Super 35mm 4K comes to Canon 5D Mark III in new Magic Lantern module – IT’S REAL

Yesterday on April 1st, in amidst the usual click bate Magic Lantern announced a 4K video module for the 5D Mark III. Nobody believed them.

It turns out they weren’t joking.

So a 2012 camera, the Canon 5D Mark III will now record 4K raw thanks to A1ex and his team.

These are experimental / bleeding edge nightly builds, which you can download here at Magic Lantern. Non-testers and pro videographers are well advised to wait for the bugs to be ironed out but if you’re curious and use Magic Lantern at the moment feel free to try it out.

Here are the new resolutions available in-camera:

  • 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)

The new 3×3 binning modes for 45fps to 60fps also look interesting as it may improve the quality of raw slow-mo.

Here’s how the Super 35mm 4K readout windows look on the full frame sensor, along with the new 1.9x crop 3K mode –

As you can see the widest Cinema 4K has a rather narrow aspect ratio compared to 16:9, it looks more like anamorphic-style 2.66:1 to my eye, which is no bad thing in my view.

The 3840 x 1600 4K mode is 24p and has a 1.5x crop (Super 35mm) and an aspect ratio which is a little less narrow. It is the closest match to Ultra HD, just 590 pixels less vertical res than 16:9 UHD (3840 x 2160).

An early test in 10bit 3.8K mode by Luigi Baccino –

And that’s not all.

14bit lossless raw anyone?

5D Mark III users will also now get to try an experimental lossless 14bit mode which reduces file sizes by a huge 58% without a visible loss of image quality. This comes in addition to the earlier 10bit and 12bit raw modes to reduce file sizes. These lower bit-depth modes also reduced dynamic range and increases noise in the shadows. Not so with the 14bit lossless mode.

That’s a wrap

I am quite stunned the 5D Mark III is even capable of this stuff. Just be aware this is in the early stages and won’t be 100% reliable, also the live-view switches to a lower quality black and white display in 4K mode. You will need a very fast memory card as well.

I absolutely can’t wait to try this out on my camera.

Canon, what on earth were you playing at not implementing these modes right from the start!?

TO BE CONTINUED…

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About Andrew Reid (EOSHD) 1391 Articles
British filmmaker and editor of EOSHD. On this blog I share my creative and technical knowledge as I shoot.