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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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Description image 136 COMMENTS

  • David J. Fulde on 05.12.13 @ 6:44PM

    Holy fuck…

    • Desmond Williams on 05.12.13 @ 7:53PM

      Lets Welcome Everyone Back To Canon…lol Not sure when this will be released or even any test footage but I bet you EVERYONE will be jumping back to Canon once this works properly.

      • Nobody ever left.

        • PhinioxGlade on 05.13.13 @ 4:12AM

          I did, when right back to my Sony. Opinion based on what I now believe is a faulty 5D2

      • Well, not everybody.

        At 64GB for just 15 minutes of footage, this is neither cheap nor easy-to-work-with.

        Editing DNG footage means playback at around 1.5 fps. That’s something to get used to!
        And if I wanted to go for this, I would have to spend around $5K in a 5D3 body, a couple of batteries and some flash cards.
        I left Canon last year (and I’m happy I did), and at this kind of price I’m not sure it makes sense for me to go back. I’ll have to think about it…

  • vinceGortho on 05.12.13 @ 6:47PM


  • Nick Fornwalt on 05.12.13 @ 6:55PM

    holy fuck, indeed.

  • will it be possible on the T3i?

    • T3i’s don’t have CF card readers. So probably not. You need a CF card with 1000x read transfer speed.

    • It might be possible to run the commands on a T3i, but remember that 1080p RAW from the 5D Mk. III ran at about 83 MB/s. The fastest SD cards go up to 95 MB/s, but since the T3i doesn’t support the new higher-speed SD card standard of UHS-1, the maximum it’ll be able to record is probably between 30 and 45 MB/s. With what looks to be flexible resolution options, you might still be able to record RAW video with the T3i, but it would most likely have to be at a much lower resolution — probably under 720p, I’m guessing.

  • Holy shit! Way to go Magic Lantern! I wouldn’t be surprised to see 4k morion jpeg’s at this rate. Keep the great work up!

  • when New ML will be release? cant wait and see how it is. If its within next month, then i can wait and shoot my final school project by that. :D

  • Samuel Neff on 05.12.13 @ 7:04PM

    The ML team mixed up Christmas with Mother’s Day, and nobody is complaining.

  • Frederik O. on 05.12.13 @ 7:19PM

    Why can’t they hack the C100 and enable 4k RAW???

    • Because neither the C100′s SD card or HDMI slots out are capable of fast enough recording speeds for RAW video. Enabling 10 or 12-bit uncompressed 1080P output is perhaps be a more viable hack for it.

  • ok, ok, really good news, but someone knows how many second or minutes can my camera rec in raw mode?

  • @nelson. you will get around 15 minutes on a 1000x cf 64GB card. This will make it a very expensive way of recording. Great nonetheless.

    • Desmond Williams on 05.12.13 @ 7:59PM

      Hey Mark do you think this could be paired with Atomos Ninja 2 to get a longer record time and still shoot in RAW?

    • Pavel Roytberg on 05.12.13 @ 8:36PM

      You still can… not use it :)
      It has almost the same datarate as 4K in 1DC…

  • Is there any mention if this will ever come to the 7D?

    • Seriously. This would give the 7D such a comeback. I still find it’s the more reliable and solid of the Canon’s… and I was thinking of selling it since I got a BMCC. But if there’s mention of this feature ever coming on the 7D, I might just keep it!

      • “Sweet! Are there limitations which might prevent my fragile old 7D from getting a new lease of life?”

        “7D has to be coded… should work tho.”

      • Surely with the 7D having Dual Digic processors, this could mean that it would achieve these results with less effort than the 5DMKII and MKIII?

        Could somebody explain why the 7D may be different in terms of getting ML working with these resolutions and bit rates?

    • This has me on the edge of my seat! I would love to breathe new life into my 7D. I’m currently using a C100 with the Atomos Ninja it makes me wince when I go back to the 7D. This would give me a stunning B-Roll camera again.

  • is there any way to get this output compressed to not have this insane data rates? the best would be if ML would just improve the hdmi out. raw is nice but not with that data masses. but i guess there´s no way to compress raw like red does.

    • If they could route it via the HDMI could you record at the highest ProRes quality on an external recorder like the Ninja 2?

  • shaun wilson on 05.12.13 @ 7:53PM

    Any news if its possible for RAW on a 550D?

  • Just dreaming if one day my t2i would record Raw.. If you think that a month ago everybody said that usable raw video on a dslr was impossible..

  • Most resolution I can do with for a custom “anamorphic mode” right now is 1320×1288. The speed needed to pull that resolution off is well below the max of what can be done with a Lexar 1000x CF card so I’d imagine the ML team could get that or a similar window up in resolution a bit more.

  • Not to be mean to anyone, but stop asking for Raw on all these lower end Cameras. Right now lets focus on the 5D3 and get it working so the people who make money shooting short films and commercials can get to using the new upgrade. Not saying people with lower end cameras don’t need it just saying I believe those who are getting paid are most likely not using a t2i at this point.
    Its amazing that RAW is coming and really opens up alot of things. Hope to see this in a stable version soon.

    • The role purpose on these hacks is actually give as most as possible on the lower end cameras, that’s the challenge… Give it for those who can’t be payed yet; students, aspiring artists… If you’ve been payed, you probably have a budget to rent something better if the job needs it…

      So I sincerely hope they can make it work for the MKII, 60D… They probably will in some way.

      Those guys are just awesome!

      • I agree with your ponts but for me, have RAW on the 5D will be better then RAW on the RED, for the fact of size. Having a camera that I can mount everywhere that does RAW is great.

      • You’re mainly right.

        That’s why ML is not interested on high-edn cameras like 1DC or EOS Cxxx line.

        We all want to take full advantage of the HUGE potential (crippled or not exploited by Canon) that the affordable DSLR have inside.

        Professionals with higher budgets can invest in more expensive cameras without needing a firmware add-on.


    • Who’s to say who deserves it more?

    • shaun wilson on 05.14.13 @ 6:27AM

      Im getting paid to shoot a feature on a 550D and the results for rushes encoded onto blu ray and 2K cinema blow up are breath taking so dont just think a 5D is the only DSLR tool for a professional DP.

  • Stu Mannion on 05.12.13 @ 8:21PM

    Is it just me or does every example of this raw recording show signs of completely unusable rolling shutter?

    • I have seen it, but this is early for the test and so far all test are bad footage really. Neumann Films with the thing they are talking about doing a test soon will tell what this can really do.

  • 24p is fine for some peeps, but what about 25p?!

    Other models *may* come later, development is on 5D so don’t hold you breath.

    • Higher frame rates will come, as will other cameras at usable resolutions. Just give it some time.

  • How do these guys operate? donation? Just tell me how. I mean this is really amazing

  • Well hey, I might actually be interested in selling my mk 2 and going for a mk 3 now.

  • Bravo… Bravo! When this is out and functioning, these guys deserve a hell of a lot of generous donations!

  • Bravo! Looking forward to some actual tests that show what’s possible. If it ends up being a usable mode without overheating the camera one can only wonder why Canon didn’t make this possible.

  • but, but…what does this mean for my Nikon D600?

    • lol…

      That’s what it means…

      @some footage from Andrew Reid on EOSHD.

      Best footage so far. Really amazing detail on the flower’s shot…

    • It means it is still an awesome camera, that doesn’t change.

      But hopefully this will even further motivate Nikon to even further progress with their video functionality (and they’ve been making great strides lately!) which will mean our Nikon glass collections will prove to carry on being even more useful in the future :-)

  • As good as the news sounds for all my Canon heads……..kind of messed up Canon has been killing our pockets and lying to us and telling us the hardware in the camera can’t handle RAW…….hope ML hack it to the point RAW works well in all the low end camera, and most users don’t have to buy another canon DSLR camera for the next 3 years…..thanks ML

  • Kenneth Merrill on 05.12.13 @ 11:01PM

    What nobody is thinking about is that a 1000x 32GB card runs you $140, and it will give you about 5 min. of footage… With that kind of overhead on media, most would be better just renting a RAW camera.

    • Clayton Arnall on 05.12.13 @ 11:07PM

      I think a few 128gb cards would be fairly essential for any continuous recording, and those are running around $650 right now!

      • full of win!

      • I think in crop mode u can record in 2mb or something… not that big… And those cards will drop fast as demand go higher and higher…

        And for editing just use cineform… full of win!

    • Completely agree with you dude but I think as a feature for getting the odd nice establishing shots or cuttaways on run and gun/docu stuff – this is a real bunus!

      • Kenneth Merrill on 05.12.13 @ 11:30PM

        That’s very true. I think for anyone that already has this camera or was seriously considering it for other reasons, this news is killer. I just wouldn’t purchase it solely for its RAW capabilities.

    • Either way you’re shooting Raw and need the same storage. SSD prices aren’t much different than CF. Raw is Raw, it takes up space on all cameras that shoot it.

      Let’s stop trying to find ways to nitpick one of the biggest developments for Canon DSLR users since the Mark II.

      • +100

        Completely agree

      • Kenneth Merrill on 05.13.13 @ 10:42AM

        Actually, raw is not always raw. For instance, Sony and Red use compressed raw, which allows for much more recording time. That’s why those cameras are viable in a production setting. All I’m saying is that if you’re shooting your production on a Mk III, you’re probably not prepared to cover the costs of media.

      • Excitement should not displace fact. A 64GB 1000x CF Card costs 300.00

        A 256GB SSD costs 200.00

        • Shanon Fernald on 05.14.13 @ 2:13AM

          What about the 1000x 128GB Komputerbay cards that Philip Bloom champions? Says they are just as good as the $600 lexar cards but they are priced on amazon for about $170?

  • I wanted to pass along a test that I did with my 5D Mark II using this firmware.

    The video compares the DNG to the internal H264. There’s a little bit of information about what I did in the description box, too.

  • Let’s donate to these guys!

  • This is great news for DSLR users as far as capabilities go. But to me it practically proves that Canon is intentionally nerfing their equipment as a way to force people to pay through the nose for higher end gear. Obviously they are free to do what they want and they aren’t obligated to make things “cheap and easy” for us. But to me it is a stupid business plan. They accidentally created the entire DSLR market and could have pretty much monopolized it if they intentionally pursued the low-budget film making market and used the components of the 5D MkII as the basis for a low end cinema camera.

    Instead, they made a brand new low-end cinema camera but priced it at the same level as Red. Then continued their folly by using that new platform for even lower priced cameras with hobbled features that lack even basic features of DSLRs (60p for example) yet price them at double the cost. All they had to do was make a C300 style camera and price it for less than $5k and they would have owned the entire market.

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