Quick Notes on Magic Lantern for 550D

UPDATE: work has progressed rapidly on ML for 550D, you should head to magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/550d for the latest, or go to the bleeding edge at groups.google.com/group/ml-devel/

i.e. – probably not worth reading what’s here …

I’ve just got this working (my camera is not bricked!), my forum membership has not been granted, so I can’t update the various wikis. Instead here I’ll just detail what I had to do to.

  1. start with the wiki installation notes
  2. Where it says “newer autoexec.bin available” – download it, but bear in mind that the manual gain does NOT work, due to a small bug. Until I can get a new build on the wiki or whatever (GPL means I can’t conveniently distribute my build), you’ll have to build it yourself. More on that later
  3. The OSX auto-boot notes at the end are accurate, but incomplete. You will need to have the card unmounted but not ejected. You do that via Disk Utility, which will also tell you whether your card’s FAT16 or FAT32. To find out whether it’s disk1s1 or not, use diskutil on the command line
  4. To un-make the card bootable under OSX (where you don’t have CardTricks) simply rename it. Without a bootable card called “EOS_DEVELOP” your camera is exactly as it was before.

You should now have a bootable card which display magic lantern message, slightly redundant extra ISO/shutter info and, crucially, you get on-screen audio meters. But you still get audio auto-gain.

To defeat the auto-gain, this thread mentions a new autoexec.bin but if you read to the end, you’ll see it’s been discovered that the name for the config file, “magiclantern.cfg” is too long for the 550D’s brain. You need to shorten it to an 8.3 filename, and put that name into the 5d-hack.c file (e.g. I went with “magilant.cfg“, others favour “magic.cfg“), then build your own. Again, there are build instructions but I had to deviate from them. My notes are below, they’re terse and this will only work if you have some idea of what you’re doing:

• need newer gnutar to run summon-arm script (and make script use it)
• need to get mercurial (via MacPorts)
• makefile patch out of date. Only had to: modify arm path, gcc version (I get 4.5.2, they’re talking about 4.3.2)
• link problems – zero-byte .lds file causing trouble. deleted it. got rebuilt

But the reward is this: audio meters onscreen and silence when there should be silence.

own build of ML on my Kiss X4

  1. You actually use the camera’s Mic? I thought you got an outboard recorder for this.

    • either or. For the internal mic you probably want the AGC on. This means you can use external recorder into camera, rather than synch ’em up later.

    • Chris
    • December 22nd, 2010

    I’m having trouble getting my 8GB Fat32 card to boot, I was hoping you could help?

    I’ve followed the instruction over at: http://magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/550d_install and am up to ‘Step 2. Making the SD card bootable’. I ran the “diskutil list | grep FAT” in terminal, found that my Dev entry is ‘disk1s1’. I then made 1 change to the ‘make_bootable.sh’ ensuring the line reads “dev=/dev/disk1s1”.

    I then deleted ‘magiclantern.fir’ from my card, copied across all the files and put it in my 550d. When I start up and go to video, there’s no indication that Magic Lantern has installed. I also press the trash can button and nothing happens.

    I didn’t quite understand your reference in your post regarding the card being “unmounted but not ejected”. Have I missed something important?

    Hopefully you can help.


    • Hi Chris,

      Superficially, it sounds like you didn’t actually run the script, which I guess the instructions don’t explicitly say to do.

      In terminal, cd to wherever you have the script (not on the card because it wont be able to unmount and therefore won’t work) then type:
      And you should have a bootable card you can just remove.

      Note also today somebody came out with a GUI card bootableiser for OSX, um … see https://groups.google.com/d/topic/ml-devel/ViTaawCzvJk/discussion

      And the Google dev list would be a much better place to ask stuff than here – you’ve got lots more guys ready to answer.

    • Chris
    • December 22nd, 2010

    Hey, thanks for your prompt reply!

    I tried all the steps again from the beginning but this time used the MacBoot Java app. It appeared to work just fine but unfortunately, when I fired up the 550d nothing happened.

    I guess I’ll take this over to the Google dev list.


    • Chris
    • December 22nd, 2010

    Quick update, I gave up on trying to make the card bootable in OS X and instead used the Windows EOScard program in bootcamp. It worked straight away and my 550d booted with all the Magic Lantern bells and whistles.


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