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Tim Schroeder

5D Mark III Magic Lantern Raw

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I have a few questions regarding the 5D Mark III with Magic Lantern Raw.


First, what kind of computer specs would be need to handle the 14-bit raw smoothly?


Second, does the camera have the option to record in 10-bit or 12-bit?


Third, what kind of challenges come from using the 5D Mark III and/or Magic Lantern?



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I shot a 14 day feature in 2013 with 5D3 ML raw. Things may have changed a bit since then, but I was able to use my 2012 15" Retina MacBook Pro to do overnight transcodes, first to Adobe Cinema DNG with RawMagic and then to Prores via Resolve. All off of USB3 bus powered 2TB drives, so it's all doable with fairly low budget gear. Ideally you would have a tower with more a more powerful CPU and multiple GPUs for faster processing, and a large fast RAID for storage and redundancy.


No idea about 10 or 12 bit recording.


One challenge is that recoding raw creates a lot of data. If I remember correctly, 4GB/min at 1920x1038 (1.85:1) 23.98fps (max continuous recording time on my KomputerBay cards). I started with 4x 64GB cards (16min each) and ended up with 8 cards by the end. Also, dropped or corrupted frames happen occasionally and are not always reported by the camera. There's no way to check until you transcode the footage, so you should always shoot a safety take after a circle take, just in case. Finally, no usable playback in camera. So you pretty much have to treat it like shooting film and wait for dailies to catch any problems. Always carry an extra camera body, just in case. Of course, ML is not supported by Canon and voids warantees so if that matters to you then don't use it.

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I have shot one scene for a movie demo with 5d3 raw, mostly I have shot ml raw with 5d2.


The 5d3 experience was not so good overall, the hack was somewhat unreliable and we were only able to play back two or three takes, mostly the playback did not work at all and also had to reboot the camera couple of times when it freezed or had other problems. The rawmagic also messed something up with the dng metadata so we were not able to edit the raw in premiere cs or resolve and I had to make prores conversions for editing using after effects and completely forget the dng's for finishing.


With mark2 I have had even more reliability problems and bad frames are very common. The ml seems to be very picky about memory cards for whatever reason and maybe even the particular camera body you are using may affect the performance and reliability.


I think the ml raw is most usable for picking up single shots for now and then but as a main camera it can be a complete nightmare in worst cases

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