Magic Lantern RAW video: Advice from a Pro – Francis Frenkel

by Keith AlvendiaLeave a Comment

Yesterday, we found this interesting interview with Francis Frenkel (translated by google) about his usage of Magic Lantern and knew you'd be interested! We've included the google translation of the original story so the wording is a bit off, but you'll get the point I think.

Creative Pixels: Francis Frenkel interview

Magic Lantern RAW video advice from a pro - Creative Pixel

The announcement a few weeks ago by the Magic Lantern team a chance to see the future housings Canon DSLRs shoot in raw unleashed the most unexpected buzz and most exciting of the year …. (Read: Magic Lantern: the DNG RAW video on the 5D Mark III) See a small team of developers to give one of the most popular DSLRs boxes a previously reserved for cameras costing at least 10 times the price feature was a veritable explosion in the world of video.

5 years after the buzz triggered by the release of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, its successor, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III reaches another dimension: the raw video file or “raw”.

Since the announcement in late April, the net abuzz beta testers grass which compiles the code lines made available by the Magic Lantern team to access the grail. Very little information is available in French, no stable version is available, and in the end, very few people actually know or is development work and what can be the implications … Nobody except maybe Francis Frenkel interview:

# 1 – Hello Francis, can you introduce yourself in a few words and we describe your occupation?

I am 48 years old, I graduated from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Nantes, and I created my production company – LUCID Broadcast – with my wife in 2009, which allows me to produce and direct documentary. In addition to this activity I sell to other production companies as Chief Operator or Director of Photography for imaging or light, videos, films, documentaries, corporate films.

I also organize training in the use of Digital SLR video shooting, primarily for professionals, but sometimes enthusiastic amateurs slip into my internship … (see my website page “DSLR training“)

# 2 – How long have you running with reflex boxes, why did you make that choice over traditional digital cameras?

I am trained as a photographer and I struggled to go digital … I used mainly by boxes format rangefinder, largely manual (Mamiya 6 × 7 and 6 × 6 Hasselblad). It is under pressure from my clients and when the first Canon 5D full frame sensor came on the market that I switched. Then the Canon 5D Mark2 in 2008 I switched to the video because this case met all my requirements by providing close to those produced by film cameras images.

The requirement to shoot in manual mode and make the development hand in video mode has not appeared to me all complicated because that's what I've always done! For the rest, I spent the whole night reading blogs that are pioneers Philip Bloom and Vincent Laforet to fast forward …

# 3 – How did you come to use Magic Lantern and later to get involved in its development, particularly in the beta test?

Making videos with Digital SLR is complicated because it is not the ergonomics of a camera. In accessorizing it is possible to correct the problems of stabilization, referred to the development and its decision … But the functionality level, limp remained primarily a camera with features essentially picture …

So when I found the first version of Magic Lantern (0.1.3) in 2009 it was a revelation because this firmware finally turned the Canon 5D camera, with assistance exposure (zebra options peacking, false color) but also the opportunity to enjoy a view meter for audio during the recording, release the automatic audio limiter (Automatic Gain Control), etc … In short, it brought the relevant firmware upgrades and a real comfortable working with professional features!

# 4 – What you apportai Magic Lantern every day before the arrival of the famous feature ML Raw?

This is a must for me right tool. Version 2.3 is perfectly stable and I never use the Canon menus, except for basic and essential features of the steering box.

The functions that I use all the time are:

The audio settings (audio level on the screen during recording))
“Spot meter” to measure in real time over or under exposed areas (in%)
“Histogram” always make sure the correct exposure
“Magic Zoom” a handy feature in interview because it shows a lens and adjusts the focus during recording!
The increase in the “Bitrate”, which reduces the effect of “ladders” in gradients (banding) and pixelation when I speak strongly calibration
“The cropmarks” that can fit the output format
“The Zebras” which allows me to measure the over and under exposed areas

“HDR” that allows me to increase the exposure latitude (the process is long and complex)
“Intervalometer” and “fps” that can make timelapses but video
FYI: I am proposing a specific training module on the features of Magic Lantern …

# 5 – Let's talk about this famous feature that made the buzz in recent weeks … Can you tell us what are your general impressions first?

This is absolutely revolutionary!

Warning there is still no stable version of Magic Lantern RAW, it is only possible to test versions under development that are not even Alpha versions!! But it already works quite well and the web is already flooded with a myriad of small clips that demonstrate the extraordinary possibilities of shooting in RAW …

What is amazing is that we hid Canon access to this possibility and that developers are genius in their kitchen that showed this feature by making it freely available to all, on almost all boxes of the Canon brand ! In fact you have to buy a Canon C500 to more than 21 000 € for access to the ability to shoot RAW (4k) or RED Scarlet camera at the same price (4k too). Only the little Black Magic Cinema Camera offers the ability to shoot ProRes or DNxHD and 2K RAW 2.5K for an affordable price, around € 3,000. But the design of this camera creates a heavy burden because it uses a tiny sensor micro 4/3, which requires a crop factor of 2.3 and turns a 50mm lens in 115mm!

# 6 – In terms of image quality, it seems that in addition to the obvious gain in depth and richness of color and gain momentum, the raw is much clearer, what about your first test?

Yes, the gain in resolution is the first thing that strikes and the level of detail obtained is absolutely amazing when you compare the video in H264 and the same sequence in RAW! We find the case of photographic performance when running in RAW Video! RAW is produced by Magic Lantern is a DNG file encoded in 14bit and sampled 4.4.4. which offers exposure latitude and depth of great colors.

For the moment it is RAW exploitable only through the dematrixer “Camara RAW” ADOBE, but tests show that it will soon be possible to open RAW files in Magic Lantern DaVinci Resolve and even directly in some editing software … It is already possible to open directly in AE and Premiere Pro's native RAW file without any conversion with Ginger HDR!

You can find his work on his website, his CV and his current projects:

CONTINUED! There is MUCH MORE to the article here!

Here is the teaser of its future short film shot in raw with a 5D Mark III:

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  Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before  

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

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