Posted By:
Craig Newman
December 11, 2013
Filed Under:
Video Tools & Resources

Install Magic Lantern RAW Firmware for Canon 5D mkII

However you feel about it, the DSLR video revolution has axiomatically changed the landscape of Video Production in the Sydney area…

…and although the benefits for music videos, corporate web video and promotional video are countless, DLSR bodies have some serious limitations.

Enter Magic Lantern.

In an earlier blog I spoke about the Magic Lantern Firmware and how astoundingly earth-shattering it is for the video production arena but some of my readers and videographer friends have asked; how do I get RAW video for my Canon 5D mkII?

If you have read to here, I assume you know what Magic Lantern is but if you don’t… Magic Lantern is a third-party firmware for Canon Digital SLR Cameras that adds a lot of the functionality that video production companies all over the world, need.

Where do I find Magic Lantern Firmware?

DISCLAIMER: As it states (repeatedly) on the Magic Lantern Wiki, this firmware is not endorsed by Canon and it does have the potential for damaging your camera. Entendre Productions does not take any responsibility for anything… anything at all. Use this guide and any Magic Lantern anything at your own risk.

To clarify, these instructions are to get the Magic Lantern Release with RAW video for 5D mark II. If you want to install magic lantern on a 5D mkIII, there will be another blog soon with a different set of instructions.

1) Canon Firmware Update v212

Before you can install the firmware from ML on your card, you need to ensure that you have this firmware from Canon on your camera.

Please click “details” to read the disclaimer. If you don’t agree with the disclaimer, please do not download.

Canon 5D mkII Firmware - MAC
Canon 5D mkII Firmware - MAC
Version: v212
11.7 MiB
Canon 5D mkII Firmware - PC
Canon 5D mkII Firmware - PC
Version: v212
11.7 MiB

Canon Firmware Homepage:

2) Latest Nightly Build for Canon 5D mkII

Please click “details” to read the disclaimer. If you don’t agree with the disclaimer, please do not download.

Magic Lantern v2.3 (Alpha One)
Magic Lantern v2.3 (Alpha One)
Version: v2.3 Alpha One
1.5 MiB

The current stable release of Magic Lantern (Stable Release: v2.3) has lots of great features but currently, it does not support the RAW Video Module. The file I have included is just today’s nightly build, which I have downloaded and tested for you, and it seems pretty bug-free. If you want the latest version please go to the Magic Lantern Nightly Builds page and navigate to the most recent build for “5D2.212.”

How do I install Magic Lantern?

What you will need:

  • Computer (Mac or PC)
  • Canon 5D mkII
  • Fast CF Card (Like: Komputerbay 1000x (64 or 128 GB), Hoodman Steel 1000x (64 GB), Lexar 1000x (32, 64 or 128 GB))
  • A CF Card of 32 GB or less for the first install. This card does not need to be fast but ML recommends that you do your first install on a small card as large cards may have bugs. For this guide we will call this the INSTALL CARD.
  • CF Card Reader

Step One: Prepare your camera for installation.

  • Ensure your battery is fully charged.
  • Remove all accessories (yes, that includes battery grips.)
  • Change the camera mode to Manual (M.)

Step Two: Install Magic Lantern for the first time.

  1. Format the INSTALL CARD in the camera (low-level format). When you have done this, turn off the camera, eject the card and load the card on your computer.
  2. Unzip Magic Lantern and copy all of the files to the root of the INSTALL CARD. Then, eject the card.
  3. Insert the INSTALL CARD into your camera and turn the camera on.
  4. Next, launch the Firmware Update process from the camera menu.
  5. If the screen goes black and card LED starts blinking, upgrade your Canon firmware from the links above (even if you already have the correct version number!) and try again.
  6. When it has finished you will see a green confirmation screen. Then, and only then, restart your camera.

Step Three: Setting up Magic Lantern with the 5D mkII

  • Change some of your camera preferences. You will want to:
    • Enable LiveView Shooting
    • Turn off auto power-off
  • In LiveView, toggle the INFO/DISP button until you see the Magic Lantern audio levels and bottom info bar.
  • Press the DELETE button to open ML menu and READ THE HELP TEXT that pops up.
  • Don’t forget to wait for LED confirmation before removing the card!

Step Four: Install Magic Lantern onto a fast card for shooting RAW

Here there are two options:

a) You can do as I did and just repeat step two of this process or

b) You can do as the Magic Lantern site recommends and;

“If you use 64 GB cards or higher, or if you prefer to skip the firmware update step and prepare all your cards from the PC, you may copy ML files on your card and make it bootable with a special utility: EOScard for Windows, MacBoot for Mac, or for Mac/Linux in command line.”

I was naughty and used the standard install process with a 128 GB CF Card and I haven’t had any issues. That said, you should probably follow the advice from Magic Lantern, just in case I was lucky.

Step Five: Use Magic Lantern for your Video Production.

While Magic Lantern RAW is in its early days and has not yet overtaken RED or Alexi for RAW video quality for professional production, It certainly has some great applications is Music Videos, Real Estate Video, Corporate Video… whatever you want.

Please comment…

Do you have anything to add to/change about this guide? Do you have any cool projects you have shot using Magic Lantern?


SamDecember 23rd, 2013

Thanks for sharing your experience. I got loading modules issue, so I searched on line and got here. You didn’t mention anything about the modules loading, probably it’s done automatically and you had no problem on it.

I had followed every instructions, I can even see the under the section of Modules, but I just can’t see “raw video” option under Movie section. Probably you know how to fix it. Thank you very much.

Craig NewmanJanuary 3rd, 2014

Hello Sam,

With this version of Magic Lantern for 5D mkII… and I believe most versions for the 5D mkII… you have to load the modules each time you use the camera.

On my camera I follow these steps:

1) When you first start the camera, you will see that the “raw video” is not visible in the movie menu.

2) Navigate to the module menu “M” and press “Load modules now…”

3) ‘raw_rec’ will now be visible in the module menu.

4) If you navigate to the movie menu, you will not see RAW video as an option.

I hope that helps. -Craig

ravikumarJanuary 12th, 2014

Thanks for sharing your experience
i have installed magic lantern for my cannon 5D mark ii on 16GB sandisk extreme CF card 60MB/s ,its working fine able to do all operations,now i want to record raw video on this camera for that i have following questions
1)to record raw video i bought 32 GB sandisk extreme pro 150mb/s write speed since already magic lantern installed in camera what will be the options?
instal raw module and update firmware?
2)if i boot from this new CF card magic firmware what happens?
3)if i install camera raw files on this firmware and boot form new card should i upgrade firmware? or camera will recognise and boot with new features?ie raw recording

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