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Magic Lantern gives 14 stops of DR to Canon 5D Mark III with dual ISO recording

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
July 17, 2013
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Magic Lantern's brought some miraculous features to Canon EOS DSLRs lately, including RAW video recording on the 5D Mark III, and video recording, period, to the 50D. Its latest feat is no less amazing, even for jaded DSLR shooters. By exploiting unused dual ISO amplifiers on a sensor chip in the Canon 5D Mark III and 7D, new firmware allows you to record lighter parts of a scene at ISO 100 and darker portions at ISO 1600. It works with RAW video and stills on the 5D III and RAW stills only on the 7D, with both requiring post-processing after capture. That bit of creative coding increases the dynamic range of both cameras to around 14, though not without some drawbacks. Namely, the 7D implementation is buggy for now, you'll lose some resolution while gaining aliasing in shadows and highlights, and won't be able to check critical focus by zooming in. Still, the organization has a track record of quickly improving new features -- so, if you've got the guts to risk voiding your warranty, hit the source.

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