Magic Lantern RAW video going to be much easier – FFMPEG now officially supports .mlv

by planetMitch7 Comments

This morning, alex posted this note on twitter that is subtle, but likely to change the world in a massively good way for Magic Lantern RAW video:

Ok, but for the layman, what does that mean?

Many video players like VLC for example, use FFMPEG in their underlying software and therefore, many many commonly used tools will in the coming months as they add the updated FFMPEG code to their tools will be able to play Magic Lantern RAW video natively.

This is HUGE news if you ask me!

What I don't know at this point, because I'm not a techie in the video player/editor world, is whether this will make it any easier to process/edit the .mlv files — tho if you scroll down, I did find new support for a color grading tool.

FFMPEG now officially supports Magic Lantern Video

From g3gg0 on the Magic Lantern forums:

two days ago a patch was committed to ffmpeg official source code database that
adds support for our Magic Lantern Video (MLV) format produced by mlv_rec.

how it came to this?

the FFMPEG team applied for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) for raw bayer support in their libraries.
i talked to peter and suggested him to look at our video format as some open source raw video format that is free of any royalities.

so they could continue to improve their raw support with already existing footage in this simple video file format.

peter then started to implement the format reader within only a few days 🙂
the nightly build of ffmpeg already can play .mlv videos using ffplay, just the coloring isnt finished yet.

the commit is here

a big thank you to Peter Ross and Michael Niedermayer for making this happen 🙂

Here's another good summary from @dmilligan on the Magic Lantern forums:

Quote from: painya on Today at 02:05:04 AM
“Sorry I'm not as technically advanced as all y'all. What does this mean for converting? A better and faster debayer program? Thanks.”

It means that a library that is widely used by a number of programs that do video will have native support for MLV. Which means any of the programs that use that library will defacto have support for MLV. Which means that you will be able to playback MLV files with any of these already existing programs. Almost all open source video applications use this library (called ffmpeg).

It doesn't really say anything about speed or performance (it could be better or could be worse, that's not the point), it just means that there will be widespread, generic support for the MLV file format amongst open source software applications.

MLV+Audio Native play in new version off ASSIMILATE Scratch

Also posted today on the Magic Lantern forums…


MLV+Audio Native play in new version off ASSIMILATE Scratch

I had the confirmation today from one member of the assimilate team, that they implemented the mlv+audio playback in their software.

so you can consider this is a good standart !

for those who dont know >


assimilate is a grading tool not a viewer,

it means native read of the .mlv file + audio import and grading. not only viewer …

ASSIMILATE went on the 4th innovation rank on the NAB 2014.

So it seems Magic Lantern is becoming more and more mainstream!

(cover photo credit: snap from the Magic Lantern forums)


  1. This is THE BEST news I’ve heard regarding Magic Lantern since the release of the RAW module last year!!
    Thank you to all that have worked tirelessly at giving the public RAW capabilities in our small, lightweight Canon DSLR cameras!! For FREE!!

  2. If this means that Davinci Resolve will soon allow me to bring in my MLV files without having to first create folders full of DNGs, then I’m ecstatic!

  3. paddytay999i don’t have a clue if Davinici uses the FFMPEG core… maybe someone else does… but it would be incredible if suddenly something like Davinci or FCPX worked eh?

  4. I think that is gonna make me use the raw module a lot in the near future. Color Grading and the whole converting process is terrible right now. Well lets see how long it takes to be fully functional. Great news though.

  5. Pingback: FFMPEG Adds Support For Magic Lantern RAW Video - On The Way For A Smoother Workflow - DIY Photography

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