Author Topic: ML Best Practices  (Read 39107 times)

nanomad

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ML Best Practices
« on: September 14, 2013, 09:27:44 AM »
Always format the card from the camera
Since Magic Lantern runs from the card, you may be asking yourself: "what happens if I format it"?

Answer: Magic Lantern first reads all of its required files, including your custom configuration files, and then copies itself back onto the card!

We strongly recommend you to format the card before every important shooting session! This helps maintaining performance when recording files, and prevents the filesystem from becoming fragmented.

A lot of stability and performance issues reported by Magic Lantern users went away after they started to format their cards on a regular basis.

Formatting the card from the camera will make sure your file system is exactly as Canon software and Magic Lantern expect it to be.

Tip: to format the card and remove Magic Lantern, go to the Canon Menu / Format screen and press the shortcut key indicated in brackets, as in the screenshot - on most cameras it's the [Q] button.



Don't remove your card too fast!
After you open the card door, most cameras will access it during the next few seconds. These cameras usually do a short LED blink when it's safe to remove the card.

The card access is usually done without LED activity (and this can't be fixed without reflashing Canon firmware with a modified version). That's why you really need to be patient when removing the card.

If you remove the card too early, the camera will lock up and will slowly drain your battery.

Affected cameras:

  • 5D Mark II, 500D: card activity takes place roughly 2 seconds after opening the card door, and the LED blinks after card activity has ended (so you can remove the card). If there are no blinks in the first 5 seconds, it's safe to remove the card.
  • 50D: card activity takes place without any LED blinks; after opening the card door, wait for 5 seconds before removing the card (even if camera was turned off hours ago!)
  • 60D, 600D, 650D, 700D, 100D, EOSM: card activity is always done with correct LED blinks. Do not remove the card while LED is on.
  • Cameras without this issue: 550D, 1100D.

Never simply delete Magic Lantern files from the card!
If you do, the boot flag will remain on the card. The camera will continue to look for Magic Lantern, but will not find it, and will not boot. To remove Magic Lantern, format the card instead.

If you make this mistake, don't worry. Remove the battery momentarily, format the card in your external card reader, place the card back into your camera and restart it.

Using the same settings on multiple cards
Magic Lantern settings are saved on your memory card, in a file called MAGIC.CFG, which is located in the directory ML/SETTINGS. A side effect of this is that, if you use different cards, each card will have its own settings.

If you'd like to have the same settings on all your cards, you can use this workflow:

  • Customize Magic Lantern settings so they fit your needs and save this config;
  • Put your card in your card reader and copy the ML/SETTINGS directory to the computer.
  • Then, copy this ML/SETTINGS directory from computer to the cards you want to share this config.

Tips:

  • Once you have found the optimal settings for your style of shooting, you can disable the automatic config file saving from Prefs menu – now your settings will never be overwritten.
  • Having the config file saved on card allows you to create different presets - for example, you can setup one card for video shooting, another card for timelapse and a third card for general stills shooting.

Use a card reader for downloading photos and videos to computer
During normal operation, Magic Lantern may create extra files (like movie LOG files or postprocessing scripts), which are not visible via the USB connection. Therefore, our advice is to always copy files using a card reader.

Always use the safe removal feature from your operating system, and avoid cheap cards and card readers. Corrupted filesystems create problems – do your best to prevent them!


Using the same card in two different camera models - possible?
It will work, but we do not recommend doing this. The settings which are camera-specific may not be preserved properly in the configuration file.


Always use Manual modes - avoid Auto
Magic Lantern is a great tool for power users - most of its features work best in manual modes. Don't forget to enable manual exposure in video mode from Canon menu!

We do not even try to use the camera in auto modes - these modes were not tested at all. Canon seems to do the same, according to this post.
EOS 1100D | EOS 650 (No, I didn't forget the D) | Ye Olde Canon EF Lenses ('87): 50 f/1.8 - 28 f/2.8 - 70-210 f/4 | EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 | Metz 36 AF-5

Doyle4

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 01:24:56 PM »
Nice read thanks,


lionelp

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013, 03:56:54 PM »
Very helpful. Thank you.
Canon 60D, 50D | Lenses: Nikkor : 18-55 , 3.5 | 50, 1.8 | 24, 2.8 | 28,2.8 | 35, 2.8 |Helios 58 | A few other Nikon manual zooms and prime lenses|
Komputerbay 1000x, Sandisk 95 MB/ s

prabhath.mp

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 05:17:25 PM »
Hi Nanomad,

Thank you posting this. It's very helpful indeed :)

I still have one question, however.

I found few files which were probably error logs. Is there any problem if we delete those files?

How do we identify the files which are apart from the ML files? (I know that ML folder and autoexec.bin are crucial)

Recently, I got a chance to try the RAW recording feature on my 550D (It's awesome), however, when I tried the playback option, it crashed (I restarted camera after removing battery and that got resolved), however, there were few logs when I accessed card through Card reader.

I just wanted to be sure that I am not deleting the critical files :)

Cheers,
Prabhath MP
Knowledge enhances by sharing!
Every moment is a new learning experience!!
I use:-Camera: Canon 550D/T2i  Lens: Canon 50mm 1.8 II ; Canon kit (18-55 non IS) ; 55-250 EFS IS ; Macro converter tubes with AF.

retel

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 07:48:32 PM »
Thanks Nanomad,
the information you provide here is very much needed. Consider to put it on ML website.
Every novice want to know what the Best Practices are.

Exile

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2013, 07:30:30 PM »

Using the same card in two different camera models - possible?
It will work, but we do not recommend doing this. The settings which are camera-specific may not be preserved properly in the configuration file.

Hi, do you refer to same ML version for 2 cameras, because I was wondering if I could use 1 card for 2 cameras who both require a diffrent ML

in this case i'm talking about a 6d and a 6od, would it be possible to have 2 ML versions on 1 card so that the camera would load the ML version that is required for that camera?

Thanks in advance, John

eattheblinds

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2014, 07:53:22 PM »
Always format the card from the camera
Since Magic Lantern runs from the card, you may be asking yourself: "what happens if I format it"?

Answer: Magic Lantern first reads all of its required files, including your custom configuration files, and then copies itself back onto the card!

We strongly recommend you to format the card before every important shooting session! This helps maintaining performance when recording files, and prevents the filesystem from becoming fragmented.

A lot of stability and performance issues reported by Magic Lantern users went away after they started to format their cards on a regular basis.

Formatting the card from the camera will make sure your file system is exactly as Canon software and Magic Lantern expect it to be.

i followed this advice only to discover the next time i turned my camera on, ML was *poof* all gone.  any idea why?

nanomad

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2014, 08:15:44 PM »
Did you check the option to keep ml files on card in the format dialog?
EOS 1100D | EOS 650 (No, I didn't forget the D) | Ye Olde Canon EF Lenses ('87): 50 f/1.8 - 28 f/2.8 - 70-210 f/4 | EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 | Metz 36 AF-5

l_d_allan

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2014, 04:13:28 AM »
Edit: Disregard content below   ... sorry
..................
Is there a way to delete a post with SMF? Or just shorten length to zero or near zero?
.................
...
Always use Manual modes - avoid Auto
Magic Lantern is a great tool for power users - most of its features work best in manual modes. Don't forget to enable manual exposure in video mode from Canon menu!

We do not even try to use the camera in auto modes - these modes were not tested at all. Canon seems to do the same, according to this post.

When you mention "auto modes", are you including Av and Tv? Really? Don't use Av / Tv with ML?

Or is this "best practice" for video, and not applicable for still photos?

I mostly use Manual, but often use Av, and sometimes Tv ... less often. ML seems to work ok with Av ... at least with stills.

At first, I thought this specific "best practice" was from a much earlier version of ML, but the date on the OP was Sep, 2013.

l_d_allan

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2014, 04:16:38 AM »
i followed this advice only to discover the next time i turned my camera on, ML was *poof* all gone.  any idea why?

I've observed one or more of my cameras has the option for "Deep Format" and "Normal Format". My impression is that "Deep Format" would remove ML files, whereas "Normal Format" leaves ML alone.

Or not?

gary2013

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2014, 04:45:51 AM »
Edit: Disregard content below   ... sorry
..................
Is there a way to delete a post with SMF? Or just shorten length to zero or near zero?
.................
...

just delete everything when you modify the post and then type the word "delete" and then re save it.

hjfilmspeed

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 10:29:28 PM »
@  nanomad Sorry to bug you with this sad question. Im on the Dec 15 nightly build on 5d3. I have a 16gig RAW Steel SD card for ML and KB 1000x CF cards for recording and I have ML preferred card set to CF. My CF card is also formatted to exfat. Since im recording to the CF, I assume I dont need to format the SD card in camera on a regular basis. Right? Since i formatted the CF exfat in comp (for long RAW recordings without splits) should I format CF in cam ever? or will I loose exfat format? And when i go to format ML card on 5d3 the is no Q option or I dont see this "Did you check the option to keep ml files on card in the format dialog?" anywhere in ML. Just curious. Your tips are greatly appreciated!

Also as far as card removal goes, i have been shutting down the cam and waiting for the confirmation blink to remove and cards. do i have to shut down to remove cards on the 5d3 nightlys? i know i have to wait for the blink but can i open the card door without shutting down and wait for the blink?

thedanleung

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2014, 09:07:50 PM »

Using the same card in two different camera models - possible?
It will work, but we do not recommend doing this. The settings which are camera-specific may not be preserved properly in the configuration file.


I also wonder how I should go about this. I use ML on a 60D and also Tragic Lantern (since there is no stable version yet) on the EOS M. I have found that putting an SD card with EOS M TL into the 60D, the camera will not boot. Also visa versa with 60D ML into the M.

I only have 4 SD cards, and would love for them to be interchangeable between camera, but is this possible? If so how?

If not, I guess I have to purchase more SD cards so they are ML camera-specific...

Audionut

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Re: ML Best Practices
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2014, 12:08:11 AM »
The quote refers to a unified build.

Camera specific builds will only work on that specific camera model.