The uncompressed 14 bit linear continuous raw recording mode for the Canon 5D MkIII has been cracked by the ninjas at the Magic Lantern forums. Resolutions from 1920×1280 to 1920×720 look great–see below–though 2K and 3K+ resolutions are still a little glitchy. (2.5K seems to work with a narrower vertical crop.)
The developers over at Magic Lantern came across something remarkable while hacking away at the firmware for the Canon 5D Mk II and Mk III: the code that unlocks uncompressed YUV422 and 14-bit RAW video in Live View.
Currently i am working on a module that records YUV422 data to card. This code will only work when compiled from repository (there is no release yet)
5D3: can record 1904×1274 @ 12.5 fps
there are three major options - Frame skipping: record every n-th frame. choose 2 on 5D3 in 25 fps mode to record with 12.5 fps *continuously* - Single file: save some processing time by writing a single file. you have to split it later on your computer. (maybe the 422 converters will somewhen support this?) - RAW mode: not working yet, just saving gibberish
Two days later, g3gg0 posted that they’d “added code to save RAW files on 5D3 now.”
720p, 400 frames, raw @ 24fps should be no problem with a fresh formatted 1000x card. maybe i can improve it a bit, but for now it is quite useable.
According to Luke Neumann at Neumann films, full resolution HD these files are possible, but only in silent shooting mode at 10-14 fps for 28 frames. These files are 2088 x 1200 14-bit 422 DNG image files. After cropping the “overscanned” area, you end up with a 1920 x 1080 HD frame.
Keep an eye on the Magic Lantern forums, as new developments are being reported almost daily. Everyone seems to agree that this extends the life of the 5D Mk II by a huge margin. What’s not surprising is that these cameras were capable of this kind of performance in the first place.*
Digital camera sensors are often hamstrung by the camera’s own hardware: either the processors aren’t fast enough to transform the data, or the cards aren’t fast enough to capture it, or the manufacturers would rather control the rate of R&D and then sell the new technologies only after they’ve made money back on the old ones. But by that time, the street has usually done all the catching up for them.
The RC-470 impresses by eschewing traditional image capture methods: no film, no CF cards, no SD cards or SSDs. Thanks to a proprietary floppy disk technology you can store up to 50 photos per disk. With the advanced models, you can utilize a massive 600K-pixel CCD to capture photos at resolutions up to 400 lines. Canon makes sharing photos with your friends easy thanks to a full color printer peripheral.
Still photography and video together in the same camera. This isn’t just a game changer, it’s a whole new game.
This past Wednesday night Adorama hosted the New York chapter of the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers‘ (SMPTE) April meeting titled “Cinema Lenses and the Technology for a New Breed of Digital Cinema Cameras”. Delivering presentations to a packed house of over 100 attendees were Angenieux’s Jean-Marc Bouchut, Canon’s Larry Thorpe; Cooke’s Les Zellan, Fujinon’s Thom Calabro, and Schneider Optics’ Don Shafer and Paul Cousins.
One of the big hits of NAB 2013 was the Canon 1D C. The funny thing about that is the 1D C was teased in late 2011 and impressed in 2012 with Shane Hurlbut and Po Chan’s “The Ticket”, yet launched in March 2013 to very little fanfare. It seems that people didn’t quite know what to do with a DSLR that shot 4K video. (The $12K body-only price tag is potentially intimidating.) Perhaps it was the announcement of an April firmware update that allows it to capture 4K at 25 fps or that more people just got to put their hands on it that the camera finally started to click. (more…)
In an interview with News Shooter, Canon USA’s Technical Advisor Chuck Westfall shares some details about upcoming refinements to the Cinema EOS line of cameras. There will be three separate updates for each model due in October 2013. There is no mention of an update for the 1DC.
C100: The operator can now punch in on 9 different sections of the frame when using the focus assist function.
C300: Adds push auto iris and one-shot AF functions
The 5D Mk III update announced back in October 2012 will finally be released at the end of April 2013, offering “high-definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) output from the EOS 5D Mark III to an external recorder via the camera’s HDMI terminal. This, in turn, facilitates the editing of video data with minimal image degradation for greater on-site workflow efficiency during motion picture and video productions. Additionally, video being captured can be displayed on an external monitor, enabling real-time, on-site monitoring of high-definition video during shooting.”
This editoriARC is written by Iain Marcks, a filmmaker and writer living in New York City. All opinions are his own.
Have you heard about the MōVI? It’s a hand-held, gyrostabilized camera rig that allows the operator to capture smooth, Steadicam and Technocrane-like movements in situations where a Steadicam or a Technocrane would otherwise be impossible to use. I suppose the real question is, will it revolutionize filmmaking? (more…)
Also added are two dozen GoPro Hero 3 Black Editions. These cameras are “30% smaller, 25% lighter and 2x more powerful than previous GoPro models. Wearable and gear mountable, waterproof to 197′ (60m), capable of capturing ultra-wide 1440p 48fps, 1080p 60 fps and 720p 120 fps video and 12MP photos at a rate of 30 photos per second.” The Black Edition also records 4K at 15 fps.
With manufacturers’ hands revealed, we can comfortably take stock of the trends and legacy of this momentous year for filmmakers.
Sony FS700 – Slo-mo for the rest of us High framerate HD has long been the domain of luxury car-priced specialty cameras like the Phantom Miro. Sony changed this with its sub-$10,000 FS700 super 35mm all-rounder. With Full HD video up to 240fps (and reduced resolution up to 960fps), slow motion is no longer an expensive and costly imposition, but seamlessly integrates with the production workflow. That the camera inherits the FS100′s low light prowess, and is 4K-capable with a recently revealed add on recorder, means this camera will be a future-proof, affordable, swiss army knife of a camera for filmmakers and DPs everywhere. Check out our Sony FS700 interview at NAB.
Canon goes all-in on Digital Cinema Little over a year ago, a “Cinema EOS” division was just a gleam in Canon’s eye. While other camera manufacturers seemed content to let their video capabilities on DSLR and mirrorless offerings act as value-added features to the core still-photography tool, Canon decided to take a gutsy leap into the Digital Cinema fray. By year’s end, it offers a full range of digital cameras, lenses and peripherals along a variety of price points, carving out a position among industry mainstays. We’ve seen customers enthusiastically adopting these cameras in all areas of the Digital Cinema industry: features, documentaries, music videos, commercials and more. Read our year one analysis of the Canon Cinema EOS line after our industry event.
Digital Continues its Hollywood Takeover With a few notable exceptions (The Dark Knight Rises, The Master, which utilized IMAX or 70mm film stocks, respectively), many of the year’s biggest and most visually exceptional movies were shot digitally. Films like Prometheus, Skyfall, Life of Pi, The Avengers, Zero Dark Thirty and plenty more surreptitiously replaced their medium’s namesake for digital alternatives from ARRI and RED.
Sony Solves the Global Shutter Problem While digital cinema cameras marched slowly toward film parity over the last decade, they always lacked a fundamental advantage of their film counterparts: a global shutter. Synonymous with film cameras, global shutters allow the entire frame to be exposed at once, rather than the progressive exposure of digital sensors. Fast processors and internal algorithms and post software were able to mitigate the problems inherent in rolling shutters, yet skew, wobble and partial exposures plagued even the most advanced cameras in use today, and required artistic compromises during the shooting process. Late in the year, Sony announced two spec-heavy cinema cameras in the form of the F5 and F55. The cameras were so its impressive in their own right, it was easy to overlook the monumental achievement the F5 added to its long spec sheet: the first global shutter on a digital cinema camera. Read about the F5, F55 and other Sony 4K news.
The Year of the Price Cut
If Martin Luther King, Jr. declared “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” the filmmaking equivalent would be: “the arc of technology is pretty short, and it bends towards Crazy Eddie prices.” The shadow of the DSLR revolution hangs over the industry, when “film-like” depth-of-field and color range came within reach of millions of idea-rich but cash-poor filmmakers. Yet the truly high-end sheen and clarity of Hollywood imagery remained tantalizingly beyond the grasp of Indie filmmakers and small production houses. But perhaps more so than any other year, 2012 saw the dramatic price drop of cinema-grade options. First, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Sony FS700 ruffled players at NAB with pro-level spec sheets at consumer level prices. Then, to top off the trend, RED finished the year with across the board cuts to its entire line, in many cases practically halving the cost of camera “brains.” Of course, “cheap” doesn’t begin to describe cameras, especially when requisite peripherals are added to the cost, and renting remains the most cost-effective option for most DPs, but the fact remains – the price and quality gap between high end and low end shooting has never been smaller.
Blackmagic Ups the Ante with its Cinema Camera Blackmagic, no stranger to bold shakeups in every area of the industry it enters, nevertheless shocked the filmmaking world at NAB by casting its lot into the mature camera market with the Cinema Camera. The specs seemed too good to be true: common EF and Micro Four Thirds Mounts, bleeding edge Thunderbolt I/O, built in SSD and, most importantly, 2.5K, 12-bit RAW codec – all for the price of a DSLR. Its encountered no shortage of setbacks since its announcement: from endless production delays (we’re the only rental house in the city with one), to buggy firmware, limited featureset, less than intuitive UI and massive files requiring huge post processing power. Nevertheless, its fundamental advantage, incredible internal codecs and pliable final output for post work put a serious wrench in the careful pricing strategies the major players use to protect price brackets along the product range. If the BMCC takes off, 8-bit compressed codecs on 5 digit price points will not hold water much longer. Now, its a question whether Blackmagic can resolve its production bottleneck and get it into the hands of more users. Follow our full coverage of the BMCC.
4K Goes Mainstream
NAB’s big cinema camera manufacturers all had optimized 4K theaters showing off the game-changing potential of a high resolution calibrated experience. It was such a startling event that all four ARC team members on the floor in Vegas wrote about the experience in our post-NAB report. It remains to be seen whether audiences demand the hyper-realism of high resolution, but savvy filmmakers aren’t going to ignore the future-proofing a 4K+ master provides. Astoundingly, even GoPro got in on the high res action at the end of the year with its Hero 3 Black Edition shooting 4K at 15fps for only $400. Read our 4K commentary from NAB.
Full-Frame Reaches Dedicated Video-Cameras The full-frame “look” became so common during the 5D Mark II heyday that beautifully shallow depth of field and the focus searching that attended it became a common attribute of half the films on Vimeo, an aesthetic unto itself. Yet Super 35mm remained the de facto standard for dedicated digital cinema cameras, leaving filmmakers who wanted to achieve the distinctive shallow affect with a handful of cameras aimed at stills shooters. Sony took a step toward changing this with its E-mount NEX-VG900. While the camera has notable shortcomings for filmmakers – a somewhat muddy image for film work and auto-oriented camcorder layout and interface, it still was the first Full-Frame camera with such a thin flange-mount distance, allowing for a massive array of lenses to be affixed via adapters. Here’s hoping for more large-sensor offerings in video camera bodies to come. Follow the tremendous developments in full-frame this year.
GH2 Upsets at Zacuto’s “Revenge”
The hacked Panasonic GH2 claimed long-overdue credit as a formidable filmmaking tool when it upset the major players in a blind screening of Zacuto’s annual camera test. While the strictly controlled standard lighting scenario showed the cameras falling more closely along their price points, the GH2 was able to win over the audience (including Francis Ford Coppola) when individual teams were allowed to take on each camera and compensate for their weaknesses with additional fill light. While this was as much a victory for the DPs as the camera itself, it nevertheless showed off the surprising image quality of the hacked version of the camera, with its increased bitrates and added features. Now we can eagerly look forward to the GH3, which promises to bring many of the hacked features to the native firmware. Read our analysis of the test and our interview with “Revenge” test administrator, Bruce Logan.
OM-D E-M5 Image Stabilization – The Beginning of the End of Steadicam? The diminutive Micro Four Thirds enthusiast camera got plenty of plaudits from the photography press this year, but most coverage highlighted the camera’s accomplishments for the stills shooter, with unprecedented image quality from such a small sensor, speedy autofocus and fantastic build quality and ergonomics. Video seemed an afterthought for Olympus, so much so that they somehow managed to leave out 24p, the standard framerate among filmmakers and a key ingredient in approximating the “film-look.” But the five-axis onboard image stabilization was a revolutionary leap forward for hand-holding filmmaking. Micro-shake is an inescapable reality, requiring heavy and cumbersome rigs or steadicams for even the most trivial hand-held shot, or unreliable post-tools. With this camera, we got to peak into a future of IS so advanced as to potentially remove the need for burdensome peripherals.
What do you think?
This roundup is just one glimpse into some of the massive changes we’ve seen in the industry this past year. It’s all come so fast, it’s actually been hard to keep up at times. What had the biggest impact for you this year? What did we miss? Add your voice in the comments!
Also take our poll below, which change was most important for you in 2012?
It’s easy to forget how recently film lorded over the Hollywood; how absolute, how unquestionable it’s dominance as the medium of choice.
Sure, digital was convenient, and certainly there was that mysterious theoretical crossover point at which image quality could uncannily pass the Turing test of a trained DP’s eye, for film. But there was a lingering denial in many hearts that such a day would come, and for so long, this held true. Nothing could match the latitude of a film negative, not to mention replicate that “look.” Video was confined to a “choice” for risk-taking filmmakers, eager to push the aesthetic envelope of audience comfort (think David Lynch or Lars von Trier) or by trigger happy directors prematurely convinced of its substitutability and advantages (Michael Mann comes to mind).
Yet Moore’s Law marches stoically forward, and with it, hearts follow minds into the future reality, which has finally become the current one. The all-caps opposites – staid, storied ARRI and its foil, the plucky upstart, RED – took an early lead in getting real films, indistinguishable from the namesake, into theaters. Notably, the gorgeous Skyfall was shot on the Alexa and the approaching Hobbit trilogy was EPIC shot. Sony, never one to be left out of seemingly any market, answered with the formidable F65, used on the forthcoming M. Night Shyamalan feature. A new oligarchy around the centerpiece of cinematic technology – the camera – was forming, as suddenly as the market came up for grabs. Canon, seeing (more…)
This coming Tuesday, join Adorama and Canon for an in depth Presentation by Larry Thorpe, Senior Fellow of the Professional Engineering & Solutions Division of Canon USA, Inc., on the Cinema EOS cameras, including the newly announced C500, C100, 1DC, as well as the C300.
The presentation will be followed by hands on time on the full Cinema Family products, CINE lenses (Primes and Zooms) and the Pro Camcorder lineup (XF/XA products).
Food and drinks drinks will be served. Doors open at 6, the presentation starts at 6.30, and you’ll have the opportunity to go hands-on with the gear at 8.