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Andrew Reid

Canon 50D Magic Lantern raw review

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

Did another test with the 50D

 

https://vimeo.com/70411258

 

 

- Used Tragic Lantern by 1% (11th July build compiled by Andy600)

- Mostly shot at 1584x892 and upscaled to 1080

- 1 or 2 shots in 5x crop mode


- DNG's extracted with RAWMagic 1.0 Beta 7


- Raw processing in ACR
- Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
 
I'm getting more accustomed to the workflow now. I did a light 'logish' grade in ACR rendered out to Prores 444. Then applied a custom LUT in Resolve, tweaked it and added a little sharpening.
 

 

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It would be good if the next edition of the EOSHD 50D raw shooting guide would also cover ETTR exposure. Once again, this a topic that is hard to grasp & draw the right practical conclusion from if you dive into the diverse discussion threads on the MagicLantern board.

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It would be good if the next edition of the EOSHD 50D raw shooting guide would also cover ETTR exposure. Once again, this a topic that is hard to grasp & draw the right practical conclusion from if you dive into the diverse discussion threads on the MagicLantern board.


The ETTR module is great but it is intended for stills. It dynamically alters ISO and shutter speed to push raw exposure as close to clipping without actually clipping to achieve the best SNR. You can use it for raw video of course but your shutter speed (and subsequently motion blur and cadence) will be affected. For raw video you should stick to using the the raw histogram with exp. warnings enabled.

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For this video, I shot Raw with a slower CF Card (60MBS) that gave me 1152 X 864 resolution at 24 FPS in 4:3 mode without skipping frames. I could shoot for at least 4 minutes (I didn't try shooting longer). I did my color correction with Adobe Photoshop and converted to 2304 X 864 in Compressor.

 

http://vimeo.com/70387959

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http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/07/17/toshiba-announces-worlds-fastest-writing-sdhc-memory-cards/

Considering the new cards (link posted above), how would a new product such as this compare to a CF card?

 

The bottleneck for raw video on most consumer-grade Canon DSLRs is not the speed of the card, but the speed of the card controllers built into the cameras. So Canon's existing range of SD card-equipped DSLR cameras will simply not be able to make use of the high speeds offered by the Toshiba cards. This is why the 50D, with its faster CF controller, is the better option than Canon's newer APS-C sensor cameras.

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Hopefully the faster new SD card standard will encourage future DSLRs to have faster card controllers, and possibly higher quality video out of the box - 10bit LOG in ProRes 4444 format would be just fine.

 

I don't absolutely need a raw workflow for everything (much as I would love it) but I absolutely DO need the image quality it is giving me. It's incredible.

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I don't absolutely need a raw workflow for everything (much as I would love it) but I absolutely DO need the image quality it is giving me. It's incredible.

 

I principally agree - especially the quality of color -, but newcomers need to know the strings attached. Here's an example of the worst case you can run into with a 50D and raw video:

 

50d-sample_raw_video_frame.png

(Developed with Adobe Camera Raw from this DNG video frame.)

 

The aliasing and moiré of the 50D can be atrocious, worse than what Canon APS C DSLR video shooters are already accustomed to, since the camera lacks a low pass filter, and there's no mushy codec to soften the pixels (unless one applies a blur filter in post).

 

Detail, in general, is not pretty, and the raw process fully exposes this. Shooting in 5x zoom mode is not a realistic option either. One would need the Sigma 8-16mm zoom lens to shoot in a halfway normal focal length (8mm on 5x zoom is equivalent to 40mm APS-C and 64mm full frame), and that's not a sharp lens to provide satisfying resolution and contrast at 1:1 sensor pixel level.

 

It is also my understanding that all frame rates below 30p are achieved by throwing away frames of the 30p sensor readout, not by true 24p/25p from the sensor, resulting in choppy motion when filming faster moving objects. 

 

Further limitation: the 50D has an older-generation sensor with less dynamic range (11.4 Evs according to DxOMark) than modern camera sensors (for example, 12.7 Evs on the Sony NEX-5n, and allegedly 13 Evs for the Blackmagic Pocket). Just experienced it today when shooting raw still pictures with it in the bright summer sunlight and getting blown-out highlights on sunlit skin areas, with much less gentle highlight roll-off than with a modern camera like the NEX-5n.  (The NEX sensor is also rated with having almost 2 bit more color depth, resulting in 4x as much color information than on the Canon.) Of course, shooting raw rather than dealing with suboptimal AVCHD/8bit-h264 camera output compensates for much of that. But I must say that I find it difficult to grade an image with cinematic dynamic range, nice shadow detail and gentle highlight rolloff with 50D material shot in bright sunlight.

 

And of course, newcomers should know that shooting raw video on the 50d at 1.5k pixel resolution maxes out the camera's I/O and means that you are running the camera at its hardware limit. Glitches, broken off video recordings, weirdness in the recorded files, do occur, at least at this point of development.

 

This doesn't invalid the value of shooting raw video on a $400 camera, but people should be aware of these limitations. If you can deal, on the other hand, with 40 frames-per-shot limitation, the Nikon V2 raw burst mode discussed elsewhere here on this site delivers much superior (4k, clean-detail, moiré/aliasing-free) raw video quality.

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...The aliasing and moiré of the 50D can be atrocious, worse than what Canon APS C DSLR video shooters are already accustomed to, since the camera lacks a low pass filter, and there's no mushy codec to soften the pixels (unless one applies a blur filter in post).

 

 

The 50D does have an OLPF, 2 actually: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E50D/E50DA4.HTM
 

FPS override is not binning frames. Any jerky footage you see is down to not conforming the footage to the correct FPS in post and usually shots look choppy when the shooter hasn't remembered to set the shutter speed correctly.

BTW the 50D now has it's shutter timer controlled by the ADTG chip which is much better (only with Tragic Lantern 2.0 atm).

I agree though about Aliasing and moiré can be really nasty. I've been experimenting with Rawtherapee as it's got dbl & AMaZE demosaicing. It actually works quite well and looks better to me than ACR can deliver. AMaZE does go some way to cleaning-up affected shots up but obviously, once it's captured, it's pretty much gonna ruin the shot.

Nothing is perfect I guess.

The 50D is my stop-gap body until I get the 5D3 but even so, it blows the rebels away. Haven't touched my 600D since I got the 50D. The 50 makes that feel like a toy.

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I agree though about Aliasing and moiré can be really nasty. I've been experimenting with Rawtherapee as it's got dbl & AMaZE demosaicing. It actually works quite well and looks better to me than ACR can deliver. AMaZE does go some way to cleaning-up affected shots up but obviously, once it's captured, it's pretty much gonna ruin the shot.

 

Raw2DNG has a lot of yet untapped potential. Depends what direction they take it in. What would be great is a quick way to demosaic the raw files with AMaZE, output to ProRes quickly.

 

Raw2DNG could have controls like Rawtherapee, even false colour suppression, but work from the raw files instead of the DNGs, cutting out a transcoding step, and give us ProRes to edit from.

 

It could also have an option to output flat LOG ProRes to make it more gradeable.

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The moire and aliasing on the 50D is nowhere near as bad as it is on standard Canon DSLR video modes.


Seems no worse than on my 600d in general and definitely better than a rebel in 720p mode but when it happens it can be spectacular, especially with a tack sharp lens. TBH I've hardly had any bad shots though, just a woman with a busy shirt that looked like she was being eaten by a swarm of multicolor caterpillars due to the 'not-so-great' demosaic algorithm in Resolve. Sorted it with AMaZE in rawtherapee.

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Raw2DNG has a lot of yet untapped potential. Depends what direction they take it in. What would be great is a quick way to demosaic the raw files with AMaZE, output to ProRes quickly.

 

Raw2DNG could have controls like Rawtherapee, even false colour suppression, but work from the raw files instead of the DNGs, cutting out a transcoding step, and give us ProRes to edit from.

 

It could also have an option to output flat LOG ProRes to make it more gradeable.


Yes, totally!

I proposed something yesterday that went a little beyond just a simple conversion app to circumvent certain issues and pull together the best algorithms for demosaicing, anti-aliasing and upscaling with real-time debayering preview: http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=7214.0


It met with mixed reactions on the ML forum but I think the idea is solid although it is a lot of work to pull it together, especially as it would need to be open source due to licensing/royalty costs.

Maybe the proposed new Magic Lantern video standard will improve things and move the file format into the domain of 'must support' for the commercial devs at Adobe etc.

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Seems no worse than on my 600d in general and definitely better than a rebel in 720p mode but when it happens it can be spectacular, especially with a tack sharp lens. TBH I've hardly had any bad shots though, just a woman with a busy shirt that looked like she was being eaten by a swarm of multicolor caterpillars due to the 'not-so-great' demosaic algorithm in Resolve. Sorted it with AMaZE in rawtherapee.

 

Yes it can flare up but there's moire and false detail on almost EVERYTHING on a Rebel! It seems to happen less frequently on the 50D, the pattern you need to get the red / blue / green errors and false detail is much finer.

 

Yeah some of it comes from the debayer. ACR has a certain trademark flaw in the debayer and you can see it sometimes even with 5D Mark III raw video. Not a problem with stills though.

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Yes, totally!

I proposed something yesterday that went a little beyond just a simple conversion app to circumvent certain issues and pull together the best algorithms for demosaicing, anti-aliasing and upscaling with real-time debayering preview: http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=7214.0

It met with mixed reactions on the ML forum but I think the idea is solid although it is a lot of work to pull it together, especially as it would need to be open source due to licensing/royalty costs.

Maybe the proposed new Magic Lantern video standard will improve things and move the file format into the domain of 'must support' for the commercial devs at Adobe etc.

 

Sometimes just a default conversion job is what's needed, and the option to go above and beyond that into advanced settings could be there anyway.

 

In the end convenience wins. A lot of people just want a better image than the default video mode and to edit ProRes.

 

I propose 10bit LOG because then at least you can apply a LUT in Resolve and still have some flexibility to change the image.

 

Add to that an option for non-LOG output but a slightly flatter image to bring up the shadows and recover some highlights, a nice debayer, a bit of de-noising and the ability to fix some quirks of the image would be very welcome.

 

Then the simple Fast Color Corrector in Premiere can do light grading, add contrast, or do whatever the user likes.

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http://youtu.be/HJ17itrQFAw
 
 
Testing 50D crop mode, now 50mm lens turns into zoom lens!
 
Very crisp image!
 
Camera: canon 50D
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Magic Lantern RAW
max frames I get with 1080P crop on 50D: 171
 
RAW shot straight from camera can be downloaded here:

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