News

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Now Can Shoot 4K RAW via Magic Lantern Update

The latest update to the Magic Lantern custom firmware adds 4K RAW video recording capability to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera. It is one of those too amazing to be believed news that everyone overlooked it when it came out, plus it did not help that it was released on April Fools’ day as well. Now the Magic Lantern team has confirmed that the news is definitely true, although understandably still in its preliminary stages and will require more work to be fully stable. It does not add a full fledged 4K recording capability suite yet with options for frame-per-second control, bit-rate, etc. There is a preview capability but it is still buggy with higher resolutions not showing up correctly on screen.

For those who are not aware of what MagicLantern is, it is basically a completely free, user-built software that runs directly off an SD/CF card that opens up a host of advanced features for the Canon DSLR camera that were not there from the factory. Many professionals in the photography and film-making business completely swear by MagicLantern and many films would not have been shot without it. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III for example, comes out of the box with only a maximum video recording capability of 1080:30p (29.97 fps) in MP4.

Even most regulars on the MagicLantern.fm forums were skeptical of the 4K recording announcement until they dug into the source code (MagicLantern is open source) and saw that it was indeed put in place. For now, on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, users have the following additional recording resolution options,  crop_rec module with higher resolutions (4K, 1080p48 etc):

  • 1920×960 @ 50p (both 1:1 crop and full-frame – 3×3 pixel binning)
  • 1920×800 @ 60p (same as above)
  • 1920×1080 @ 45p and 48p (3×3 binning)
  • 1920×1920 @ 24p (1:1 square crop)
  • 3072×1920 @ 24p (1:1 crop)
  • 3840×1600 @ 24p (1:1 crop)
  • 4096×2560 @ 12.5p (1:1 crop)
  • 4096×1440 @ 25p (1:1 crop)
  • Full-resolution LiveView: 5796×3870 at 7.4 fps (128ms rolling shutter)

Notes:

  • It’s quite bleeding edge (expect bugs)
  • Includes compressed_raw (see below)
  • You will generally need to use the (non-realtime) preview from the raw recording module – just leave the Preview option to Auto
  • Modes with higher vertical resolution will preview only the top of the frame.
  • Modes with higher horizontal resolution will have the preview completely broken.
  • mlv_lite only for now

Download the latest Magic Lantern nightly build with the 4K RAW video recording by following this link: https://builds.magiclantern.fm/experiments.html

 

Ron Perillo

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