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Canon 5D Mark III Clean HDMI Firmware Leaks, Plus More from Magic Lantern Regarding RAW Video

It seems like it’s been all about the Canon DSLRs over the last day or so, but we assure you there are plenty of other things happening. Even though it’s not set to be released for another few days, it looks like an official firmware update for clean HDMI on the Canon 5D Mark III has leaked to the internet, version 1.21. We wanted to make sure this was the real deal and wouldn’t brick any cameras, but it definitely looks like this is an official update — but whether this will be the final release is unclear. We also have some more information about the RAW video hack that the guys are working on over at Magic Lantern.

Check out this video from pstoddart in the Canon Rumors forum, regarding the V1.21 firmware that was leaked online:

It looks like everything is more or less functioning as it should, but the camera is not sending any audio through HDMI. This could be do to the update not being the final release, but we won’t be sure until Canon does officially release the update. As I’ve said before, clean HDMI is not going to be any silver bullet for image quality, but it should help with heavy color grading or for those doing green screen work. Since the codec is staying 8-bit, banding should be about the same, so I wouldn’t expect any miracles, but it should be an improvement for those who know how to take advantage of it.

James Miller has mentioned that he’s seen some improvement to the internal video thanks to the update, but it’s unclear what’s actually going on here:

It looks slight but you can see it overall. Colour Shift, detail. 5DIII 1.2.1
James Miller

If you really need the update right now, you can find it here, but you’re probably better off waiting a few days to make sure you get a final release.

Now, on to other matters regarding the Mark III. If you missed it, here’s Luke Neumann’s video explaining the RAW DNG situation on the Mark III (also working on the Mark II to an extent):

Many are excited by the possibility of recording RAW video some day internally with the Mark II or III, but it certainly may take a while if we do get it. We have an update from a1ex over in the forum, and he doesn’t seem that confident about getting RAW video up to an acceptable frame rate:

It doesn’t save CinemaDNG, but just plain DNG, copied from CHDK. They have been doing this for years.

- This will not improve rolling shutter at all.

- Don’t hold your breath for raw video. 24fps at 1080p is unlikely IMO, even on 1000x cards.

- HDMI out doesn’t help. Here’s why: raw image buffer vs recorded with hyperdeck shuttle uncompressed. Ignore the overlays.

- In continuous mode I’ve got 4fps of raw data (not DNG, just the raw image buffer) on a 266x card. G3gg0 got 12.5fps of YUV422 video on the Lexar 1000x card.

- I was able to record around 30 frames in burst mode, at LiveView FPS (24, 25, 30, 50, whatever). It takes roughly 1 second of “recording” to RAM and then half a minute of saving the DNGs to card.

Nevertheless, I find this very useful as a fast burst mode for stills, or when you want to save shutter clicks or just avoid noise.

He added this later:

Module support is not yet mature, but it’s the way to go for low-mem cameras. Not right now, but in the future.

For burst: Luke’s video at 1:25. Don’t expect everything overnight.

Does this mean we’ll never see RAW video or higher-quality video thanks to Magic Lantern? Not necessarily, and I was also told privately that some were confident that they could get this to work at full-frame rates — we’re just not there yet. This is just the beginning for this particular hack, and there very well may be more locked away in the code that the team hasn’t yet discovered or been able to utilize yet. If you’re a Canon user, don’t expect this tomorrow, and just like with other Magic Lantern developments, these things take time.

There will of course be naysayers, but these sorts of developments are exciting to me personally either way — as I’m sure they are to many other people. I don’t currently own any of Canon’s DSLRs, but I have in the past, and anything that can help unlock more capabilities is good for all of us.



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Description image 52 COMMENTS

  • Hmmmm, no audio…

  • I was soo happy yesterday… :(

  • Mark Weston on 04.28.13 @ 1:35AM

    Not going to happen

  • Alex tends to underestimate himself. I remain cautiously optimistic that it will happen in some form. :)

    • I am as well, especially since he and the rest of the ML testers have consistently done amazing things with these cameras.

  • ^^^ BOOYAA ^^^

  • If in continuos mode its only 4 fps then somehow they are meant to pull 6 times that speed out of a hat to reach 24 fps??? Not looking good now :( Would a 1D be a better option because they have a pipe for about 11fps full res stills being a sports camera. 11fps full res stills (about 5500 pixels wide raw) vs 24fps 1080p raw?? Thats greater than 5K at 11fps raw which a 1D can currently do, and 4K is 4 times the data of 1080p so maybe a 1D has the guts to handle this?

  • For people who already own the 5D this is great stuff. But if you’re in the market for a new camera and your budget is around the $4,000 it would take to get this up and running, the BMCC 4K is going to be tough to beat for the time being. Global shutter, prores, cinema DNG, ultra scopes, resolve, etc… Seems like an easy choice for the video people.

  • There won’t be audio over HDMI, this is confirmed on 1D C.

  • If the BlackMagic 4k turns out to be something special will it cause a migration away from DSLR?

    • Contrary to deluded belief, a DSLR is first and foremost an instrument for high resolution stills photography; video is a secondary function to produce convenient, 8-bit compressed, artifacting, rolling shutter, detail mush.

      • A DSLR is what you want it to be. Also not all DSLR’s are the same. I shoot D800 and there is zero artifacting, no mush, just a sharp detailed image with heaps of dynamic range and gorgeous skin tones and is uncompressed 4:2:2.

        • If the D800 wasn’t so overly sharpen with moiree out the wazoo I would have to agree with you.

          • I’ve did a lot of testing with every colour profile I could including the Flaat ones but in the end love the look of simply the neutral profile. Moire hasnt been an issue at all. Also you can set it up so that when you press the centre selector button it pops into extreme magnification and back out again with another press. The best part is it zooms to where the cursor in in the frame. Absolutely love that feature. Also AF-ON and disable focus via the shutter button :)

          • Thanks a lot Simon. You got me digging into the menus of D800 – I didn’t know that there was an option for making that button a zoom/no-zoom toggling button! This will help a lot with the focusing :)

        • vinceGortho on 04.29.13 @ 4:00PM

          Just curious.. has anyone tried recording hdmi from d800 in photo-live view… its smaller but super sharp

      • Razor: Are you calling the producers and/or cinematographers of Act of Valor, House and Saturday Night Live, just to name a few, “deluded” for using Canon 5D’s to shoot very successful mainstream Hollywood product? Are you not aware of what acclaimed ASC cinematographer Shane Hurlbut has to say (and has done)? Perhaps you are just uninformed. But you should know what you’re talking about before you speak.

        • vinceGortho on 04.28.13 @ 1:37PM

          They only used those cameras because of the hype. Shane hurlbut is married to canon products. You have to try a d800 for yourself. I could never go back to a mushy soggy 5dIII.

    • Does it have all the same issues as the first BMCC?

      • What issues are you concerned with?

        • color fringing, aliasing, and dropped frames

        • Does the 4K have audio levels! Black spots, does it tell you how much times left on a drive and then when it does fill up you cant delete the bad takes to save space. Or do you have to put in another drive and you better have formatted that before you left the office or have a laptop handy because you cant format in camera. How about the battery issue or dropped frames? All in return for what? Raw…. BMCC Black Magic Compromise Camera… It may well turn out to be ok but not a good start.

      • Does it have the same issues? No one knows yet. I’m sure when it comes out in July there will be users all over the answers to those questions.

        • it makes me skeptical when they discussed features like no more global shutter and didn’t address other issues in the 2.0 announcement.

    • There will have to be comparison videos made of the BMCC 4k to DSLRs. And of BMCC 4k to Red. That will settle some arguments.

      This video show some behind the scenes of “TimeScapes”. DSLR’s, and Red are seen in it. The video wasn’t intended to be a comparison contest. But Red does win. Red is just awesome. DSLRs are really great too. Not really fair to see it with a Red, I suppose:

      Make sure you click 1080p quality:

  • Chris Lambert on 04.28.13 @ 8:09AM

    Would love to see ML start playing around with BMD software…

  • if they could make the 1dx into a raw 4k camera..i’m in

    • They already said that they wouldn’t touch the 1D X since it’s such a top-level professional camera. Their goal was to provide tools and functionality to lower-budget filmmakers and lower-end equipment, as opposed to those able to afford such high-end cameras — or that’s an approximation of their reasoning for not taking on the 1D series. Also, Canon released a statement about their potential to pursue legal action against hackers around the same time as discussing the differences between the 1D X and 1D C.

  • What happens then to all the 7D, 60D, 5DMii users????
    I want clean HDMI too!!!

  • Giuseppe Badalamenti on 04.28.13 @ 4:12PM

    RAW cool… but it think the problem is not with raw… it would be just fine to get a sequence of large JPEGS dynamic range is till better on photo mode… and not to say the increase on resolution, which is the biggest downfall on this camera.
    2k res 24 JPEGs per second fine for me… with a good picture profile, no problem… people get spoiled with raw.

    • I’m sure RAW would be awesome, but you have a great point. This would take care of so many issues with these cameras and would be amazing if possible. The increase in sharpness and decrease in compression would be incredible.

  • Giuseppe Badalamenti on 04.28.13 @ 4:16PM

    cant somebody just take out the sensor out of the box, put it in a new shell with a fatter processor to give it more juice? I’ve always wondered if its possible?

  • This comment thread certainly took a turn for the interesting.

  • let me put this out there, hoping the magic lantern guys will read this / hear about this. they work on this stuff on their own spare time, as far as i understand. i’m a mk lll guy, formerly mk ll … haven’t used ML yet, but always intended too … and of course: i’ll be all over this next release.

    would it free them up to put more man hours on this project if ever body out there in nofilmschool land and beyond shot them a five or ten dollar donation ? would it free up some time / show our appreciation / incentivize them to go nuts on this project ? what does everyone think ?

    • did this backwards. just checked their site out, they don’t seem to ask for any donations — unless i missed it. nevertheless … my proposal makes just as much sense if not more … thoughts ?

    • They had a donation-system before. I donated to be able to get hold on the repository (nightly builds), however now they simply state:

      “Thanks to your help, we have covered all our funding needs for now. Please consider donating to EFF, they do a great work in defending your digital rights!
      See you next year!”

      So, apparently they are covered as for now.

    • Maybe they don’t want that extra pressure. I believe some of them (a1ex) are already putting full time, and if that is the case, then I guess it’s more a matter of time, not money. I use to follow the develpoment at:

    • Also, if they don’t get “donations” the less in trouble they’ll be with legal departments. If they are not profiting in anyway, what can you do to them?

  • For me RAW is not as important as dynamic range and better chroma subsampling. So if they could make some of those DIGIC-s compress the video in a better way (ProRes4444 or ProRes422). This shold not require that high speed saving.

    • Giuseppe Badalamenti on 04.30.13 @ 12:27AM

      i think resolution would fix it all… even at 444 or 422 you wouldn’t notice a difference… its that bloody upscaled hd… that doesnt help with anything…. before you know it canons nexta camera is gonna shoot motion jpeg like the 1dc or just sequences of images… these machines are designed for processing 1 or 7 at the most RAW images… they dont have enough juice to drag constant framing for more than a minute, they would melt.

      canon its gonna have to bend the knee, what they didnt want to happen with the 1dc its happening right here. JPEG is gonna be the way.

  • Giuseppe Badalamenti on 04.30.13 @ 12:32AM

    canon its gonna have to bend the knee, what they didnt want to happen with the 1DC its happening right here. JPEG is gonna be the way. RAW is possible but its not the easiest way… they said do not hack the 1DX :D not the MK3 … i see motion JPEG or JPEG sequences anytime soon.