Magic Lantern as mandatory for geeks on Canon

Well, I’m still depressed that I don’t have the lenses for a Nikon D800, but in the mean time, what can we do with the Canon 5D Mark II. A good note is that Magic Lantern really helps for both video (what it was designed for) and stills (what it can do). It is easy, just load it onto a CF card and then it automatically boots onto your Canon and doesn’t change any firmware.
Its complicated but here is the status based on the firmware in your camera now:

  • If you have 2.0.8, then you use the original Magic Lantern called 0.1.9 classic
  • If you have 2.0.9, then you use the AJ version 5.9
  • If you have 2.1.2 (the latest), then you donate and you get access to the unified beta of Magic Lantern

Actually finding these files isn’t easy. The main problem is that the Canon site only has the latest (current 2.1.2), so you have to splunk to find the other .FIR files. Updating by the way is easy if scary, just copy the .FIR file to the root of a CF card, put it into the camera. Make sure you have a full BATTERY unless you want to brick your camera, navigate to the firmware entry of the menu and then click OK on the firmware and this starts the Firmward Update program and pray. 
For versions of the firmware, here is where I found them on the web:

  • Moira has the stock 2.0.9 firmward and the AJ 5.9 version on the site. The user manual is just as useful.
  • Magic Lantern site has 2.0.3, 2.0.4 and 2.0.8 stock firmware and also the ML 0.1.9 classic for 2.0.8
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