Magic Lantern RAW Video Used to Expose the Moon and Saturn in the Same Shot

The time-lapse above by photographer Colin Legg does a great job of showing off the power of Magic Lantern RAW video while capturing a cool astronomical phenomenon at the same time.

The video — which was shot in Perth, Western Australia around dawn — shows what’s called a Moon Saturn Occultation. In normal speak, that means Saturn being covered up by the Moon as everyone travels along their respective orbits and we here on Earth spin merrily along.

This often happens a couple of times per year, but is a difficult phenomenon to cover because the moon is so much brighter. So how do you expose for Saturn without blowing out the Moon? Legg’s solution was to use Magic Lantern’s RAW video alpha on his Canon 5D Mark II, and the results speak for themselves:

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 8.48.00 AM

For the more gear-oriented among you, Legg reveals the gear that he used in the video description:

Equipment: Celestron C8 (2000mm telescope), f/10, prime focus. Canon 5D2, running Magic Lantern RAW video firmware in 3x crop mode @ 1880 x 1056 resolution. 1/60 sec exposure, ISO 200, 10 fps.

To see more of Legg’s work, all of which involves capturing awesome astronomical happenings, check out our previous coverage of his videos, head over to his website, or follow him on Vimeo.

  • Inanimate Carbon Rod

    I really don’t think Celestron makes a 2-meter telescope. That 2000mm should probably be 200mm, which is about 8 inches, which is what a Celestron 8 actually is.

  • iowapipe

    Or quite probably he is referring to the focal length, not the diameter of the mirror.

  • Nicholas Agri

    Am I missing something here…why do timelapse with raw video @ 1880×1056 when he could have taken RAW stills @ 5615×3744

  • Some Guy

    Maybe he didn’t have an intervalometer?

  • augie

    The diameter is 8 inches, the total length. The focal length is 2000 mm. The light enters and goes through the corrector plate and is reflected off of the primary mirror into the secondary mirror and finally through the eye piece

  • Nicholas Agri

    Magic Lantern has intervalometer.

  • Some Other guy

    he was using 3x crop mode …. so there is no way to take raw photos in3x crop mode !

  • lololalallll

    Boom. Roasted.

  • Nicholas Agri

    3X Crop mode still has the same resolution as if he would have taken stills and cropped in post.

  • arkhunter

    So this was 6000mm equivalent with the crop mode?

  • arkhunter

    That’s a shame ML doesn’t have that ability too. :) I’m not exactly sure what that is, but could you just crop your raw photos down to that same resolution and have the same thing with the raw images or is the video crop thing better for some reason?

  • agour

    because the movement is so fast! If he had shot timelapse stills at 1fps, the action clip would have been like 5 seconds long, instead of 1.2 minutes.

  • Nicholas Agri

    So in actuality this is not a time-lapse video. Without getting into semantics (all video is of time passing/lapsing), perhaps the author of the post should remove the term as it is confusing. I do not know how long this phenomenon would take to occur naturally and I assumed this video was sped up.

  • Mike

    Do you calculate equivalents when you crop stuff in photoshop?

  • agour

    technically it is timelapse. Video, is video. Timelapse is time sped-up. So if you sped up video 2x, it would be timelapse.
    He shot this video at 10fps, then played it back at 24fps (or higher). So it is timelapse :)

  • Nicholas Agri

    Why shoot at 10fps then?

  • agour

    possibly because the card couldn’t maintain the data rate at full FPS.. so it would drop frames or quit altogether.

    That, and why capture more data than you need? If he was going to speed it up in post (and thus drop frames), he might as well capture less information at the start

  • Nicholas Agri

    I am not saying this is not really neat, nor am I saying I could have done a better job. I just want to better understand the choices made. Like, why shoot at 10fps? Why not shoot at a rate divisible by 24, or why even shoot timelapse in the first place if this event happens as fast as you say it does?

  • agour

    Because the card can’t handle 24fps possibly?

    You don’t need a frame rate to be perfectly divisible to use it. And it might not be happening fast enough for him.. so he sped it up by reducing the frame rate. It’s all personal preference really, some people would have shot it real time, some wouldn’t.

  • arkhunter

    No, but I do when I use a TC or a body with a “crop factor”.

  • BDWT

    It’s really amazing what ML has managed to do with all the Canon DSLR’s, it’s really a shame that many of these features aren’t included in the camera’s factory firmware. Yes, some of the features are considered to be risky implements but simple things like an intervalometer, I had one built-in on my Nikon years ago and my 5Dmkiii doesn’t have one, come on Canon, what’re you doing here?

    Obviously the raw feature is above and beyond what anyone ever expected from a DSLR, I remember being ecstatic when ML allowed me to have focus peaking and magic zoom, but this is a whole new level of cool.

    While I’m on the topic, am I the only one that’s bothered when “raw” is spelled out in capital letters, like it’s an acronym? (Sorry DL, not trying to single you out, haha!)

  • Raz Al Cool

    Do you really have to nit pick at the writers, can’t you just enjoy the story Rod,

  • Boxman

    i guess we cant take stills RAW @ 24 fps at 5615×3744. or can we ?