Live View Screen:
The Live view screen has some pretty useful options available, but the most important feature is the very first option “Global Draw”. Turning this on allows Magic Lantern to display handy graphics on the screen like the Audio meters. If this option is turned off, your camera’s screen will look the same as it did with stock Canon firmware which kind of defeats the purpose of having the Magic lantern firmware installed. If you want to access more selection options for any of these features scroll down to the feature you need (highlighted in blue), then press the Q button once (located just below the AV +/- button on the right hand side of the screen) to bring up sub menu for that feature, select the option you want, then press the Q button again to return to the main menu.
Lets go over this screen’s basic options.
- Global Draw – Turns on and off Magic Lantern’s Graphic displays
- Zebras – Is an exposure warning tool. With this feature enabled, if a portion of the image is over exposed (blown out) or under exposed (close to black) you will see stripe patterns appear in the area that’s effected to warn you about the over or under exposed portions of your shot. You can set the thresholds for both the under and over exposure warnings by pressing the Q button. If you’d like to find out more about Zebra patterns here is a good place to start.
- Focus peak – Is a focus assistance tool. With Focus peaking enabled a halo or outline of color will appear around areas that are in focus. This is a easy way to check focus with a quick glance. This video should give you a better idea of what focus peaking looks like. There are more adjustment options for focus peaking in the sub menu.
- Magic Zoom – Is another focus assistance tool. Similar to Canon’s 5x zoom, when enabled you can press the button marked with a magnifying glass with a plus symbol(+) at it’s center (top right hand corner of the camera) to activate the feature. When activated a window will appear on screen with a magnified display of the area of focus. Thin green bars will appear above and below the box to indicate that the magnified object is in focus. The lines will disappear when the magnified object is out of focus. Unlike Canon’s 5x zoom option Magic Zoom is available while the camera is recording as well as live view mode. You can change the size, location, and other options of Magic Zoom by pressing the Q button. Knoptop (Dave) has good video demonstrating this feature on an older version of Magic Lantern. Click here to check it out.
- Cropmarks – Provides a screen overlay for reference. This is handy if, for example you would like to see the area of the screen that would be displayed if the footage were cropped to standard definition. Or if you like to see the Action Safe, and Title safe areas of the screen. Some of these crop options are available for selection in the crop mark sub menu. To find out more about crop marks and more specifically Safe areas here is a good place to start. If you already know a bit about crop marks and want to download some of the more commonly used crop marks for Magic Lantern click here.
- Spotmeter – Is an exposure aid that gives you a read out from a point or spot on the screen, the default is a scale from 0 to 100% in the case of Magic Lantern (but it can be set to other scales i.e. Raw levels 0-255, or IRE in the sub menu). 0% on this scale would represent black or darkness (nothing exposed) and 100% would represent white or a light source (maximum exposure). If you’re still trying to understand metering here is a good place to start.
- False Color – Is an exposure aid that uses a different color to represent each of the different levels of exposure. On the default scale based off of the Marshall monitor scale, purple and blue represent extremely under exposed areas. Green, dark gray, and orange represent exposures at the center of the scale. While yellow, brown, red, and black represent extremely over exposed areas. The best example I could find of this is over at DPREVIEW, here’s the link. There are a lot of false color scales to choose from in the sub menu. It can be a pretty confusing topic if your just starting out, so it might be a good idea to put this one on the back burner until you feel comfortable with all the other exposure tools.
- Histogram – Is an exposure aid that shows you a graphic representation of either the RGB (RED, GREEN, BLUE) channels or luma channel brightness and/or color information levels distributed across an exposure scale. RGB channel histogram is the default option, but luma can be selected from the sub menu. The guys over at luminous landscape do a great job of explaining how histograms are used, here’s the link.
- ClearScreen – This option allows you to clear everything off of the screen with a half shutter press, when the camera is idle, or all of the time. The clear screen option you like can be selected in the sub menu.
That’s it for now, I’ll continue with more in part 3. Let me know if you spot anything that needs to be corrected. There is a lot of information jammed into each of these posts and it’s easy for me to miss something.