Author Topic: Power draw - Magic Lantern vs Canon firmware  (Read 16810 times)

a1ex

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Power draw - Magic Lantern vs Canon firmware
« on: July 23, 2012, 04:04:44 PM »
There were quite a few reports saying that Magic Lantern empties the battery "much faster" than Canon firmware. Obviously, no one said how much faster, so I've repeated my measurements.

Back in 2011, I've estimated it at roughly 5% more power draw, with zebras and peaking active, using the estimation displayed in Debug menu in 60D. That estimation measures the time needed for battery percentage to get lower by 1%. To measure power draw of Canon firmware, I simply stopped all ML tasks and left only the battery check - that was back then.

These days I've ran another test: I've started with a fully charged battery and left the 550D in LiveView until the battery fully discharged. First with Canon firmware, then did the same with ML. I've pressed the shutter halfway every 20 minutes to prevent the LiveView from turning off automatically.

Discharge times:
With Canon firmware (movie mode, 25p, backlight at max): 1h49m (109 minutes)
With Magic Lantern (same settings in Canon firmware, also with fast zebra, peaking (d2xy) and histogram active - starting from default config): 1h50m (110 minutes).

Take it with a grain of salt - I only did one discharge cycle for each firmware: first with Canon firmware (yesterday) and then, today with ML. I did not check the repeatability of the measurements in any way. Also, my 550D battery is quite old.

I hope this clears up all those urban legends, and I invite you to do your own tests.

Michael Zöller

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Re: Power draw - Magic Lantern vs Canon firmware
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 04:27:13 PM »
Lol, new urban myth: ML increases battery life! :)

Seriously though, thanks for the tests. That should clear things up, especially due to the fact that one can actually enable the ML power saving features.
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Chungdha

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Re: Power draw - Magic Lantern vs Canon firmware
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 04:58:53 PM »
The difference is very minimal have tested two guy both using 550D filming continuously one with ML other without. Almost around the same time both ran out of juice. The difference too minute to really care about, if one would have ran out of battery while other still able to work for another half hours than it be interesting just 1 or few minutes I would not even care atleast always carry enough battery to last a full day.

unity2k

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Re: Power draw - Magic Lantern vs Canon firmware
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2012, 05:09:32 PM »
There have been times where I too thought my battery life was quite poor, but quickly see that 2 or 3 hours had passed since I started testing a new build. Moving in and out of LiveView, pulling rack focus multiple times, watching a timelapse or two in camera or an HDR video shot at 24fps or 60fps, investigating difference in ISO configs, or spending lot's of time working with FPS override, then all of a sudden; dead battery. But it wasn't all of a sudden, some times I have to remind myself that the battery I'm using was also used the day before for an unknown duration.

What I find when I'm in the field working is that I am often able to use a battery all day, and this is while using autofocus (occasionally), shooting raw (upwards of 500 photos captured), record between 8 and 15 minutes of video (some of it HDR), plus all of the false shots where I pull focus, adjust aperture, skip the shot, and then leave the camera to auto-power down in 1 minute.

It would be great if some other users tested their batteries as A1ex has and post the results here so we can move beyond the anecdotal complaints that ML eats batteries, or confirm the cases where it does.

xblitz

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Re: Power draw - Magic Lantern vs Canon firmware
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 05:45:57 PM »
Actually this weekend I had put a full battery in my Canon 50D with a pretty recent ML Build .. and I didnt actually use ML but only normal camera Operation for a couple of candid shots at a familly reunion...  put back the camera in the bag and left the camera "ON" like I usually forget ... (since anyways the camera goes to sleep after 1 minute or so..)   but a couple of hours later.. battery was dead!   so I am wondering if ML maybe was keeping the camera awake and still using power?   Im not sure..  I guess I would need to make some tests.. but since i saw this thread I wanted to let everyone know maybe someone else got this kind of behaviour

a1ex

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Re: Power draw - Magic Lantern vs Canon firmware
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 06:01:30 PM »
See FAQ and install guide.

And best practises: http://www.magiclantern.fm/bestpractices

KarateBrot

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Re: Power draw - Magic Lantern vs Canon firmware
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 07:47:36 PM »
I guess the complaints of people were caused because they were playing with the ML menu all the time. With my 550D it's the same: If you just go through the menu and test some features and turn them on and off and on and so on... the camera gets a bit hot and the batery is dead after about a bit more than an hour.
But when I used ML for a little photoshoot I once set my settings and voila, the camera was able to shoot the whole evening with one battery life.
If you donate a RED EPIC to me you officially are very cool ;)

contax

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Re: Power draw - Magic Lantern vs Canon firmware
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 10:33:36 PM »
@Alex

I agree, the difference between Canon and ML battery life is not relevant...and the batteries are affordable, so this is not a problem.

Thank you again to all developers contributing in ML project, I really admire all your hard work and big inspiration and creativity.

I had a dream last night (not joking) for a new ML feature...I know it is somehow StarTrek, but here it is:
Special sound triggered Remote control, which corresponds to certain frequencies and Run favorite ML commands…and the rest is off course imagination, but Alex and the rest of ML Dream team are already made some unimaginable things to reality.
(Maybe with a glass of “Rakija” – remember? ;  and hey…this is not something new)

KarateBrot

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Re: Power draw - Magic Lantern vs Canon firmware
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 11:06:31 PM »
I had a dream last night (not joking) for a new ML feature...I know it is somehow StarTrek, but here it is:
Special sound triggered Remote control, which corresponds to certain frequencies and Run favorite ML commands…and the rest is off course imagination, but Alex and the rest of ML Dream team are already made some unimaginable things to reality.
(Maybe with a glass of “Rakija” – remember? ;  and hey…this is not something new)

lol that's interesting :D If you want to filter out special frequencies of a frequency spectrum you need to apply a Fourier Transformation
If you donate a RED EPIC to me you officially are very cool ;)