This morning I have been testing the Magic Lantern AJ5.0 firmware on my 5D.
Magic lantern is a free 3rd party firmware developed to give 5D users greater functionality. Originally designed by Trammell Hudson, this latest version has been developed by an A J Newman. This video outlines the firmwares features.
The most valuable features from my point of view are the audio monitoring. This does work but because it is an a/v output when I plug in my headphones only one channel comes through at once. If I want to hear the other channel I have to pull the plug out slightly but then the other side disappears. I did find this product has just been released to combat this exact issue. Also the signal is very faint and doesn't give you the audio quality you need to make critical decisions. It is also nice to be able to see an estimation of how much recording time is remaining.
To install, download the firmware and copy the downloaded files to your CF card. On your 5D got to Menu > Select the Firmware Version 2.0.4 > Select Magic Lantern 1.7 > Go into Live View and the Magic Lantern firmware will automatically boot up. Hit the Picture style button to get into the Magic Lantern Menu. Use the Multi-Controller to navigate the menu and push the Multi-Controller to select a positive or negative value then use the Shutter button to change the value.
Note: Magic Lantern will not work on Canon Firmware 2.0.8 you will need to go back to version 2.0.4.
On one hand the firmware is absolutely awesome with a lot of valuable features that really enhance the camera as a professional tool. Massive respect to the guys who put in a lot of work to create it. On the other hand there are still way too many bugs that cause the camera to lock up which requires the battery to be removed in order to reset it. I had to do this about ten times in space of about an hour. Removing the battery however means the Magic Lantern Firmware must be re-installed. Actually it needs to be re-installed ever time the camera is powered down. The re-install only takes about 30 seconds and your setting can be easily saved.
So it is really up to the user if they are willing to put up with the frustration of an unstable firmware for the addition of some pretty cool features. On a professional shoot when time is precious and I am already dealing with a number of work-arounds to make this camera work I doubt I have the patience to be fiddling around with things like this that really shouldn't be an issue.
Having said that I am very excited about the direction such inventions are taking us. Canon have a powerful product in the 5D but have not allowed us its full potential. These innovators are pushing the technology and the spirit of co-operation by releasing it for free. Great stuff.