Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started with Magic Lantern (Safely)

Getting started with Magic Lantern can be a bit daunting for a beginner. That’s why computer science student and filmmaker Jake Coppinger put together this easy-to-follow step-by-step video guide that shows you how to (safely) install and use the powerful software add-on.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Magic Lantern is a free “software enhancement” that adds a bunch of features to any compatible Canon DSLR.

Adding ML to your camera can make life a lot easier and even save you money (no need to buy an intervalometer for timelapses, for example); however, you also risk ‘bricking’ your DSLR while installing or using the software, which is why many people never even give it a shot.


Coppinger wants to take away some of that risk with this short, easy-to-follow beginner’s guide. Not only does he show you how to install the software and use some of its key features, he also shares a few important safety tips that will keep you from permanently damaging your camera.

Of course, no video can entirely mitigate the risk involved with using third-party software/firmware (and as such, PetaPixel cannot officially encourage that you use ML). But if you’ve been on the fence, having an easy-to-follow guide might just give you the peace of mind you need to finally give Magic Lantern a shot.

Check out the video for yourself up top, and if you’re already a veteran Magic Lantern user, don’t hesitate to drop some advice in the comments for the newbies!