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Magic Lantern hacks 2K RAW video from Canon SLRs

The team behind Magic Lantern has been able to uncover some of the hidden capabilities of Canon's SLR range, including the possibility of 2K RAW video.

The team behind Magic Lantern has been able to uncover some of the hidden capabilities of Canon's SLR range, including the possibility of 2K RAW video.

(Credit: Canon)

Magic Lantern is a non-destructive firmware hack that runs off the memory card, be that Compact Flash or SD, adding extra features to the Canon range of digital SLRs. While the video world is still waiting on Canon's official firmware update that will allow clean HDMI output from the 5D Mark III, in the process of creating a customised hack, Magic Lantern uncovered the ability to grab 14-bit RAW images from Live View.

According to film-making blog No Film School, the resolution from the Mark III is 2080x1386. When cropped down, which is required because of some extra unwanted detail at the sides of the frame, the resolution is just over full HD.

At the moment, the hack is very limited, offering around 10 to 14 frames per second (fps) rather than the more conventional 24fps that video makers are used to. However impressive RAW video may be from the Canon SLRs, Magic Lantern has said that this is still in the development stages, and we won't see an actual release for some time. Film-maker Philip Bloom also commented on Twitter that users shouldn't get too excited, as the camera's design might make the hack unusable for regular video applications.

The only camera in Canon's range that can record RAW footage straight out of the box is the cinema camera, C500, which is a lot more expensive than the full-frame Mark II and III SLRs.

The video below from Neumann Films shows some of the potential of the Magic Lantern RAW implementation, plus comparisons between the regular H.264 images compared to DNG ones: