My first test of the Magic Lantern firmware I will make more as I test more.

Well I finally installed Magic Lantern and the first thing I am testing with it is the audio, or should I say the lack of the AGC feature.

I will be doing many more test videos to show off most all of the features so come back if you are interested in learning more.

I finally decided to give it a try after waiting a few months to let some of the bugs get fixed.

If you are brave enough to try it out, I am not going to make a tutorial on installation because Luke Neumann as done a great job if that.


  • I tried it out when it was first released and the audio was awesome. Also the built in intervalometer worked really well and If I remember correctly, you can do time lapse in video mode and save shutter actuations. I seem to remember recording an eclipse with it. Oh well, enjoy Dave, it has plenty to keep you experimenting with for a while.

  • So you finally took the plunge?

    I love Magic Lantern, I recently got a new SD card and forgot to put the ML files on before going out to shoot, and its horrible trying to shoot without it now after getting used to using it. I only wish it could be more user friendly.

  • Congratulations on installing ML! Also, thank you for all you tutorials, I really enjoy them and learn a lot.

  • Dave
    Would you please make a tutorial on how to install it, or maybe a link? Thanks….

  • Awesome, Dave. Makes me wish I had a T2i. Does your version of the software have focus assist / peaking? I’d love to get your take on how accurate that is.

  • Hi,

    Always great to check out your tests! It will be exciting to come back for more test on ML, maybe the fixed kelvin settings can help out with getting better material for color grading?

    Since you are an audio guy I’m also looking forward to your experiences with the dual mic input capabilities of the ML.

    See you later!

  • Dave got the Upgrade! Now he has a new camera to shoot with, I expect all the content to become better too 😉

    Hey dave the focus stuff will be hard to demonstrate while sitting at the desk, why not do some Qscale (different compression) settings. I think that your audience would love to know how to get longer recording times from the 550D. Say goodbye to 12min rec limits everyone!

  • Were you using solely the onboard mic? Because it sounds really full and close, which usually is not the case with it.

  • Note, that when turning off the AGC you will still get handling noise from the internal mic. But you won’t get the ducking or sudden muting of the natural sound, when the AGC normaly clamps down on the offending bump. Editing bad audio everyday for TV news, I can tell you I prefer to pull down the occasional bump rather than pull up lots of AGC squashed sound.

  • Dave, glad to see you took the plunge. I’ve been using ML since the middle of January and it brings a whole new dimension to the T2i. Wait till you use the zebras and a host of other features. They are awesome. What build are you using? I’m still using the Jan 30 build because it has so many features I had no need to upgrade. But I’ll be installing the Mar 13 build (or later build) shortly, as there are some great new features (e.g., focus zoom which operates while recording and helps with critical focus).

  • Congrats, Dave!

    I can’t help but think I had something to do with this… 😉

    I found the focus peaking difficult to use effectively, however the latest builds have a very beta form of autofocus! The features are still very much a work in progress (and extremely slow), but I’ve found it useful when taking a video of myself in order to make sure I don’t shift and lose focus.

    Meanwhile, what IS very useful, is this new live zoom feature. While recording, you can have a box appear that magnifies a portion of your viewing area. This way you can check for accurate focus without a big monitor, but still see how the rest of your shot is composed!

    As for sound, the preamps on the T2i make it a very delicate balance to get good sounding audio even without AGC. In my experience, it works best with a powered mic in which you can adjust the gain before it hits the camera. The camera’s preamps aren’t very good and will introduce a lot of noise if you need to raise the gain too much.

    I pushed my Sennheiser lav mic as high as I could comfortably go without blowing the levels out (that’s the video test that I sent you), and the results came out pretty good.

    If anyone is interested in seeing this test, and knowing the details of my settings to achieve it, have a look here:

  • After much consideration, I decided NOT to install magic lantern. I heard that there are some issues with the camera shutting off mid-shoot (especially if you bump up the Q-scale), camera taking a few extra seconds to start recording, and other small annoying quirks that I really can’t afford to deal with. As a wedding videographer, I don’t have the luxury of reshooting a scene or doing another take. It’s one and done.

    For those who dont’ have to worry about this, I’ve only heard amazing things. Can’t wait to see what you do with it Dave. Enjoy!

  • @Michael, I think that is very smart decision. For me I don’t make my living from the camera, but if I had a backup t2i then I would do it if I were you.

  • Michael, I understand your hesitation.
    The thing is… it really doesn’t make any permanent changes to your camera. So you can not only try it temporarily, but even switch between having it / not having it ON LOCATION!
    It exists on a storage card, so if you don’t want to run it anymore (if you’re afraid of missing that integral shot), just swap memory cards and it boots back to your original firmware. Can’t get any easier!

    I actually keep one card without ML on purpose for that very reason. When I first did some pro shoots at work, I was nervous about using it on the job so I liked the freedom of choosing whether I wanted it or not.

    Meanwhile, I’ve never had the camera shut off mid-shoot, or even heard of it happening (one user over at DVXuser is complaining about it right now, but I’m skeptical because none of the developers have ever heard of that before- I think he may have a physical battery contact problem). Camera does not really take a few extra seconds to start recording (and can even be set to automatically restart if stopped automatically, which is a KILLER feature for live event type recording). It does take a few extra seconds to boot up, however. I’m not sure if that would be a problem for you or not.

    Anyway, just something to think about. Even if you don’t want to risk it for work, It doesn’t hurt to experiment, IMO!

  • Hey Dave, I love your tutorials first of all. I just bought my t2i about a month ago and I’ve very much been on the fence about installing magic lantern. I’ve used my camera more and more for video and I think after watching some of your recent vids I’ll take the plunge. Anyway keep up the good work. Definitely the funnest way I’ve seen to learn dslr video so far. Later

  • Michael, I shoot weeding too, and let me tell you that Magic Lantern has done,well! Magic, made my life much more easier, I could not even think of not having it on my T2i. Install the very latest release updte, super stable,has everything you could imaging and more, I’ve never had any prob with it, using it for a few months now. Anyhow you can install it in one of your card and leave a normal one on hand, but I bet, you’ll be having ML on all after see what it does.

  • Dave,

    I’ve been wanting to try out Magic Lantern and since you recommend it I’ll defiantly trust you. I watched Luke Neumann’s video a couple times and the part where he explains how ML boots from your SD card left me with a question that I hope you can answer:

    ~~ If ML boots from the SD card then does that mean that you can NEVER format your card? Because if you do, won’t it delete everything and no longer allow you to boot ML? ~~

    Hope it’s not true. I like using the format option within the camera to quickly delete mass amounts of files instead of deleting each photo one by one.

    Thanks Dave

  • @Charles if you format the card (which is a good thing to do) you will lose ML. I erase all images, but I format every so often then copy back the files and make it bootable, I have gotten fast at it.

  • Hello I would like to say that I installed magic lantern package 11.11.11, I followed the installation of a video, everything went well, but the strange thing is that there is no longer in the audio AGC, and I do not know how to do that 3 days ago I bought the microphone Rode VideoMic and the cable comes in 4 days. I am a little worried about this.

  • @Gerry the 11.11.11 package in only an update, all you need to do is delete the files you copied into your sd card then download the the Aug 22nd link and copy those files into the card and you should be good, the same happen to me . Here is the link Hope all Workout. (info) make sure your camera in on (M) manual mode when you enter the card into the camera.

  • Hello everyone,

    I descoverd ‘magic lantern’ today, and it’s something like a new world opening to me.

    I have one question witch isn’t solved : do we have to copy the files on All our SD cards ? If yes, wich files have to be present on the cards in order that magic lantern works ?

    Thank you,

    Francois, Switzerland