May 14, 2013

These RAW Video Clips Will Make You Want a Canon 5D Mark III (Unless You Already Own One)

The Canon 5D Mark III has become a true cinema camera. That's a bold statement, but some of the footage that is currently being shot with the new 14-bit RAW Magic Lantern hack is absolutely night and day when compared to 8-bit H.264 footage recorded in-camera, and there is no doubt it rivals much more expensive cameras just in sheer image quality. We've got some impressive samples from cinema5D, Luke Neumann, as well as a few others below. Click through for the head-exploding videos.

Check out Luke Neumann's first test with it, and if you want to download some original DNG files, head on over to his website:

Here is an impressive comparison by , taking a look at the hacked Canon 5D Mark III, unhacked Mark III, and the GH3 (night footage shot at ISO 1,250):

Here is a larger frame grab of the night shot (click for larger, you can also download both videos from Vimeo to see the full 1080):

Here is a sample from cinema5D (you can also find DNGs on their site):

There are a few bugs to work out at the moment, especially since this is so early in the life of the hack. Right now there is no audio in-camera and clips are limited to 4GB (which is about a minute of footage), but the focus has been on actually getting it working and stable before moving on to the other issues. The 4GB limit is not actually even a hardware limitation, it's just the way the code is at the moment, so we will definitely see longer clip lengths. For the best quality, 1000x speed cards are recommended, like the Lexar 1000x cards (some people have also recommended the Komputarbay 1000x cards, but I have no history with the company, so you'll have to take someone else's word for it).

Many have been asking about different cameras. Unless you're a tester, you've just got to wait it out and see what will happen. I know it is working on cameras like the 5D Mark II and T3i, but none of them are currently able to do the full 1920 x 1080 (and they may never be able to), with the T3i coming in much lower resolution. Card speed is really the issue for any of the cameras that are SD card only, and it may never be possible to get results anywhere near what the Mark III is currently getting.

If you want to try it yourself, it's definitely not an easy process getting ML onto your camera, so I would suggest most people wait until Magic Lantern releases a complete build, which I imagine will happen in a matter of weeks. Magic Lantern has a forum dedicated to workflow, and cinema5D also put together their own guide for those adventurous folks who would like to try it out.

Stay tuned as we will have much more on this, including what this might mean for you and other camera purchases.

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135 Comments

It's kinda sad that ML has to release this significant update to the MKIII, while Canon is stuck on their "meh" clean HDMI-out.

May 14, 2013

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James

+1000 for the ML team.....my 5dmkiii is now a BEAST!!!!!!!!

May 14, 2013

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Kendrick

when they say raw do they mean like raw photos or red raw where you can change the iso and white balance or is it baked in? i feel like with this hack its more or less "uncompressed" or "14 bit" i feel like raw is just such a hot word right now and means alot of different things. other people might be talking about this but im to lazy to dig through threads. just an idea. none the less the footage looks great.

May 14, 2013

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Tharp

This is RAW. Full uncompressed RAW data from the sensor. RAW like Canon .cr2 files that you would use for photos. You then convert them in post to Cinema DNG for use in a video. There is a fairly intensive post process with this implementation. At least that's what I am understanding from all the posts. So all the adjustments that you can do in, say, Lightroom or Photoshop to a RAW still photo, you can do to these images.

May 14, 2013

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What I am curious is if there is any chance of this coming to the 7D. I know it took a long time to hack it's dual digic processor and all that but none of the articles I am seeing about this every mention the 7D. As i understand it Magic Lantern is working on the 7D now (thanks to g3gg0, I believe). What are the chances moving this feature?

May 14, 2013

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It's likely possible on all of the Canon cameras, the question comes down to card speed and whether it can deliver the full 1920 x 1080. I think you'll just have to wait a bit, there will be testing with the 7D very soon I'm sure.

May 14, 2013

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

g3gg0 from the ML forums: 7D: working on it, but it seems the interesting part is being handled on master digic that is harder to access (only via FIR)

http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=5405.msg34778#msg34778

May 14, 2013

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Frederik O.

mmmm I think sensor from 7d is too slow to support raw, they are doing this in marck III because it has a new sensor. They tried too with mark II and it was imposible, for the same reason. Old sensor no good enough for RAW

May 14, 2013

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Nelson

I'm seeing a lot of aliasing unfortunately.

May 14, 2013

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Dave

Well, I guess it's absolutely worthless then. Tell Magic Lantern to shut down their operation and burn all their computers. Everybody with a 5D III... throw them in some body of water, like an ocean. The world cannot risk a bit of aliasing.

May 14, 2013

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bwhitz

Hahahahahaha perfect reply.

May 14, 2013

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Dave N.

^^

May 14, 2013

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Ryan

Where? It's nowhere to be found in the files themselves.

May 14, 2013

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Luke, your shots are beautiful by the way. Nice work.

May 14, 2013

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Shucks, thanks.

May 14, 2013

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Was waiting all night for your test, Luke.
Thank you for the excellent work. Big up to the Magic Lantern Massive!

May 14, 2013

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Jerome

And I'm hearing a lot of negativity!

May 14, 2013

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coolioT

Strange - I see a remarkable lack of aliasing and moire, considering the exceptional detail, must be close to true HD - which shots?

May 15, 2013

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ron

I was really close to getting a MFT still and the BM pocket camera, glad I saw this, might wait a few weeks to make the best decision. (Comparing convenience, price and quality)

May 14, 2013

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Tim

WOW

May 14, 2013

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This is amazing, I believe along with the people I work with, say this is going to mix things up. Though not to be greedy because we are more then happy but we would like to see
-Audio
-Better User Interface for start and stop
-Playback of Clips
-25 and 30p would be nice.

The one thing that came up when we were talking was how this will impact other camera sells, and we dont think it really will much, except one. The Canon 1DC. With this you can take the Raw and upscale it and it looks just as clean as the 4K files, now that is to our eyes when we zoom in. The 4K has a little more detail but we are happy to take RAW over just a little more detail. What do you guys think?

May 14, 2013

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Ain't nobody got time for that!

May 14, 2013

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Images look great but at 4gb a minute you better start buying a lot of CF's and HDD. Plus a new computer.

May 14, 2013

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Francisco

Is there any workflow available for RAW for Sony Vegas? I think it's about time I switch to Premiere.

May 14, 2013

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So, how about dynamic range? With 14-bit raw, how many stops the files can get?

May 14, 2013

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Rodrigo Molinsky

I would guess you get a stop in the highlights and 1-2 in the shadows. Curious to know for sure myself though.

May 14, 2013

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Thanks!

May 14, 2013

1
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Rodrigo Molinsky

You can put 50 stops in a 4-bit file...the bit-depth determines the *fidelity* of that dynamic range, which in turn determines what you can do to the image without losing smooth creamy transitions in tones and gradients.

May 14, 2013

1
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Gabe

black magic camera vs 5d mark 3 raw with 14 stops of dynamic range

https://vimeo.com/66170436#

May 14, 2013

0
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MEGAMAN

The 5D file has 14-bit, but I don't think it has 14 stops of DR. I think the stills got 12 stops, but not sure.

May 14, 2013

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Rodrigo Molinsky

On DxOMark sensor rating, the 5D Mk III get 11.7 EVs DR. The D800 gets over 14 EVs of DR.

Please ML, won't you make your next project the D800? :-) I'm certain that many of of us D800 users with donate to Kickstarter to help ML fix the Nikon D800.

May 14, 2013

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Markus

Good link, thanks for sharing.
To my eyes, in the above video it actually looks kind of like the BMCC has more chroma noise but less dynamic range (look at the gravel path on the hill in the first shot for signs of both).
So, interesting trade-off. This hack puts Canon back on my radar for now, I actually left them behind last year and the only thing I've missed until now is the ML community.

May 14, 2013

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Jules

Oops, I meant BMCC has more chroma noise AND more dynamic range (while the 5Dmk3 looks to have less chroma noise but also less dynamic range).

May 14, 2013

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Jules

What I get from that test is this: If you own a 5D it's better to just invest in CF cards and HDDs. If you don't the BMCC/BMCC4k is better due to convenience and ProRes.

The margin is narrow now, but I think the BMCC is still the more video/film friendly camera.

May 14, 2013

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Just curios, are they doing this with the new firmware just released or is it the older version?

May 14, 2013

1
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DingTank

The old firmware 1.1.3

May 14, 2013

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Robin

You gotta see Andew Reid's footage. Insane: http://vimeo.com/66033769

May 14, 2013

1
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Andrew Reid is inasne.

May 14, 2013

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Connor

Why?

May 14, 2013

1
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Murderous impulses and reckless abandon.

Well, maybe not the murderous impulses, I may have taken creative liberty there.

May 14, 2013

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Jules

Quite impressed by this but I would rather go black magic if you could.
The aliasing is sooo heavy.
Is that because of youtube compression more Im wondering?
Because that would be a big no for me.
Even so, well done to the ML team!

May 14, 2013

1
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Paul Blue

BMC has way more aliasing then 5d, what are you talking about

May 14, 2013

2
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ryan

Maybe the aliasing in on your eyes. The 5D Raw has absolutely no aliasing.

May 14, 2013

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Frederik O.

Still prefer to BMCC look

May 14, 2013

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Fresno Bob

What kind of machine is recommended to edit raw?
Can you play raw files in real time before rendering?
Thanks!

May 14, 2013

1
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vincegortho

I can't believe there are complaints about a 100% free to use firmware hack enabling such a powerful feature. I know I shouldn't be surprised but come on, people...

May 14, 2013

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David S.

It's just people thinkng out loud. I find skeptics very benificial.

May 14, 2013

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vincegortho

I find them to be the speed bumps of innovation.

May 14, 2013

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I think it's incredible that all these youtubers cries about no audio and other controls. they don't realize that the magic lantern team is working really good & hard to improve a tool that extends the possibility every canon camera user and every poor film maker. For God sake, people you can still use the h264 codec to shoot your holiday & wedding videos... if you don't want aliasing or you need audio, get a real videocamera and shut the f+++ up.

May 14, 2013

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Kenzo

Kenzo, I don't think anyone is "crying" over anything. Mostly thinking out loud. Obviously this is a huge breakthrough on many levels. People are allowed to voice their opinions and concerns, right? Who are you to belittle them or tell them to "shut the f+++ up?" What I find incredible is how worked up people get over a piece of equipment.

May 14, 2013

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mick

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