RAWMagic is the professional cinematographer’s favorite RAW video converter for Magic Lantern-equipped Canon DSLR cameras. It’s also the easiest way to convert your RAW files into CinemaDNG files for online editing and color grading. Just drag, drop and hit convert. That’s it!
You can also do other things like specify a custom frame rate for each clip and choose which camera model is written into the CinemaDNG files. It’s little features like these that can save you lots of time during the lengthy editing process.
While other apps convert Magic Lantern RAW files to an unreadable DNG format this one converts it to cinema DNG which can directly be viewed in preview. I normally use this app and then import the cinema DNG to after effects as camera raw sequence and export in Prores ready for editing.
This app also supports takes broken over multiple files due to 4gb FAT32 limitation incase you haven’t formatted your card for exFAT. I haven’t tested it with files that are stopped midway and have their footer information missing.
The other converter I like is one which converts RAW directly to Cineform but it is for Windows only. It is the fastest workflow though but don’t know if it works for all kinds of files.
Processes Number Canon DNG file Types and even other cameras…
Been using this program with the Canon 50D with great success. The program merges files that are larger than 4GB together with ease. The only issue I’ve ever encounted that makes me not want to use the program is that it tends to introduce very fine lines in the image when pixel peeping. Sometime it will introduce these “fine lines” and other times it will not. Not sure why… When this occurs I use a backup program called RAW2DNG.
The does wonder for the workflow!!
My only gripe is I had the beta version, when I updated to this candidate I noticed there is no option to remove files. If we could get that feature it would be awesome and perfect. I’m testing different resolutions and fps so I only want to convert certain ones and I cant tell which is which until I drop them into the app. Thanks for all the hard work for this app and thanks to ML for there never ending genius!
Someone asked us the other day whether it was safe to make a commercial production with Magic Lantern software running on a Canon EOS 5D mk III. There are several answers to this, and it’s by no means certain that any of them are “yes”. In order to understand why, it’s a good idea to look at this question in the light of two completely different scenarios
First of all I want to say that I’m a huge admirer of the work that Magic Lantern does. None of what follows is a criticism of them or their work. It is more a reflection of what it means to use a product in a professional context, and how to asses the risk of using software that does not have the same history of testing as professional equipment from a large Japanese manufacturer.
Design and Production
First, let’s look at how a major Japanese manufacturer designs and makes a product.
When a new camera comes to market from one of the major players, it’s rarely the result of a back-of-an-envelope idea. What’s more likely is that the product has been in planning for more than a year, and that it’s based on a perceived gap in the marketplace. It will be developed in a way that minimises the need for additional tools and technology, while still giving the new device a competitive advantage.
It’s a complex process, that’s well tuned. And it’s also why you don’t often get big surprises from big companies – but what you do get is a product that is generally delivered on time, and which is absolutely rock solid. Which is what you want if your business and your reputation depend on it.
Most of all, these products are tested to within an inch of their lives. There’s almost no chance of something slipping out with a serious bug. In fact, this happens so rarely, that when it does, it’s big news. Even though modern cameras are largely software-defined devices, buying a camera from a big Japanese manufacturer is as close as you can get these days to buying a “thing” in the old fashioned sense.
Reliability of Magic Lantern
Now, let’s look at it from the Magic Lantern angle (and this isn’t just about ML: its about anyone who “hacks” into a product to gain functionality).
First of all, let’s get rid of the idea that because the ML software is running on Canon’s hardware it must be reliable, because the moment you install a single byte of “alien” code on a third-party’s product, all the testing is completely invalidated. In a sense software like ML’s would be treated by the original manufacturer as one giant bug.
You can expect absolutely no support from Canon if you’re running other people’s software, and no sympathy either. And you can understand why: not only do Canon not have any control over any foreign software installed on their cameras, but this represents a disruptive attack on their business model as well. Remember how we said that each new product is planned and fitted into the optimum place in the manufacturer’s product hierarchy? Well, running software that means a camera costing a few thousand dollars can challenge another one in your range that costs five times as much is a situation that’s not likely to be welcomed with open arms.
The Canon 50D doesn’t get a lot of love much anymore. The system is 5 years old, and was among one of the last DSLRs to come out without video capabilities. When searching through the firmware, it was later found that video functions existed for the 50D, but were disabled by Canon. Upon opening these features, EOSHD forum member Julian has found a beauty hidden in this old beast.
The sensor used in the 50D allows for some very clean and high detail RAW video footage to come out of the camera, far higher quality than you’d expect from a Rebel series. Also, the 50D was also known for its ability to handle low light with ease, a feature that inevitably moves to its new video functions as well. So good in fact, this screenshot of RAW video was taken at ISO 12,800 –
Aside from the excellent low light performance, what makes this great news for all video DSLR shooters is the price. The 50D, at 5 years old now, can be found on eBay and similar markets for around $400. That gives you a capable cropped body video camera with RAW functionality (thanks to Magic Lantern), with a UDMA 6 card slot, and all the bells and whistles Magic Lantern can unlock.
The cheapest next best thing for RAW video is the 5D Mark II with a custom firmware, which will still set you back over $1,000.
Check out eBay to find the latest prices on the Canon 50D.
Huge thanks go to A1ex, g3gg0, 1% and the whole Magic Lantern team.
I have no other words to describe it – this is huge news.
Magic Lantern have done the seemingly impossible and given us a continuous raw recording mode on the Canon 5D Mark III. Once activated in the menus the 5D Mark III becomes essentially a full frame Blackmagic Cinema Camera and amazingly mine has not yet exploded. No more short bursts of raw, this is the real thing.
The image is leaps and bounds ahead of any other DSLR. We’re talking Alexa / Red league here, yet full frame. The first ever raw video shooting full frame camera at that. I’m getting continuous recording at a data rate to the card of 90MB/s and the camera hardly breaks into a sweat.
Here’s the option in Magic Lantern:
I shot the clips in the video above in 1920×1280 mode. I also have some 3.6K clips (3592×1320) too unfortunately they are glitchy with some drop frames, but 3K or 2.5K might be doable, especially with a narrower vertical crop… 3000×1000 maybe. That is approximately Micro Four Thirds area of the sensor at 1:1. The quality is the same as a raw photo. 14 bit, 12 stops dynamic range.
The 1080p raw file sizes are similar to 2.5K on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Around 4MB per frame for 1920×1280 (great aspect ratio for anamorphic lenses, utilizing a higher than full HD vertical res) or a much more space efficient 2MB for 1920×720 (2.66:1).
You can also record plain old boring 1920×1080!
Here’s a partial list of the currently supported resolutions:
Full frame mode –
1920 x 1280 (3:2) – great for anamorphic
1920 x 1080 (16:9)
1280 x 720 (16:9)
1280 x 1280 (1:1)
1:1 crop modes –
3592 x 1320 – I get some drop frames at this res
2880 x 1320
2560 x 1080
1920 x 1080 (full HD crop mode like GH2)
1280 x 720 (the lower the resolution the more telephoto the crop)
Don’t worry Canon 5D Mark III shooters: Canon didn’t forget about you after all. Less than a week after announcing a highly-requested firmware update to the Canon 1D X to address AF complaints, Canon has revealed that a similar — but even better — update is also coming to the Canon 5D Mark III.
The upcoming firmware update will not only add support for cross-type AF using lens/extender combos with a max aperture of f/8, it’ll also allow for clean uncompressed HDMI out!
This means that the camera will be able to record uncompressed video footage on an external recorder through the camera’s HDMI port, as well as display the video being captured on an external monitor. The output will be 4:2:2 8bit.
Shortly before Canon’s announcement, Magic Lantern announced a development of its own. It’s new Alpha 2 firmware for the 5D Mark III also adds clean HDMI out, along with a good number of other features as well (e.g. HDR video recording).
Canon Rumors writes that this Magic Lantern announcement may have forced Canon to reveal its 5D Mark III announcement earlier than it would have. This would explain why the firmware won’t be arriving until April 2013, and why there’s no mention of red AF illumination like what has just been added to the 1D X.
Magic Lantern is an open platform for developing enhancements to the amazing Canon 5D Mark II and 550D/T2i digital SLRs. These cameras are “game changing” for independent film makers:
It allows the use of a wide range of lenses (anything that can be adapted to the EF mount).
The 5D’s 35mm full-frame sensor is larger than the RED ONE’s sensor, Super 35 film. It is approximately the size of VistaVision. This means shallower native depth-of-field than anything on the market, except for the Phantom 65.
The dynamic range and latitude are close to the capabilities of high-end HD cameras.
Magic Lantern has been developed by independent film makers in our spare time and at risk to our beloved cameras. We hope that it saves you time and aggravation on set, and we’d appreciate your support. You can help is through donating via PayPal, wishlists or through equipment donations. You can also contact me via email (Trammell Hudson).
But, the software in video mode has limitations, even after the recent 1.1.0 upgrade from Canon that fixed the most glaring manual exposure “bug”.
That’s where Magic Lantern comes in — it turns your 5D Mark II into a 5D Mark Free. We’ve written extensions and widgets that fix many of the annoyances in working with the 5D Mark II on a film or video set. Our first set of fixes are targeted at the audio limitations of the camera, but there are some video enhancements included, too:
On-screen audio meters
Manual gain control with no AGC
Zebra stripes (video peaking)
Custom Cropmarks for 16:9, 2.35:1, 4:3 and any other format
Beyond those features, however, is the ability to write your own extensions or to commission new ones. Within some limitations, we can fix many of the Canon firmware problems and plan to write widgets to address the requirements of the film users of this amazing camera.
Magic Lantern is an enhancement atop of Canon’s firmware that frees your Canon DSLR, allowing you to use many useful features. Initially developed for filmmakers, it now has functionality for both photo and video enthusiasts, including manual audio, zebras, focus assist tools, bracketing, motion detection and much more. It is an open (GPL) framework for developing extensions to the official software. It does not replace the existing firmware, but instead runs along side of it. There is no need to “uninstall” it — simply format your card to reboot to the stock Canon firmware.
Initially, Magic Lantern was developed by independent filmmakers and tailored for video production on 5D Mark II. Things changed when Magic Lantern was ported to smaller (APS-C) cameras, like 550D, 60D, 600D and 500D, which attracted developers interested in both still photography and DSLR video.
Unified Magic Lantern (currently running on 550D, 60D and 600D) has dedicated photo functionality like extended bracketing, trap focus, motion detection or very long exposures; also, most video exposure and focus tools work for photos too.
As of September 2009 the software has been downloaded over two thousand times and there have been no reports of damage to the cameras. While this is no guarantee of absolute safety, the stable releases have been tested by beta testers. Most of the risk is to the developers’ cameras while testing new features and probing new portions of Canon’s firmware. By the time the software moves from development to beta testing it has been installed hundreds or thousands of times.
If you’re a programmer skilled in ARM assembly, embedded systems, GUI programming and don’t mind risking your expensive camera, join the Magic Lantern devel mailing list, edit the wiki and make improvements.
You can donate via PayPal. I’m also looking for a steadicam and interesting lenses, so if you have any older ones that are no longer being used please let me know. Or you can make a donation to the EFF for me.
For the 550D and 600D versions of Magic Lantern, you can donate to Alex.
If you can find a video camera that a) shoots HD, b) has a 50 mbps data rate, c) has interchangable lenses, d) has a 35 mm or larger sensor and e) costs less than $25k (without lenses, like the RED One), then buy that one instead. There are limitations to shooting movies on a 5D Mark II, notably the limited 12 minute recording time and lack of balanced audio inputs, but a ArriCam Lite only records 5 minutes of Super 35 and a high quality preamp like the juicedLink CX231 provides balanced inputs. The lack of auto-focus in movie mode isn’t a problem either — movies are focused manually with a follow-focus like the Cinevate Durus.
Short answer: Not yet. work was being done on producing a Magic Lantern image for the 7D. Currently we can generate signed firmware images and have dumped the 7D’s ROM for analysis, but there appears to be significantly more protection on the 7D bodies that has locked out firmware updates on the camera. Details here: 7D support
Short answer: Maybe. Longer answer: The CHDK project successfully supports many different cameras running different operating systems, but finding the necessary kernel entry points is a very time consuming process. Since Magic Lantern is publicly available, some one with the time, the hardware and the inclination to port it to other cameras can do so. The 40D is similar in hardware, but runs vxWorks and would be lots of effort to support.
For Panasonic GH1 and GH2, please check http://www.gh1-hack.info/. This is a completely different bit of hardware and would require an entire from-scratch reverse engineering effort in order to port Magic Lantern.
There is also an effort in reverse engineering the Pentax K10/GX10 and K20/GX20 cameras. As of August 2009 they have been able to decrypt the firmware update and are making progress in understanding how the camera works.
For more questions about the Magic Lantern firmware, see the full FAQ