It seems like it's been all about the Canon DSLRs over the last day or so, but we assure you there are plenty of other things happening. Even though it's not set to be released for another few days, it looks like an official firmware update for clean HDMI on the Canon 5D Mark III has leaked to the internet, version 1.21. We wanted to make sure this was the real deal and wouldn't brick any cameras, but it definitely looks like this is an official update -- but whether this will be the final release is unclear. We also have some more information about the RAW video hack that the guys are working on over at Magic Lantern.
Check out this video from pstoddart in the Canon Rumors forum, regarding the V1.21 firmware that was leaked online:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKzWm_GZE2E
It looks like everything is more or less functioning as it should, but the camera is not sending any audio through HDMI. This could be do to the update not being the final release, but we won't be sure until Canon does officially release the update. As I've said before, clean HDMI is not going to be any silver bullet for image quality, but it should help with heavy color grading or for those doing green screen work. Since the codec is staying 8-bit, banding should be about the same, so I wouldn't expect any miracles, but it should be an improvement for those who know how to take advantage of it.
James Miller has mentioned that he's seen some improvement to the internal video thanks to the update, but it's unclear what's actually going on here:
It looks slight but you can see it overall. Colour Shift, detail. 5DIII 1.2.1 https://t.co/u7rBC7X3kK— James Miller (@millerandmiller) April 26, 2013
If you really need the update right now, you can find it here, but you're probably better off waiting a few days to make sure you get a final release.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOLDDrfpFO8
Many are excited by the possibility of recording RAW video some day internally with the Mark II or III, but it certainly may take a while if we do get it. We have an update from a1ex over in the forum, and he doesn't seem that confident about getting RAW video up to an acceptable frame rate:
It doesn't save CinemaDNG, but just plain DNG, copied from CHDK. They have been doing this for years.
- This will not improve rolling shutter at all.
- Don't hold your breath for raw video. 24fps at 1080p is unlikely IMO, even on 1000x cards.
- In continuous mode I've got 4fps of raw data (not DNG, just the raw image buffer) on a 266x card. G3gg0 got 12.5fps of YUV422 video on the Lexar 1000x card.
- I was able to record around 30 frames in burst mode, at LiveView FPS (24, 25, 30, 50, whatever). It takes roughly 1 second of "recording" to RAM and then half a minute of saving the DNGs to card.
Nevertheless, I find this very useful as a fast burst mode for stills, or when you want to save shutter clicks or just avoid noise.
He added this later:
Module support is not yet mature, but it's the way to go for low-mem cameras. Not right now, but in the future.
For burst: Luke's video at 1:25. Don't expect everything overnight.
Does this mean we'll never see RAW video or higher-quality video thanks to Magic Lantern? Not necessarily, and I was also told privately that some were confident that they could get this to work at full-frame rates -- we're just not there yet. This is just the beginning for this particular hack, and there very well may be more locked away in the code that the team hasn't yet discovered or been able to utilize yet. If you're a Canon user, don't expect this tomorrow, and just like with other Magic Lantern developments, these things take time.
There will of course be naysayers, but these sorts of developments are exciting to me personally either way -- as I'm sure they are to many other people. I don't currently own any of Canon's DSLRs, but I have in the past, and anything that can help unlock more capabilities is good for all of us.