EOS 5D Mark III Shooting RAW Video with Magic Lantern


UPDATE – May 14, 2013:

Below you’ll find just very few tests (you’ll find lot more over the net). But at this point we fully agree with and conclude the same that another user has already said:

“This proves that Canon has intentionally worsened the video mode of 5D3 to make it look soft and blurry to not cannibalize the Cinema-EOS-line. Steve Jobs once said that if you do not cannibalize your own products, somebody else will.”

Although this is happening since years ago in all their DSLRs, probably earlier than Canon decided to start developing a specific EOS Cxxx line.

Canon could manage their own line of cameras in a much better way than just worsening the video mode that made them earn SO MUCH money and changed the industry…

Sadly indeed, while Chief Managers at Canon Inc. don’t change their way of doing business… this probably won’t happen.

Although Magic Lantern can make them think better…

This news is SO HUGE that even DPReview.com (which has a “NDA” with Canon since very long ago) has posted about it… We wonder what are now Canon Managers at Japan thinking.

Recently, the Magic Lantern team has achieved what seemed impossible: RAW Video recording with Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Very briefly, it means you’ll be able to capture video in REAL Full HD (1920×1080) and even higher resolution at 24 frames per second with an amazing dynamic range, thus giving lot more flexibility for post processing.

For those who still don’t know what Magic Lantern is: it is a firmware add-on that includes an amazing amount (seriously) of functions and improvements.

This is probably the biggest improvement that Magic Lantern has achieved so far.

The tests show a huge improvement over the current H.264 in-camera recording (and current “clean uncompressed HDMI output”) in terms of both resolution and dynamic range.

The current code capable of shooting RAW video in the EOS 5D Mark III is still not officially available by Magic Lantern. There are still lot of tests and corrections to do. But due to the fast development around it we may expect an alpha release soon.

Currently it is fully working on 5D Mark III with fast 1000x CF cards. If everything goes fine and the hardware is capable, it would be ported to other models.

Please note that RAW video recording requires a very fast writing speed since the amount of data is huge.

– If you want to go deeper and know more tech details check Magic Lantern Forum.

Canon Managers should change their mind

This is another proof of what this amazing camera can deliver, the huge potential it has inside.

It is really sad that Canon seems not willing to officially deliver this potential to their customers, even when it CAN.

If a group of programmers without any help from the hardware developers achieved this, HOW MUCH MORE could Canon do?

In our opinion Canon Chief Managers are reaching the limits and are hurting their own company with so conservative attitude.

They made the whole Canon community wait more than 6 months for the latest firmware 1.2.1, which brought almost no real improvement in terms of image quality (no higher resolution, no more dynamic range, nor even audio in the HDMI output signal!).

It seems Canon still hasn’t understood the huge benefits that the 5D Mark II gave just few years ago. Canon kept making DSLR cameras with the minimum possible resolution in Video mode (not “real 1920×1080” pixels at all) and features (not even “Peaking” as a basic video feature found in lot cheaper cameras). They just deliver the inner potential “enough to sell”.

But the community is tired of seeing “crippled” cameras with a HUGE potential that is not given to their loyal customers.

Canon Managers should realize that there is a limit for doing so and if they don’t give higher quality in many aspects (that don’t even need a hardware change, just an improved firmware that takes REAL advantage of current hardware), someone else will do either with their own products or with another (competition and 3rd party manufacturers).

Disclaimer: By no means we are trying to smear Canon’s good name and reputation, at all. We love and use Canon cameras & lenses since long ago, but we do not like nor agree with their current marketing and management strategies. We are tired of “crippled” cameras that do not deliver the huge potential they have inside.

Tests & Comparisons

Below we post some video tests showing and comparing the results of RAW recording vs. in-camera video recording. Please visit our site¬†if you’re reading this via email newsletter since videos may not be displayed properly.

Magic Lantern 1920 x 1080 full 1080P RAW test Canon 5D Mark III
(audio added in post)
Courtesy of Lourenco

Canon 5D Mark III i-frame video test (normal in-camera recording)
Courtesy of Lourenco

Canon 5D Mark III Continuous Raw Video with Magic Lantern (1920×1280 24p)
Courtesy of Andrew Reid

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