October 23, 2012

Canon 5D Mark III Getting Uncompressed HDMI in Official Firmware Update

That's right, Canon is going to be giving users clean HDMI in a future firmware update for the 5D Mark III, and it's not coming from the hardworking folks at Magic Lantern. Canon has innovated in some ways in the DSLR space, but they have made a clear distinction between their video and photography product lines. Lack of clean HDMI is a feature their competition already has -- namely Nikon and Sony, who both have cameras with clean HDMI -- with the Nikon D800 being the first full-frame camera out of the gate with a fully uncompressed 1080p. Obviously Canon has a plan for announcing this now, the only question is, when will you actually be able to get it?

Here is a bit from their press release about the announcement, which will also include new AF improvements:

Uncompressed HDMI Output Support

When shooting video, HDMI Output makes possible the recording of high-definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) from the EOS 5D Mark III to an external recorder via the camera's HDMI terminal. This, in turn, facilitates the editing of video data with minimal image degradation for greater on-site workflow efficiency during motion picture and video productions. Additionally, video being captured can be displayed on an external monitor, enabling real-time, on-site monitoring of high-definition video during shooting.

Improved AF Functionality

Even when the EOS 5D Mark III is equipped with an extender and lens making possible a maximum aperture of f/8, the firmware update supports AF employing the camera's central cross-type points (currently compatible with maximum apertures up to f/5.6). Accordingly, the update will allow users to take advantage of AF when shooting distant subjects, benefitting sports and nature photographers, particularly when using telephoto lenses.

The new firmware update will be available, at no charge, in April 2013 from the Canon U.S.A. website and can be downloaded by end users or through Canon Factory Service Centers.

Yes, you're reading that right, you won't be able to get the 8-bit 4:2:2 clean HDMI firmware until April 2013. Canon must really love making people wait, or maybe they think users are planning on jumping ship if they don't feel like the company is supporting them? While telling users they will get a certain feature is usually comforting, I can't help but think that the capability to really make this work could be done right now. Magic Lantern, with its limited resources, has proven that these cameras are capable of far more features than have been initially included. Either because of compatibility concerns or concerns over keeping their product lines separate, the Mark III was not given some of these key video features that the competition has decided to include right from the start.

Still, it's good news, no question, for those who would rather not play around with third party firmware. It's not going to magically turn the camera into a C300, but having the extra color space is extremely helpful for color grading, not to mention for those who are trying to do green screen work. You might think, why buy into an external recorder when cameras like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera are including ProRes and RAW internally? If you're going to move to a video camera at some point, the C100 is the next logical step in the Canon line, but with its low 24mbps internal codec, an external recorder would be helpful. That's one way to make your gear grow with you, assuming you've got some Canon lenses and you like the image that is coming out of the Canon cameras.

So why is Canon announcing this now, when we can't get it until next year? There are a couple possibilities, but a good theory might be that they are trying to take away a little of the thunder from whatever Sony is announcing at the end of this month. It's likely going to be a new camera with 4K capabilities that will slot above the F3, and while that's worlds away from a Mark III with clean HDMI, this announcement may get some of the focus back on Canon.

What do you guys think? Are you excited by this announcement? Does this change your opinion about Canon and their support for cameras, or do you feel like this is something Canon should have included in the first place?

Link: Uncompressed HDMI Press Release -- Canon Website

Your Comment

132 Comments

Curious if 422 hdmi will happen on the 6d as well then? same tech basically... something tells me canon won't do that though.

I dunno, on the one hand, its great that this is being offered, on the other hand, it fits in perfectly well with the thesis that canon is gaming its customers.

October 23, 2012

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dv

I think this is basically them admitting that the 6D's video features are going to be about the same as the current MKIII ones minus the headphone port.

October 23, 2012

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Carlos D

They would have announced it in the press release, of course. The point here is to further differentiate the 5D and 6D.

October 23, 2012

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Swested

Did the release say if it was a full 1080p on the HDMI or a reduced resolution like the 7D? I haven't had the time to investigate.

October 23, 2012

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I have to imagine they've enabled full resolution, or else it's a completely pointless upgrade.

October 23, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I'm done with Canon.

October 23, 2012

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carlos

+1

October 23, 2012

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JkMorganChase

Same here. They're too late with BMC on the horizon.
No more toy video for me.

October 23, 2012

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vincegortho

Implying the BMC is not a toy? HA. Tiny sensor, non-removable battery, unconventional storage medium. Oh, and before you even get one, they ship an updated model.

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

Agree buddy, if and when BMC gets their inventory serious , then as of now im in. They have to do more than start shipping cameras from first and second batch loads, because what if you finally do get a BMC and it malfunctions, waiting another month or two for replacement is not at option, but im through with canon and BMC has a new customer when they get it together.

October 23, 2012

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JkMorganChase

Compared to the results?

October 23, 2012

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vinceGortho

You forgot to add a toy with 2.5k 12 bit raw output and 13 stop of DR.

October 24, 2012

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Danyyyel

None of those fancy numbers will make your shitty videos any better. The problem with the spec-obsessed, post-DSLR crowd is that that they rely on hardware to compensate for a lack of creativity. There are people out there winning festivals with ancient camcorders, T2is, etc. If you need power, just rent a RED for your project. content > cameras, every time.

October 24, 2012

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john jeffreys

An SSD is an "unconventional storage medium"?

Ha. Yeah, CF is so much better for video...

November 1, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

canon died for me the day they announced c300 for 20k and then bring the price down after the price announcement of red scarlet. now these kind of tricky news for firmware update in april 2013 is to lure canon users who are looking their options to upgrade or change the company,( including me) why didn't they put the this firmware when canon users were expecting hdmi out and 60p in 5d markIII. instead of supporting the community by providing a descent camera for future they are building a an old 5years strategy plan, people are moving so fast, time has changed. if canon will not do it some one else will,
Like Sony, Panasonic, Nikon and above all black magic every one is listining to there customers except canon, now canon has a big pressure of loosing the existing market share for vdslr, so this news is here on the block to retain the existing customers, i am sorry canon you had your time and now you are beating around the bush, people have moved on or at least decided to move on, who has time to wait till next April for the firmware, canon is still not realizing...... no doubt canon makes amazing sensor i ll always be a fan of canon but simply can not afford the new breed of canon dslrs, when i can get better quality at the lesser amount in other brand cameras. sorry pal you loose.....at least me.

October 23, 2012

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auri

Canon isn't your pal and they don't care about you, they're too busy selling their cameras by the truckload

October 23, 2012

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Peter Kelly

Thanks to canon's advocate.

October 23, 2012

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auri

Ah yes, disagreeing with you makes me an advocate. Or maybe I just disagree with you POV

October 24, 2012

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Peter Kelly

That truckload contains very few 5D3s.

October 24, 2012

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marklondon

Hi auri, absolutely agree it. Canon must be change their strategies and innovation steps, if they really care on their customers.

October 24, 2012

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Aung Aung

Dear Peter Kelly, you are not disagreeing with my pov you are stating canon doesn't care about me, it means you know canons strategy. That's exactly my point is, in fact you are supporting pov. And here all the filmakers who write about topics are much aware about the technological adavencements and are updated like geeks.
If canon doesn't care about us then we as people don't care about canon.

October 24, 2012

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Auri

+100000000000

October 24, 2012

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Voltaire

+1000000! Canon, the most conservative company in history. They could have had it all, but chose greed instead.

October 24, 2012

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Voltaire

should have been included in the first place, but still a nice gesture to have. i'll be using magic latern before that though.

October 23, 2012

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April 2013! is this a joke - They are now acting like Microsoft sending PR 6 month out to get credit for something now. Nikon has this now Canon needs this now

October 23, 2012

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Canon is past for me. Good cameras though, I just can't get my head around their prices, also with the fact they always have a new camera release doing almost the same thing, however it makes yours look obsolete and cheap in the market.

October 23, 2012

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Marcus

Yes, this is pathetic, but for those of us who own a Mk III it's at least a piece of good news.

October 23, 2012

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Swested

+1

October 24, 2012

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Anybody use a D800 with an external recorder on the regular here? Is it worth the workflow?

October 23, 2012

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Carlos D

This is exactly what I am wondering Carlos!

October 23, 2012

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Jef Gibbons

Carlos, I believe fstoppers did a review on this exact thing with an Atomos Ninja and d800

October 24, 2012

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Kyron

Fstoppers: It was a Ninja 1 and they didn't have the correct Nikon firmware. With the Ninja2 it rocks. If you have the moire filter its very very good. We just shot a national commercial on this rig.

October 24, 2012

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marklondon

Good 'ol Canon.. Breakin' it off in our wallets, then subsequently dropping crumbs on the floor so we'll hang out at their feet, lol. Who can afford a 1DC, C100, 300, 500, 5D3, hell... Anything but a rebel? Those are about the only realistically priced Canon cameras on the market. If someone can attain Raw acquisition at 2.5k for $500 cheaper than a 5D3, (yes i know it's a stills camera... But would anybody give a damn about the 5d3 if it weren't for the massive success of the 5d2's filmmaking abilities?) - then praise Canon for throwing us a bone, lmao.

October 23, 2012

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Jeremy

AGREE and even though the BMC may not be a stills camera, the camera still produces amazing stills from video. If Black Magic gets there inventory and shiiit together by Feb then i grabbing 2 Black magic cameras and for stills i will grab a smaller compact cheaper olympus that takes pictures just as good as the hefty non true 1080p 5d 3

October 23, 2012

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JkMorganChase

Me too. I am super done with Canon and their dangling the carrot business strategies. But yeah, the HDMI is at least a move in the right direction.

October 23, 2012

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Gene Sung

next year we will maybe see cameras that can do 1080/50p with 4:2:2 internally or maybe something like blackmagic for the same price.. poor canon.. they can´t even release it now .. they just want to keep their sad dslrvideocustomers that are paying money 4 years for the same video quality..

October 23, 2012

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matt

Canon is trying to satisfy your guys' needs and y'all STILL complain. HURP DURP I CANT WAIT TILL APRIL 2013 IM TOO IMPERTUNT

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

They're trying to satisfy us? How? By intentionnally crippling features and unlocking them when they feel they're losing too much to the competition? I don't even own a 5D MKIII, but this kind of marketing makes me sick.

October 23, 2012

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JP Belanger

I've owned two 5Dmark3 and always wondered where the money went.
I sold them both and now own a 60D for video/stills.
Waiting for the blackmagic now.
Canon doesn't give a shit about it's customers. They finally see their offers
falling behind the competition and strategically are playing catch up.
How in the hell is a C100 considered a cinema camera, when it's specs make it sub broadcast standard?

Canon video is gargbage!

October 23, 2012

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vincegortho

Because cinema and broadcast are two entirely different things?

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

replaced 5DIII with 60D? ofc you will feel like the video is garbage. these are, in my opinion, 2 different hdslrs for video... quality is superb on the 5DIII lol!

October 24, 2012

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Not $3400 superb in 2012.

October 24, 2012

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vinceGortho

The quality is not superb on the 5D3. Yes, it performs better in low light and Aliasing is nearly gone... at the sacrifice of sharpness. But it's still a 720p camera disguised as a 1080p camera with all the bells and whistles of macroblocking and compression artifacts galore!

October 25, 2012

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VINCEGORTHO

I don't think its a matter of just unlocking it, I'll bet at the moment you get 4:2:0 from the HDMI like on the GH3, so Canon has to develop the firmware that allows it to be 4:2:2 and test it to make sure its 100% before they release it to be used on professional jobs, and that is why its going to take so long. It is bad they didn't put it in in the first place though.... I see comments moaning about canon and the 5D3 all the time but when you go and look a hell of a lot of professionals use the 5D3.... I was at a music festival the other weekend and all the videographers were using canon DSLRs, and more than half of those were 5D3s, the only nikon there being used by a pro, was used by a newspaper photographer using old nikkor lenses on it. I see the same thing with the C300, amateurs bash the hell out of it, and pros love it....

October 23, 2012

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The people that are on here whining about cameras, are NOT the people that are out using the cameras and actually making content.

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

You are so right John! These days is not about cameras anymore, if you have even a T2i you can create some kick-ass footage.
Besides for the price of the 5D mk3 I can rent a C300 with Zeiss glass for two weeks. With new cameras being announced evry weekend renting is still the best. You can always charge the client for renting AND you don't have a camera sitting around your house doing nothing.

October 23, 2012

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Ska

i agree, spec obsessed

October 23, 2012

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Peter Kelly

Renting has ALWAYS been the proper way, haha. It's only with this recent trend of cheap cameras that resemble higher end cameras image-wise where people think its cool to own.

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

It doesn't matter if you are or aren't making content. If you enjoy shooting ducks in a park, you are still allowed to have standards for good video.
Worrying about what others are using their equipment for is fucking stupid!

October 25, 2012

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vinceGortho

The pixel data is basically 4:4:4 before they compress it. They already have HDMI out for other things. You are talking about a few hundred lines of code, max, to convert to 4:2:2 and shove it into an output buffer.

October 23, 2012

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