The team at Magic Lantern has been able to do some amazing things with Canon's cameras. Late last month, we learned it was possible to get a burst of RAW still images from the camera without the shutter moving at reduced resolutions -- which yielded more resolution and dynamic range. Some people working with ML were confident we could get RAW video at usable frame rates (since they were only getting 5-15fps at best) with these images at some point as long as the cards were fast enough, and now that has become a reality: the Canon 5D Mark III is a RAW-shooting video camera. Click through for the first video samples.
I did a quick test in Raw mode. I wanted to see how much higher I could do above 720p. I tried 1928x850 and 1928x902. I think it was 902. 902 the buffer would fill up and video stops after 700 frames or so. At 850 I am able to get continuous recordings.
The best I am able to obtain in Raw mode right now is continues 1928x850 at 24fps. I plan to crop the video to 1920x817 to do 2.35:1 wide screen aspect ratio, which is about 1920x817. The video will have black bars on top and bottom to output at 1920x1080.
At that aspect ratio I can record continuous at 24fps. It helps to have a 5d Mark III with CF 1000x card. DNG files take awhile to process on my computer in AE. Yes, the settings were the same. when I was recording i-frame, I used Technicolor CineStyle.
Here is a sample video recorded at 1920 x 820, with the original files coming in at about 3MB per frame. Top is RAW, bottom is H.264 ALL-I recording with the Cinestyle profile -- both with the Canon 5D Mark III:
Well, it happened. A lot more development needs to go into these firmware updates before they are rock solid and ready for deployment, but right now, with 1000X speed cards, it's possible to record slightly lower than 1080p at 24fps in RAW mode, which can then be cropped to a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
To say this is one of the bigger breakthroughs with the Magic Lantern firmware would be an understatement. The difference between the RAW video mode and the regular H.264 files is massive. There is more dynamic range and more resolution -- and certainly much more flexibility in post. As far as other cameras, we will have to wait and see if any are capable of reaching 24fps, but right now, we do now it's possible with the Mark III, and the camera can record continuously.
There is much more information to come over the next few days and weeks, so stay tuned as Magic Lantern and the entire team continue their breakthroughs.