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Early RAW Video Potential Unlocked for Nikon D7000

07.1.13 @ 3:16AM Tags : , , , , ,

Nikon D7000 Silent RAW Hack - Simeon PilgrimWe’ve heard a lot about RAW video on Canon DSLRs using Magic Lantern, but could it be possible with other cameras? Theoretically, yes. In order for DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras to create a Live View image, they have to take the RAW feed from the sensor, debayer it, and then downscale it for the display and recording. Nikon’s DSLRs have had hacks for some time, but progress has been slow, probably because of their lackluster video offerings until recently and the much smaller community. With a recent discovery from Simeon Pilgrim, we may be one step closer to RAW video on some Nikon cameras.

Thanks to planet5D for the tip, Simeon just posted this video showing Live View Silent RAW on the D7000, very similar to the first steps it took to get RAW video on the Canon DSLRs:

Here’s some of what Simeon said on his page (this took place after he bricked a D5100):

So reading the D7000 firmware with more vigor I discovered why the D5100 didn’t make sense, Nikon had removed the liveview raw saving code, because it’s present in the D7000, and with a simple tweak I got it working.

So for now it’s truly the raw buffer (the part that’s put in the .NEF but with none of the EXIF data), and it takes a hack to turn on, and I’ve not nailed the FPS, nor do I have a clue how to speed it up, but it’s all very cool.

Form the two test video’s I’ve done, the first took 25 frames in 18 seconds so 1.33 fps, on an Extreme 45MB/s San Disk SD card. The second video with an Extreme Pro 95MB/s San Disk SD card, I got 15 frames in 10 seconds, so 1.5 fps. Not ground breaking stuff, but the code to do this was already present in the D7000 firmware. So making it “better” will take a while.

I’ll post a couple of files in case anybody is keen to try decode them.

[Update] Simeon recently posted this update:

Turns out that after some data review, the files contents appear to be the left over ram from taking previous pictures and not the current raw buffer. sigh. Well at least we now have a button, that is wired up to run in live view and a complete understanding of the file handling process, albeit a slow process.

The folks over at Nikon Hacker, including Simeon, have been steadily working on these patches for a while, with one of the main features for a number of cameras being the removal of the 30 minute record limit (which is an artificial limit anyway put in place for tax reasons). The community is much smaller than those working with Magic Lantern, but with more people pitching in, we might see some equally amazing stuff coming for Nikons. 1.33 and 1.5 frames per second might not be much, but the Canon RAW video hack also had humble beginnings. Now we have proof that the camera — and possibly other Nikon cameras — can record images in Live View without the mirror moving. This is a big step towards actually shooting RAW video on the Nikon DSLRs, but a lot of work still needs to be done.

Simeon has links on his website to download the patched firmware, but it’s important to remember that you are doing this at your own risk (though if you brick your camera, all hope is not lost). If you’d like to learn more, head on over to the Nikon Hacker website and Simeon’s website, where you can donate money and/or resources to the project (we highly encourage both). Simeon and the Nikon Hacker website are the official source for all Nikon hacks out there, so if you are going to donate, that is the place to do it.

What do you guys think? Would you consider Nikon if RAW video happens?


[via planet5D]


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Description image 44 COMMENTS

  • I’m excited for this. Will breathe some new life into the video on my D7000.

  • Just when I was thinking about selling my d7000! Hope this works out. I’m pretty invested in Nikon gear, and I’d want to get better video out of it as well.

  • Agreed. I’ve been pretty close to selling my D7000 and jumping ship for Canon…. If progress continues maybe I’d stay. I still love the elegance that Nikons seem to have…

  • Oh boy, here we go. Next time you tell me someone hacked Sony Alphas and NEX series to shoot RAW 1080p. I for one welcome our new firmware cracking overlords. Time for Blackmagic to think about pocket camera with S35 sensor, te-he-he.

  • I’ve heard of the word “bricked,” but what exactly does this entail for a DSLR? Is it completely unfixable once “bricked”?

    • Bricked means it’s now a paperweight.
      Unfortunately most paperweights don’t take pictures or video or do anything useful except perhaps they are incredibly good at weighing a certain amount. So there’s that.

  • I have a D800 and am excited for this. 14.4 stops of dynamic range on a full-frame? Yes please! Time to donate for a good cause.

  • Still looking for a Driftwood GH3 hack. :-)

    • gh3 Won’t ever come mark my word, I gave up, getting a mark iii now if I can figure out if the audio side is workable for long stuff or not. WOn’t get bmcc due to its problems with focusing.

  • IMO, by the time these various hacks finish, the same capabilities will be either offered by the same manufacturers on the nearly identical models or by others on newer, better and cheaper models.

    • Depends on what you mean. ML already gives me timelapse video, audio levels display, shooting histo, and more on my 60D, So raw is taking a while? For people without the capability to jump from Nikon or Canon to MFT and the Black Magic Pocket Cinema cam, there aren’t many other options.

      • I think that we’re in the middle of the very rapid advance in technology in this particular sector of the electronics. The “next gen” processors (from ARM, Qualcomm, Intel, et al) are here. The sensors are available off the shelf, if need be. The interfaces/cables/recording media are already here. And they’re all coming down in price. This means that the “leap forward” for the DSLR market is just around the corner. It already happened in the higher end/pro video corner, where 4K went from nonexistent/astronomical a few years ago to a $10K-$12K range (Sony FX 700 + Convergent Design recorder/media) and soon to a $4K range with BMD.

        In the past, the model refreshments took as many as 2-3 years and that allowed the hacks to develop and then finish their development before the superseding designs made the hack itself obsolete. Prodded by the push to 4K across the board, the current cycle is much pacier. Once the 4K dust settles, the progress to 8K is likely to be slow from the opening and again the high end pros and hacks will be influential in the niche market. But right now, if someone was looking to purchase a new camera, I’d advise them to wait. (* it’s different if one already owns a product, obviously, and is interested in a free/low cost upgrade)

        Just an opinion (from someone who’s a bit familiar with the electronics industry).

  • Long time reader, first time poster.
    Very excited for this!

  • I will be so damn happy if they make D600 shoot RAW!

    Sweet baby Jesus, please!

  • The one thing all Canon DSLR suffer from is relatively bad dynamic range. I kept wishing for Nikon, Pentax or NEX raw hacks instead of Canon, hope they can make it with Nikon now, fingers crossed.

    • Isn’t D7000 9.2ev, and the mkiii is like 11ev or something.
      Or am I misinformed there?

      • Rob Manning on 08.14.13 @ 2:24AM

        Nikons (arguably) have always had better DR than comparable Canons, the stats issued are tweaked for marketing purposes BUT, it’s still an issue of lighting, an eye and fiat.

        One can take a 2 MP image and blow it into a bill board with the right software.

    • Isn’t D7000 around 9ev, and the mkiii is like 11ev or something?
      Or perhaps I am misinformed on that.

      • D7000 has 13.9 EV dynamic range, and that camera came late 2010. Some of the newer cameras can output 14+, the D800 is 14.4.

  • Wonder if the great people at Magic Lantern could help?

    • They need to buy nikons first, unlikely since they’re working hard on ML code for so long… But nikon guys are getting that pretty fast! Hope that’s no gaps to go RAW on D7000.

      On MK3 the code is going really fast! ML is awesome!

  • vinceGortho on 07.1.13 @ 2:26PM

    This is great. Supposedly nikons have better processing power.
    Without the hack; nikon has a better image than canon: the blacks are so deep looking.

    Would be nice if they could also increase the bitrate first.

  • vinceGortho on 07.1.13 @ 2:47PM

    I guess good news comes in two’s. Technicolor is making a cinestyle picture profile for nikon as well.

  • pablopablo on 07.1.13 @ 5:05PM


    • vinceGortho on 07.1.13 @ 8:26PM

      same here. Im waiting for the 7d to get hacked. Hopefully it will yeild better results than the mark2.
      But I want a near super35 sized sensor over full frame.

  • Richard Lizier on 07.1.13 @ 5:39PM

    “Turns out that after some data review, the files contents appear to be the left over ram from taking previous pictures and not the current raw buffer. sigh. Well at least we now how a button, that is wired up to run in live view and a complete understanding of the file handling process, albeit a slow process.”
    1st July 2013

  • Meanwhile, Sony’s new smartphone will shoot and playback 4K video. This is the start of consumer 4K from Sony. Hello super sharp 1080p!!:)

  • “……with one of the main features for a number of cameras being the removal of the 30 minute record limit…..”

    I’ll have to get familiar with the Nikon Hacker blog to see if they are getting the 30 minute limit off the 1 V1.
    The 1 V1 is a wonderful little, low priced camera. The lowest price I’ve found for it is $307.27, body with a 10-30mm. I would buy more than one to use for live streaming if it didn’t have that 30 minute limit.

    1080p sample:

  • Alex Roman on 07.2.13 @ 2:07PM

    Now we’re talking guys. 15 stops on a FF (D800) and 14 stops on a virtually no moire/aliasing APS-C (D5200 & D7100) should be the REAL revolution, not the Canon’s IMHO

  • Meanwhile on 7d island…

  • Nearly sold our D7000 – will have to reconsider after seeing this!

  • It would be awesome to see this on the D5200 someday!

  • Best of luck.. feeling very lucky and excited…

  • I was wondering, how many capacity do you need in order to run 1080p raw video…

    I feel like I need to have more than 10 tb docs over and over for 25 min short.

    I think 1080p raw could be very helpful but doesn’t mean that it’s an essential option for dslr camera.

    Again, 13stops – 14 stops of dynamic range would helpful for your video production….

    but… think this…. any way, you need to buy hard drives anyway at the end, which might cost over 1500–2500 $…..

    Therefore, forexample 5DMK3 (3200$) + 30 Tb (2500 – 4000$) = 150 hours. [14bit raw]

    is equal to

    Fs700(7200) + 1.2 TB = 150 Hours (S-log 14 dynamic range) [8bit]

    You pay similar amount of money, and saving a lot of hard drive space.

    Image quality of Fs700 and sharpness is still better than 5dmk3 raw in sharpness.

  • It seems that Canon camera with Magic Lantern RAW video is the way to go. I think I will sell my Nikon D5100. I was making a movie of a sunset with Nikon D5100. There is no way to get dynamic range (even in “so called HD movie) without RAW files. It’s too bad that camera producers don’t put what photographers/ videographers really need. There is also no focus peaking which in fact is a very simple filter. Ughrrr!

  • I realy want this projekt to continue. I like my D5100 that I have a hack installed on. Keep on working!