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Canon 5D Mark III is Now Shooting RAW Video at 24FPS

Canon 5D Mark III Official Photos and SpecsThe team at Magic Lantern has been able to do some amazing things with Canon’s cameras. Late last month, we learned it was possible to get a burst of RAW still images from the camera without the shutter moving at reduced resolutions — which yielded more resolution and dynamic range. Some people working with ML were confident we could get RAW video at usable frame rates (since they were only getting 5-15fps at best) with these images at some point as long as the cards were fast enough, and now that has become a reality: the Canon 5D Mark III is a RAW-shooting video camera. Click through for the first video samples.

Here is user lourenco in the Magic Lantern forum on recording RAW video with the Mark III (thanks to Luke Neumann for mentioning this — he’s be working with the team for some time now):

I did a quick test in Raw mode. I wanted to see how much higher I could do above 720p. I tried 1928×850 and 1928×902. I think it was 902. 902 the buffer would fill up and video stops after 700 frames or so.  At 850 I am able to get continuous recordings. 

The best I am able to obtain in Raw mode right now is continues 1928×850 at 24fps. I plan to crop the video to 1920×817 to do 2.35:1 wide screen aspect ratio, which is about 1920×817. The video will have black bars on top and bottom to output at 1920×1080.

And later:

At that aspect ratio I can record continuous at 24fps. It helps to have a 5d Mark III with CF 1000x card. DNG files take awhile to process on my computer in AE. Yes, the settings were the same. when I was recording i-frame, I used Technicolor CineStyle.

Here is a sample video recorded at 1920 x 820, with the original files coming in at about 3MB per frame. Top is RAW, bottom is H.264 ALL-I recording with the Cinestyle profile — both with the Canon 5D Mark III:

Well, it happened. A lot more development needs to go into these firmware updates before they are rock solid and ready for deployment, but right now, with 1000X speed cards, it’s possible to record slightly lower than 1080p at 24fps in RAW mode, which can then be cropped to a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

To say this is one of the bigger breakthroughs with the Magic Lantern firmware would be an understatement. The difference between the RAW video mode and the regular H.264 files is massive. There is more dynamic range and more resolution — and certainly much more flexibility in post. As far as other cameras, we will have to wait and see if any are capable of reaching 24fps, but right now, we do now it’s possible with the Mark III, and the camera can record continuously.

There is much more information to come over the next few days and weeks, so stay tuned as Magic Lantern and the entire team continue their breakthroughs.

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

Related Posts

  1. First RAW Video Sample DNGs from the Canon 5D Mark III with New Magic Lantern Firmware
  2. Canon 5D Mark III Clean HDMI Firmware Leaks, Plus More from Magic Lantern Regarding RAW Video
  3. Magic Lantern Unlocks RAW Video on the Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III


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  • Lady buys a Doberman. She takes him to the vet and gets his ears bobbed. A month later she takes him back and gets his tail bobbed. Finally she takes him back and gets him neutered. On the way home, the dog turns to the lady and says, “If you wanted a smaller dog, why didn’t you just buy a smaller dog?”

    Just buy a raw camera.

    • Ha! Excellent.

    • Actually this is more as if you owned a Chiguagua and woke up one day to discover that over night Alex & Co had come to inject him steroids, effectively turning him into a Doberman (although with a chiguagua brain)

      • And a Chiguagua on steroids is still not as good at being a doberman as a doberman is… The steroids analogy is apt, as Steroids commonly have undesirable side effects.

        This is a nice boost, and will add value for those who shoot stills but need video. But if what you’re looking for is RAW video and not stills then buying a camera designed for it makes a lot more sense.

        Also if the price of owning a BMCC (or BMPCC) and a 5D Mk3 is to much then I doubt that the data requirements of even this raw implementation are going to be all that feasible. Neglect the costs of storage at your peril.

    • Actually, this is nothing like that. If you’ve already purchased a 5D MkIII because you wanted a full frame sensor, or for one of the various other reasons there are for buying it over a BMCC (since it’s really the only comparably priced RAW camera), you now don’t have to go out and spend an additional $3-4k on a RAW camera. I love it when people scoff at things that are only meant to help people. This is an incredible advancement for those who own a 5D and can’t really afford another $3-4k cam just for RAW files.

      • Well, actually, that’s exactly what I meant…

        • Sean Connelly on 05.12.13 @ 2:37PM

          I know that’s what you meant, Raul, I was replying to the OP that you were replying to.

      • Absolutely, I got nothing but mad respect for guys like Alex, Bloom, Shane Hulburt and the whole NFS team. They do so much for us for no pay, just for the passion and love to spread knowledge and to help, then they have to put up with folks hiding behind avatars, with no contribution to the community trashing them, attacking them and even calling them names. Thanks Alex and ML team, I hope u will turn my doberman Mk II also into a ‘small dog’.

    • i think the analogy is more along the lines of, guy buys a japanese blowfish because the blowfish can allegedly talk. gets the blowfish home, and it says: by the way, i can also cook, clean and do cancer research, but my breeder told me not to tell you that.

      or something.

    • +1 for ronn’s just buy a raw camera

    • Ronn, uhh yeah, we all have money to burn. You sir are the best example of a jack—

    • Ronn, if YOU have the money to buy a Raw camera, congrats! But why is it annoying for you if WE can get Raw images with our DSLRs? (I’m sorry if my English is not good enough)

    • “Lady buys a Doberman”. And Ron bought the camera for 10 thousand dollars at a time, as the camera for 3 thousand doing everything the same. Camera is not Doberman, Ronn.

    • It’s raw, people. Not RAW. Raw is not an acronym, just a word to describe uncompressed images…

    • Seriously? Raw capabilities with a sensor that smashes the BMCC’s low light capabilities? 20+ Megapixel stills and is near the same price?

      If you own the BMCC and want good stills buy a DSLR, if you own a 5Dmk3 and want raw video….. download FREE software….. One camera will do it all.

      Over the next month I’m picking we will see some huge leaps forward with the ML software, as with everything they have done, they have only just scratched the surface.

      Watch this space!!

  • Very interesting indeed. I’ll be excited to try this out. I wonder however if it would be easier to implement a high-quality JPEG sequence shooting mode. I’ve shot timelapses that way and it’s a plenty flexible format, way better than H.264 for sure.

  • my question is shutter life if this is burst mode how long will it last before your sending the camera to canon for a new shutter

    • Ehem… I remember seing this question in a forum when the video function of the 5D2 was announced… just like in video, there is no shutter action, in fact this will safe your shutter life in case you use for timelapse

    • It uses the electronic shutter

    • It’s not using the burst mode but the “Yuv 422 module”, so don’t worry about your shutter, it will not be affected..

  • I think a couple of things people should look into while considering this:
    1. Over heating
    2. 14.8 minutes of footage on a 64GB card. 1000 x are very expensive cards at that. Might be prudent to look into having a workflow system to dump cards on site.

  • So this is a raw 14 bit full frame…

  • I believe it’s 12 bit. 3MB per frame, 24 frames per second, which is 72MB a second, which is 4320MB a minute or 4.3 GB a minute. 64 GB divided by 4.3 = 14,8 minutes.

  • Great news for those who were waiting for this. But for me, DSLR video recording is done. Long live the real camcorders !

    • Real camcorders? What does that even mean? How more “real” can you get than RAW vista-vision?

      I mean, I’m a huge fan of Blackmagic and such… but “real-camcorders”? That’s dumb. IIRC, camcorders are for broadcast, sports, and home-videos. “Camcorders” to me, mean 60i crap footage. Long live DIGITAL MOTION cameras!

      • Even cheap camcorders have been doing 1080p24 for a very long time. Not shallow DOF or wide dynamic range, but still a lot nicer than 60i. For some shots, a camcorder in 24p mode is 10x easier than a DSLR for essentially the same result. Know the tools that are available and use them appropriately.

        • Oh I know. I was just making the point that “camcorders” are kind of an item of the past these days…

          “For some shots, a camcorder in 24p mode is 10x easier than a DSLR for essentially the same result.”

          Yea, for sports or interviews maybe. They all look like video still. I’ve owned a XH-A1 myself… and shot on nearly everything else from HPX’s to the EX3′s… they all look cheap. No matter what. Impossible to get beyond the video look. Some audiences might now notice on some shots, but it’s always been quite obvious on the projects I’ve done…

  • BRAVO. YOU GUYS ROCK! Magic Lantern gets a standing ovation. I am rooting for your guys to figure this out.

  • Seriously awesome news , was just thinking imagine if you could hook this up to an eye-fi card. Taking the issue the storage out. Anyway probably thinking ahead of myself i dont own a 5d or used ML yet. Congrats to the guys cracking the code to make this happen :)

  • Can ML hack my BMC and give me audio meters and time remaining on disk? Thanks in advance!

  • visually this looks awesome, much more dynamic range in the raw clip. I wonder about the 7D, thats the camera I own.

    • Yeah, for me, it’s all about that amazing DR. The sharpness is a phenomenal bonus. I have a 60D, and this could resuscitate the usefulness of the APS-C sensor for me. Biggest problem on my end would be the SD cards, unfortunately.

  • Strawberry Cow on 05.12.13 @ 5:50PM

    Amazing! Now, what will be really interesting is if they can get RAW on the less expensive EOS cameras. Imagine being able to record RAW on a sub $1k camera.

    • lol – you can – its called the BM pocket cam and its $995, no hack needed. Oh it also shoots amazing 10bit 4:2:2 prores.

      Still this news is completely amazing. Actually Im more excited about the possibility of 720p raw at 48fps – sure its 720 but its RAW with heaps of detail and no one else is doing raw overcrank for anywhere near the price of a 5D3!

      • well… actually you cant have it yet.

      • if you can record this to an external recorder perhaps you wont need tons of cards… than you would have a baby alexa ı guess

        • Strawberry Cow on 05.13.13 @ 3:35PM

          Maybe some independent electrical engineer could come up with a cheap solution for storing the RAW data. Maybe something that plugs into the SD card slot to access the SPI bus which could be channeled to an external drive such as an SSD? That wouldn’t take much right? Maybe just an ARM processor?

  • I think this is great news for amateur photographers and filmmakers. I’m both and this feature adds just enough value to the 5DMKIII to make me consider upgrading from my T2i. Since I don’t do either professionally it doesn’t make sense for me to buy an additional RAW camera that costs a ton and takes crap photos. After this update I’ll be able to get a camera that takes great photos for vacations, events, work, AND great video for the same, AND in addition allow me to pursue amateur filmmaking by giving me a tool that was already good enough for feature films and will become a much, MUCH better tool for filmmaking. Anyone who can’t see the phenomenal value being added there is either a troll or a dick. DSLRs have already democratized filmmaking and art so much, and this addition will take that another step further. Think of all the people who couldn’t film in RAW before who will be once this update rolls out. Kids who inherit their Dad’s MKIII in 5 years will be able to make films with more dynamic range and detail than many that hit the screen in the last few years. How many more people will get to work with RAW video who wouldn’t have before? This is great for present and future 5D owners (because obviously there’s already tremendous value in owning a 5D) and the guys at ML deserve a big round of applause, in fact, I’m gonna head over there now and give them another donation even though I don’t own a 5D.

    • I agree with Andrew completely. Ignore the trolls telling you that this ML update is meaningless and that Black Magic is still the way to go with your money. BM doesn’t have jank on the new RAW video capabilities in DSLRs now. I still don’t think people are getting the big picture of this significance; shared this article on FB and a majority of my video contacts just went, “Meh, I’ll save up and buy a BMC”.

      Mark iii really is a remarkable model to begin with, and that alone would totally make an investment worthwhile.

  • does magic lanterns raw video update work with the new filmware 1.2.1 or is it only with the 1.1.3?

  • We need this on Nikon D800 and Gh3. Having this could be really great.
    What about those cameras, is anyone doing these upgrades for? Because are really great cameras and we need these upgrades.
    (not a native speaker)

  • I have some 1000x SD cards by Lexar, I wonder how those will work recording raw in my 5D3. Worth testing since I also have Lexar CF cards but they are only 600x.

  • Does anyone know – if one updates the 5D mkiii with Magic Lantern software can the camera still be setup to “old” Canon standard settings, or will it now only shoot RAW? Obviously, some project would be nice to shoot more than a few seconds per gig!

  • most people dont know the first thing about raw footage or what it means or what to do with it,,they dont know how to grade or color,they dont know how to convert or work with it in editor,,and you have to know how to work with raw in post,,or your footage will look like crap and you will ruin your excitement about raw…..raw,,,raw,,raw,,its really a pain in the ass if you dont know how to work it,,its really a pain even if you do,,working with unprocessed footage means you need huge amounts of space on your drive,,it means hiuge abouts of mem cards in camera,,it means you will be in for a lot of work,,,how long before the average joe gets tired of working with his raw,,?raw,,raw,,,raw,

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