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1080P RAW Video Now Possible on Canon 5D Mark III & Real Anamorphic Shooting with the New Hack

Canon 5D Mark III BackNot only do we have news that RAW video at 24fps is possible on the Canon 5D Mark III, but we now know it’s possible to get a full 1920 x 1080 image with 1000x speed cards. The first samples were possible by cropping the image to 1920 x 820, but g3gg0 from Magic Lantern has unlocked a way to get the entire image — the full 1920 x 1080. This makes the Mark III the first full-frame (36mm x 24mm) camera to shoot RAW video at 1080p. Also, now that we’re capable of getting really high-quality custom resolutions, a whole new world has potentially opened up for anamorphic shooting with the camera.

14-bit RAW video 1920x1080 at 24fps should be possible on 1000x cards... in theory :)
Magic Lantern

Here is a1ex in the Magic Lantern forum:

Heh, people got excited without even knowing the big news: g3gg0 just discovered how to use the DMA cropping routines, which just made possible RAW video recording at 1920×1080 at 24fps on 1000x cards.

Technical: we now know how to copy a cropped version of some image buffer at very high speeds (over 700MB/s), and with this trick we can save the video data the card at full speed, without being slowed down by image borders, for example.

1920×1080 RAW video now requires 83MB/s at 24fps, so it should work just fine on 1000x cards. I didn’t try it.

So, I’ve lost my patience and rewritten the lv_rec module from scratch, to use these new routines and to experiment with different buffering algorithms. The new module is called raw_rec and outputs the same file format (RAW files).

Main changes:

- The ring buffer only uses 32MB memory blocks (maximum we can get). Reason: card benchmarks showed higher data rates for large buffers.
- Frame copying is done outside the LiveView task (not sure if it has any effect).
- When the buffer gets full, it skips some frames, rather than stopping.
- Fewer hardcoded things: should be easier to port.
- Resolution presets, from 640×320 to 3592×1320.

Just like lv_rec, this is in very early stages, so you have to compile it yourself.

Source code:

If you try it, I’d like you to look for any signs of image tearing. The source raw data is single-buffered, but it’s possible to make it double-buffered if the vertical sync is less than ideal.

All credits go to g3gg0 – without his reverse engineering work on understanding the image processor, this would have been impossible.

This is absolutely huge, and almost equally as exciting as the original announcement, because it means you’ll be able to use the entire image to shoot. While I’m sure most would have made do with cropping to a wider aspect ratio than 16:9, it’s pretty clear we’re going to have the ability to get full use of our lenses on the Mark III. As far as slow motion, lourenco, who has been shooting with Lexar 32GB 1000x CF cards, mentioned this on YouTube:

The memory card is not fast enough for [50/60 fps]. Raw mode 1280×672 at 48P is possible.

Other cameras are being tested, and it looks like the 5D Mark II may actually get full 24fps with a crop, but like with any of the other cameras, we will have to wait and see. The team over at Magic Lantern has done a tremendous job, and we should applaud them for doing the impossible.

It should be noted that there is no audio at the moment when shooting RAW, which basically makes the Mark III work like a real film camera in terms of syncing audio (you’ll need a slate). We don’t know yet if they will be able to figure out a way to get audio with the DNGs, but as we’ve seen, it seems like anything is possible.

Real Anamorphic Shooting on the 5D Mark III

With the ability to define custom resolutions in RAW mode on the Mark III, this has opened up some interesting possibilities for anamorphic shooting. Later in the post, a1ex answered a question regarding custom resolutions:

you guys can define a partial crop of the sensor and save it RAW? This could be perfect for anamorphic shooters, just using a square portion in the middle. Possible?

Yes, you can select any combination from here:

Code: [Select]

static int resolution_presets_x[] = {  640,  720,  960,  1280,  1320,  1920,  2048,  2560,  2880,  3592 };
static int resolution_presets_y[] = {  320,  360,  480,  540,  720,  840,  960,  1080,  1152,  1280,  1320 };

or add your own custom resolutions (just put the numbers there).

The high resolutions only work in 5x zoom mode, where you get 1:1 crop from the sensor.

Right now, ML will do a center crop, but I’d like to try to implement a smooth digital panning (sort of a software dolly). Shifting the crop window by 8 pixels at every frame should be easy, and that would result in a 8-second horizontal panning of the 1920×1080 window from sensor center to the edge: (3592-1920) / 8 / 24fps = 8.7 seconds.

So what does this really mean? 1.33x anamorphic adapters like the Panasonic LA7200 basically get you to the correct 2.39 aspect ratio with a 16:9 sensor. Here is an example with the Mark III as-is without any hacks:

Issues with using anamorphic adapters in front of lenses aside, this does get you a great looking image, but it’s not quite as dramatic as using a 2X anamorphic lens or adapter. Here is a sample shot on the RED ONE in 4K with 2X anamorphic lenses:

Now, since many anamorphic lenses were designed for about a 1.20:1 aspect ratio, both the Arri Alexa and the RED ONE/EPIC crop into their images to get close to that aspect ratio using 2X anamorphics. Alexa gives you a 1.195:1 ratio (even with its 1.33:1 4:3 sensor), and the RED ONE MX at 4K does 2816 x 2304 giving 1.22:1, and the EPIC at 5K gives 3296 x 2700 — also a 1.22:1. Anamorphic lenses are far from consistent in their squeeze, but basically if you want to shoot 2X anamorphic on a Mark III the way it is now, it will look something like this, which is obnoxiously wide for my taste, and is not a normal cinema or TV aspect ratio:

If you want anything resembling a normal looking image, you’ll have to crop significantly into your video to get a 2.39/2.4 aspect ratio. It’s not clear which resolutions give only a 1:1 crop, but for the sake of the post, we’ll stick with 1920 x 1080.

If we did a custom sensor crop of 1296 x 1080, that would give us a 1.20:1 aspect ratio, and we’d simply do a desqueeze to get footage that’s the correct aspect ratio, and we’re now using as much of the lens and the sensor as possible right from the start. Some anamorphic adapters may have actually been made for a 4:3 image, but it’s not a huge difference between 1.2 and 1.33. We also will be able to work with funky anamorphic adapters like 1.5x or 1.6x, and get custom crops of the sensor that give exactly the aspect ratio we want right away.

Certainly higher custom resolutions would yield even higher quality results, so we’ll just have to wait and see what rabbit the Magic Lantern folks can pull out of their hat next. I’m definitely excited by the possible anamorphic applications, especially since very few budget cameras are capable of giving anything other than 16:9 — and none in that budget range capable of true anamorphic currently give you RAW.

Link: Uncompressed YUV422 and 14-bit RAW video recording — Magic Lantern Forum

Related Posts

  1. Canon 5D Mark III is Now Shooting RAW Video at 24FPS
  2. First RAW Video Sample DNGs from the Canon 5D Mark III with New Magic Lantern Firmware
  3. Shooting with Anamorphic Lenses and Filters: an Overview with Film Riot


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  • Cease and desist letter from Canon in 3, 2, 1…

    But seriously, if some talented hackers can do this without any collaboration with the hardware developers, then Canon could very easily have given us this. If you’re not willing to make your own products obsolete your competitor’s will.

    • Completely agree.

      Canon is simply limiting their cameras for sole business purposes, which is reasonable (from their perspective) but there’s a also limit for doing this.

      The latest firmware update 1.2.1 is almost a joke (if not a cheat…). It doesn’t deliver almost any improvement, and they made all Canon loyal community wait for more than 6 months…. All marketing stuff that in fact hurts the company’s reliability.

      They’re facing their own wrong marketing & business attitude. They don’t really understood the benefits that the 5D Mark 2 brought to them. They seem to only see profit, and even worse, with a narrow perspective.

      There currently cheaper DSLR & mirrorless cameras that OFFICIALLY offer more than Canon DSLRs regarding video capturing and features.

      It is time to STOP CRIPPLING cameras so obviously and deliver more of the huge potential from these cameras to their customers.

      • PhinioxGlade on 05.13.13 @ 4:10AM

        As a Computer Programmer I can think of main reasons why not all the features of ML are included. One thing to consider is how much stress the raw recording puts on the camera, the cards, batteries. it is possible that the components of the 5D are not rated for all the extra processing that comes with raw or they looked at the market and said hey the target consumer isn’t really to deal with raw. You have to remember that this camera was developed for stills then co-opted into video and ML continues repurposing.

        I course will be applying the hack as soon as available for the 5D2.

        • You’re absolutely right. I think we are forgetting that video was a secondary feature on the 5DMK2, so there’s no wonder that these resolutions and bit rates did not come as standard.

          I am as ecstatic about this news as anyone else is, but we will soon realise that strain on componentry, batteries, sensors and internal heat, will all show much quicker signs of age. I hope I’m wrong.

        • I’m programmer too, also hardware development assistant and I know with certainty that many features are dropped for business reasons. You’re right that some may stress the hardware beyond the original manufacturing design.

          BUT, there are LOT of features in Canon’s official firmware that are missing just because they don’t care or don’t want to include them.

          Latest firmware 1.2.1 is a joke. The didn’t even include audio recording…

          Even if Canon thought RAW was not necessary (as they probably think) they could have improved the resolution, sharpness and dynamic range of the in-camera recording. But they didn’t.

          So it’s obvious they don’t want to do it. Even on a $3,500 they’re delivering less than 800 lines in a Full HD output… And that’s NOT because the Digic 5+ and chipsets couldn’t do anything better…

          The success of the 5D Mark 2 was something they didn’t expect, but after that they tried to keep it “as it is”, keeping all at the minimum… As someone said, Canon needs a refresh and new Chief Managers with new perspective.

          • PhinioxGlade on 05.13.13 @ 9:48AM

            Business reasons were probably a major consideration by Canon. I would rather see a refinement of the existing feature set over inclusion of features which are not upto standard. I take granted focus peaking, zebras, crop lines and many other things. ML has added so much to Canon camera line but its a debug menu, a must have menu if you intend (as I do) to use these cameras for there non-primary purpose (video or manual/non canon lenses)

            All that being said I can barely use by recently purchased 5D2 as I find the image much too soft and prefer the size and image of my NEX 5N but the field of view of the 5D2.

  • very nice
    thank you

  • Anthony Marino on 05.13.13 @ 9:11AM

    Could it be the cheapest weather sealed RAW recording camera on the market now?

  • This is great news for owners of the 5DM3. But I hope no one runs out and gets a 5D3 for this alone.
    Magic Lantern pulled off what the BM Pocket Cinema camera will achieve out-of-the-box, yet Blackmagic seems to be open to suggestion from their client-base. I don’t think smart hackers should be working to unlock the potential of hardware; the manufacturer should be. This is proof that Canon needs to be nailed in court for fraud upon their customers. What kind of world would we live in if these specs existed 3 years ago?

    • But the BMPCC will to have the same low light capability nor will it have the larger frame sizes.

      • But the BMPCC will NOT (damn you autocorrect) have the same low light capability nor will it have the larger frame sizes.

        • Very true. But the output of the BMPC is 1080p RAW (like the Canon 5dM3 redux). It’s just a matter of time before the Canon EF version appears. Some people may not want to play around with hacks, so the BMPC will make more sense, for the built-in support for Cinema DNG and ProRes.

          And then there’s the $2500 price difference.

    • I don’t know about being nailed in court for fraud but it’s still telling about what their business ethic is. Lets hope Blackmagic Design and Digi Bolex can lead the way into a new era of greed-less technological and creative advancement! :)

  • Juanky Alvarez on 05.13.13 @ 11:58AM

    This frames have 240dpi of resolution. This means that you can easily upscale it to 4K with little IQ loss since RGB resolution consist of 72dpi.

    Here’s a sample png still from a 4K RED sequence:

  • So all of this is undoubtly exciting hacking into a Meant for Stills 5DMiii and getting Raw video files.
    For all you previous 5D owners congrats!

    My question is.. Can ML hack into the Canon C300 at some point and take advantage of it’s already pre-excisting 4K sensor? I’m sure the camera is capable of doing much more than Canon is allowing it just like 5DMiii.

    What are your thoughts ?
    Would ML ever look into hacking a camera like the C300 ?

    • Juanky Alvarez on 05.13.13 @ 1:56PM

      I think it’s an issue of cost. The C300 is a $15k camera vs. the $3.5k 5D3… every time you ‘brick’ a c300, $15k disappears from time and space… :)

    • Dave Mueller on 05.13.13 @ 8:46PM

      Canon threatened to bring the might of their legal team upon anyone who attempted to hack the 1D-X (probably cause it has the same capabilities as the 1D-C for half the price), so I would assume they would be just as protective of their more expensive products. ML even said they wouldn’t hack the 1D-X in response. Which is really too bad.

      And, I know what people are probably going to argue: yes, once you own something it is yours (like the judgement against Apple trying to protect their OS and prevent a Hackintosh), but being sued is really expensive and stressful whether you win or not.

      • Canon threating to sue over Magic Lantern? Alright Canon why don’t you stop pussy footing with you $5000 camera that shoots 1080p in MPEG-2 in only 8-bit 4:2:2, congrats you’ve gouged more people. Sure the picture is pretty but then again its not worth the cost. Take all the abilities of the C500 and throw them in the C100 and C300 and it’ll be worth it. I really want to like the C100 but outside the picture it creates it just angers me, companies like Blackmagic are selling stuff that isn’t as stable but its worth its weight, it does more for what you should have to pay…I don’t understand why we are gouged into this crappy compressed 1080p 8-bit 4:2:0 world when its so easier to just offer something better, 1080p 10-bit 4:2:2 would be amazing..but then I guess you wouldn’t being able to install the second helicopter pad on your yachts.

  • *Cough* D800? *Cough*

    They have made dreams come true here.. Fantastic job.

  • Lou Goetzmann on 05.13.13 @ 2:16PM

    I’m not very familiar with raw workflows, but I’m really curious about one thing. Is it possible to save those image sequences in some kind of file container? like a .mov? I think would speed up the whole workflow a lot…

    • Yes – image sequences can be transcoded in a batch processor like Adobe media encoder to just about any edit friendly format you like. Of course, it would make sense to pull in the full dynamic range of the raw sequence first! This is a good option if you want to preserve hard drive space and have a super slick codec for editing, like Prores 422.

      • Lou Goetzmann on 05.13.13 @ 4:15PM

        Ok, thanks !:-) I suppose doing this right in the 5d Mark3 won’t be possible?

        • Putting image sequences like JPEG into a .mov container is pretty simple but I don’t think raw can be done that way, unless I’m mistaken.

  • dusting off my 5dm lll now

  • *** i wouldn’t go anywhere NEAR a mark lll firmware update from here forward. i didn’t even do the recent one, after i read the reviews of the crippled third party batteries, and basically: the bullshit canon agenda of icing all of us mk lll users for six months on an empty promise.

    so — do you think canon engineers will be all over the magic lantern alphas, and figuring out a way to disable ML via a firmware update ? me too .. they can stick it in their shorts.

  • NFS is blowing some of its editorial credibility by touting this so highly/loudly. Go over the — the longtime global forum for pro cinematographers, a number of whom shoot on DSLRs sometimes, and you will see the “RAW news from Canon” is being poo-poohed for very clear technical reasons, as well as aesthetic reasons.

    • do you have a link?
      I think this news deserves more than being touted highly and loudly..
      I mean, “14 bits RAW” dude, it is crazy! We are talking about something that makes the difference between “video camera” and “Cinema camera”, between a toy and a real beast, the 5d3 is entering the big league, and i don’t understand how some people are so anxious about that..

    • you should go and dig some info into ML dev group. Might change your mind…

      Ow by the way a lot of pro dslrs users keep saying that ML is not rock solid, bla bla… I’m working daily with it with zero problems…

      I love every time a “pro” goes out saying the truth about tech, as if he knew all the code. Just so easy, right…


    • I would take a huge grain of salt with anything people on say about anything digital, unless it’s David Mullen.

  • Night and day tests of 1080p RAW Video plus sample dngs from these videos –

  • So, theoretically, this should increase the value of the MKII and therefore, hypothetically, buying a bunch of MKIIs now while the general masses are selling them ‘cheap’ could be considered a potentially wise investment…
    And then it turns out the camera blows up after 27 seconds of continuous recording and your stuck with a bunch of revolutionary though out dated bodies…
    Still something to marinate on though…

  • I don’t see much visibility to shoot raw with CF it is just doesn’t make sense , but it is a good start, maybe later there will be something else.

  • Will this work on the new 1.2.1 firmware update? Thanks

  • I can’t find the answer anywhere…is the raw video still 8bit? Raw is still a great thing to have, but if its 8bit then I wouldn’t start comparing it to Red cams or even the Bmcc.

  • I think Canon relishes this. They get a crazy amount of web press. They get free software/firmware work, that makes the camera cutting edge but doesn’t affect their warranty or support team. They sell waaaaay more cameras to people that would otherwise not be buying $10,000 bodies (Those that can and need, will anyway)
    It wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t know the people at ML and converse with them regularly. How do they lose? Who do they lose to? The people that get hit hard are the Nikon, BM, panasonic, sony….. users.

  • This is amazing! So very excited. But does this mean it is also available for the mark 2?


    My latest! Comparing H264 Technicolor Cinestyle to ML Raw. Highlight recovery, curves tweaked slightly in Adobe Camera Raw. No other correction applied, and no post sharpening applied. Didn’t touch cinestyle H264 footage at all because frankly, it’s no longer pleasurable to tweak compressed footage.

    Shot on May 22nd build, on Komputerbay 1000x.

    Vimeo is set to 1080p, so please give it a second to load and then hit fullscreen. The parrot shots and the clocktower shots are my favorites in terms of showing off the power of the extended DR and color corrective capabilities.

  • It seems we ve switched from a society with capitalist market to a capitalist society and no one told us.
    The main target of an industry business is to make bennefit… As michael sandel said. So we already have the proof of it. And its happening in most areas of the civil business name it. The great news is the fact that we have at least internet so people with enough studies to see how to improve our machines can share it with us. Keep on the good work ML team !

  • Is the raw footage from magic lantern 5dmk3 editable in CS6 or do u need other plugins or software to achieve that?

  • Shinglinator on 05.28.13 @ 6:45AM

    Very good. Now make a GoPro hack!

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