Magic Lantern Brings Brick Breaker-Style Video Game to the Canon 7D


Lest you think that smartphones have the mobile gaming market all but wrapped up, the folks at Magic Lantern have decided to shake things up a little bit. In the spirit of the old Kodak DSLR that came equipped with Pong, ML’s pravdomil has added the ability to play a stripped down version of the old 1980s brick breaker-style game “Arkanoid” on the Canon 7D.

Arkanoid is an old arcade game developed in 1986 in the spirit of Atari’s Breakout game from the 1970s. The game is pretty straight forward: you have a paddle (it’s actually your ship) and you have to keep a ball from falling off the screen by bouncing it up and destroying the blocks in your way. Once you’ve cleared your path, you advance to the next level.

According to EOSHD — who actually got to play around with DSLR Arkanoid as it’s called — when you destroy a brick, it explodes into a number or figure that falls down and disappears. Moving your “ship” around is done using the 7D’s joystick, and the real challenge starts when the background stops being black.


Apparently, in the early stages you’re allowed to stop down the lens to keep the background black — although the game does provide you with the occasional white or black sprite as a distraction. But since you are, after all, playing on a camera, the game can be made that much harder by allowing an actual image to play on the background.

“With an actor in the scene on hard difficulty (for example whilst playing during a paid shoot) the game becomes much more challenging but no less enjoyable,” quips EOSHD.

Sadly, it looks like developer pravdomil deleted ML Arkanoid from his repository a few days ago, but we’ll go ahead and keep our fingers crossed that the quirky addition makes its way onto an upcoming ML build for the 7D alongside continuous RAW video, which the group seems to be making some great strides in as well.

(via EOSHD)

  • Fuzztographer

    Uh… why?

  • Ralph Hightower

    I’ll use my cell phone to play video games.

  • ProtoWhalePig

    Arkanoid? Pffft! Breakout!

  • Jake

    That sounds wicked fun, until an elefant on a unicycle rides right past you and you realize that level 6 has killed your batteries.

  • Syuaip

    The fact that it can play Arkanoid well shows that Canon has awesome hardware.

    Now, Canon, please deliver sensors with better DR.

  • Gman

    by buying them from Sony

  • Syuaip

    i frankly don’t object. planning to spend $2.5K for a 5D3 with a could’ve-been-better sensor does not feel any good.

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    Can it run Crysis 3 ?

  • Ivan

    Because they can!

  • MarvinB7

    So where are all of the “what does this have to do with photography” whiners now? Compared to the ‘customer service at the gym’ article from the other day (which many people found to be helpful), this ranks way down at the bottom of ‘relevant to photography’ list. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind this article in the least bit. I’m just wondering why the double standards from the readers. I guess it does have a camera in the article, so that makes it about photography.

  • MarvinB7

    Thanks for that! :D

  • Furunomoe

    Maybe the 5D 3 can.

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    But can it run Crysis 3 ?

  • Cochese

    This is about a hack done to a camera that does not natively support said things. It is very relevant to the photography world and anybody using a 7D. It very much shows off to a significant degree how much control the Magic Lantern team has over the hardware they are working with.,

    But all of that aside

    How does it not pertain?

  • Meh

    Can it run MineSweeper?

  • pravdomil

    ” it looks like developer pravdomil deleted ML Arkanoid ”
    arkanoid is merged into magic lantern source, there is new version

  • luke