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BIG NEWS - Hands on with CONTINUOUS raw recording on Canon 5D Mark III


Andrew Reid

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I think raw is awesome and that a lot of the negativity towards raw is that feeling of climbing a mountain.

 

As a GH3 owner, I'll be likely hobbying it out with The Pocket Cinema Camera, and I'll probably roll out a few 'money shots' first on some of my projects. The use of the GH3 for now means I can hit my fast turnaround on music videos, which is usually literally days. 

 

Image quality matters and I think this development from ML will hopefully bring these features and more into cameras like DSLRs properly very soon. Canon behave strangely! They could totally dominate the market and choose not to. Oh well. 

 

Maybe Panasonic will finally release an FS700 competitor with a lovely RAW codec. (what on earth are they doing?)

 

We shall see!

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Posted this on Bloom's blogpost. Part of me thinks he realised he dropped the ball on this one and wants the whole thing to go away. Like Andrew said with great power comes great responsibility.    

The other day i put down a preorder on a Mexican wrap at a food stand in Soho.   If enough people put down a preorder I might get the wrap next year, so everyone do it!   I had my preorder on the

Somebody has to say it, so i'll go first.   2012: BMCC (Black Magic Cinema camera) 2013: MLCC (Magic Lantern Cracked camera)

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Danny Boyle's crew ran around slums of Mumbai with cams tethered to macbooks running Windows XPs wrapped in actual ice packs that had to be constantly changed because they were...melting. Whiners would say that's a retarded and unprofessional workflow. Winners are too busy gunning for their next Oscar. :D

 

This philosophy is much more interesting to me, than the mundane practicalities of workaday filmmaking, where reliability is a priority and the image just has to be 'good enough'.

 

Give me melting image processors any day.

 

JG yeah Red Code is awesome. Very flexible for many people.

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As a GH3 owner, I'll be likely hobbying it out with The Pocket Cinema Camera, and I'll probably roll out a few 'money shots' first on some of my projects. The use of the GH3 for now means I can hit my fast turnaround on music videos, which is usually literally days. 

 

Cool. Sometimes we need a fast turnaround. Sometimes we need raw.

 

It isn't that one is better than the other or visa versa... Aside from the image quality where the situation at the moment between DSLR compressed and DSLR raw is massive.

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And JAFOs equate that to this.

 

All valid points you make Sean.

 

I don't mind what people shoot with raw - cats, dogs, whatever. As long as I have access to it on the 5D Mark III that's all that matters.

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Would a hobbyist/enthusiast be able to access this type of technology. I don't bpmean literally. I've been considering the gh3 but if I could us my MacBook Pro and get raw files easily converted to prores without blowing up my cf card or MacBook I'd go 5d3.. Thoughts?

 

If you just want prores you could do that with any camera that outputs clean hdmi and some external prores recorder like the hyperdeck, but because of the way they've been processing those 'clean' hdmi signals, the quality is not the same as generating a prores file from a raw one.

 

You can't do that at the moment with the 5D3 or any other DSLR I know of, would be great if they could redirect that raw feed to an external hard drive via usb or to a field recorder via hdmi, and seriously, at this point everything might be possible...

 

In the Slumdog Millionaire example, they were using a SI2K camera, which is a small 2k raw camera brain, and it is meant to be used like that, or with any other field recording solution, it wasn't really a hack. Using ice on "burning" batteries under severe weather conditions is also more common than you'd think :)

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Not sure what you mean by this. It already is an industry standard for semi to big budget. As far as pro-sumer/hobbyist I think the goal will be to have options and efficiency. No way that compressed video is going away for that market anytime soon.

 

I should clarify.

 

RAW Video support for video should be as common as 1080p video is across most cameras today. The fact that ML has had to painstakingly figure out on their own how to bypass the limitations imposed by Canon tells a lot about the state of RAW video support in most Cameras today. If you're not a Philip Bloom, you cannot afford to shoot RAW. I believe ML changes all that, but not only that, any manufacturer not incorporating some kind of RAW option in their new Camera models might as well throw in the towel.

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Whiners would say that's a retarded and unprofessional workflow. Winners are too busy gunning for their next Oscar. :D

 

Is it really whiners or winners?

 

If you want to handicap yourself for a cutting edge workflow, go for it. If you need that to do good work, or it's the only tool available, go for it. There will always be that one nut making his life difficult to create their art. Cool.

 

If you want to really shoot, with your mind on the subject, and not some intrussive process, you are doing it wrong.

 

It will be more expensive in the end. It will take you more time to create. ....And more to the point, you can't take a fully edited Sigur Ros video and think "this camera's limitations are ideal for music videos", when they clearly shot in long takes.

 

The results are all that matters. There is no wrong or right here, but for practical spec purposes, capture limits are a dealbreaker for most forms of production, of any budget or style. Especially commisioned work, or collaborative work.

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I'm still stunned that it's taken so long for people to understand the benefits of raw for video. Especially people who were calling for 4K, before raw.

 

But you are probably right, I think that raw will be standard on the >$3K prosumer models that come out in the years to come.

 

I pretty sure this whole 5d raw hack was green-lighted by Canon.  Japanese companies love is survey data, and I'm sure it's been telling them that Black Magic was about to eat their lunch.

 

There's definitely more value in RAW than in 4K. Especially for post processing, I have had dreams about having the same flexibility that a stills photographer have with their workflows.

 

When you think about, film very much afforded the same flexibility and value for both  photography and video, but things are very different with digital.

 

Unless Canon comes out and blasts ML for the latest hack, I will be inclined to think that at the very least they were enablers and allowed the firmware to be hackable.

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I've never seen so much test footage of trees, shrubs and flowers in my life with all of these 5D3 raw clips being uploaded online. I appreciate seeing the quality of the footage but let's try to shoot some landscape wides of a lake, highway, city line, or something besides closeups of the bush in your backyard.... lol

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Give me melting image processors any day.

 

You're a talented shooter, but this reads like the equivalent of an adrenaline junkie looking for their next fix.

It's why you turn up great work, in the context of this blog.

The goal is to have control over your shooting, and tools that aid your work, not work that showcases the tools.

 

You mentioned the case of an artist playing a weird insrument in Japan.... Are the musical pieces 49 seconds too? Otherwise you can't cover it properly with this camera shooting RAW (thus far).

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Just became a member because I have a stupid question:
Where do I download the darn ML software? Just spend a fortune on transcend cards and I'm ready to roll!
And another question: why is everyone so insecure about the difference between a bmcc and a canon? Did you ever try working in Davinci? Just toss your canon or whatbrand recordings in any editor and enjoy the fun of creating footage. Compressed, uncompressed, who cares? Go out and create. (Or film leaves blowing in the wind)
Interesting, or sure.
Thanks for letting me know the download option or this ML stuff.

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Cool. Sometimes we need a fast turnaround. Sometimes we need raw.

 

It isn't that one is better than the other or visa versa... Aside from the image quality where the situation at the moment between DSLR compressed and DSLR raw is massive.

 

The benefits of raw are obvious. As long as there is time/money to take on raw for a project I would definitely do it, such as a short film script I'm really passionate about. It would have to be done in the best possible quality I can get my hands on.

 

Due to the pacing/workload of my environment I dont stand a chance right now. Thats why I wait eagerly for better options in the actual cameras we shoot with. In the meantime, I'll keep on shooting and spend the time posting on this forum on the Pocket Cam. See what happens.

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Totally agree.

Let's get one thing straight though, this is huge, this is amazing and the difference in quality is just unbelievable, and the way it's been going, I wouldn't be surprised if they sort out the 40 seconds limitation within the hour, but yeah, 40 seconds is a MASSIVE limitation for any kind of narrative, fiction or documentary, and anyone who claims otherwise can't know what they're talking about. You can find a million films without a single 40 second long shot, but probably none of those shots comes from takes shorter than a few minutes.

Tell an actor they have 40 seconds to get it right and good luck getting a good performance out of them...

I'm very excited at the possibilities this hack currently presents, I wouldn't be excited about using it as it stands.

Some things haven't been answered yet either, I keep hearing that the camera is also doing less work since the raw feed is always happening anyway, but CF recording alone is enough to heat up the camera, and some people did say the camera heats up much more than usual when recording raw video, would anyone care to compare?

Also, what about compressing that raw video to h264 in camera with decent h264 transcoding? Transcoding those raw files to h264 gives us much better results than the camera's own h264, so maybe they could override that and give us higher quality smaller files and longer recording times?

Obviously Prores would be awesome, but that would probably not be possible, whereas with h264, perhaps the camera already has some sort of hardware optimization.

Most of the footage I've seen also appears to stutter every now and then. Are we getting a steady 24fps or is it not accurate yet?

 

For the Music video shooters it might be just enough.

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For the Music video shooters it might be just enough.

 

I don't really think there's any use in trying to pigeon hole shooters into the 40 sec clip length genre, though I see what you're saying and it makes sense in a way.

 

I asked A1ex about this today.

 

He says file spanning is doable to overcome this, but it isn't yet top of their list of priorities.

 

It is coming please just be patient.

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"the obsession of this whole 5dmk3 raw hack is just nuts. Please just calm down and go and shoot something instead please! ;)" - Philip Bloom

 

The Canon video-dslr community has been starved for better image-quality through almost 3 generations of Canon bodies. This ML raw has pushed the progress of the image far beyond what the incremental 5D3 generation of crippled cameras by Canon has brought to the market. It's nothing short of astounding. Not sure why he's so surprised as he's been quoted - "If you have never shot raw, you don’t know just how much of a giant leap it makes compared to compressed codecs." - Philip Bloom - 

 

It's amazing how bad the 5D3 footage looks with its stock H.264 footage compared to the raw. I honestly can't believe Canon didn't cripple the video  image-quality to keep a bigger distinction between the dslr range and its cinema line. When Canon announced their $20,000 C300, I knew shit had hit the fan. Will Canon step up? Probably not. The BMC4k is a step in the right direction, so I hope more companies will take a chance on pushing progress and join them. 

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