Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Andrew Reid

Canon 50D Magic Lantern raw review

Recommended Posts

EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Leica - That's because, unlike the GH2 hack there are quite a few developers in the Magic Lantern team.

There is comprehensive documentation about the installation and useage of Magic lantern on the ML site http://www.magiclantern.fm and even in the cameras themselves when installed.

The raw video features are still maturing and it is classed as bleeding edge code. It is not included in the unified release of Magic Lantern.

Anyone jumping straight in to shoot raw without first learning the basics of the ML OS will likely be in a world of pain.

Raw video, Auto-ETTR and a few other things are modules that have been added but are not yet seen as mature enough for general release.

I would advise you to install Magic Lantern 2.3 and familiarize yourself with it (and the camera itself if it's new to you) before looking at raw shooting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be fantastic if all the components could be in one folder complete.

I start getting confused with adding and deleting the various bits that are needed to get it to work. 

 Starting to wonder if its just a waste of time right now for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be fantastic if all the components could be in one folder complete.

I start getting confused with adding and deleting the various bits that are needed to get it to work. 

 Starting to wonder if its just a waste of time right now for me.


There is a standard directory structure. If you get ML 2.3 installed FIRST then download one of the raw builds (links are in this thread) you can just overwrite everything with the newer files. Just make sure you follow the initial Magic Lantern installation instructions exactly and you won't go wrong.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess you got the answers on the ML forum.

 

I think you could also add a side note regarding Timelapse. You can go as low as 0.15 fps (using fps override) this would be equal to a 6-7s interval, but there is one thing you have to keep in mind and that is the shutter speed is somehow limited and you will get very long and therfore bright exposures, 8-10stops overexposed. This introduces the need of an ND and you will have to deal with motion blur (this actually can come quite handy as there is no good way to do smooth timelapses doing it the usual way aka taking stills with gaps at short intervals)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I for one appreciate everything that the ML team is doing to advance this tech.  I just bought a 50D and i'm waiting for my CF cards.  My aim is to use the 50D for Anamorpic shooting.  I also appreciate this article even the info being a bit behind the rapidly moving development doesn't bother me.  I am bothered by the constant complaining.  Being old enough to remember when everything was analog I can appreciate how amazing all of this is.  It's so early and still there are those who show such a lack of patience or desire to do research.  It's all part of the Me generation and the NOW mentality.  I remember back to the days of the 1st fax machines and how everything changed once you had near instant availability of documents.  Nothing was ever fast enough after that.  Now it's even worse.  You use to have to get on the bus and visit your local library to get info on a given subject and now it's all instantly available.  Now NO ONE has patience anymore.  SAD :(

 

I applaud you ML team for your hard work and patience despite the lack of appreciation by some for what you do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For Chroma-keying it important to have sub-sampling of 4:2:2.\

 

You'd be surprised how many great h264 dslr shots were keyed perfectly.

Having more depth helps, but probably not as much as good lighting.

Also, using something like 5DtoRGB to transcode to Prores444 helps a lot when keying DSLR footage.

 

 

 

The 70D doesn't have a fast enough card slot for decent raw video resolutions.

 

I read somewhere it comes with a faster controller. If it's the latest could go up to 105Mb/s.

And also we don't know what's going on inside it... what if Canon gave us a compressed raw stream instead of an uncompressed raw? Sounds extremely unlikely, but so did raw in the first place. CPU and other optimizations might also help make it happen.

From the moment a 50D can shoot 1080p raw, I would certainly not rule out the 70D, especially this early on. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review Andrew, I'll wait for the comparison!

But this review misses a couple of the most important issues.

- There's no audio input

Currently there's no way to sync external audio to video (except for a clapboard) and if you record an interview, a concert, or anything "live" it  is a big problem.

- Battery drains as fast as an icecream melts in a summer day. You'll have to buy not a spare battery but at least 6 of them for an all day session!

I have a 50D and I would like to use it not just for experimenting, but those issues are still stopping me, much more than the "alpha" status of the raw mod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riccardo - 50d's are comparatively cheap and batteries are $10. I would be more concerned at the cost of CF cards for recording a concert :huh:

I have a fairly useful workaround for the lack of audio. I use the delayed start (a feature only implemented in Tragic Lantern 2.0's raw module). I set it to 2 seconds (or 4 or 10) then hit record on my external recorder within those 2 seconds. Yes, it's not as useful as a reference track synced to the footage in-camera but at least I know I'm within 2 seconds (50 frames at 25p). For longer takes I'll still record H.264 on my 600d. I use a cheap as hell Kingston 600x 32gb card for H.264 and only choose raw for beauty shots. Even most pros will not consider shooting raw for interviews.

There is always the upcoming Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera to consider but my guess is that storage and battery life issues will be just the same. You can get a raw capable 50d plus batteries, a 64gb 1000x card and a cheap external audio recorder for the cost of a BMPCC even before factoring additional batteries and SD cards for the pocket cam. I still want one though :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are an anamorphic shooter there is another important reason for using Tragic Lantern 2.0. It has display filters enabled with anamorphic de-squeeze letting you preview 1.25x, 1.33x, 1.5x, 1.66x and 2x anamorphic footage at it's intended aspect ratio. Very useful for framing. You can find it in the 'display' menu.

note: It can be a little buggy and you may get the odd Error 99 using the feature atm which requires a restart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For audio I like the idea of using a second camera (gopro for example) to record basic audio information. You could mount the gopro on your rig or onto the hotshoe to capture the same image. Then you just sync the two video streams in post, shouldn't be difficult. After that you can sync the audio stream of the gopro with your external HQ audio stream with pluraleyes for example.

 

I haven't tried this, don't remember who posted this idea, but it sounds fairly simple to me. And the extra GoPro footage can be a fun bonus I guess for behind the scenes kind of stuff :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For audio I like the idea of using a second camera (gopro for example) to record basic audio information. You could mount the gopro on your rig or onto the hotshoe to capture the same image. Then you just sync the two video streams in post, shouldn't be difficult. After that you can sync the audio stream of the gopro with your external HQ audio stream with pluraleyes for example.

 

I haven't tried this, don't remember who posted this idea, but it sounds fairly simple to me. And the extra GoPro footage can be a fun bonus I guess for behind the scenes kind of stuff :)

Great idea Julian. It would work equally as well with an iPhone etc although the GoPro footage would probably be better. Frame rates must match for it to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea on the GoPro. I think the creativity in coming up with workarounds is all part of the enjoyment of the hack.

 

There's definitely work that it doesn't suit (or 5D Mark III suits better), and live event filming is going to be challenging with raw, but to the complainers - nobody is forcing you to shoot with it.

 

Because of the anamorphic aspect ratios and sheer image quality, I have dropped both my FS100 and BMCC for the 5D3. I don't need XLR or HD-SDI. If I knock an audio cable out or bend the HDMI port, it's on my watch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And people cried about pros not being excited about the raw hack..

 

Some pros are excited.

 

Actually it's a massive shame Philip Bloom and Vincent LaForet haven't done more to endorse Magic Lantern.

 

The point you are getting at - that their reasoning regarding which tool suits what work is not the point. I completely get that if you have access to a $12k 1D C, $15k C300 and $50k worth of cine lenses and need non-Alpha firmware with no workarounds, you're not going to be in a hurry to learn how to install Magic Lantern on a $500 camera, but this completely misses the point about the community they serve.

 

They have put their workhorse tool logic in front of the broader aspiring filmmaker community.

 

Also there's another tragedy here - both have the influence to give Canon positive feedback about the project, and neither have chosen to do so for fear of upsetting the reps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand their hesitation in supporting ML raw video at this stage but Magic Lantern (Unified V2.3) is rock solid and I would say essential to anyone filming on a Canon DSLR and who wants to get the best image possible. It's not just a hack, it's also an educational tool for anyone who plans to step up to more professional equipment (although a 5d3 shooting raw is right up there with the best IMO). If ever there was a 'no brainer' upgrade it's Magic Lantern!


If only Canon would give g3gg0 and A1ex deeper access to the hardware I'm sure it would benefit, not just Magic Lantern users but all Canon users. The auto ETTR function springs to mind. It would be a very useful addition to any Canon camera's stock FW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If only Canon would give g3gg0 and A1ex deeper access to the hardware I'm sure it would benefit, not just Magic Lantern users but all Canon users.

 

I completely agree but those who are perfectly positioned to lobby Canon to do that won't do so. Canon listen daily to what their shooters are saying. If they are blogging things like raw is a massive pain in the ass and that it causes your camera to blow up, that's pretty dangerous in my view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...