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Canon 7D Now Capable of Recording 2.5K RAW Video with Magic Lantern

Video thumbnail for vimeo video Canon 7D Now Recording 2.5K RAW with Magic Lantern - nofilmschoolMagic Lantern RAW video is still a work in progress on the Canon 7D, but a few videos are floating around now showing what the camera can do in silent picture mode, which was also the precursor to 24fps and higher RAW video on the 5D Mark III and other Canon cameras. While the camera is recording below 1080 at a max of 1728 x 1156, it’s possible to get all the way up to 2.5K when using one of the crop modes (though the exact resolution may vary slightly). Check out some of the incredible first samples of that mode below.

This 2.5K sample is from :

Silent mode Pics Burst allows me – for now – to capture 41 pictures in resolution of 1736 x 1156 pixels. But it is also possible to produce DNG files with incredible resolution of 2520 x 1200 pixels via crop mode (5x zoom). So yes Canon 7D can really produce small videos in 2.5K raw ! It’s real !
Unfortunately, I could only get 35 frames per shot (1.5 seconds…).

Here is another video of his shooting non-cropped with a Transcend 400x CF card:

For now, I didn’t get any pink frames. I can get 40-41 pictures (a little less than 2 seconds). DNG are 1736 x 1156 pixels. Stunning quality compared to H.264… But a little of moire (as usual with the 7D).

Another 2.5K clip, this time from David Flower using the Komputerbay 64GB 1000x card (you can play around with some of the original files by downloading them from the YouTube page):

The 2.5K will likely be more limited in its use than the full mode (probably a lot more), but it’s amazing that the camera is even able to put out that kind of resolution for long enough to turn it into video. The samples of the slightly below 1080 mode are definitely impressive, and they will likely still look good even upscaled a bit to 1080. While the 7D is still going to suffer from aliasing and moire, as I said before, the Mosaic Engineering VAF filter for the 7D will remove most of those artifacts and give you images that should look almost as nice as the Mark III (just with the smaller sensor and slightly less resolution).

Development is still underway, but now that silent picture mode is working, it shouldn’t be too long before we’re getting continuous 24fps RAW recording on the 7D.



We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • I’m SO glad I didn’t sell my 7D since 2010 !!

  • Howard L Hughes on 08.8.13 @ 11:43AM

    i started on canon and am grateful for magic lantern for what they have done. But i feel these two companies are working together. No way one company start producing RAW cameras for cheap (compared to the market) and all of a sudden it becomes possible that RAW is now found in the Canon lower cameras. its just too much so fast it sounds funny to me. but hey…

    • I’ve always felt the same

    • I don’t think so . . . just an opinion but Magic Lantern has been working on Canon cameras for a long time. If Canon had been working with Magic Lantern I don’t think there would have been near as many technological hurdles as there have been for the ML team. If you read on the ML forums or even look at the code they have written to create entirely new features (raw video on the 50d, a strictly stills camera for instance) there is virtually no evidence of any support from Canon.

      Even more amazing than the raw video, in terms of the image sensor systems science and actual technical know-how is the dual iso recording. Read the paper on the ML forums on how they (A1ex I think) arrived at that innovation. If Canon was just trying to compete with Blackmagic for raw video (albeit in a round about way) they definitely wouldn’t have also added the functionality of 14 stops of dynamic range. If ML perfects the dual iso recording (get rid of Moire, aliasing, false detail) then 5D MK III imagery will be competing with Alexa and there would be scant reason for amateur or pro alike to buy any camera from the canon cinema eos line.

    • Magic Lantern isn’t a company. Trust me I’m part of the “staff” and if it were we’d probably get one of those wage things. In no way is Canon working with Magic Lantern dude!

    • Magic Lantern is not actually a company and there’s a massive amount of people who contributed code. But yeah, it seems likely that someone got insider info from Canon in order to achieve exactly this and boost Canon DSLR sales just on time before the BMCC 4K and pocket hit the market. Then again, maybe it’s just a coincidence and the guys from ML are JUST THAT GOOD.

      • Joe Marine on 08.8.13 @ 5:42PM

        Complete coincidence. The Magic Lantern team has not had any communication with Canon (this is from talking to the lead developers).

  • Darrell Leland on 08.8.13 @ 12:30PM

    So according to this, can we hope that this will also be available for other Canon cameras like the T3i?

    • Chris Lambert on 08.8.13 @ 12:44PM

      not meaning to sound harsh but if your not aware by now that raw recording is mostly determined by the write speed of the camera and card and that sd cards are not going to be up to the task, then raw recording is definitely not for you

      • Hey Chris–if YOU’RE going to be kind of a dick in your reply to a misinformed yet perfectly innocent question, then at least make sure you get YOUR grammar right.

        But yes, Darrell, Chris is right in that SD cards won’t carry the write speed to really put up with the data rates of RAW video.

        • Chris Lambert on 08.8.13 @ 1:48PM

          Always good two here from the grammar police.

          I was being blunt because if you don’t understand that! point it’s unlikely your ready to shoot raw in the slightest, even more unlikely to be able to handle the post.

          trust me if i was trying to be a dick, about it I could say a lot worse until then check out the crazy use of punctuation?

          to the original poster your better off learning the ropes on h264 worry about the other stuff when you have mastered that

          • So my DP friend with 40 years shooting feature films and commercials ‘isn’t ready’ to shoot RAW because he had to ask me about write speeds (among other things)?

            Go ahead and step off that little soap box, friend. Your patronizing remark (and indeed, atrocious understanding of grammar) suggests YOU may not be ready for the English language let alone assisting an inquisitive mind that happened to know a little less than you in way of shooting RAW.

          • Chris Lambert on 08.9.13 @ 4:21AM

            DDay… is he shooting these features on a Canon Rebel? As in the original poster…

            That was the whole point of what I was saying this isn’t a beginner level learning tool, if your not sure what it is, how to do it, etc. Then what exactly are you going to use it for? Stick to mastering the other tools that magic lantern has enabled for people learning the ropes to hone their craft, all this Canon RAW talk is borderline ridiculous and a lot of it comes down to people wanting to believe their Cameras are now on the same playing field as Blackmagic, Red et al. In reality the workflow is pretty much out of reach for most people unless they have spent a fortune on cards, have access to a computer to transcode whilst on the job/ hire a dit and the editor has very good computing power it is not going to be as relevant, yes people have used this in a professional setting but not many which means at best people able to shoot raw might only be able to do it in the real world occasionally when the job allows for it certainly not in the live events sector where a lot of people loosing their heads for it are raving about it.

            Chances are in most cases it’s not relevant to you right now. (Not ever, just not quite yet)

            Criticising peoples grammar somehow makes your point more valid… yeah I concede due to my inappropriate use of ,’s, ?’s and inability to give a F

          • Chris,

            No, he is not shooting feature length films with a canon; he’s learning so he can get a wider grasp on how to shoot RAW on a canon. Does asking a question mean he’s not ready for it?

            My point is your assumption to whether someone is ready or not is unfounded and near-sighted. Shooting RAW on a canon SHOULD be what beginners learn on (yes, the workflow has extra steps next to other RAW formats, yes it will be tedious, etc) but is it not the perfect entry level (especially the price point) for a beginner to get their feet wet and experiment? The guy was asking a simple question and your response was snide, fat headed and yes, poor use of the English language. But I guess criticizing your poor grammar is just as fat headed as criticizing an honest question, right?

            Try helping people instead of dismissing them, that’s all.

          • Chris Lambert on 08.9.13 @ 2:16PM

            Seeing as it is nofilmSCHOOL perhaps I was a lil bit too blunt I didn’t mean it as some personal attack on the original poster just sought to quickly address the fact that many misinformed people see this raw recording as some magicbullet that is suddenly going to improve the quality of their footage which unless they are going to treat the memory card as a film mag isn’t going to happen if they can tweak the way the h264 is written that will be something to get excited over.

            let’s call truce on this before mums get brought up as well as grammar :)

          • Of course. Everything you said is correct; RAW is not a simple ‘drag n drop’ process for great images… though sometimes I wish it was that simple. And truce accepted, haha.
            /turns to mom, “It’s okay. We’re friends now. Put the wooden spoon back in the drawer.”

        • Hello! I am not an expert on the subject, but doesn´t the blackmagic pocket camera record uncompressed full hd video on sd cards?

        • Well, SD cards CAN handle compressed DNGraw (from the Blackmagic Pocket Cam)… but the write controllers are allot better on that camera. The Canon DSLR just camera’s aren’t made to write that much data to SD. The 5DIII being able to write raw to 1000x cards was more of a fortunate coincidence, rather than something that’s standard…

          • The problem is, that what ML gets out of your DSLR is uncompressed dngs unlike the BMCC that produces cinemaDNGs with a lossless compression (anyone correct me if I’m mistaken).

            If ML was actually able to pull of writing the necessary code to make the compression of each frame happen in-camera, BEFORE writing it to the SD/CF-card, it could bring down write-speeds so HD resolution raw WOULD become possible on DSLRs with no CF slot. Furthermore this would possibly allow continuous 1080p RAW or higher with framerates of 30fps or even higher on the 5D, 6D, 7D. Which would be awesome.

            But I have no idea weather in-camera DNG compression is even close to being a realistic option within reach in the next months or so. Also, I don’t think anyone in the current ML team has actually tried so far. No wonder, optimizing the raw feature as-is has a higher priority at the moment I guess.

            • Joe Marine on 08.8.13 @ 5:40PM

              In-camera compression is unlikely, I think the best they were hoping for was trying to bring down the bitrate to maybe 10 or 12, which would reduce the file sizes a bit. Blackmagic is using uncompressed RAW in their current camera, but that’s going to change with the Pocket and the 4K, which will both be getting forms of compressed RAW. That’s also going to happen to the original BMCC at some point, but it may take some time.

          • Thanks Joe, that’s good to hear. Considering hard drives are expensive, that makes the 4k BMCC more interesting once again. Especially keeping in mind that it’s not THAT much more expensive than the Canon 5D3 and you can record on SSDs which can be a lot larger than CFs, so less switching while shooting. Than again, if the ML team manages to take the DNGs down to 10bit, that would be a great step already towards smaller filesizes while keeping a reasonable amount of color information in there. Exciting times we live in!

  • this is incredible news, loving this

  • The video looks beautiful. The new faster cards are arriving to take advantage of the speed requirements and the 7D body can be had for under $1K on certain web sites. It may not include the color suit like the Resolve but then the IQ is far superior to the BMD Pocket Cam as well. 5D’s price is high for many but this gets much closer to the meat of the market. The mod is, of course, impressive in and of itself. I still assume that the competition will have something in similar quality soon enough. This gives them a target to match and exceed.

    • Far superior? In what way? I played around with the raw hack on a buddy’s 5d mkii and the aliasing and moire is really bad…a lot of weird pixel fringing on high contrast edges. None of that on the pocket cam…and the pocket cam has more DR and can also shoot in ProRes….

      • From the images I have seen, the Pocket Cam is considerably sub-par to its competition in the same price range of ~ $1,000-$1,300. Plus, there is a slew of new products coming out within the next half a year or so to aim at the same market segment.
        PS. As a side note – a new type of flash memory (Samsung calls its Vertical/V-NAND or 3D NAND from Micron/Intel) will enable greater speeds and storage capabilities. Samsung has just announced full production while Micron is aiming to deliver samples in 1Q of 2014. Further down the road is Crossbar’s RRAM that promises another leap in performance, with its 1TB 2cm chip, which should enable Raw recording out of pretty much any camera. Crossbar, however, isn’t expected to hit the shelves for several more years.

        • What images are you looking at? The pocket cam’s image is identical to the 1920×1080 area of the BMCC’s raw files, and I’ve played around with both 5d mkii raw and BMCC raw in Resolve…I assure you BM looks better. Not to take away from what ML has done…if I owned a 7d, I’d be stoked. But I definitely wouldn’t go out and buy over a pocket cam.

  • How do I get Raw on my 7d? Is there a link w/ instructions? Thank you.

    • yes, sort of. Read here:

      In essence you need a 7D, a fast CF Card, the ML files and the ML Modules (one of which is the RAW module). Then you need to read on their forum and you’ll start figuring out how to find the maximum resolution you can film with your configuration.

      After that, you need the RAW2DNG tool or something equivalent to turn your footage into DNG files. And then you need softwares such as Davinci Resolve lite or After Effect to turn your DNGs into workable footage.

      It’s not a simple straight forward workflow, but you can find lots of videos showing you how to do so step by step.

      Good luck.

  • Someone can explain me the term crop mode (5x zoom) please? I know what zoom and crop means but how you get 2.5K with crop/zoom


    • I’m also confused about this, an explanation would be really helpful!

    • Instead of using the whole sensor and skipping lines/pixels to get a 1080p image like these cameras do in video mode, the “crop mode” uses the pixels in the center of the sensor with the height and width designated by the user with out skipping over lines or pixels. This reduces the moire and aliasing that happens with the line skipping, but only uses the center part of the sensor. in other words it crops into the sensor to get the image where the line/pixel skipping uses pixels from the entire area of the sensor. Does this help?

    • This is as simple as hitting the zoom (magnifying glass) button right now, and recording a image sequence. So imagine the constraints recording that zoomed in. Though the resolution and grading ability is AWESOME. All I am getting is about 2 seconds of recording right now though.

  • If someone can develop a workflow for the files coming out I will be SO happy. It shoots wonderful images but if it can only become practical in post it will be so useable.

    • Dave Kendricken on 08.8.13 @ 7:26PM

      I’m working on a 5D3 ML RAW walkthrough now and the workflow is quirky but so far for me, solid as a rock.

      • I am hoping for a one process conform from dng to prores or other off a whole card. Its just when you have heaps of footage especially in doc work you end up with too much footage for it to be practical. I would gladly pay for something to do this!

  • Beautiful images. I’d like to see how they come out with an OLPF installed on the 7D!
    I’m very interested in it to use anamorphic adapters.

  • But Black Magic just dropped their price! When will the madness end?

  • As a proud 3 year owner of a 7D I am happy to say here’s to another 3 years :)

  • I wish I still had my 7D. But then I’d never have shot most of the jobs i’ve had the last 3 years. :-)
    If they can get this stable, this is the one I’d be tempted to drop $1k on to have in the kit.

  • 35 frames? wow! that s something!

  • I love reading everyone comments…and I cant stop smiling thinking why is everyone so concerned about file size, compression, bit rate, quantization…and so on. I spent the last 10 years of my life focusing on this subject (i used to work for B&H in the pro video section of the store) to realize it was pointless. I have now shifted my interest on creativity. Bottom line is quality will be forgiven by your audience if your story line and style of shooting are great. Trust me on this.

    Of course, all of this is easier to say than done (I am back on wasting time reading about debayering and stuff..;)

    • Eric Jolley on 08.9.13 @ 7:02PM

      Not disagreeing with you but I think filmmaking is a unique animal in the arts. And really good filmmaking is about excelling in both the technical and the artistic aspects. A film with a great script and wonderful acting will only benefit from cinematography that is beautiful to look at. And unlike stage acting or dancing or painting, you need at least some technical knowledge of the tools in order to make it look beautiful. Especially now that cameras are not just mechanical instruments, they’re computers.

  • this is not new,,the v1 and nikon v2 can shoot 60 fps in 4k,,for 1 to 2 secs,,with the astounding aptina sensor that nikon chose to put into there little sensor camera,,,idiots,,this sensor can really look great at 60fps in 4k,,,why doesnt canon just buy the aptina sensor and shoot 4k in there cameras,,put the aptina sensor in a upgrade to the 7d,????nothing new here,,,,

    • The 4K processing drains batteries and produces too much heat. Once these issues are dealt with, you’ll see a slew of 4K DSLR style products on the market. The announcements may be made as early as this month.

  • ML Raw = BM killers and they know it, hence the desperation move of slashing a third off prices. I’d be pissed if I’d shelled out 3k for their “cinema” camera.which is getting owned by low end Canons.

  • I have a question, maybe some of you can help me (if there is actually a solution). The footage we filmed a gig this past Saturday with a 7D and eventhough it was showing the right frame on the display, once we download it to the computer is coming up in a cropped frame that is actually cutting off the feet (and heads in some cases)…. Do you know why is that and if it’s possible to change it back to what the display was originaly showing?

  • sanjay shakhawar on 10.26.13 @ 5:26PM

    like this………

  • Im new to shooting in raw. I downloaded ML and installed it on my 7d, but how do i know that it is shooting in raw format. When I upload the footage its still showing up as an .mov file????

  • still it not out yet or where i can download it ? the canon 7D 2.5K ?

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