VIDEO, PHOTO AND VISUAL EFFECTS

Raw video on Canon DSLR

As many others I’m really excited at the new Magic Lantern features, which enable Raw video recording with normal DSLR cameras.
That’s a huge step, making all other DSLRs and mirrorless cameras way beyond in terms of detail, dynamic range and highlights recovery.
Only high end cameras (like Arri or Red) can record Raw, except the new Blackmagic Cinema cameras serie which gives Raw at a much more reasonable price, at the expense of shorter latitude .
With Magic Lantern cameras like 5DMarkIII can compete with cameras in the range of 30-40.000 $ which is really amazing.
There’s some drawbacks of course.
First one is file size: a movie is a sequence of Raw images!
It means 6 minutes fill something like 32GB of your hard disk!
Second issue is that to write Raw you need a fast compact flash, so this limits HD Raw to 5DIII, 5DII, 7D, 50D.
To summ it up, you can have excellent quality but have to pay quite a lot for fast (1000x) and big Compact Flash cards.
But the Raw was tempting me so much that I wanted to try it going through the cheapest way: I bought a used 50D (400 euro), a Komputerbay 32GB 1000x (65 euro) and an USB 3 card reader.
Testing is going on right now and color correction possibilities are incredible!
I’m converting the output file to a Cinema DNG sequnce with RAW2CDNG and then I open it in DaVinci Resolve just like a normal clip (setting some info on camera raw config).
Things work pretty well, but Resolve has a bad debayering algorithm, leaving some aliasing and chroma artifacts.
So I opened some files in RawTherapee which has some really cool demosaic option, and the result is clearly better.
Blackmagic announced Resolve 10 for october 2013, claiming it will have many improvments, I hope it will have also better debayering!

comparison

2 Responses

  1. Hi Riccardo
    thanks, especially for reporting RawTherapee, excellent tool!
    I have a 650D, someone told me that maybe I can shoot in RAW even with that, what do you think?
    I got to do some shooting (an interview, my next video) with a 5DIII and 7D, both with raw magic lantern, I can assure you that the result with the 5D is infinitely superior. Unfortunately we had to leave RAW because file is too big.

    August 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

  2. riccardocovino

    Hi Fernando,
    the problem with the Rebel serie is the SD card.
    Even if the cards can be faster SD writing in Canon cameras is limited to 40Mb/s, that allows a maximum resolution of 720p.
    Compact Flash is around 80Mb/s, depending on camera model, so allows for fullHD recording.
    Here is a comparison made by magic lantern users:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgQ2MOkAZTFHdFFIcFp1d0R5TzVPTVJXOEVyUndteGc#gid=5

    August 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm

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