A Great Demonstration Of The Difference Between Raw And H.264 Video

Dave Dugdale of LearningDSLRVideo.com just published this great demonstration of the differences between recording video in raw and H.264 formats using Canon DSLRs and free Magic Lantern firmware. The difference is pretty astounding to me, as someone who has only ever shot video in H.264. You can check to see if your camera is supported at Magic Lantern's website - and while they don't currently support all cameras that Canon makes (or any that Nikon makes) they are always working on updates and trying to unlock the potential of a number of cameras at any one time (for example, they just announced that raw video will shortly be coming to the Canon 7d). Sure makes me wish that I had access to this great software on a number of my old shoots!

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I have donated to Magic Lantern but not yet installed it on my camera...

Looks like that's about to change very soon... great video, thanks for sharing.

makes me wish i did not have a dozen nikon lenses ..

David Peterson's picture

Just get a BMPCC + speedbooster and shoot away happily with your Nikon lenses!
(I'm a Nikon user too)

Just thought I'd point out that you've named the link 'Black Magic's Website'. I bet Black Magic sales are going to suffer some with this though, what Alex and the team at Magic Lantern have done over the past few years for Canon DSLR users is nothing short of incredible.

Mike Kelley's picture

Ah hell, my bad. Fixed. That's what I get for typing at 2am! Thanks for the correction.

No worries, man.

Seagram Pearce's picture

I still say a small prayer they'll put some focus on Nikon bodies too with their software.

Jeroen Rommelaars's picture

Anyone has experience with shooting RAW on the Canon 5d III like in this movie? How is it shooting RAW without, say, a built-in SSD. Is it doable with the CF cards? What does the workflow on set look like with those small datacontainers?

Yea, it's doable with CF cards. You just need to make sure they're 1000x speed, many users have bought Komputer Bay CF cards because they're cheaper but there is some variance in performance from one card to another as the quality control is lack luster which is how they keep their prices low. Workflow on a set would be like professional shoot, hand the cards over to a DIT and let them do their job, just as if you were on set with a RED or Alexa. The only concern I have with using it for a payed, professional shoot is the variance in Magic Lantern's Nightly Build stability. Currently, all the Magic Lantern raw hacks are in testing, so every other day there's a new release out where the team has tweaked the files and tried to fix bugs, or add new features and it seems that they haven't quite found a version that is stable, as some users will still have big issues like crashing, freezing or even not being able to write/record/extract their raw files, while other users (using the same ML version) might have no trouble at all. Personally, what I've been doing is downloading as many Nightly Builds as I can keep track of, and I've been testing them myself to find one that's stable enough on my camera. So far I've only had one version that didn't work well and it was one of the recent ones. It seems if you can get your hands on an early July or late June build, those are the most stable by far.

I actually shot a series of TV commercials using Magic Lantern. It was all shot on green screen and the compositing was a breeze. We shot about 30 actors for 9 different markets over a course of 3 days using 1 5dmkiii and not a single problem with the camera. We just used 2 32gb cf cards and had a DIT on set who kept dumping and color grading as each card filled up. You can check out one of the spots here:


Very good use of ML =))

This guy is one of the few photography-journalists I trust and respect. He doesn't try to get as many clicks as possible by any means, and is honest about not being very well informed on certain topics.

Thanks for including my video here Mike!

Mike Kelley's picture

No problem Dave - thanks for creating an awesome video! Happy to feature it.

Kevin Good's picture

It's always good to see Mr. Dugdale popping up on FStoppers. :D