Hacked Shootout: Panasonic GH2 vs. 5D Mark III RAW & Magic Lantern Gets Playback/Audio Working
I don’t recall in recent memory any sort of software with this many updates in such a short period of time, but the folks over at Magic Lantern have been working around the clock, and we’re getting almost consistent updates thanks to the incredible people working on the RAW video hack. Basic capabilities from regular H.264 video are being ported over, and it looks like both playback and audio are working in at least a basic form with RAW video mode — so we should see those at some point. We’ve also got a great little comparison from Luke Neumann showing the RAW Canon 5D Mark III against the hacked Panasonic GH2.
First, check out the video from Luke Neumann showing just how sharp the Mark III is now with the hack:
A personal test of mine that I decided might as well be public! Still torn on the results to be honest. The GH2 is using a 146Mbps Driftwood hack and was set to Smooth (Contrast -2).
Lens used – Nikkor Ai-s 80-200mm f 4 (set to f 8 for each camera)
It’s pretty incredible how much this hack is doing for sharpness in the Mark III. The GH2 has arguably been the sharpest DSLR/Mirrorless camera (especially hacked with higher bit rates), but it suffered from slightly lower dynamic range and worse performance in lower light situations than full-frame DSLRs. Now, with the RAW video hack, the Mark III is right up there, and has the benefit of more dynamic range, the ability to use cheap and fast full-frame lenses, and better performance at higher ISOs.
We’ve also got an update from the Magic Lantern Facebook page:
There has been a lot of progress over the past few days – the devs are working hard to refine things to be more user friendly. Here’s a list of new developments from the past couple days:
- All tearing / stuttering issues have been resolved, video is smooth now.
- Raw burst looks possible for 500d and 550d.
- Raw playback in camera is working (will play back at normal speed eventually)
- Audio recording to separate .WAV file works while recording raw video.
- Updated list of cameras supporting RAW video now: 5D2, 5D3, 6D, 600D, 650D (brand new)
We believe raw video will be possible on all cameras, but it is still very early in development. Cameras with CF cards work best – SD cards will only work at lower resolutions. Older DIGIC 4 cameras will work at very low resolution.
So for everyone who has been asking which cameras are supported, there is your answer. As we said before, card write speed is the issue here, so at the moment cameras that can take 1000x CF cards are likely the only ones that will be capable of 1920 x 1080 — but anything is possible, especially at the crazy speed these things have been developed.
Eventually audio and playback will both be supported in a more advanced form, and clips above 30-40 seconds at 1080 will be possible later on down the line. I have no doubt in my mind that the hack will be extremely stable at some point, especially on the Mark III, and just like with the previous hack, we’ll probably see it on the 7D in the future.
For anyone who has been playing around with it, feel free to share footage in the comments!
- First RAW Video Sample DNGs from the Canon 5D Mark III with New Magic Lantern Firmware
- How to Get Started with Magic Lantern RAW Video on Your Canon Camera
- Magic Lantern Unlocks RAW Video on the Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III