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Does using Magic Lantern" void your warranty ?


I recently purchase the new Canon T4I DSLR, does using Magic Lantern void my warranty?





Product Expert
Product Expert

Hi Jag5cof,

The determination for this is made at the Factory Service Center when your camera is repaired.

If damage to your camera is deemed to be caused by any third-party firmware, the damage would not be covered by the limited warranty.

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I'm not aware of any case of magic lantern damaging a camera. Furthermore, it can be uninstalled and the original firmware can be reinstalled at any time, so who would know? I use magic lantern.

According to Magic Lantern website "Magic Lantern runs from the card, as an add-on over standard firmware. You will still be able to access all Canon functionality." - So the original firmware doesn't need reinstalling, per se. It remains on the camera the whole time.

But still, if the issue is caused by Magic Lantern, we can't assume Canon repairs the camera under normal warranty.


Including a 1,2 or 3 year warranty? Or do diffirent rules apply.

@Awesomeyay9958 wrote:

Including a 1,2 or 3 year warranty? Or do diffirent rules apply.

It might depend on whether the extended warranty was issued by Canon or by a third party.


But let's stick to the real issue. You'd like us (or better yet, Canon) to assure you that using ML is perfectly safe. (We hear it all the time from ML users.) We can't do that. Magic Lantern makes the camera behave in ways it was not designed for. It doesn't make any difference that ML doesn't actually change the Canon firmware or that all vestiges of ML are easily removed. The plain truth is that it's conceivable that ML could damage a camera (by causing some obscure electronic component to overheat, for example). And if it does, Canon will charge you if you want it repaired.


So the bottom line is that yes, there is a risk to using ML. It's a small risk (the program is widely used and extensively tested), but it is a risk. If you're unwilling to take that risk, don't use ML. Or use it only on an old camera that you don't care that much about anymore.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


Usually (but not always) use of software wont result in physical damage (although there are noteable cases where it can).


With that said, one way software can cause physical damage is by causing the camera to overheat.  Your camera has an internal temperature sensor and will give two warnings... the first when it is approaching the limits of what it can handle but not quite there.  It serves as a warning to let you know it's getting hot and you might want to let it rest.  The second warning occurs when the camera is too hot and it should refuse to function until it cools.


But this is all implemented via firmware.  So if you override the firmware with Magic Lantern... is the camera in a situation where it could overheat to the point that it actually results in damage?   (e.g. camera failed to shut down when it should have ... and would have if it had been running only native firmware.)


Canon's own firmware could also have a bug that does the same thing... but it's "Canon's firmware" ... in other words they test it until they are satisified and then they ship the product with a valid warranty.  So if a Canon software bug results in damage ... it would be covered by the Canon warranty.  If a camera is damaged by non-Canon software... Canon could refuse to cover that.


I have used ML on my older cameras and never had a problem.  But I did not that ML warns users that if for any reason the camera should hang, you should eject the batteries (do not merely switch off the power because that's actually a software-switch which initiates a shut-down process -- not a hardware switch that deprives the camera of power.  "Hung" camera firmware isn't going to respond to swtiching off the power swtich.


This is more of a speculative "it could happen" -- but I am not actually aware of any cases where it actually DID happen. 


I bring it up mostly so that anyone who opts to use ML should have the presence-of-mind to remember that if anything hangs... your first course of action should be to remove the battery from the camera.



Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da