19 May

Freya’s Magic Lantern RAW video round-up!

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I decided to create a round up of lots of videos I’ve found from all over the internet, that were shot with the new Magic Lantern Raw video feature. The idea being that you can find a lot of video and information in one place without having to search everywhere! Hopefully this can give you a bit of a real idea of the breakthrough too

Also if you want to try shooting your own Canon 5D MarkIII RAW video and you don’t mind running very alpha software, possibly voiding your warranty and other possibilities too horrible to mention (R.I.P nice camera) then there are instructions for installing the Magic Lantern RAW alpha here:

Camera Tests

Heres a test of the 5D Mark III running the Magic Lantern alpha for RAW video vs both the 5D factory default and the Panasonic GH3! Saad Rabia, who is the creator of the video, reckons the Magic Lantern video looks best although others seem to think the GH3 video looks better. It’s a close thing!

Saad goes on to say ”Notice that the red lines on each window of the construction building are actually red fences that only appear in the ML setup. I'm amazed that Magic Lantern actually increased the sharpness and details of the video.



I love the night, so this video had to make it in there! Magic Lantern vs Factory default on the 5D Mark III again, only this time at night, at an iso rating of 1,250.



Another daytime test from Saad but this time up against the technicolor cinestyle profile, I guess as an attempt to make it seem like more of a fair contest.



Now heres a thing. Luke at Neumann films has made a video of The Panasonic GH2 (the DSLR camera Shane Carruth used to shoot Upstream Color) complete with high bitrate hack, up against the 5D Mark III in RAW mode. It’s amazing how well the Panasonic cameras stand up in these tests:



We showed you this video (from the cinema 5D people) here at Red Shark before, but I’m including it here just because I think it looks great! It’s a comparison of the 5D Mark III with the Blackmagic cinema camera with both cameras in RAW mode.



Magic Lantern RAW on other Canon EOS DSLR’s

There’s been a lot of work at Magic Lantern to try and get the canon 600d to work in RAW mode. It has to be said that they are having a difficult time with this camera. I suspect they like the challenge! The biggest problem is that the Canon 600d only has an SD card slot instead of compact flash, and even worse this seems to be further limited in speed by the hardware that supports it, so theres a point at which, even if you have faster SD cards, the hardware just can’t go any faster. On top of that they seem to be having an issue with random “pink frames” appearing now and again, and are having trouble tracking down the exact problem.

With all that in mind here is an interesting video (by o.r.b.) shot on the Canon 600d that manages 1120x480 resolution on a 16gb Sandisk Extreme card (45 MB/s)


The canon 5d Mark III has been doing great, but what about the older Canon 5D Mark II? Well I’m afraid that despite having a compact flash slot, this camera is also having trouble compared to it’s younger sibling. It’s basically just a bit slower. Here we can see someone (Daniele Chiari) managing 1880x720 resolution on a 16gb Sandisk extreme Pro compact flash card (90 MB/s)



Taking things further on the Canon 5D Mark III

Back to the 5D Mark III and this video by Squig is really a lot of fun not only because of it's whimsical nature but also because it’s been shot at 1280x720 with a Iscorama 1.5x anamorphic lens! There’s some nice music and you can see how already there’s the possibility to create some great looking music videos with this camera, even if that wasn't quite what they were intending here.


Music: Nepalese Bliss by The Irresistible Force


I’ve included this video by someone called “Macgregor” because I thought it was nice to see people already using the function to good effect on their projects! Highlights are quite blown out on this but clearly this is not a camera test to show off dynamic range! It's shot on the Canon 5d MarkIII again and it's so widescreen because this was shot at 1920x720px RAW which was the highest resolution his Sandisk 60MB/sec Compact Flash card would go to without dropping frames. Processed with Adobe camera raw in After Effects.



The workflow

Lastly here is a youtube tutorial from a fellow called Luke at Neumann films explaining a bit about the present workflow so you can see a little of what is involved after you have shot your RAW footage. At present the camera outputs in a fairly non standard file format with all the RAW frames in one big file. You have to use a command line utility to convert them into lots of individual RAW frames before you can work with them further. Here’s the details:



That’s for windows, but if you have a mac, there’s a whole article on the workflow for the mac from the cinema5D guys over here:

Hope that was fun. Can't wait to see what people do with this technology going forward!

See our earlier coverage here

Freya Black

Freya Black is a Freelance writer, director, cinematographer and artist based in the UK, (the land of cold winters and rainy days). She believes cinematography is all about creating magic through light. Her all time favorite film is "Freaks" by Todd Browning. Freya is a big fan of chocolate, owls and the night.

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