Description image

Magic Lantern Unlocks RAW Video on the Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III

Every day it seems things get more and more interesting with what these Canon cameras are actually capable of. It would be interesting to know if Canon is actually aware of what their cameras can do, or if some of these are happy accidents for the team over at Magic Lantern. They have made significant discoveries trying to enable full uncompressed HDMI, and not only do we have RAW still images from the liveview video stream, but they’ve actually managed to get RAW video working on Mark III.

The team has been working on their own uncompressed HDMI hack (different from the one they currently have and different from Canon’s impending update), but in the process, they have basically enabled 14-bit RAW still images from liveview without the mirror or shutter moving. Right now the files are about 5MB a frame (pretty large, the one I have is 4MB), and at least on the Mark III the resolution is currently 2064 × 1064 (that’s the sample file I have, people have also been getting varying resolutions, especially on the Mark II). The firmware is currently running at 10fps.

[Update]: Big thanks to Luke Neumann for sending me a few more examples. These really give you a sense of the dramatic improvement. At the moment there is some junk around the borders of the frame that needs to be removed (full image was 2080 x 1386), so it ends up cropping down to a little more than 1080 (click for larger):

Here is what they said on Facebook:

Recent RAW data developments have led to the discovery of the 14bit RAW stream in LiveView. DNG pics with no shutter action now possible on the 5D2 and 5D3!

No mirror flip or shutter curtain movement. This is a big deal for time lapsers who sometimes shoot 1000 or more shots in 1 sitting. This can significantly extend the life of their cameras. Also bodes well for RAW video in the future.

DNG format ported from the CHDK project, so out of the box support in almost any RAW editor. Works fine in w/ Lightroom, Photoshop, and more.

Here are some examples from Luke Neumann, who has been working with the team. The first is regular H.264 video (before and after — click for larger):

Here is a before and after showing what corrections can be made with these new RAW DNG files from liveview:

The final RAW DNG file:

With the Uncompressed HDMI just around corner for the Mark III, what are we looking at here? I’m not going to say 100% that we will get 2K RAW video with these Canon cameras, but it’s very, very likely. Even though right now they are only getting about 10fps, they seem confident they will be getting 24fps in the very near future. Whether it will come to both the Mark II and the Mark III is unclear, but right now I’m sure they are eagerly awaiting the new firmware for the Mark III to see what that may unlock for the team. It’s obvious that Canon has probably written a fair bit of new code with the new firmware, so there may be some goodies locked away that make these cameras even more powerful.

For now we’ll have to wait a little longer for 2K RAW video (it may not be full 2K because of the way the image has to be cropped, but 4K is likely not possible), but from my conversations with those involved, it’s probably going to happen. Obviously hardware has been capable if companies like Blackmagic are doing it, so it’s pretty impressive that some outside programmers are doing what Canon themselves has only made possible in the over $20,000 C500.

What do you guys think?


Related Posts

  1. Magic Lantern Alpha 2 for Canon 5D Mark III Adds Clean HDMI, Gradual Exposure, and HDR
  2. Magic Lantern Alpha for the Canon 5D Mark III is Now Available
  3. Magic Lantern for the Canon 5D Mark III Coming This Week


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 94 COMMENTS

  • Holy shit-balls :O

  • I would really like the option of RAW on my DSLR but will most definitely still get a BMCC. It just seems better equipped but STILL(!) how amazing is this! What I would like to hope that now they are bypassing the compression that they can encode in ProRes 4.2.2 or something better than the crappy h.264 codec they currently use Now THAT would be a nice addition too. Especially if they retain the resolution of the Silent Pics they are currently churning out! EEK! :D

  • My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and
    thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to exploring your web page for a second time.

  • I want a cats generator on my dslr

  • Seriously, if I can get 2K from my 5DmkII I’ll be super happy! I shoot marketing films and want that cinematic dynamic range, of course, but I only get a small budget every year. Sooner or later this dynamic range race will slow down and we’ll all feel like we can invest in technology without feeling the remorse 4-5 months later….

  • After following how canon has handled their own hdslr revolution I wouldn’t buy another camera from them with the BM-cameras on the horizon. The stills on my 7D are more than enough right now and for video I’m better off switching supplier.

    I can still use the canon-lenses though. :)

  • That would be awesome if it came to the mark II as well. I was thinking of selling my mkII and getting a black magic camera for our b-camera but this is very interesting news.

  • When will available to download?

  • Superfabius on 05.3.13 @ 6:36AM

    Finger crossed!!!

  • Ralph Linhart on 05.4.13 @ 12:18AM

    will this solve the aliasing problems that all DSLR’s have?

  • I think they should start a Kickstarter project!! I know there is no certainty but the potential is worth it!
    I wonder if the 5D III hardware is capable of a Prores encode?

  • Any news about RAW? I am looking for everyday someone who can give more information and nothing. I colaborated twice with ML but for video i Think, no news – practical news for mark III, I mean – long time ago…

  • Hey there,
    I tried everything but there is no way getting the raw function working on the 5D Mark 2.
    Can anyone help please?

  • So where can I find the 5D Mark II firmware that allows for raw footage?

  • This is pretty exciting. I have been using the 5D2 for a couple of years for corporate HD production. I’d much rather have a clean raw video file at 1080p than 2k or 4k that is heavily compressed and/or noisy. IMHO expanded dynamic range, less/no compression, and cleaner images is more useful than the current resolution race to 4K and beyond.

  • mukesh goel on 12.8.13 @ 1:12PM

    i need full tutorial for2k for 5d mark iii so please help me if you call me i am great full to you my no is 919871321866 thank you

  • Elie Al Kadi on 04.10.14 @ 11:41AM

    Hey there,
    I tried everything but there is a way getting the fps250 function working on the 5D Mark 2.
    Can anyone help please?

Comments pages: 1 [2]