I was at my hometown in Kerala, when dad, grandma and I decided to visit the nearby temple. Realizing that the temple would be an ideal mix of light and textures, I decided to take my camera with me to do some raw video tests on my Canon EOS 60D DSLR. I captured sound on my cell phone from an audio of chenda mela (traditional Kerala percussion ensemble) that was playing at the venue.

Raw video?

Just like photos shot in RAW (not an abbreviation really). Using a lossless compression of sensor data. Think of it as shooting 24 raw photos per second. You work on the direct sensor data, rather than the camera converting into a video file using codecs like AVCHD or H.264 for compression (where camera adds the picture style and detail is lost due to lossy compression). Raw video is now possible in most Canon DSLRs thanks to Magic Lantern, a software that runs on top of the default Canon firmware.

Technical details:

The workflow for editing raw footage is a long and cumbersome process, but is well worth it for the flexibility you have in color correction and for the details it retains, over using the default H.264 compressed video. I shot it at a resolution of 1728 x 736 (2.35:1 aspect ratio) at 23.976 fps and upscaled it to a resolution of 1920 x 818 while exporting. I could get about 8 seconds (~205 frames) of continuous recording per shot since the 60D has a SD card write speed of 20MB/s which is a limitation despite the large buffer size of the camera.

My workflow:
I converted the .RAW files to .dng sequences and also created proxy files during the process using this awesome tool called RAWanizer. RAWanizer also generates .tif sequences and you can chose to create proxy video files in a variety of formats (mp4, DNxHD, XDCam and ProRes). I created a premiere pro sequence using the proxy clips for the cut and then converted the track with the cuts into an After Effects composition (dynamic link). Then I replaced the proxy footage with the corresponding .dng raw sequences and color graded it in the Adobe Camera Raw dialog that popped up during the import of each file. Finally rendered the sequence from Premiere Pro.

For more info on Magic Lantern and raw video recording:

For download and more info for RAWanizer: magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=5557.0

Shot at Kuttankulangara Temple in Thrissur, Kerala in India
Shot with Canon EOS 60D running Magic Lantern firmware with raw video.
Lens used: Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS II (for lack of better lenses)
Edited in Premiere Pro and graded in After Effects using Adobe Camera RAW

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