It is an interesting time for filmmakers since Magic Lantern enabled the RAW functionality for Canon DSLR’s. Due to its fast card interface the Canon EOS 5D mark III is the most popular RAW shooting DSLR reaching resolutions of 1080p and beyond (5D3 RAW guide).
But other Canon DSLR’s can shoot RAW too! Even the non-video capable Canon EOS 50D released in 2008 is now a RAW monster. Incredible.
In May we learned that the outdated photo camera Canon EOS 50D was hacked as well (they’re even working on the 40D now) and turned into a movie making machine. The video below shows a video recorded in 1280×960. The creator used an anamorphic lens that squeezes the image which could later be desqueezed into a stunning 2560×960 pixel video. For a camera that actually doesn’t shoot video at all that’s quite a braintwisting number. For a real beating though I suggest you download the source video.
It’s an amazing development that is going forward extremely fast. The RAW module used in these videos is in an Alpha stage which means that there are still stability and other issues which are being smoothed out. For most filmmakers these issues, like pixel glitches, usability (requires learning) is something they gladly accept for the stunning footage they get in return. Just make sure you double-check your footage after shooting.
And here’s a list of all the cameras that can currently do RAW. Keep in mind that most of these don’t reach 1080p resolution (yet) and require a fast CF card to achieve the write speeds required.
The Komputerbay 1000x cards are cheap, but they seem work most of the time. If you receive a bad card send it back and get a new one.
The Lexar 1000x Cards are most expensive, but seem to work most reliable.
The Transcend 1000x Cards are newer, reliable, priced in between, but some compatibility issues have been reported with some firmwares.
Note: If you would like to install the RAW modules on your listed camera and have questions please consult the Magic Lantern forum as linked.
For the latest 5D mark III install guide please read here.
Canon EOS 1100D not ideal: LINK
It seems like mostly the newer models can achieve the RAW functionality and the ones with CF card controllers are said to be faster as the SD controller is slower. The newest model, the Canon EOS 70D has not seen Magic Lantern yet.