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Magic Lantern RAW Video is Coming to the Canon 7D

Canon 7D HDSLR DSLR VDSLRFor all of you out there with a Canon 7D who have been salivating at the prospect of shooting RAW video on your camera with Magic Lantern, things just got a whole lot more interesting. A1ex, one of the lead developers on the whole ML project, has discovered the silent pictures function, which allows the camera to save the RAW files from Live View. That’s exactly how the RAW hack began on the Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III back in April. Click through for more on this announcement and what resolutions you can expect.

Right now it’s not currently shooting a video frame rate, but it’s only a matter of when, not if, the RAW module is ported over to the 7D. So when it does happen, what frame size can you expect to be shooting? A1ex updated this chart showing where the 7D should stand when the RAW module finds its way onto the 7D (click for larger):

Magic Lantern RAW Video Chart 8-3-13

As you can see above, the 7D won’t quite hit 1080 in RAW, and continuous 24p recording may be around 1728 x 972. That number isn’t set in stone yet, but performance won’t likely be better than the 60D in terms of resolution because they share the same sensor and likely the same way of downscaling the sensor. What is different and exciting, however, is that the 7D has a CF card slot, and the controller and the cards are both faster than SD, which means you’ll actually be able to get continuous recording at a higher resolution (which again may be around 1728 x 972). The 60D can only record higher res for a short amount of time.

To give you a sense of the kind of quality you can expect coming out of the 7D continuously, here is some stuff shot on the 60D at very high-resolution, but only for a limited amount per take (since it uses SD cards). The first is from Nick Driftwood shot at 1728 x 992:

Here is one from Jayhas shot at 1728 x 736, followed by a RAW/H.264 comparison shot at the same resolution (H.264 is 1080):

While the Mark III is still the best quality from the ML hack, the 7D should be right up there with the Mark II since you can get pretty close to 1080 without cropping the sensor and also use CF cards to do it continuously. You’ll be able to get higher resolutions by cropping into the sensor, but the crops can really only be used for special cases since the crop is significant. The 7D is still a fantastic photography camera, and with RAW, it’s going to be that much better of a video camera. While the Mark III is also the only Canon in this range that doesn’t suffer from aliasing/moire, you could always buy a Mosaic Engineering VAF filter for the 7D, which should remove lots of those nasty artifacts. Those will run you about $300.

Even though you will need to scale a little to get the image to full 1080, it’s still going to look, much, much better than the H.264 ever did.

Head on over to the Magic Lantern forum if you’d like to get started shooting silent pictures before the RAW video module is implemented.


[via Magic Lantern Twitter]


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Description image 21 COMMENTS

  • Marklondon on 08.3.13 @ 4:09AM

    I was hoping for more considering the large number of PL mounted 7Ds about, but this is still quite interesting.

  • Thanks for including those videos Joe. The highest resolution for the 60D raw is 1728 x 736 (2:35:1). My mistake indicating 1792 x 736 in the video. Here is an earlier test I did challenged by the late noon shifting lights/clouds. The 60D did pretty well. The 7D will definitely come out ahead in shooting times with the CF card.

  • RAW video burst is working!

  • arrinkiiii on 08.3.13 @ 8:59AM

    Hi, here is my first sample of silent continuous burst =D

  • This is great news, as a 7D owner i’m very excited about this!
    Arrin, what picturestyle did you use? Are those drop frames I see or is it a render issue?
    Seems unusable in your example..

  • Its very usable indeed (like this). For raw the picture style you don’t did it. Its like raw photo.

    Wend i record this ML just record the all DNG’s to a folder inside of the cf card. In windows 7 i just pick up the files and trow it in after effects. Its no drop frames, just bad edition/cut… but in the first second i got a half-pink frame… maybe because of my cf card.

    • VinceGOrtho on 08.3.13 @ 11:49AM

      Do picture style not effect the look of the image anymore when you shoot raw? If I select cinestyle and then standard I will not see one image flat, and the other image with more contrast?

      • In Photo RAW, the picture style is saved to the RAW image and applied to the image by the RAW editor like lightroom or DPP. However if you don’t like it, it is not baked into the picture and you can change everything!

  • When are we expecting the markIII hack to be ready?

    • do you guys have any info on that?

      • Harry Pray IV on 08.3.13 @ 3:39PM

        It’s ready if you’re using Komuterbay or Lexar 1000x CF cards. I’ve already shot with it in a professional setting, actually.

        • How did it go? I just shot my first full day shoot with the 5D3, I’m still playing with my post workflow

  • I have put out a test on showcasing RAW on the Rebel T2i/EOS 550D.

  • VinceGOrtho on 08.4.13 @ 12:14AM

    If blackmagic didn’t dip their price $1000 I would of bought a used 7D.

  • Anyone know if there’s a reason for all of the posts about this having horizontal resolution topping out at 1728? Because, if that’s not a firm limit I did some quick calculations… 1728×992, listed here as max resolution we can expect from our 7D’s. 1728×992 equates to 1 714 176 pixels of data. But that’s constrained to a roughly 16×9 aspect ratio. If you bump it up to full 1080p width, aka 1920, but crop for cinemascope we could get by with just 1920×800 at 1 536 000 pixels with 2.4:1 cinemascope aspect ratio. Actually way less than the current highest raw-video captures.

    Heck, if we want to really max it we could do 1920×892 and get a 2.15:1 image. Still within the max number of pixels with its 1 712 640 pixels of raw data. And just for fun we could lower that to 1920×873 to get a 2.2:1 and an image aspect ratio of ye olden 65mm acquisition.

    What about full 2K width then, 2048 width, while still keeping to the max resolution gives us 2048×837 for a full 2K resolution at 2.44:1 aspect ratio. Just a tad narrower than the coveted 2.4:1 cinemascope. The difference is probably within the margin of error in most cinemas. But to keep it 2.4:1 we could lower the horizontal just a tad for 2024×846 giving a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, which many would argue is the actual cinemascope ratio (and indeed is the DCI-standard, I just prefer the simpler maths of 2.4:1).

    Again, all while keeping the resulting total amount of pixels below the 1 714 176 maximum to ensure we aren’t breaking bandwidth limits.

    Maybe we can also muck about in the other direction? Maybe 1587×1080 for full 1080p height at 1.469:1 AR? Or even 1536×1116 for 1.37:1 academy standard. Or 1434×1195 for 1.2:1 fully ready for 2:1 anamorphics to get real cinemascope. As Thornton Reed would have said: “It boggles the mind!”.

    And once more, this is assuming that 1 714 176 actually is the limiter.

  • Oh snap, just bought a 1000x speed cf card and it’s coming today. I’m gonna test it out with the mark ii on raw. Will update.

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