Magic Lantern Team Discovers 2K RAW Video Capability on the 5D Mark II and III


In what may very well be the most exciting Magic Lantern development ever, the team has discovered a RAW DNG output in live view on the 5D Mark II and 5D Mark III. What this means is that, in the near future, 5D Mark II and III owners may be able to record crystal clear 2K RAW video that blows H.264 output out of the water and then some.

Apparently, both the Mark III and II are able to record a 2040 x 1428 DNG stream to the buffer in live view. The preliminary tech is still very limited, you can only record 10-14 frames per second for about 28 frames and then the camera needs to buffer, but the folks at Neumann Films got to test the functionality and the potential here is pretty mind-blowing.

Here’s that test video:

The hope is that Magic Lantern will be able to somehow push that burst to 24fps, intercept the DNG stream and write if from the buffer to the CF or SD card. That would translate into RAW DNG video that, according to Newmann Films, looks to provide 3x more resolution in addition to color depth, dynamic range and incredible post-processing flexibility that isn’t typically found outside of a Red EPIC or Black Magic Cinema Camera.

But RAW video, which will still take a little work to ramp up to a usable level, isn’t the only application here. The ability to take RAW DNG snaps without any mirror flipping or shutter actuation could potentially be huge for extending the life of your camera. Time-lapse shooters in particular could shoot a few thousand frames without wearing out any of the moving parts.


Like we said, Magic Lantern is still playing around with this capability, and it probably won’t be accessible to the public for a little while, but an update like this would be exciting to say the least. Be sure to check out the video above to see the massive quality difference between the H.264 and RAW DNG files and/or head over to Magic Lantern’s Facebook page to learn more.

(via EOSHD)

  • Veraguas

    Nice. But how do you get the stream out of the camera. 24p is about 125 MB/sec. There is no cf card that can handle this.

  • Josh

    It’s a cool idea but completely unpractical. There’s no way the buffer will be able to handle it. Everything would overheat very, very quickly if recording were forced. If you’re doing professional video work, pick your tools. If I were just shooting talking heads, a 5D MKII/III would be perfect. If I’m shooting a film with a lot of edgy, dramatically lit scenes, I’m going to rent something with better dynamic range and a heftier codec – not use a plugin that makes the camera do something it wasn’t intended to – that could potentially break it. Don’t get me wrong though. For some applications ML has provided some great functionality.

  • bogorad

    Crazy cool! ..or you could just get a decent HDMI grabber ;)

  • Ringo Paulusch
  • Alessandro Aimonetto

    so I should get an economic-grade camera and an overexpensive CF?

  • Ringo Paulusch

    I don’t know. Perhaps you already own a 5D MKII/III?

  • SDX

    You should have mentioned, that we talk about 14-bit depth here.
    I totally agree with everyone claiming this not to be a gamechanger for most videograhpers. But think about the pure possibilities for timelapse, I’m very much looking forward to this. Also, one could note that this feature has been confirmed to already work on 60D and 50D as well.
    Exiting days.

  • Jonathon Watkins

    Oh yes there is: “Toshiba announces 160MB/s compact flash cards for 4K video”

  • Beliber

    Lexar 1000X UDMA7 PRO handles 150/150MB/sec. The Canon 5D3 can handle up to 175MB/sec.

  • 9inchnail

    And how much could you actually record on a 64 GB card? 5 minutes of video? Sounds exciting… not.

  • Looyod

    I’m not sure If this makes me happy or just angry. Since I switched to the MKIII and did some sharpness and detail tests (against the MKII) I thought that Canon is just holding the real capabilities back for their C Series. After having used the C300 and seen what sharpness and details really means I was convinced that the MKIII should do better. In my tests I had to scale the MKIII footage by nearly 50% to get a similar pixel sharpness as a C300. This is not acceptable. Sure there is a Codec limitation but I get amazingly sharp 10Mbit HD Material in H264.

    Seeing what’s hidden inside the MKIII’s DNG’s might show what that camera could do, if canon wouldn’t want to protect their 5x more expensive C300.

    Just a personal suspicion.

  • Markus

    Almost 18min on a 128GB card

  • 9inchnail

    Which company doesn’t do that? That’s just common business nowadays. The same hardware with different software and all of a sudden you pay 3x the money. It is a rip-off but they all do it. Capitalism at it’s finest.

  • brandon

    as opposed to socialism at it’s finest, when we might get lucky and can score a 50’s era rangefinder and things like a 5dmk3 can’t even be dreamed of? things cost what the market will bare, not how much it “costs” to make it.

  • daniel

    Most of these businesses owe their origins to socialist principles, like subsidies. In the early 1900’s, Soviet cameras were among the most inventive and the best film cameras.

  • elliot

    Blackmagic Design. They could easily double their camera prices and pretty much still sell roughly as many units.