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GH2 Hacker Nick Driftwood Takes the Canon 60D with Magic Lantern RAW for a Spin

Canon 5D Mark III at Big SurStrides are being made to get more and more resolution and frames out of the lower-end Canons using the Magic Lantern RAW video hack. Right now the only way to get continuous recording is by shooting at about 960 x 540 at 24fps, but other resolutions are working for a specific number of frames. Nick Driftwood, who has done a considerable amount of work with the Panasonic GH2, has been shooting some tests with the Canon 60D, and he’s posted his first video online. We’ve also got a metered dynamic range test comparing H.264 and RAW on the 5D Mark II, as well as a fantastic example of what the Canon 5D Mark III using Magic Lantern is capable of.

 People, shot at 1728 x 992, which only records for under 10 seconds at this frame rate:

Some info about his workflow and how you can get similar results (you can read more about working with the 60D over at the Magic Lantern forum):

Download & install ML onto SD card, Download marekk’s latest 60D stuff (-with LV_AF_RAW) and overwrite ML stuff where specified. Initialise the RAW record mode after running the module off the M tab in Magic Lantern.
Set RAW-enable to ON and choose framesize (1728 x 992 for 1920 scale).
Record some RAW footage.
Download and install for Win users: BATCHelor_1.2_by_FATPIGtures GUI ( or on Mac use the OSX raw2dng GUI app for splitting the RAW file into DNG images.

Take these files and import into Adobe Effects as in my quick and dirty approach:

Import each RAW set of DNGs into Adobe After Effects (and change exposure, colour, highlights, shadows, etc…), then ‘interpret’ the footage as whatever frame rate it was recorded as and save setting using ‘remember interpret’ and apply it to all your clips, make a composition file and change the file duration roughly calculated to the total length of all your clips (you can always extend/reduce by editing the composition later), then select all clips and drop them into the composition – space them out – and render the composition out to lossless. Bring the rendered output file into an NLE for further editing.

* Dont forget to set Project workspace to 16bit in AE.

Even though the 60D and some of the other lower-end DSLRs probably won’t get very high recording times at anything close to 1920 x 1080, it still may be useful in certain situations, especially for getting B-roll or for very high dynamic range shots which can have very short takes. Surprisingly, under 720p in RAW video mode can still get some nice results when slightly upscaled, but it probably won’t intercut as well with higher resolution images.

Check out this Dynamic Range Test from  shot on the 5D Mark II:

Meterings taken with Sekonic L758 Cine. Spot meterings taken with reflective meter. Generic Camera Profile.
Technicolor Cinestyle used for h.264 clips.
Original files can be downloaded here:

Looks like a few shots are soft. It was bright and hard to see the LCD.

Here’s one with the Mark III at Big Sur, from Left Coast Digital and Plaid Zebra Films:

Improvements are coming almost on a daily basis, so I would not rule anything out at this point. But right now, the Mark III is still the only camera that can give the full 1920 x 1080 image with RAW.



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Description image 36 COMMENTS

  • peter osinski on 06.3.13 @ 2:10AM

    this is great for people that have these cameras but im confused when i hear people on forums say this will make them buy a new 5d iii. Unless you also want to shoot photos why not just hold out for the bmc4k and rent in the mean time

    • The BMPC has drawbacks of its own comparatively. The sensor is smaller (S35), and the low light performance is apparently not as strong as the BMCC, which means it is nowhere near that of the 5D3. It has plenty of advantages too, it just depends on what your needs are.

  • This RAW ability is a dirty little secret the industry has not wanted to be known. Technically of course this has always been possible. Its the “Storage medium” problem that then lets them dial in a codec to suite the market price point. Realistically, now we have very high speed storage cards readily available it should be simpler to do RAW, not having to go through a codec.

    Now the interesting thing will be what the industry does about this. Canon, not sailing as well as it hoped with the CXXX range. May let this dog loose.. Man it will hurt the big boys, even tho they have come down so far.. the big camera kit people.. will still have a use, but it is going to be very niche now..

    Even a the BMCC would not compete with a 5D-MkX with RAW.. At a similar price, you would always get the 5D, and its still a multi use device. (Its a real still camera too. Why do you thing the CXXX do so poorly. the poeple who purchase this stuff are into multi use and cutting costs. They still need a stills camera, so find it hard to justify both.. or replacing what they already have..)

    • I don’ t know where you are getting this idea that the Canon Cinema cameras are not doing well. Any rental house can hardly keep the C300 on their shelves. These cameras are selling very well, even through many believe they are overpriced. The C300 is also selling well and definitely keeping its value in the used market. Likewise the C100 is selling very well. The 1DC and C500 are not doing as well, mainly I believe because of cost. The 1DC is stupidly priced and for those who have the production budget for 4K RAW likely choose the Epic or Alexa because the C500 does not yet have any credits to it’s name.

      But the success of the C300 alone likely makes this line a success. And with the palme d’or at Cannes going to a film shot on the C300 (internal codec at that) and some TV shows coming that are shot exclusively on the C300. The C100 is being used for lots of documentary and online work.

      Whether you like the picture and the features or not, I think you’d be hard pressed to say that these cameras are a failure.

      • Well said.

      • Jairus Burks on 06.6.13 @ 5:54PM

        Need For Speed DP SHane Hurbult is using the C500 as the 1st Cam…Alexa as the Second and the 1DC as the Crash Cam..Hopefully That Camera will get some Credit to its name but its still expensive

  • To my eye, the 60d upscaled is much more pleasing and organic-feeling than the 1080 stuff we’re getting from the mk3. Less sharp, but much more pleasant. Far closer to the BMCC. The mk3 is far too digi-sharp. It could, of course, be bad grading. The moire on the bridge is pretty ugly, too.

  • SpartaBear on 06.3.13 @ 6:07AM

    @James Gardiner
    The Canon C range is doing extremely well:

    It’s totally legit to embrace the hacking of all those still cameras. For professional productions, so far the impact of this hacks can be neglected. The GH2 movies “Upstream Color” and “Musgo” have been the most noticable “hacker movies” (or at least GH2 movies, don know if they hacked the cam at all) so far.
    On the other hand “Blue is the warmest color” this years winner in Can, was shot on the C300:

    We will probably see the first BMCC shot movies hitting in 2014, it takes more time to shoot a feature, than to film your cat with the latest 5D RAW hack…

  • Anthony Marino on 06.3.13 @ 7:47AM

    I have to admit I am impressed to no end during these last few weeks not to mention shocked. Anyway you slice it or dice it what ML and (I feel compelled to mention) Nick Driftwood and company have been able to do is downright amazing. They turned a great little camera, available to just about anyone and turned it into a real beast. While it’s easier to compose “nice shots” using controlled lighting what excites me is the fact us run and gunners now have the ability to focus on getting the shots without worrying so much about exposure. With the fs700 I’m constantly avoiding those dreaded clipped highlights and shooting around such instances. (even with the pix 240 attached) From what I’ve been seeing lately is that issue may be reduced dramatically with these patches. That alone is a good enough reason for me keep an eye out for a decent canon camera. A weather sealed 14-bit, low light, Raw recording device. These guys are leaps and bounds a head of the manufactures and I believe will force their hands to deliver better specs in near future. After a little over a year I still love shooting with my hacked GH2 (cluster x moon T5) somedays I have a difficult time telling the footage apart from a camera costing 8 times as much. It goes to show the differences between their high end and low end cameras aren’t as far apart as we once thought thanks to these guys. Nice article and great to see Nick get some props here on NFS too. Thanks

    • I’ve had a foot in both worlds in the last few years, one in ML the other in Personal-View.
      When I saw Nick Driftwood getting involved in the ML RAW movement I had flashbacks to childhood and reading a Marvel / DC crossover for the first time. All my favorite camera hacker super heroes working together? Can it be?! For the sake of comparison, let’s just pretend those comics were actually as awesome as RAW hacks.

  • Can’t wait for the stable release!

  • Thankful for the folks testing this. Looking forward to this being rolled into a stable release so I can start using it when necessary. Biggest bummer for me (keeping in mind that this is 100% free, and built for us by the talented folks at ML, so there is zero room for complaints) is that there isn’t really an in-between option… this stuff should cut okay with standard DSLR, but I’m concerned about using it because it will make all my non-raw shots look worse. All these ideas about getting a raw feed through HDMI or through the CF port to some kind of cable really intrigue me. If there could be any way to figure out a ProRes recording for this, that would be perfect.

    For me, raw is neat but incredibly impractical… but a decent codec to shoot and work with like ProRes or DNxHD is the real dream. That’s why the Black Magic cameras are so intriguing to me!

  • Khwaja Faraz on 06.3.13 @ 11:03AM

    i wonder what women think of raw video :)

  • 5DMk3!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy I didn’t go with BMC….now I have Raw and great photos… of both worlds!!!!! Take that all u Canon/ML haters!!!!

    • Neill Jones on 06.3.13 @ 3:21PM

      Why does everything always have to turn into an us vs them argument?

      • Because most of the commenters are children who collect gear but, rarely, if ever, do anything with it.

      • Neill Jones
        It does seem that some Canon users are defensive, maybe insecure, about DSLR’s. I don’t get it either.

  • Great discussion here, as always.

  • Looking very much forward to a Driftwood GH3 cluster, patch, hack, (don’t know exactly what it is officially called) to come out!

  • I don’t want to put the cart ahead of the horse here, but have the ML guys mentioned if they’re interested in exploring the C100/300′s with a Magic Lantern for them? I can’t help but imagine that those cameras have 4K RAW just waiting to be tapped.

    • Unlikely, Alex promised not to touch the C line after Canon threatened to bring down the might of its legal team if anyone touched those cams firmwares.

      • Anthony Marino on 06.4.13 @ 7:51AM

        But isn’t that like ford saying if anyone modifies the mustang we’re gonna sue their pants off. I read canons threat, but didn’t see how they can based off that argument.

  • Hey guys! Here is a link to a less graded version of some of the shots:

  • Philinfunky on 09.19.13 @ 3:34PM

    Hey everyone! I currently own a 60d with ML (not have been working with RAW yet) but I would be interested into buying a Gh2 and hack it. Do you think the Gh2 overpower de 60d?
    Thanks for your feedbacks

    • Philinfunky on 09.19.13 @ 3:36PM

      -sorry for the double post-
      But is there any rumor about a Driftwood/hacked version of the Gh3?
      Thanks again!

  • Can you toggle between H.264 and RAW easily? How so?