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Canon EOS R hacked: Magic Lantern “successfully loaded”

Canon EOS R hacked: Magic Lantern successfully loaded (image: www.eoshd.com)

The camera has barely been out a fortnight but hackers have already cracked its internal code, as the popular Magic Lantern software hack has been successfully executed on the Canon EOS R (opens in new tab)

British filmmaker Andrew Reid at EOSHD (opens in new tab) was sent two early firmware files to test on Canon’s full-frame mirrorless body. While the camera rejected the first file, the second (named “RLEDID14.FIR”) was accepted by the boot loader and firmware updater. 

Magic Lantern (opens in new tab), for the uninitiated, is a piece of unofficial software that runs from a memory card, adding a host of features and functions to Canon cameras such as dual ISO, RGB histogram, zebras, new grids like the Fibonacci spiral… albeit at the cost of invalidating your warranty (and potentially bricking your camera, so proceed with caution!). 

Magic Lantern adds features like the Golden Ratio grid (image: www.youtube.com/user/camerarecToby)

Magic Lantern adds features like the Golden Ratio grid (image: www.youtube.com/user/camerarecToby)

“Based on the same boot-loader in the Canon 80D, one of the firmware files is supposed to probe the camera in a first attempt to find the address of the LED light as a marker (and more),” explained Reid. 

“Once the LED flashes, that gives away the address of the GPIO attached to it and thus the first stage of controlling the rest of the camera can begin – executing more code on the processor can be attempted in the normal way. The file also tries to probe registers that are present on other Canon bodies, with the results being noticeable on the LCD if they do anything on the EOS R.”

The result at this stage is fairly unremarkable: a simple slime-green screen. However, it is a proof of concept demonstrating the ability to execute code on the EOS R’s processor – a gateway that will ultimately lead to Magic Lantern’s full suite of functionality. 

While that may be some time off, we hope it spurs Canon to speed up the release of its own firmware to sort some of the camera’s missing features (eye AF and video histograms, we’re looking at you!). 

Read more:

Two new Canon EOS R cameras likely for launch in 2019 (opens in new tab)

Get a free download of ON1 Effects image-editing software worth £59.99 with the new issue of PhotoPlus (opens in new tab)

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James Artaius
James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.