Magic Lantern Enables 4K Raw on the Canon 5D Mark III

On April 1st of all days, Magic Lantern told the world they were able to unlock 4K raw recording on a 5 year old DSLR! At first, it all seemed to good to be true, and that someone was trying to pull a fast one on April Fools. However, upon further investigation, it turns out that Magic Lantern were not joking about enabling 3K and 4K recording on the good ol’ Canon 5D Mark III.

Sure, Canon may appear to be a stubborn and traditional camera manufacturer that in many ways appear to be doing catch up in the 4K video side of things, however one thing cannot be denied here – there is so much horsepower hidden away in the 5D III. In a way this is quite infuriating to know that a 5 year old DSLR is capable of so much potential locked away, but such is the reality of business.

Some of you may hate to admit it, but the 5D Mark III is one of the most popular cameras not just for professional photography, but for video as well.

Magic Lantern 4K Raw Canon 5D Mark III

There are many commercials and web content shots for some of the world’s biggest brands shot on it, with many DP’s experimenting and achieving phenomenal results with Magic Lantern, who have transformed the video functionality of the camera into something in a league of its own.

Here are the new resolutions in the latest ML nightly build for 5D Mark III:

  • 1920 x 960 @ 50p (both 1:1 crop and full-frame – 3×3 pixel binning)
  • 1920 x 800 @ 60p (same as above)
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 45p and 48p (3×3 binning)
  • 1920 x 1920 @ 24p (1:1 square crop)
  • 3072 x 1920 @ 24p (1:1 crop)
  • 3840 x 1600 @ 24p (1:1 crop)
  • 4096 x 2560 @ 12.5p (1:1 crop)
  • 4096 x 1440 @ 25p (1:1 crop)

Full-resolution LiveView: 5796 x 3870 at 7.4 fps (128ms rolling shutter)

You may not be able to use the full-frame sensor to get these, but the 1:1 crop gets really close to the Super35 FOV.

This means, that if you don’t really care for autofocus in video and can do away with a touch screen you might as well forget the 5D Mark IV.

It is worth to note that this update is in its infancy and the nightly builds are notoriously buggy, so best to wait for a more stable release before you unleash these modes on a paid gig. Just a word of caution.

See a recent test done by Luigi Baccino using the latest ML update.

Oh, yeah and you will need some really fast Compact Flash cards. For more info head over to Magic Lantern and/or EOSHD.

In the meantime, I am hitting eBay to find a used 5D Mark III…

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