Author Topic: ML for Dummies  (Read 4457 times)

Cranston P.K. Tewksbery

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ML for Dummies
« on: August 09, 2013, 04:01:01 AM »
I am somewhat technically challenged and was wondering if someone might offer a dumbed-down explanation of how ML plays with Canon's firmware.  I have two 7Ds and decided to dedicate one to run ML experimentally (I have no intention of using it in production for the time being).  Following the instructions on ML's site, I loaded it yesterday and it appears to be running fine.  The features are nothing short of mind blowing, needless to say. 

When reviewing some of ML's documents, I see there is a explanation of how to REMOVE ML from a "CARD", as well as how to REMOVE it from a "CAMERA".  This is where I get lost.  My understanding is that ML is pulled from the card (connected each time through Canon's Firmware update menu item), which is why it resides there, yet there is documentation on how to remove it from the camera? 

This raises a couple of issues.  Can I use the same camera WITHOUT an ML card--running it solely in Canon's environment--with the same confidence as I would any non-ML Canon camera in a production environment, or would I need to "remove" ML from the "camera" all together?  And what is it exactly that is "removed from the camera"? In looking at the forums, I see terms like "boot-strap" and "boot flag" bandied about and wonder if this is what I am missing--an understanding of the terminology.

Lastly, my workflow protocol is such that I format my cards every time they go out.  This means I am wiping the ML firmware from the card at the same time and would then need to reload it.  I've already done this several times without problems, but I am wondering--based on your experience--if this is advisable or potentially problematic?  Formatting one's card each time is a precautionary measure used to reduce the potential for data corruption and very commonly used in the still photography community.  Don't know if this is something recommended among digital SLR  film makers, but I would like to continue to use this method in my own workflow.

That's it for now.

Thanks in advance for your help.



 

Cranston P.K. Tewksbery

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Re: ML for Dummies
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 04:11:27 AM »

Lastly, my workflow protocol is such that I format my cards every time they go out.  This means I am wiping the ML firmware from the card at the same time and would then need to reload it.


Just to clarify this quote, I am not re-installing the ML firmware to the camera, rather I am simply saving the firmware back to the card from a folder I have saved on my computer hard drive.  This, after the initial installation process.  Essentially the camera sees the same thing

Walter Schulz

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Re: ML for Dummies
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 06:30:58 AM »
To run ML a so called "bootflag" has to be set on the camera. A camera with bootflag set will look for a *bootable* card with ML (directory, files) on it.

Cam boot flag     Card                                              Result
=======================================
Not set                bootable, ML files inside               ML will not be loaded, camera behaves like intended by Canon
Not set                 bootable, no ML files inside          ML will not be loaded, camera behaves like intended by Canon
Not set                 Not bootable, no ML files inside    ML will not be loaded, camera behaves like intended by Canon
Not set                 Not bootable, ML files inside         ML will not be loaded, camera behaves like intended by Canon

Set                        bootable, ML files inside               ML will load at startup
Set                        bootable, no ML files inside          ML will not be loaded, camera will be stalled at setup, no display -> remove battery!
Set                        Not bootable, ML files inside         ML will not be loaded, camera behaves like intended by Canon
Set                        Not bootable, no ML files inside    ML will not be loaded, camera behaves like intended by Canon         

If you format your card using the camera there are two options if ML is loaded:
Format and keep ML (default)
and
Format and delete ML
If you format your card using a cardreader or a camera where ML is not loaded all ML data on this card will be lost.

Ciao, Walter
Photogs and videographers: Assist in proof reading upcoming in-camera help!. Your input is wanted and needed!

Cranston P.K. Tewksbery

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Re: ML for Dummies
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 04:16:56 PM »
Hi Walter,

Thanks for your response--extremely helpful.  The table is brilliant.  So it is possible to format without removing ML. 

One other bit of clarification needed, please correct me if I'm wrong here:

Based on your response, I assume that part of what happens during the initial installation of ML is that the camera's "bootflag" is activated.  So I take it what is meant by "removing" ML from the "camera", is simply the act of "deactivating" the camera's bootflag?

Lastly, you say:

A camera with bootflag set will look for a *bootable* card with ML (directory, files) on it.

Are all CF cards bootable by default?  Or are they made to be bootable by ML during the initial card installation or by virtue of having the ML files on it?  This relates to my question about using a non-ML card (one that has never had ML on it).  If CF cards are bootable by default, then this would mean the camera will stall if the camera's bootflag is still set when used with a non-ML card.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Walter Schulz

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Re: ML for Dummies
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 04:30:25 PM »
So I take it what is meant by "removing" ML from the "camera", is simply the act of "deactivating" the camera's bootflag?

Exactly!
EDIT: Well, I found a post by one of the developers about which data is actually written to the cam when using ML. It's more than the flag only and I don't know if all data sets will be reset. And i have to say, it doesn't bother me at all. As long as Canon/Canon Support doesn't act wild on this matter and they had not until now.

Are all CF cards bootable by default?  Or are they made to be bootable by ML during the initial card installation

By default *no* CF-card is bootable. EOScard utility will do this and it will copy the ML files to the card.

Ciao
Walter

PS: You're not covered completely: If you put an "ML-Card" into your "ML-free" cam and format it there, ML data (and settings) will be lost.
Photogs and videographers: Assist in proof reading upcoming in-camera help!. Your input is wanted and needed!

Cranston P.K. Tewksbery

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Re: ML for Dummies
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 05:08:20 PM »
Thank you Walter.  This is very helpful and makes sense.

All the best,

C.P.K.T