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There’s been a ton of attention to Magic Lantern and the RAW video feature in the last few weeks (and we’ll have more coverage shortly as well), but I find it very interesting the ability to perform an in-camera zoom while filming hasn’t gotten more attention. Maybe the video below will give you enough detail to get you intrigued as I have been. It turns out that planet5D inspired Alec Weinstein to make it in the first place! Thanks Alec!

I just went back to planet5D to see the stuff you have been posting about crop mode and it turn out it was your article that lit a fire under me to see if I could make it work! You had by far the best info on the subject and I lost my mind when reading it two days ago, hence, my video yesterday.

Cheers! And thanks for the inspiration.

Many of you may have thought about buying extenders for your lenses – after all who doesn’t want every lens they have to have multiple focal lengths? But sometimes that’s just not practical… and of course you lose a little light and quality from your lens when you add extra glass.

And, everyone has been excited by the Nikon D800 because it has an additional internal zoom factor (FX is full frame and DX is 1.5x crop – similar to the APS-C sensor from Canon) – and the Nikon D4 has an additional CX zoom (2.7 crop). So, why hasn’t Canon ever done anything like this? Well, now the Magic Lantern team has taken the bull by the horns for us!

Here’s a good description:

The beauty of this video is that there is ZERO loss of detail when compared to a photo taken a full resolution. Of course the photo covers the entire size of the sensor 5760×3840 pix while the video is just a small portion of the sensor in my case I am generating a video of 1920×1080 pix. There is no down-sampling of the sensor so the image is a 1:1 crop.

Since we are using 1920 pix out of the 5760 pix (width) the zoom factor is 5760/1920 = 3X.

From Alec’s video, here’s a visual of that crop taking the video from the center of the sensor:

Demo of Magic Lantern 3x zoom - triple every lens in your bag! | planet5D - the best DSLR video community on the planet!

Earlier posts on this amazing Magic Lantern feature!


Canon EOS 5D Mark III Magic Lantern Raw with 3x Crop mode!

Demo of possible zoom

From Alec’s video, here are two screenshots of the possibilities with using his 70-200L and a 2x extender… first, a shot at the low end of the lens with the 2x physical zoom:

Demo of Magic Lantern 70mm with 2x physical doubler effective 140mm

70mm with 2x physical doubler effective 140mm

Now, going to the 200mm end of the lens with the 2x extender:

400mm sample (200mm + 2x extender)

400mm sample (200mm + 2x extender)

And the Magic Lantern 3x zoom factor… 1200mm effective!

Demo of Magic Lantern 3x zoom - 1200mm Sample

Demo of Magic Lantern 3x zoom – 1200mm Sample

Obviously it would have been better if there weren’t some atmospheric issues in the video, but you get the idea!

Alec’s Description

New breakthrough features on the 5D3 via Magic Lantern pre-release firmware hack. This video demonstrates the quality improvements expected with Raw shooting plus a mind blowing demonstration of the 3x crop mode. This mode allows for an optical magnification of 300% with no loss in resolution or light when shooting at full HD 1920×1080. Truly mind blowing if you are a digital video enthusiast.

Magic Lantern Zoom notes

First, please remember that this is still very early ‘alpha’ code and tho there’s always a chance of damaging your camera with non-Canon firmware, the Magic Lantern team has done a great job of testing and some people are using the stable 2.3 version for their daily production needs.

Second, there’s still some major work you have to go thru to set this feature in the software and the placement of the 1:1 section of the sensor that you’ll film with is still fluid (meaning it isn’t set directly in the software, you have to move the zoom square around manually). So, it isn’t just the easiest thing to use yet – but again this is still alpha code!

Here’s the Magic Lantern forum thread describing how to do this 3x zoom and all discussion about the zoom feature.

We also don’t yet know if this will be available on other cameras.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)



planetMitch

chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind planet5D.com

He's incredibly happy running planet5D and sharing so much joy of photography and filmmaking with his readers.

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