GUIDE: Get Raw Video on a 5D mark III with Magic Lantern

Hesam Seyed Mousavi, May 20, 2013

Hesam Seyed Mousavi - Get RAW Video on Canon 5D Mark IIIUpdated February 24th ’14

Yes, the source for the still above is a 1080p 14bit RAW shot with the 5D mark III!!! And here’s a test video showing you how that looks in motion with an article elaborating the work with the camera: LINK. If you haven’t seen it you should check it out.

The developers working on the Magic Lantern hack for the Canon 5D mark III have enabled continuous 14bit RAW recording (!!!). We tested it and it works better every day. The results are totally breathtaking and revolutionary. The hack is still in Alpha stage, but don’t be afraid, here’s a guide that shows you exactly how you can do it too!

If you’re not a computer scientist it’s not easy to get the Magic Lantern hack and 14bit RAW module working that is constantly being updated in the Magic Lantern forums.
After struggling for a day we managed to pull it off and have improved the process ever since so here’s our complete dummies guide to squeeze the RAW bits out of a Canon EOS 5D mark III.

NOTE: Here’s what WE did and what worked for us. There’s no guarantee this will work for you, in fact you will void your warranty for the camera and it might be dead afterwards (although we haven’t heard about any camera going dead yet). Note that we take no responsibility for what happens when you follow our guide. Do it at your own risk and research on your own if you want to make sure.

Getting the firmware and RAW module onto the camera:

1. Get a 5D mark III with a fully charged battery. If you buy a mark III, please get it
___HERE. We did it on a Mac with a Transcend card reader, a 16GB SD card and one of
___the fast Komputerbay CF cards (fast read/write required. You get 25 minutes of 1080p
___on a 128GB card). (Update: Recommended at own risk, got info of numerous faulty cards, buy the Lexar)

Hesam Seyed Mousavi - RAW Video Lexar Professional 1000x
Lexar Professional 1000x Compact Flash

The Lexar Professional 1000x CompactFlash card leverages UDMA 7 technology to provide ultimate high-speed performance and reliability for professional photographers, with industry-leading 1000x (150MB/s) minimum guaranteed sustained read and 145MB/s write transfer speed!

Note that there’ve been numerous people who didn’t achieve the same resolution with their 128GB Komputerbay CF cards  /  Komputerbay 64GB There seem to be inconsistencies in different batches. Apparently the Komputerbay 64GB are consistently faster to achieve the 1080p at 25fps. Europeans can get the cards here: LINK

If your Komputerbay card is too slow you should send it back and get a replacement. If money is no issue you can save the trouble by getting one of the Lexars which have the same internals with better quality control, but cost almost 4 times as much: LINK
The Hoodman Steel is also said to be a very fast 1000x card.
The Lexar 1000x Cards are most expensive, but seem to work most reliable.
The Transcend 1000x Cards are newer, reliable, priced in between, but some compatibility issues have been reported with some (older) firmwares.

2. If you’re on Canon 5D mark III firmware 1.2.1 (latest) downgrade it to the
___compatible 1.1.3. Firmware. Links:
___OSX: LINK (thanks to user Kobus)
3. Format the SD card (up to 16GB) in camera. Make sure the dial is always on “M” (manual mode)
4. Get the whole Magic Lantern package.
___ (latest, tested stable release from February 24th) (posted in the Magic Lantern forum)
5. Copy the 5D3-113-bootflag.fir file from HERE to the root folder
6. Place the SD card in your camera, switch it on and go to the firmware update in the
___camera menu. Do the update which will “turn” your camera’s bootflag. Whatever that
7. The camera now loads weird overlays, wait until it’s finished. If it doesn’t, try with the package from step 9. already on the camera. Once it works: Switch the camera off.
8. Get the SD card back in the Computer. DELETE 5D3-113-bootflag.fir file from the SD!
9. Copy the autoexec.bin and “ML” folder onto the SD card.
10. Download Macboot and the Mountain Lion fix (if you’re on a Mountain Lion Machine)
___(for Windows see here: LINK).
11. Open only the “.command” file (for Mountain Lion) and insert your password in the
___Terminal window that pops up.
12. The Macboot app should open. Select “DSLR Bootable” and press “prepare card”.
___It should now display a “success” note.
13. Click “Eject Card”.
14. The SD card goes back into the 5D mark III together with the Komputerbay CF card.
15. Switch camera on.
16. Now press the “trash button” on the camera to activate Magic Lantern. The Magic
___Lantern menu should load.
16B. If it didn’t work try step 5 again. And make sure mode dial is on “M” and your
___camera is set to movie recording (red camera symbol on back of your 5D).
17. Go to the menu with the “squares” symbol (on the far right).
18. Select the RAW modules and activate them. They light up green. Restart the camera (leave some seconds off)
19. Go to the trash menu again and go to the menu with the “video camera” symbol.
20. Select the “RAW video” tab and press the “Q” button to access it.
21. Set your width and height to be “1920×1080″ for HD recording.
22. Exit the menu by pressing the “trash button” again. Set your desired framerate in the
___Canon menu. (should work up to 30p with the proper CF card!)
23. To record go about as usual, press the “start/stop” button.
24. You will see the camera capturing (or dropping) frames…

Note: If you’re dropping many frames you might have the wrong card selected in Canon’s folder menu or your card might be too slow. Lower the resolution to fix.
Note 2: To record larger files than 4GB format your CF card in the “exFAT” file system. Ask Google if you don’t know how to do it.

Release notes for the latest release on May 19th:
– You can now preview your files from within the camera RAW menu (awesome!).
Release notes for the latest release January 2014:
– You can now record 14 bit HDR with the HDR module (included in above link) and capture up to 30 frames. Also 720p 60p slomo possible.


Workflow to end up with usable Quicktime ProRes 422 (HQ) files:

1. The camera produces .RAW files which need to be converted to something usable first.
___This can be done with an app they wrote called raw2dng.
___OSX app: download HERE, info HERE (Updated June 19th 2013)
___If you’re on Windows get the .exe here: LINK
2. Open the raw2dng app and drop your .RAW files into the app, one after another.
3. The app creates new folders with a sequence of .dng files in them.
4. The .dng files that come out of this are raw files you can open in several programs. We
___found it can only be opened with Adobe programs which is unfortunate as this makes
___the workflow even more complicated. It does not work in DaVinci Resolve (yet).
[UPDATE Mac]: There’s a new app that converts files to cinemaDNG which can be read by DaVinci Resolve: RAWmagic 1.0
[UPDATE Win]: Here’s an apperation of the old app which will convert directly to cinemaDNG which can be read by DaVinci Resolve: raw2cdng
(developer site)

Note: There’s currently a filesize limit of 2GB on the Mac App. There’s a workaround here: LINK
[Update May 21st]: The filesize issue has been resolved in version 0.5

Update: Faster workflow in Photoshop here: LINK

After Effects workflow:
1. We had to put the files for each shot into separate folders.
2. In AfterEffects the .dng files can be converted to any format you like. We chose to
___convert to ProRes 422 (HQ).
8. We imported the files into an empty project by selecting only the first file of each
___.dng sequence.
9. The RAW dialogue pops up. At this point you can color correct with the Adobe
___RAW tool, but we wanted to do a final grading later.
___So we just corrected the wrongly set “tint” value from +77 down to 0.
10. The file imports, but is interpreted as 30fps. To change that for the next shots we
___changed the default framerate in the AfterEffects preferences menu to “24″.
11. Right clicked the imported file and clicked “set proxy” to “movie”.
12. On the Render Dialogue that now pops up we set Render Settings to “Best Settings”
___and created a new Output Module for Quicktime ProRes 422 (HQ).
13. The rendering took forever and After Effects crashed numerous times.
___We really don’t like that application for this kind of workflow, sorry Adobe.
___Here’s a better workflow we found, the downside is it’s converted to 8bit: LINK

The workflow is constantly being improved. At this time it is still a bit difficult to get these .RAW files to convert to something useful. When all the tools are here this will be amazing, groundbraking, revolutionary. Why? Because the images the 5D produces are wonderful, clean, strong in lowlight and come from a large sensor. Things you don’t get in any other RAW camera at this pricepoint.


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