setting (change digital zoom value between 3x and 10x).
Note: by default, Magic Lantern disables digital zoom values greater than 3x in order to avoid image quality degradation.

Warning for bad settings

Submenu options:

Mode warning Warn if you turn the dial to another position.

Quality warning Warn if you change the picture quality.

ALO warning Warn if you enable ALO by mistake.

WB warning Warn if you disable AWB by mistake.

Powersave in LiveView

Options for maximizing battery life when using LiveView.

Submenu options:

Enable power saving on Standby, during Recording, or always.

Use shortcut key Shortcut key for enabling powersave modes right away.

Dim display In LiveView, if the camera is idle, Magic Lantern will reduce the LCD backlight level to minimum in order to save power.

Turn off LCD This will turn off the display and the sensor activity in LiveView. Mirror will not be moved. If the camera is recording or motion detection is enabled, only the display will be
turned off (so recording will not stop).

Turn off GlobalDraw If the camera is idle, ML overlay graphics will be disabled to reduce CPU usage.

Battery Level Battery levels. Wait for 2% discharge before reading.

Use LCD sensor: you can use it to wake up from powersave (wave your hand near it), or to force powersave mode (cover the sensor for a few seconds).

LV Display Presets

This feature lets you use up to 4 display presets for the settings in the Overlay menu.

Submenu options:

OFF (1)

This menu item sets the maximum number of available DISP presets. To disable this feature, set the number of presets to 1. To change the current display preset, press INFO/DISP in LiveView, or [Q] on the GlobalDraw entry in the Overlay menu. On the top bar, you will see DISP 0, 1, 2 or 3. Each of those is a preset for the settings in Overlay menu. So you can, for example, configure DISP 1 with false colors, DISP 2 with zebras and focus peaking, and DISP 3 with clear display.

Lens Info Prefs

Submenu options:

Focus Distance Units Choose between metric and imperial measurements for focal distance.

Customize Menus

Hide features from the ML menus.

Submenu options:


Auto BurstPicQuality

When enabled, it will temporarily reduce picture quality in burst mode in order to maintain a decent frame rate even when the buffer becomes almost full.

Submenu options:

This function will reduce picture quality if the buffer has space for less than 4 pictures:
  • RAW+JPG → JPG Large Fine → JPG Medium Fine
  • RAW → JPG Large Fine → JPG Medium Fine
  • JPG Large Coarse → JPG Medium Coarse
Possible results (550D, Transcend Class 10, your mileage may vary):
  • RAW+JPG, JPG-L, all others JPG-M
  • RAW, RAW, all others JPG-M

Crop Factor Display

If enabled, ML bottom bar will display the 35mm equivalent focal length, including crop factor (1.6x).

Submenu options:

For example, a 50mm lens at f1.8 will be displayed as:
  • 50mm f/1.8 with this option disabled.
  • 80eq f/1.8 with this option enabled.

Display hidden menus

To reduce menu clutter, Magic Lantern allows you to hide unused menu items. Enable this to display the hidden items, so you can re-enable them.

Submenu options:



Modules Board

Modules are one of the great things about ML and they tend to just appear out of nowhere (nowhere = years of programming skills). Forum member Audionut put together a resource for compiling your own if you are upto it: creating your own modules creating your own modules 2

Now you can work on your paddle skills on the move. +1 for Tetris.

Submenu options:

Another Pravdomil gem that gives you automatic control of your exposure during a take.

Submenu options:

Submenu options:

Sidecar file type
Deflicker percentile
Deflicker target level

DotTune AFMA.

Submenu options:

Start Scan
Scan type
Scan passes
AF microadjust
AFMA mode

Dual ISO - massive dynamic range improvement.

Submenu options:

Recovery ISO
Dynamic range gained
Midtone overlapping
Alternate frames only
Custom file prefix

Auto ETTR based on RAW histogram.

Submenu options:

Trigger mode
Slowest shutter
Exposure target
Highlight ignore
Allow clipping
Midtone SNR limit
Shadow SNR limit
Link to Canon shutter
Link to Dual ISO
Show metered areas
Show debug info

(Auto) ETTR (Exposure to the Right): -- History & Beginners Guide

Flicker Free ETTR Timelapse: - -Beginners Guide & Basic Post Processing --

AETTR + DUAL ISO: The Ultimate Automated Perfect Image Exposure-

ETTR + DUAL ISO = 14 Stop Dynamic Range Timelapse - Postprocessing Guide

Dual ISO vs Auto ETTR

Port CHDK file browser.

Submenu options:


Submenu options:

Magic Lantern (RAW) Video format v2.0.

Submenu options:

Resolution 640 to 3584. Width of captured image in pixels. 5D2 tops out at 1856.
Aspect Ratio 5:1 to 1:2. Height of captured image. 
Create directory ON or OFF. Saves video chunks in separate folders.
Global Draw ON or OFF. Disables GD while recording, though some previews require it.
Frame skipping ON or OFF. Stops recording if you drop a frame.
Preview Auto, Canon, ML Grayscale, HaCKeD & Hacked No Prev.
Status when recording Icon, None & Debug.
Start delay 2, 4 & 10 second delay, useful for stabilizing.
Digital dolly Pan your frame in camera digitally.
Card warm-up Some cards perform better after warming up.
Extra Hacks Small tweaks to maximise writing speed.
Fix black level Forces the black level to 2048 to combat green shadows.
Debug trace Writes an execution trace to your card and causes performance dips.
Show buffer graph Shows current buffer usage and expected frames.
Buffer fill method Select your method for filling buffers.
Reserve card space Reserves a chunk of space before recording to write over if you fill the card during a take.
Tag: Text Custom filenames.
Tag: Take

Submenu options:

Submenu options:

Magic Lantern (RAW) Video format v1.0.

Submenu options:

Resolution 640 to 3584. Width of captured image in pixels. 5D2 tops out at 1856.
Aspect Ratio :1 to 1:2. Height of captured image.
Digital dolly Pan your frame in camera digitally.
Preview Auto, Canon, ML Grayscale, HaCKeD & Hacked No Prev.
Frame skipping ON or OFF. Stops recording if you drop a frame.
Card warm-up Some cards perform better after warming up.
Small hacks Small tweaks to maximise writing speed.
Debug info Shows detailed info and buffer allocation graphs.
Playback Playback the last raw video you shot.

Raw video has come a long way in a year 2014: NEW Current Raw Capabilities.

14bit RAW DNG silent pics!

Submenu options:

Silent Mode
Slit-Scan Mode

Modules by developers/members, not available in the nightly builds

Intervalometer Ramping Module.

Submenu options:

Bolt trigger module test results.

Submenu options:

Focus Infinity Module.

Submenu options:

GPS information from your camera, 6D only right now.

Submenu options:

IME (Text Input) System - first version.

Submenu options:

io_crypt is a module which automatically encrypts .CR2 and .JPG while you shoot them.

Submenu options:

Sensor cleaning module.

Submenu options:

Auto ISO with some tweaks to it's functionality, including EC in M.
Not currently available.

Submenu options:



Functions for troubleshooting, development, and possibly unstable features.

Modules debug

Submenu options:

Disable all modules
Load modules after crash
Show console

File Manager

Submenu options:

Allows you to browse your storage medium.

Screenshot (10 s)

Submenu options:

Print screen after 10 seconds. This option saves a BMP file for the overlays and a 422 file (silent picture) for the LiveView image. The BMP does not contain transparency data. You can combine the two files in GIMP or other image editing programs. The card LED will blink every second, until the screenshot is taken.

Menu screenshots

Submenu options:

Create screenshots of all main menus at once.

Dump ROM and RAM

Submenu options:

Don't click me!

Submenu options:

Don't click it :)

Burn-in tests

Submenu options:

Stubs API test
Quick test
Random tests
Menu backend
Redraw test
Rectangle test

This option runs various tests to make sure Magic Lantern is stable and will not crash. You can use it to test your particular configuration. If it crashes, report an issue.


Submenu options:

Card R/W benchmark (5 min)
Card buffer benchmark (inf)
Memory benchmark (1 min)
Focus peaking benchmark (30s)

Show tasks

Submenu options:

Displays the tasks started by Canon and Magic Lantern.

Show CPU usage

Submenu options:

Busy tasks (ABS)
Busy tasks (REL)

Save CPU usage log

Submenu options:

Saves a log with the CPU usage for all tasks.

Show GUI evts

Submenu options:

ON - delay 300ms


Submenu options:

Free Memory

Submenu options:

Displays the amount of available RAM.

Image buffers

Submenu options:

Shutter Count

Submenu options:

Displays the number of shutter actuations.

Internal Temp

Submenu options:

Displays the internal CMOS temperature, in raw units.

Battery level

Submenu options:

60D and 5D Mark II only: displays battery percentage, estimated time remaining and battery discharging rate.
For accurate readings, wait until the percentage indicator decreases by at least 2% since powering on.




In-camera help section.

Press INFO

Submenu options:


Submenu options:


Submenu options:


Submenu options:


Submenu options:

Press MENU

Submenu options:

Press PicStyle

Submenu options:

Key Shortcuts

Submenu options:

Complete user guide

Submenu options:

About Magic Lantern

Submenu options:



Editing raw video has become easier recently with more software coming out that can handle it, but you still need some horsepower in your workstation.  Adobe CC seems to do most of its work with the CPU & RAM and ideally you want at least a quadcore and 32 GB. DIY workstations

Davinci Resolve makes more use of your GPU and renders quicker than CC in my experience, so if you use Resolve more, it makes sense to spend your money on better GPU's as Resolve will make use of as many as you can install. dual GPU in Premiere Pro

USB 3.0 is a lot faster at transferring than 2.0, so make sure you have that for dumping your footage.

SSD is preferable to HDD for a few reasons, raw speed being one and consistent speed regardless of free space another, but they are expensive and different configurations of HDD's can work well. Realistically you need 4 more drives either all in a raid configuration or two in raid and two to handle previews, renders, scratch and projects. If your project is heavy on the photos/audio, you will see a slight performance boost from storing those files on a different drive to your video files.

Buy a quality PSU that can easily handle your needs (at least 750W). Make sure it has the right connections for your components.

You are going to need a cooling system of some kind for your CPU and a heatsink with fans is pretty much foolproof, but a lot of high end users have water cooling. Corsair H systems are great and work straight out of the box, but custom systems are not that hard to install and you can run your GPU through them too. At this point you have a lot of heat being generated and the biggest case you can get is going to help you, but even then you need to keep all the cables tidy and arrange your fans to expel warm air from the top and draw cold air from the bottom. I'm thinking about getting rid of my case and modifying a cabinet I have so I can install my system in that with soundproofing and high powered fans. This will make installing extra drives easier which is a regular occurence when shooting raw.


Conversion Software

Raw video needs to be converted to a sequence of digital negatives before you can edit it. Here is a list of current ways to do this.



MlRawViewer 1.1.4


MLV to DNG Batch Converter v1.9



BATCHelor 3.0 Alpha 3

MlRawViewer 1.1.4



MlRawViewer 1.1.4

FFMPEG now officially supports Magic Lantern Video, which means that "a library that is widely used by a number of programs that do video will have native support for MLV. Which means any of the programs that use that library will defacto have support for MLV. Which means that you will be able to playback MLV files with any of these already existing programs. Almost all open source video applications use this library (called ffmpeg)."




Workflows are job specific, constantly changing, inconsistent across the different platforms and a reflection of your 'technique', but there are some principles we all adhere to:

Set up your camera.
Prepare for edit.

Setting up your cam with ML can be daunting at first, there must be 100 new options for you to worry about, so in the first place you should switch all of them off. A lot of the features you may never use depending on the nature of your work, but it pays to understand them all. Some features affect other features in unexpected ways such as exact fps disabling sound, but to my knowledge ML is pretty stable and a lot of time is spent on making sure it won't fry your camera.

Shooting with your Canon is made easier by ML's ability to customize your camera for your job. Things like auto exposure, 14 bit video, cropmarks etc all go a long way to improving your production and you can program ML to show only the settings you use to help you navigate your menus under pressure.

Once you have your material in the can you then need to prepare for edit and if you are shooting raw video you are going to spend a lot of time doing this. Both raw and mlv require converting to an image format your NLE can work with, although there are plugins for importing raw to Premiere. Adobe Camera Raw seems to be the favourite colour corrector for most people, Davinci Resolve is my choice for creating proxies, Premiere for editing and either back to Resolve or Camera Raw via a dynamic link to After Effects. I've got a hex core CPU and 3GB GPU on Windows 7 and Resolve seems to be the fastest at rendering, whilst After Effects gives more post production options.

Installing ML

RAW video & ML -- Beginners Guide, FAQ & Useful Links -- READ FIRST

how to shoot RAW on a canon DSLR

Prefs - LV display presets - Do you know how cool this is?

How are you processing your Raw footage?

RAW Video Post processing (raw2dng) [Mac/Win/Linux]

RAW Video: PostProcessing -- Beginners Guide --

3 Good Workflows for 5D RAW footage

None destructive raw workflow for Premiere using After Effects and Dynamic Link

Preventing Color/Luma Shifting When Processing DNGs in Adobe Camera RAW

Banding issues

Applying corrections to a frame other than the first in Adobe camera raw in AE

Speeding up ACR workflow

RAW workflow proposal for ACR support and native support in Premier

Anamorphic Workflows

Flicker Free ETTR Timelapse: - -Beginners Guide & Basic Post Processing --

AETTR + DUAL ISO: The Ultimate Automated Perfect Image Exposure-Beginners'Guide

ETTR + DUAL ISO = 14 Stop Dynamic Range Timelapse - Postprocessing Guide

Premiere 7.1.0 & relinking DNGs in Resolve

Neat Video denoiser for raw

Best render settings in After Effects/Adobe Media Encoder

Tutorials for Beginners: Davinci Resolve 10 Lite

Ultimate Color Grading Guide

Non Adobe workflows

David Kong project walkthrough


Excellent work.

I hope you don't mind, I did some formatting.  If you don't like it, feel free to PM me and I can revert the posts.

Can you reserve some more posts please.  5 should be enough I think.
I would like to add modules, maybe some tips and tricks, and such.  edit:  Oops, I found the modules  :)



No problem with the reformatting, I was hoping to do that myself but I couldn't figure it out. We could use the Workflow post for tips and tricks, but if you think we need any more posts, feel free to add them and update the OP. This is obviously going to take some time to fill out and in the first place I will be pasting from the official user guide and providing links, so I'd appreciate links from everyone to info that should be in here. 


Tip: if you keep the formatting consistent, I'll be able to pull the data and reformat it as PDF, in-camera help, whatever.


@a1ex I've followed along with Audionut's example (thanks for that) from the Expo post and will format the rest like that. I definitely want to make it easy to dump to the in-camera help, so if you need it changing, just edit the part I've quoted and I'll change the rest. There's no rush of course, it's going to take me a few days at least to dump all the information.

Quote from: Redrocks on March 30, 2014, 08:40:09 PM

Adjusting the exposure parameters. Most of these settings only work in Manual (photo and video), and some of them work in P, Av and Tv too.


Submenu options:

Kelvin white balance: -
WBShift G/M: - Green-Magenta white balance shift. Useful for fluorescent lighting;
WBShift B/A: - Blue-Amber white balance shift. 1 unit = 5 mireks on Kelvin axis, according to this post;
Custom RGB multipliers: - Fine-tune custom white balance;
Black level: - This parameter is applied on RAW data, before applying white balance. Adjust it if you have problems with green or magenta shadows;
Auto adjust Kelvin + G/M: - In LiveView, ML will compute the white balance for the current scene, using the center (200×200 pixels rectangle) as reference gray.

Advanced white balance control. The preferred method is Kelvin white balance (range: 1500...15000K).