Company offers solution for 4K recording with legendary filmmaking DSLR but warns of bugs


Just over five years after the EOS 5D Mark III DSLR was announced, in the spring of 2012, the company Magic Lantern – which specialises in producing software enhancements that add increased functionality to Canon DSLRs – has revealed it has engineered a workaround that enables 4K RAW recording on the 5D Mark III.

Although Canon didn’t officially bring 4K recording to the EOS 5D line-up until the 2016 launch of the 5D Mark IV (which offers DCI 4K recording at 4096×2160 resolution), Magic Lantern has put together an experimental build that enables a number of different recording resolutions and frame rates with the 5D Mark III.

Resolutions & frame rates
These new resolutions and frame rates include the following:

• 1920×960 at 50p (both 1:1 crop and full-frame – 3×3 pixel binning).
• 1920×800 at 60p (both 1:1 crop and full-frame – 3×3 pixel binning).
• 1920×1080 at 45p and 48p (3×3 pixel binning).
• 1920×1920 at 24p (1:1 square crop).
• 3072×1920 at 24p (1:1 crop).
• 3840×1600 at 24p (1:1 crop).
• 4096×2560 at 12.5p (1:1 crop).
ª 4096×1440 at 25p (1:1 crop).
• Full resolution LiveView: 5796×3870 at 7.4fps (128ms rolling shutter).

The last feature mentioned above complements the well-known full-resolution silent pictures. The new implementation will be usable at fast shutter speeds, without the exposure gradient, but with rolling shutter (just like regular LiveView frames).

Bug warnings
Magic Lantern has published its own set of notes which clearly state that you can expect bugs with this build as it’s still “quite bleeding edge”. Also, amongst a fairly long list of possible issues, modes with higher vertical resolution will only preview the top frame while modes with higher horizontal resolution will have the preview “completely broken”.

Research first
Before you even consider downloading this for your 5D Mark III it it’s highly advisable to visit the Magic Lantern Forum, read the threads, and make sure you’re prepared to face problems. The build is constantly being updated and the list of potential issues is not short. On its website Magic Lantern clearly warns that it should be tested thoroughly before you consider using it for any serious work. Also, be aware that running this will almost definitely void your 5D Mark III camera’s original warranty.

Find out more…
To discover more about what the Magic Lantern 4K options for the EOS 5D Mark III might offer just click here. To watch The Video Mode’s exclusive video about how to customise an EOS 5D Mark III for video shooting just click here.