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Shooting 4:2:2 with magic lantern?

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Karl Madsen
Shooting 4:2:2 with magic lantern?
on Apr 30, 2015 at 2:10:29 pm

Is it possible to shoot in 4:2:2 with magic lantern?

I know that I can shoot in Raw with ML and the custom H.264. But often Raw files are way too big. But at the same time I would like to shoot in higher quality than H.264.
Now is this possible with the ML or do I need to get a Ninja to do this?


Thanks


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Shooting 4:2:2 with magic lantern?
on May 1, 2015 at 7:31:18 pm

Karl, I think you may be conflating some of your terms.

4:2:2 - is a reference to chroma subsampling
h.264 - a type of codec
RAW - a file format where no data has been discarded (unless you're shooting a "compressed" RAW...but ML is not compressed)

If you shoot internally on your Canon DSLR you'll be shooting Quicktime format using the h.264 codec. Depending on which camera you have you may be able to output this as a "clean" signal (no menu overlays) through the HDMI port. If your camera can output a clean HDMI signal then you can purchase an Atomos, Blackmagic, AJA, or other 3rd-party recorder and record that signal. Generally people will record to ProRes or DNxHD using one of the above listed devices. The benefit there is that you're avoiding the internal camera codec (h.264) which allows you to squeeze a bit more quality out of your image.

If you want to go the ML RAW route, then as you note, those files are large. You'll have to convert them using a RAW to DNG converter so that your NLE of choice can play them. The benefit of RAW is that there is no data thrown out so you'll have the greatest possible amount of information when it comes time for visual fx, motion graphics, or color grading. However, the trade off is that the file size are substantial, and the conversion times are quite long depending on your hardware. You'll also need to have a RAID capable of playing back RAW files in realtime.

[Karl Madsen] "Now is this possible with the ML or do I need to get a Ninja to do this?"

To answer this question you can go either route. Buy an external recorder (provided your DSLR outputs a "clean" signal) or use ML to shoot RAW. The answer to that question will depend on budget, project time, whether you need RAW or not, how comfortable you are with either approach, etc.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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Karl Madsen
Re: Shooting 4:2:2 with magic lantern?
on May 2, 2015 at 10:13:15 pm

Thanks alot.
Yes, your right about the conflating. But thanks for helping me getting it straight.

I wanted to ask if it is possible to shoot in something like ProRess with the ML. Or simply, is there any alternative to the H264, besides raw, when shooting with the ML?


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Shooting 4:2:2 with magic lantern?
on May 3, 2015 at 6:21:08 pm

[Karl Madsen] "I wanted to ask if it is possible to shoot in something like ProRess with the ML. "

No. ML unlocks the ability to shoot in a RAW format on your Canon DSLR. It's a firmware hack done to circumvent Canon's setup.

If you want ProRes or DNxHD you'll need to make sure that your Canon DSLR outputs a "clean" signal from the HDMI port (clean = no menu settings, or record light get sent out through the port) and purchase a 3rd party recorder from BlackMagic, AJA, Atomos, Convergent-Design, etc. That will allow you to record in a ProRes format right from the camera.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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