Comparing Canon 50D and 60D RAW Unlocked by Magic Lantern

by steven schwartz5 Comments

So, which of these two Canon APS-C cameras captures the better quality video? First off, the Canon EOS 50D was never designed to shoot video, but with Magic Lantern software, it becomes a very low cost video camera – the addition of high bitrate and 4K RAW video is nothing short of a revelation!

Enter the Canon EOS 60D, the newer of the two, becomes a powerful RAW video workhorse thanks to Magic Lantern.

To get the full story, check out the article on KahL-Blog: Unscientific Yet Fun 50D and 60D RAW Comparisons.

Unscientific Yet Fun 50D and 60D RAW Comparisons

From Kahleem Poole Tejada:

Old Body, New Tricks

The amazing thing about the 50D is that it was manufactured to be a higher end crop body before the 7D was created. Video features weren’t included and the sensor resolves about 4k in resolution vs the 7D’s 5k. Beyond that they’re very similar in detail, and Magic Lantern has not only unlocked the ability to record Canon-default video in the 50D, but most importantly have added the ability to record RAW DNG at up to 30fps. Considering that this body utilizes a CF card writer/reader, it can exceed writing capabilities of 65MBps. Capable of recording RAW frames at the maximum resolution for the body (1584×950 @5:3 aspect ratio).

50D setup w/ the Nikkor 28mm

50D setup w/ the Nikkor 28mm

The Popular Inexpensive Choice

Most micro-budget filmmakers have their money invested in the Rebel system, such as the T2i/3i/4i and many have gotten hold of the Canon EOS 60D, which is the middle-ground point between the beginner bodies and the pro-body such as the 7D. I can vouch for this as I’ve owned the Canon EOS 60D for a while before moving on to more “professional” systems, such as the Red, Alexa, Sony F5, etc. So for those interested in the lower end of the RAW scale, this is for you as well!

60D in action w/ Samyang 14mm

60D in action w/ Samyang 14mm

The Setup

For starters this was the setup for both cameras:

200ASA (HTP)
1/48 shutter (180)
50D: Nikkor AI-S 28mm f2.8
60D: Samyang 14mm f2.8
Location: top of “Museum Mile”

Metered at an f8 (shade) to f16 (sun) split

Metered at an f8 (shade) to f16 (sun) split

Each camera has a different lens primarily to create a split difference in focal length between the two. Naturally due to the major crop of the sensor for the Canon EOS 60D, the lenses will need to be wider to compensate. I’ll also be conducting a Part 2 of this test with a super 16 lens in the near future.

Museum Mile was chosen because of the tests in latitude for both cameras (metered at f8-f16), the bits of traffic moving around for motion observation and the resolution tests lent by the concrete, gravel, trees and other objects of various fine textures. Sure it ain’t exactly a resolution chart, but more of a real-world test that I can reference on different jobs of various backgrounds.

50D and 60D RAW comparisons from Kahleem Poole-Tejada (KahL-One)

Read the full comparison review on KahL-Blog: Unscientific Yet Fun 50D and 60D RAW Comparisons

What do you think? Are you going to ML your 50D or 60D? Let others know your thoughts by leaving a comment below:

(cover photo credit: snap from KahL-Blog)


  1. Correction, I believe; on the Canon 50D: It’s resolution is 2k Raw Video not 4K.
    Regardless I own the camera and it is a magnificent raw cinema camera thanks in whole to the genius of the good people that develop and run Magic Lantern.

    1. Very true. The 50D can execute 2k in crop mode, if I’m correct. However you may need to use wider glass to compensate for the crop factor itself (ala the Red).

  2. I have the Canon 60D and it’s just pure bliss. I owned the 50D as well, but sold it in order to get the 60D. Was well worth the money. With Magic Lantern, my video/pictures look that much better. Great stuff. 😀

    1. Brody, thanks for reading planet5D!

      Too bad Canon hasn’t hired the Magic Lantern team (at least as far as we know)

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