Shooting Magic Lantern RAW on the 7-Year Old Canon Stills Camera the 50D

by Hugh Brownstone4 Comments

Filmmaker and planet5D reader Alex Beasley manages to coax 24p RAW footage out of a Canon 50D using Magic Lantern.

It is not without challenges, but Alex Beasley not only shoots 24p RAW with a camera that isn’t even supposed to HAVE video (the Canon 50D) – but he really likes the result.

He likes it more than he likes what comes out of the Canon 5D Mk III.

But those challenges are very, very real, and Alex was good enough to sit down with us over Skype to tell us all about them.

Spoiler alert: if there is just one word to describe those challenges in priority order, it is overheating.

You can learn more about Alex and his work at

Magic Lantern RAW on a Canon 50D

00: 38:14 – Magic Lantern and the Canon 50D: how and why?
01:28:20 – What challenges have you had with Magic Lantern on the 50D?
02:10:06 – Does overheating really ever come up and if so, how do you handle it?
03:25:19 – Do you have multiple cards with Magic Lantern on them?
03:39:15 – Have you ever had problems installing Magic Lantern on multiple cards?
04:40:22 – How many hours of footage have you recorded with Magic Lantern RAW?
05:01:08 – How do you handle all of that data?
05:58:00 – Are you using DaVinci Lite, or the full version?
06:03:10 – What does the footage look like?
06:36:14 – And it’s sharper? [bctt tweet=”Using a 7 year old ‘stills' camera to shoot video! So COOL!”]

07:09:21 – Tips
07:59:07 – Next time, might you want a different camera?
08:45:07 – It’s not full HD? What is it?
09:08:15 – Any problems with dropped frames?
09:20:22 – The advantages of RAW
09:52:08 – How often have you needed RAW’s advantages in post?
10:25:00 – How do you expose and what exposure assist tools do use in Magic Lantern?
10:58:13 – What picture profile do you recommend?
11:32:11 – What about the computer and hard disk to edit all of this?


Pros and Cons with ML on the 50D According to Alex:


  • Higher Dynamic Range, 14bit color
  • Adjustments in Post-Production
    • Can adjust exposure, highlights, shadows, and color temperature in post production
  • Sharper image



  • Large Amount of Data
    • 2.1 MB per frame, about 50 MB/s
    • Requires high write speed Compact Flash
  • More Difficult Workflow
    • Have to convert the footage first before importing (RawMagic Lite)
      • However, you can preview in MlRawViewer
  • Overheats
    • It's not clear what the safe ceiling limit temperature wise, but it can easily heat up to 52 Celcuis / 125 Fahrenheit
    • Have a back-up camera to swap out
  • Battery Drains Quickly
    • Use battery grip
  • No Audio Input on the 50D
    • Must use dual system & some type of slate


Canon 50D Raw Color Grading

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. This is kind of a big deal. Proof that Canon deliberately limit what the sensors can do in order to fit into their wider sales strategy. It’s not surprising but still pretty cynical.

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