A simple test of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Magic Lantern RAW vs. RED Dragon vs. film

by planetMitch2 Comments

Pippin Rush sent us the tip about this cool video comparison test of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Magic Lantern RAW video, the RED Dragon and film… here's what he said when I asked if the test was his:

I had nothing to so with it. Just thought it was relevant to your site. I was leaning towards the Sony a7S, but since I saw this video comparison I may just keep the 5DIII. I did just buy 2 of those super cheap Lexar 64gb 1066 CF cards on sale at B&H for $80 each!!

I thought it was very cool to see someone who seemingly knows what he’s talking about analyzing the data in the test. Especially nice for those of us who aren't that experienced at recognizing things we're seeing on the screen.

As you can see below, this test wasn't meant to be any kind of definitive showdown between technologies or to even help someone decide which platform to use… it was “a real world test of matching cameras to each other” – so please don't yell at me that one camera/technology wins or loses.

It is great when we get tips from readers who are excited about stuff – if you want, contact me with something you think is cool!

Atlantis Season2 Comparison Camera Test

Atlantis Season2 Comparison Camera Test Description

From Vimeo:

A comparative test of various lenses and cameras for Atlantis Season 2 at Take2 Film in London.

Sitting in is Actress Katherine Beresford. 2nd AC Alex Parish.

Our main format to shoot is 35mm film but it's interesting to compare the other formats out there at the moment. I know the Alexa well so didn't need to test it but I wanted to look at how the smaller cameras would hold up and so tested my 5Dmk3 in Magic Lantern raw mode and also I was able to get the Red Dragon in also.

This isn't a precise test of latitude or fidelity, but a real world test of matching cameras to each other. The 35mm Kodak Vision3 200T film was shot on an Arri ST camera, processed and then scanned on a spirit before being imported into the Baselight system at Prime Focus in Soho, London. There Kevin Horsewood and I looked at getting a standard grade on the film. The Red R3Ds and CinemaDNG files from the 5Dmk3 were loaded straight into the Baselight and debayered from raw files as we graded. The .R3Ds were 6K and debayered using RedLogFilm.

Lenses used were Cooke S4s and Cooke S4minis on the PL mount cameras.

Canon 40mm Pancake and Lomography/Zenit Petzval 85mm lenses were EF mounted lenses for use on the 5D.

Due to the differing sensor sizes the lenses weren't perfect matches in field of view.

Filters tested were Schneider Classic Softs, Tiffen Black Diffusion FX, SoftFX and Black ProMists.

In testing the filters I was looking at skin detail, halo (candle glow) and filter patterning showing up in the bokeh.

Music used without permission is by Nils Frahm from his excellent “Spaces” album. Happy to take that down if anyone is worried about it. But this video is non-profit, for my own interest primarily.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. Quite interesting and useful. Sure it’s a bit tech-weinie but still confirms some thoughts I had.

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