Panasonic Gh4

Jun 072013

350px-Bayer_pattern_on_sensor.svgI am very excited. The guy (or guys?.. or gals????) of Magic Lantern have finally figured out a way to shoot RAW video on the Canon 60D. They are doing it for the 5d and rebel lines as well. So if you own a T2i or T5i, get excited! I started a group on Vimeo for 60D RAW footage. Currently, shooting RAW on the 60D is not very stable. You are limited to low resolution recording, relatively short record times, and may occasionally experience messed up frames.

Normally, Canon DSLRs (as well as every other DSLR out there) shoot at 8 bits, resulting in mute colors and low dynamic range. The Magic Lantern hack allows for  14 bit uncompressed RAW video recording. So you get richer color (more data) and more dynamic range (also more data). I hope they release some 10bit or 12 bit recording modes so that we will be able to record at higher resolutions and higher recording lengths. I would gladly substitute stable RAW shooting for picture quality.

If you have a 7D, you cannot shoot RAW video as of right now. I understand the 7D is really tough to hack because of the multiple processors. Anyway, I have faith in the Magic Lantern team and I bet they will unlock RAW video on the 7D someday. If you want to learn about shooting RAW video on the 60D, read the Magic Lantern forum topic here.

To see an example of 60D RAW video, watch this video made by a friendly chap named Nick Driftwood. In the video information section, Nick explains the workflow for installing Magic Lantern and shooting RAW on a 60D.

So why are people so much more excited about shooting RAW on the 60D or T2i? Well because for around the price of a 5D mkii or 5D mkiii, you can (or will be able to) buy a video camera that shoots RAW (a Black Magic Cinema, Black Magic Pocket, Digital Bolex, KineRAW mini, etc..). In other words, shooting RAW video for $2000 – $2500 is not out of this world. But shooting RAW on a body that sells for $300 – $700 used is pretty absurd. And lets be honest, if the 60D, T2i, T3i, T4i, or T5i had stable continuous RAW capabilities at 720p they would make the  Black Magic Pocket Cinema a paperweight.

So it seems like the future is here. Even for broke assholes like myself. Maybe next year we will get stable RAW video for $400, and the year after that stable 1080p RAW video for $500. One thing is certain; my next computer build is going to feature lots of RAM and lots of storage.

So now you can have cheap RAW fun. Most of Canon’s line of DSLRs can shoot RAW video thanks to Magic Lantern. Visit Magic Lantern’s website, bring your Canon DSLR, and knock yourself out.

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