5dMKII bit rate hack! Magic lantern firmware update.

Fans and users of the Canon 5dMKII will probably remember Tramm Hudson’s incredible firmware update that he created LONG before Canon did to allow for various additional features  like audio meters, zebra stripes and a feature to disable the auto audio gain.  Well ever since Canon’s own 24p firmware update that also included manual audio control, all has been quiet from Tramm and his Magic Lantern firmware.   Until today!

Tramm has just released a new version of his firmware and this time it follows in a similar direction to the popular Panasonic GH1 bit rate hack.  Essentially it allows you to select from many different bit rates during video recording, greatly increasing the quality of the video.  In 24p mode, 66mb/s seems to be the highest it will go for sustained recording but higher is possible if you just want a quick shot.

As with the previous versions of Magic Lantern , the firmware is loaded into the cameras RAM so you have to install it each time you turn the camera on by keeping the firmware on the memory card you are using.  This is a safety feature which SHOULD stop you from bricking your 5dMKII… Not my fault if it does happen though! Proceed with some caution.

I suspect that you will find much better results with faster CF cards.  Obviously you need something that writes faster than the bit rate in order to sustain it so a 90mb/s Sandisk card would be a good start.  Thanks to Tramm for such amazing work!

  • Q-scale FPS Mbps Notes
  • +8 30p 7 Mbps Very low quality
  • -9 24p 32 Mbps
  • -10 24p 41 Mbps
  • -11 24p 51 Mbps
  • -12 24p 59 Mbps
  • -13 24p 62 Mbps
  • -14 24p 66 Mbps Best, sustainable in 24p mode?
  • -15 24p 68 Mbps 2 buffer bars
  • -16 24p 76 Mbps Only a few second
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Dan Carr

Founder of Shutter Muse, full time photographer and creative educator. Dan lives in the Canadian Yukon, but his wanderlust often sends him in search of images all around the world to meet the needs of clients and readers alike.

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