TV Commercial shot with Magic Lantern RAW video on Canon EOS 5D Mark III

by planetmitch1 Comment

People are so excited about the RAW video capabilities of Magic Lantern they're shooting all sorts of stuff and sending it in… here's Michael Anthony who just aired a Magic Lantern RAW video TV commercial he shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III!

You recently ran a news article “New dramatic sample of Magic Lantern Raw Video vs Dual ISO Raw on a 5D3” which happens to be the video I created testing this new feature.

I thought you might be interested in reporting on Magic Lantern Raw being used on a professional shoot for a TV commercial. The 5D Mark III was the camera used.

So I asked him a few questions about the shoot (especially since I'd been in Las Vegas recently on my vacation (we also went to Death Valley) and it was HOT!), recording audio, dropped frames, and any lessons learned about Magic Lantern:

Yes, it airs on Channel 2 Cox cable in Las Vegas, Boulder City and surrounding areas. It will also be used on their website as well.

The audio was recorded separately… all external. I had a dedicated person on audio using a RØDE NTG-3 on boom into a Sound Devices field preamp/mixer and Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

I had four 64gb compact flash cards from Komputerbay with me but only ended up filling around 2 each day. I did have a laptop on location in case offloading footage was necessary. Everything was fully scripted and planned so we were very efficient with the number and length of takes. Shooting uncompressed raw forces you to be more precise in what you shoot which actually is a good thing.

There weren't any issues with dropped frames. There is a Magic Lantern feature that will allow dropped frames to occur and continue recording but I disabled that. The recording will just stop rather than drop any frames. However I never had the video stop on me for any of my takes. When recording at higher frame rates like 60fps which don't allow for long continuous recording, I just made sure my takes were never longer than could be sustained. But the vast majority of the footage was shot 23.976 fps @ 1920 x 1080. My cards can easily sustain that until the card is full if need be.

Funny you mention Death Valley.. it was actually one of the planned shooting locations, but my better judgement prevailed and I nixed that idea. We actually had to stop the shoot for a while because one of the girls almost passed out from the heat. The conditions were definitely miserable but the scenery was beautiful and suited the mood we were trying to create.

Well Michael, they don't look hot! Congratulations on getting this on TV

Pride in Purity (5D Mark III Magic Lantern Raw)

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Here's a TV commercial I shot for Pride In Purity International, a non-profit organization near Las Vegas, Nevada. All footage was shot using Magic Lantern Raw on the 5D Mark III. I had performed quite a number of tests prior to this job, so I felt comfortable enough with the stability to give it a go on a real production.

I flew out to Las Vegas from my home state of Florida for this 2 day shoot. Florida weather is hot.. Vegas weather is hotter. The entire shoot was done with the temperature hovering around 115°F, so trying to keep the camera from overheating was a challenge. This had nothing to do with shooting raw however since I had previously shot in 90° plus temperature for full days without ever overheating… I guess 115°F was pushing it.

The latitude gained shooting raw made grading the footage a pleasure. Compared to typical DSLR footage, being able to retrieve so much detail from the highlights was a treat given the sunny conditions we were faced with. I probably ended up with over 200 GB of footage however, but that's the price of shooting raw. The images when shooting raw are so much more detailed then H.264. That combined with the richness of the colors really makes you feel you are working with a completely new camera.

For those that feel this is just a hack not suited for professional work, I disagree. I had no more issues during the 2 day shoot than on any previous jobs. I'm also thrilled to get this type of quality in such a small form factor since I prefer to work as lean as possible. Oh… did I mention that the camera takes halfway decent photos as well?

Camera: 5D Mark III

Lenses Used: Canon 100mm f/2.8L, Tokina 11-16mm, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Rokinon 85mm 1.4

Magic Lantern Raw Settings: 1920 x 1080 @ 24, 30, and 60 fps.

Audio was recorded separately using a Rode NTG-3 mic on a boom and running through a Sound Devices field mixer into a Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

Audio mix was done in Audition CS6.

Lighting was mostly natural with 1×1 LEDs and reflectors for fill.

Edited and color grade in Premiere Pro CS6 and Colorista II.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


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