Raw Video Workflow for 5D Mark III & Magic Lantern

Are you a filmmaker or videographer looking to achieve professional-grade video quality with your Canon 5D Mark III? Look no further! In this blog, we will explore the world of raw video shooting and the Magic Lantern firmware, a powerful tool that unlocks a whole new level of capabilities for your camera. By utilizing raw video and taking advantage of the robust features and settings offered by Magic Lantern, you can elevate your productions to the next level. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your journey in filmmaking, this blog will provide you with the insights and guidance you need to master the raw video workflow on your Canon 5D Mark III.

Raw Video Workflow for 5D Mark III & Magic Lantern

Today I want to share with you guys my workflow for processing magic lantern raw video shot on the 5d mark 3. This is a little bit different to how most other people are processing magic lantern RAW files. For me, it is the quickest and most accurate way, so I’ve actually spent a lot of time trying to figure this out and it’s caused me a lot of headaches.

I always wanted the raw video to look just exactly the same as it did with the baked-in picture styles. I was really happy with how they looked. I just wanted that added sharpness and that added dynamic range that raw enables. So I was really frustrated for the longest time, and I spent weeks and weeks, and now I’ve been able to actually develop a lookup table that essentially copies the internal picture profile produced by Canon. But when you’re actually recording the video and then processing the video, it doesn’t look completely different than it did on the screen, which is the problem that I was having.

Converting Raw Footage to DNG

I’m not actually going to show you guys how to convert your raw footage as it’s stored on the card to DNG, simply because there are plenty of tutorials online about how to do that. I’m currently using ml VFS, which stands for magic lantern video file system. I will put a link in the description to that piece of software. I do use the Mac version, but there is also a PC version.

Applying the Lookup Table in DaVinci Resolve

The first thing that we actually want to do is take the lookup table that I’ve created, by the way the link for that is also in the description below, and actually paste that into the folder which will then enable that lookup table to be used within the DaVinci Resolve UI so we can actually apply it to our footage.

I’m going to select the folder that I out of that look-up tables stored in. Now I’m going to open another Finder window and this time I’m going to navigate to the library folder, application support, Blackmagic Design, DaVinci Resolve, and then the look up table folder. I’m just going to simply copy that over. So now the lookup table is inside that folder and I’m just going to do a quick check just to make sure that it is in DaVinci Resolve. So just quickly importing some footage and I’m going to right click on the node 3D LUT and there it is. So we’re ready to go.

Setting Up the Project

The first step is to open a new project. Once we’ve opened a new project, we’re going to navigate to the file tab and we’re going to choose the project settings menu. Just going to check that our timeline frame rate is correct and then select under color science DaVinci Y RGB color managed. Now we’re going to go to the Camera Raw tab, make sure that it is Ari Alexa, and then select re default. On the color management tab, we want to change the timeline color space and output color space to re-log C. We’re going to uncheck use Mac display color profile for viewers.

Now we’re going to navigate to where our raw footage is stored, and you’ll see that they’re just folders full of DNG files. I’m going to go ahead and import the files that I’m going to process batch process today and add them to the media pool, so we just drag them down into the media pool just like that. Now there will be a dialog box popping up and it’ll ask us if we want to change the settings because we’ve already set our settings previously, we don’t. We can just click don’t change.

Now we move across to the edit tab and the first thing you want to do is make sure all the footage is the same frame rate. Select all, right click, click Add attributes, and check the frame rate. If you do have some footage that is maybe a different frame rate, maybe 25 or maybe 50 or 60 frames, which you can do with magic Lantern raw, we can make sure that all the clips are the exact same frame rate. Now that we’ve done that, we can just drag them down onto the timeline and that gives us a timeline full of our footage.

You’ll notice straight away that it is already looking like a log gamma curve and a log color space, and that is because we did select re-log see as our timeline and output color and gamma space. Moving across now to the color tab, so this is where you enter the settings that work with the lookup table. Decode using clip and set the white balance to custom, tick highlight recovery and what I do usually is leave the color temperature for now but change the tint to 20. Other than that, the sharpness to about 35, that’s what I prefer, but you can enter your own value here. And this is the important part, I set gain to 50. Now that increases the mids and that gives us a workable image for the lookup table once it’s applied.

Now we want to do is actually select all the footage by holding shift and clicking the very last clip, and then we want to click use settings. That’s going to apply those settings to all of the clips. Now you can see these settings are applied to every single clip on that Timeline.

Applying the Lookup Table to the Timeline

In this part, we’re actually going to apply the lookup table to the whole timeline. In the top right-hand corner, you’ll see that there are two little dots and then beside that is the option to select clip or timeline. Now you can see that when we scrub through in the viewer, we’re actually scrubbing through the entire timeline and not individual clips.

We’re going to add a new node, and I’m just going to link this node up. This is affecting the whole timeline because we’re on the timeline layer. Right click 3D LUT and then select the lookup table that I have created. Immediately, this is going to affect all of the footage on the timeline. I’m just going to scrub through just to show you guys so you can see how the footage is looking pretty good already, but it does need some tweaking.

Going back to our clip layer, now we’re affecting individual clips, and I usually mess with two different parameters in this stage. They’re really the only two parameters you need to be worried about. Those are color temperature or white balance, and the second one is gain. So I’m going to dial in my white balance for every single clip individually and my gain, so we’re just going to make sure that my exposure level is sitting where it should be. Essentially, the lookup table that I’ve created, once you get the gain setting correct where it’s supposed to be sitting, the black and the white level are going to be almost perfect. There used to be a really harsh roll-off to the highlights when I was using bmd film, but this has resolved that issue.

So now we have a really smooth highlight roll-off, which I love. There is an option to play with the highlights, though, just under the sharpness in the Camera Raw tab. Occasionally, I will actually play with this value if I have a scene with a large dynamic range and I want to keep some of that detail in the mid-tones. By using the gain, I can always bring down the highlights. There’s always that little bit extra room to move, and that’s great. But for the most part, highlights are set to zero.

Delivering the Final Video

Raw Video Workflow for 5D Mark III & Magic Lantern – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Raw Video Workflow for 5D Mark III & Magic Lantern

1. What is Magic Lantern?

Magic Lantern is a software add-on that enhances the functionality of Canon DSLR cameras, including the 5D Mark III. It allows users to access advanced features like shooting raw video.

2. Can I shoot raw video directly from my Canon 5D Mark III?

No, the Canon 5D Mark III doesn’t natively support shooting raw video. However, by installing Magic Lantern firmware, you can unlock the raw video capability on your camera.

3. What are the benefits of shooting raw video?

Raw video captures uncompressed and unprocessed data from the camera sensor, offering greater flexibility in post-production. It provides superior image quality, better color grading options, and greater dynamic range compared to compressed video formats.

4. How do I install Magic Lantern on my Canon 5D Mark III?

To install Magic Lantern, you need to download the appropriate firmware for your specific camera model from the Magic Lantern website. Then, follow the provided instructions to install it onto your camera’s memory card.

5. What settings should I use when shooting raw video?

When shooting raw video, it’s recommended to use the following settings: Aspect ratio – 16:9, Resolution – 1920×1080 (or higher if desired), Bit Depth – 14-bit or 12-bit, and White Balance – set manually for accurate color representation.

6. How do I process raw video footage?

To process raw video footage captured with Magic Lantern, you need to use specialized software like Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, or Final Cut Pro X. These programs allow you to import the raw files and apply color grading, noise reduction, and other adjustments to achieve the desired look.

7. Can I shoot raw video continuously with Magic Lantern?

While Magic Lantern enables raw video recording on your Canon 5D Mark III, there are limitations to the continuous recording time due to the camera’s hardware capabilities and memory card write speed. Longer video clips may require multiple files, and you should ensure your memory card has sufficient space and speed to handle the data.

8. Is shooting raw video with Magic Lantern safe for my camera?

Magic Lantern is a widely used and trusted firmware add-on, but like any third-party software modification, there is a slight level of risk involved. Follow the installation instructions carefully and be aware that modifying your camera’s firmware may void the warranty. However, thousands of photographers and videographers have successfully used Magic Lantern without any issues.

I hope you find useful my article Raw Video Workflow for 5D Mark III & Magic Lantern, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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