May 23, 2013

Luke Neumann on Canon 5D Mark III RAW Video and a Comparison with the RED EPIC

We've seen a few tests putting the Canon 5D Mark III with the RAW video hack up against lower-end cameras, and only one, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, is capable of shooting RAW as well. Now, we've got a comparison with another RAW camera, the RED EPIC, from Luke Neumann (who has done a few Magic Lantern tests before), as well as an interview with Big League Film School talking with Luke about how this is impacting the DSLR community.

Luke has shared some sample DNGs and a .R3D file since comparing them compressed to Vimeo isn't as useful (head on over to Luke's site to download them). Top is EPIC and bottom is Mark III RAW (again, download them and try them out for yourself, there are many variables here):

I tried to get them as close as possible, but obviously it's a bit of judgment. Keep in mind that a program like Adobe Camera RAW will add a bit of sharpening either way to the image (unless you manually set it to 0), and it's unclear how Canon is getting the full image down to 1080p. Regardless, this is very, very impressive, and the detail coming out of the Mark III RAW is just fantastic. The fact that it can keep up with the much more expensive EPIC downscaled to 1080p shows how good the sensor is on the Mark III (and all of it would not have been possible without the work being done by the people over at Magic Lantern).

Here is Aviv from Big League Film School talking with Luke (he apologized for the audio on his site):

We've shared a lot of things from Luke on this site before, and that's because he's has usually been at the forefront of the Magic Lantern testing, and he's produced some incredible results. I think his advice is fantastic, and it's exactly what I would tell people starting out: maximize the current tool you're using and always keep learning. I have no doubt every professional learns something new every time they step on set, even if it's something small.

If you missed his Mark III RAW tests, check them out below:

See more at Luke's site and at Big League Film School using the links below.

Links:

Your Comment

66 Comments

The write up confused me. What is meant by, "Keep in mind that a program like Photoshop will add a bit of sharpening either way to the image..."? If it means what I think it means, it is wrong. Photoshop doesn't just do things without you doing it. If the images are resized in photoshop then an algorithm will be used (and CS6's default should be changed) but no auto-sharpening.

May 23, 2013

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That should have read Adobe Camera RAW. Camera RAW's default is set to 25% for sharpening, and the demosaic algorithm can change the apparent sharpness of an image.

May 23, 2013

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

Ah that makes sense.

May 23, 2013

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It does say Adobe camera raw. They may have corrected it before I logged on but nowhere do I see photo shop.

May 30, 2013

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Gary Simmons

I changed it. I was thinking Photoshop because that's how I was loading them in, but the program actually dealing with them first is Camera Raw.

May 30, 2013

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

Actually some downsampling algorithms like bilinear and bicubic typically have actuance artifacts that show up as a halo or fringe similar to an unsharp mask effect.

For comparison, lanczos is a better (but more computationally intensive) algorithm...Premiere's GPU Mercury engine uses lanczos, whereas the software mode uses bicubic and there's a very notable difference in quality. As far as I know Photoshop only has bilinear and bicubic.

May 23, 2013

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Gabe

For sure, which is why I made the clarification about image resizing being a possible cause but was unsure if that was going on in this.

And forget exactly what it is but the auto bicubic setting in PS CS6 is common to have an over-sharpened look and should be changed.

May 23, 2013

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How does exactly a 1080p no-one-knows-how-the-photosites-were-sampled-RAW feed "keep up with" a 5K compressed RAW feed?
Please be serious.

May 23, 2013

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RebelPhoton

One has a solid post workflow and file sizes that aren't insane, and the other is a DSLR. People will latch on to the RAW part of the comparison and think that the two cameras are evenly matched.

May 23, 2013

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Thom

I agree with those that are baffled by the Epic/5D comparison. On my site I noted "I think the key is not to see who wins here but to see just how close the 5D3 raw footage can get to something on the caliber of an Epic. I for one am blown away!"

This is the point for me.

May 24, 2013

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At 1080p, should have clarified that.

May 23, 2013

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

And what exactly is the point of that? Scaling one to match the resolution of the other?
That's like comparing a Bugatti Veyron with a Mustang and saying they're both pretty good at 60mph.
Ridiculous comparison.
This is a great, great mod for the M3, but lets not get carried away.

May 30, 2013

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Frosty72

Because where are you going to be showing that 4K or 5K video? The valid comparison for the cars compared to cameras would be 0-60 time, something you can actually do without breaking the law.

If your final resolution is 1080p, which it is for most people right now, 4K or 5K has a very specific use, either as future-proofing, or for the ability to reframe in post. Otherwise, if you're delivering something in 1080 and there is no need to move the frame around significantly, the differences come down to usability rather than picture quality - and picture quality at 1080 is the topic of discussion.

May 30, 2013

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

Aaaand you got carried away.
The 0-60 comparison analogy is silly because there's a rev limiter on the Veyron.

My point is, one machine is being deliberately crippled to better match the lower end model it's being compared to, and that can never be a fair comparison - for either model.
If you were strictly comparing low light performance or dynamic range that would be one thing and I'd get behind a test like that in a heartbeat, but when it comes to sharpness and image detail I think it's a pointless exercise. Compare it to the 2K RAW output of the F5. That's a 2K RAW output derived from a higher pixel count on the sensor so that would actually be a valid comparison to this hack. But scaling a higher resolution image down to gauge resolution is a silly exercise - and that's without even mentioning the various different scaling algorithm options.

May 31, 2013

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Frosty72

+1. Photoshop won't do sharpening unless you tell it to.

May 23, 2013

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Erwin (Netherlands)

how can you prove that? just because the slider says "0", it doesn't actually have to mean that no sharpening whatsoever is applied. don't forget, we're talking about raw here. the image has to be interpreted (debayered/demosaiced) anyway, before you can actually get something usable from it.

May 23, 2013

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Haiggoh

On the RED I can tell there is a door behind the screen, 5dmkIII not so much. But ML has done some great work!

May 23, 2013

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I can see other things too like how brilliant the flowers look with the Red, less so with the mkiii.

But considering the cost difference between the cameras this comparison should make lower budget film makers happy. It should also confirm to those with mega budgets that they really are getting a more brilliant, more beautiful, more detailed picture for their money in the Red. I think this comparison is a win-win.

May 23, 2013

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Gene

The difference is so negligible that the receiver will not perceive the difference between the two.

What I see is that the Canon footage is a bit more sat than the RED, but again... tiny differences.

If you are delivering for HD, and when ML is finalized and when they have fixed the DNG workflow (which I have a feeling is a matter of days rather than weeks or months) then you would have a HARD time justifying using an Epic for delivering HD work. It's nothing but faboi BS....

May 24, 2013

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Torben

So both are in 1080p? Red is not at its best?

May 24, 2013

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Gene

Did you mess with the files at all? The 5D you can pull the door out easy - it's RAW, that's the whole point. On the embedded pics. the RED shot is just exposed a bit hotter, look at the sky for example.

May 24, 2013

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Ricky

Can HDR televisions display 14 bit color?
I was told they were only capable of 10bits.

May 23, 2013

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vinceGortho

Hd*

May 23, 2013

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vinceGortho

I am not sure if it was meant to be; but this comment is really funny!

May 24, 2013

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The RED is a bit flatter and has better colours but the "No Trespassing" sign is unreadable.

May 23, 2013

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Coilworks

I wonder what the original 4k Red image looked like.

May 23, 2013

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Gene

Go to Luke's site and download the samples to see the original files.

May 24, 2013

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

Seriously...?

Who the hell cares? I'm pretty sure both images received the same tender care, and in the end it's all about the delivery.

When we start having 4K tvs at home in general then you can worry about the 4K acquisition...

May 24, 2013

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Torben

Sure seriously. If the Red is not shown at its best that makes a difference in how it looks.

May 24, 2013

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Gene

There aren't many Red users commenting on this site. There's quite a few Canon users here. And I don't think there's a Red RAW channel in vimeo, or a lot of people running comparisons of their Red to the MkIII. So there is no defense of the Red going on. I don't think Red users feel the need to defend their camera. It makes better video than the MkIII. The only thing that is happening is MkIII users are seeing an improvement in their video. And they needed it since even the $1300.00 GH3 and the hacked GH2 were making better video than it. (will there be a hacked GH3 soon?) I don't think big budget Red users are contemplating switching to the MkIII.

Just trying to keep things in perspective.

May 24, 2013

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Gene

For sure it's a great image from the ML hacked MkIII but there's a ton of reasons this is gonna be a hobby tool rather than a cheaper sub out for an Epic or Scarlet or even a C300. It comes down to user friendliness, proven established workflow, ergonomics, accessories, rolling shutter, sound recording, metadata, reliability, timecode, professional connections, servicing, warranty etc. Still amazing, and very cool.

May 26, 2013

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Paul Watt

Red and Alexa aren't losing sleep over this hack. I don't think they're even losing sleep over the 1D. Canon must feel the GH breathing hot down their neck though. If Panasonic is able to get 4k video into the GH4 (even if it means making a bigger body, which some GH users won't like, because after all, the GH is all about being more convenient, and better, but maybe they'll sacrifice some convenience for 4k in return, and end up with the better) they will move beyond giving 5D3 users fits to giving it to 1D users.

Have you seen this GH3 video? I think it's a beauty! Make sure you view it in 1080p!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZIJJTBI66Y

May 27, 2013

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Gene

At 1080p they're definitely close enough to intercut pretty seamlessly between the two. Very impressive work by Magic Lantern! But once 4K UHD televisions are being bought by regular users, that's where the 5K Epic footage will truly outshine all other 1080p cameras.

May 23, 2013

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I'm not a Canon user but I actually think the Canon looks better in this. Look at the red NO TRESPASSING sign. It looks a lot better on the Canon. On the Red its basically unreadable and you can only tell what it says from reading the Canon one.

Red is the first colour to blow out in chroma so to me that little sign makes the Canon the clear winner.

May 23, 2013

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There are so many variables, so I would encourage you guys to download and play around with them yourselves.

May 23, 2013

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

Anyone tried shooting some real world shooting situations in RAW on the Mark III yet? I'd love to see some basic set up shots (tracking/dolly/steadicam) in a drama situation, as well as some documentary style run-n-gun shots. Anyone got links to some tests in this mould?

May 23, 2013

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Ben Howling

May 23, 2013

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Hummer

That group seems a little confused. A lot of it isn't RAW.

May 24, 2013

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marklondon

check out this channel: https://vimeo.com/m/channels/529954

i manage it myself so there are onlly ML Raw videos ;-)

May 24, 2013

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Lou Goetzmann

guys, this is awesome. i really appreciate it.

May 24, 2013

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The quality of some of the shots blows me away. Cinematic with a capital C. the dynamic range, the detail, on a sub $3K camera, with cards that are very affordable, I think I'm sold on adding a 5D, regardless of the BMPC. There's no reason you can't have both (apart from the most obvious case of affording them).

Once ML get this stuff locked off and reliable, it's gonna be the standard for small projects and online content, IMO. And with that market already being such a growing force, it's only going to mean better work and higher standards, which will open the door to more work (as opposed to traditional broadcast media).

May 24, 2013

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Man I want this to work well on the mk 2, then I might switch back to canon. Just switched to the d5200 and I like it but man I miss magic lantern. Now to just see if they can get the mk 2 stable at a good pixle ratio and maybe it will work well with vaf filter?

May 23, 2013

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Austin Burke

This looks great. There is a ton of chatter about it in our offices and on the sets I've been on the last 10 days.
We're all waiting for ML to 'finalise' it as they tend to do, and then a lot of people will probably pick up 5D3s.
For me it will be between this and whether Blackmagic can get that 4K cam out on time. If they do, I'll go that way to upgrade/add on from my D800.
On the RED thing, I have to say that apart from music videos and shorts the amount of footage we see for high-end post has declined to a trickle. We were also discussing that the amount of MX we see now is zero, from maybe 50% of ALL footage only 18 months ago. That Dragon sensor needs to happen yesterday.

May 24, 2013

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marklondon

Alexa?

May 24, 2013

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90% Alexa, 5% RED, 5% other (F65/Phantom/35mm).

May 24, 2013

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Marklondon

For me, it's not about RAW or sharpness etc, it's the LOOK.
The REDs and BMCC look so much better in motion that the MKIII. Very filmlike.

People like Andrew at EOSHD are going bananas over this ML hack, and I can't really see why.
Its the same look as the MKIII, just in RAW.

May 24, 2013

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Fresno Bob

One. Maybe because of the superior low light capability if the hack is stable. Two. Maybe because the hack will be free and the camera is only $3,000 compared to $15,000+. Three. A 5DIII is so small and easy to use and walk around with compared to a Red. Four. If the postproduction workflow is simplified (maybe even a "drag and drop" app to convert to ProRes HQ), and prices for CF cards, SSDs and other external storage media solutions get cheaper, this mushy camera will be a beast.

May 24, 2013

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rob

I'm curious when a hack for the GH3 will come along. Will the same people that are excited about this hack improvement in MkIII be just as excited if the GH3 hacked turns out to have a better picture than this?

May 25, 2013

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Gene

RAW Video hack is almost certainly not going to happy on the GH3, so don't hold your breath on anything more than a higher high bitrate hack.

June 19, 2013

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Corey

Also, I don't think nearly as many people would be as excited about a RAW GH3 as a Mark III. It's not quite the holy grail that the Mark III is, because it's MFT and not full frame, big difference. People are thrilled with the Mark III being RAW because it's the first full frame RAW video camera anywhere near even $30,000....if Canon released a full frame RAW camera like this it would probably be over $30,000. There's no crop on lenses and it has SUPERB low light.

The Gh3 recording RAW video wouldn't be able to record 1080p or probably even near it at 24fps continiously since it uses SD cards and not CF cards and is said to have a small buffer. If it could use CF cards and had a decent sized buffer it would be a compelling RAW camera.

June 19, 2013

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Corey

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