Magic Lantern takes heat after April Fool’s prank gave DSLRs the ‘Blue Screen of Death’

by Gannon Burgett

posted Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 11:35 AM EST


April Fool’s is all fun and games until someone’s camera gets a 'Blue Screen of Death.'

For this year’s April Fool’s festivities, firmware enhancement developers Magic Lantern decided to play a little trick on the users of its project by presenting a fake ‘Blue Screen of Death’ on the rear LCD of users cameras. As a result, they’re getting a mouthful from users, who are claiming it wasn’t as much a joke as a cruel, unprofessional attack.

As you can see from the below image, camera users would turn on their camera, only to discover an ‘error’ message which told them their camera has ‘been shut down to prevent damage to [their] camera.’ It then presented a number of troubleshooting options, with the second option hinting at the fact it was a joke.

BoingBoing points out that a number of users flocked to a forum thread to rip Magic Lantern for the ‘Joke Mode’ not many found funny. Below is just one of the friendly comments left within the thread.

Haha, this is all really f*ing funny, but I spend a lot of time perfecting my photos, some of which are once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities. I don’t need Magic Lantern developers PURPOSEFULLY f***ing up my photos as a practical joke.

Some users didn’t take it so negatively. In fact, some outright defended Magic Lantern, pointing out that it is nothing more than a popular hobby project that the Magic Lantern team does for fun, not profit.

How about a 1000% refund of the purchase price of ML? I will pay that to you personally, let me know where to send the check [...] This is where you are totally mistaken. This is not a professional project. It is not intended to be a professional project. This is a spare time, hobby project that is just for fun. There are all kinds of disclaimers to this end.

All in all, no photos were harmed in the making or execution of the prank. Maybe some time and a few missed heartbeats were lost, but nothing was damaged – except for Magic Lantern’s reputation to a few of users.

(via PetaPixel)

UPDATE: Edited for clarification of what it is Magic Lantern is and how it operates within the camera. We originally stated it was 'unauthorized firmware' but in fact, it's a separate piece of software that runs alongside Canon's proprietary firmware.