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Monday, May 27, 2013

RAW Video On a 50D !

Canon EOS 50D raw video - 2x anamorphic (2560x960p) from Julian Huijbregts on Vimeo.

The 50D is a 5 year old camera that probably only first timers, students and those on a low budget want for shooting stills. The 60D replaced it a couple years ago. However the 50D is still an interesting camera. It has video capabilities but Canon locked them out in firmware. Thanks to Magic Lantern that was unlocked. More interesting is that this camera came out at about the same time the 5D mII did so they share some things in common. Well surprise surprise, the Magic Lantern coders have managed to get some basic RAW video happening with the 95mb/sec Sandisc CF cards at 1592×720 at 24fps. So thats a like a 2.21:1 frame. Close enough to 2.35. The older 15m pixel sensor should also mean better low light abilities in THEORY based on larger photo sites. However cleaner signal processing in newer cameras might level that difference out. Either way its yet one more example of Canon ( just like Sony and Panasonic used to ) crippling a camera in firmware rather than giving everything it can do. I don't blame a company for maximizing profit on products at some level, but there is also just pure gouging which is what Canon has been doing. Meanwhile the very affordable GoPro Hero3 gives you everything it can do including a reduces frame rate 4K and a very nice 2.7K 30FPS. Of course we are all waiting for the 4K S35 BMD camera this summer. This is another camera with no artificial limitations, but perhaps a few poor design choices like the 1/4" audio jacks instead of TA3's. Perhaps all of this will shake some things loose at Canon that they have to compete and give value in their products rather than trying to play the very old game of taking one or two features out and only delivering them for 2X more. That doesn't work anymore in today's connected and competitive marketplace. Perhaps Canon management needs to read the ClueTrain manifesto !

Go watch the video. Its sharp. I saw one shot with some obvious moire ( bus passing by ) but otherwise its pretty astounding for a camera never intended to shoot video at all. I can't say I'd tell anyone to go buy a 50D on ebay right now because too much is still early - how long can you record for ? will it ever make an honest 1920X1080 ? ect. Give it a week or two to shake out ! However even if it gets to 1920X720 / 800 / 900 it would still be useful for some people's needs. Note the frame skipping you see is apparently due to a mistake in processing the RAW->mov's. Interesting times, isn't it !