If you currently own a Canon DSLR and not running Magic Lantern on it, you're blowing it. ML allows Canon users to have features they never thought possible on their cameras and guess what its 100% FREE. If you are a cinematographer and solely using canons preset options, you're gonna shit your pants once you get up and running on ML.
ML is a use at your own risk firmware that basically hacks your Canon DSLR and makes it a whole new machine. It has helped me achieve results I never thought possible on my 7D and it's even better on the 6D and pretty epic on the 5D mk III. I put together 5 quick reasons why every Canon DSLR cinematographer should be using ML.
1. RAW - ML brings the ability to shoot RAW on select cameras. Although still in Beta, I'm now able to shoot RAW on my 7D and it's much butter on the 6D and 5D mk III. Although RAW can be pain in the ass in post, it's the future of video and a free ML download is the most affordable way to in shoot in RAW and learn the workflow. Or, you can go buy a Black Magic or an EPIC or any other high end camera that supports RAW.
2. Image Overlays - Are you tired of not achieving perfect focus? Background completely blown out? White Balance not right? Is your frame not cropped to the correct aspect? Not anymore, now with ML Canon users have access to features like focus peaking, zebras, crop marks, magic zoom, and other tools that help you achieve better results while shooting. In order to have these before ML, you would have to spend a couple hundred bucks on a monitor that has these features.
3. Camera Features - How much do you hate having to connect your intervalometer into your camera for a time-lapse? Well, toss that timer in the trash you won't need it anymore. ML adds intervalometer, bulb ramping, exposure bracketing, motion detection, and even audio remote shoot to the photography mix. Just set it and forget it. I love the addition of bulb ramping now I can lapse for so much longer.
4. Audio Meter - Finally! This is a huge addition for cinematographers, now you can somewhat monitor the audio levels while shooting. So if you're using a DSLR shotgun mic, you'll have a much better guess at what it's picking up and if any levels are peaking.
5. Exposure Controls - Quick access to exposure controls is mandatory to have when shooting. While Canon's current controls are fine, ML's exposure controls are much easier and faster to set in live view. Set your WB, ISO, shutter angle, aperture, in live view all on one menu screen. No more juggling back and forward between the quick control screens and various buttons.