Canon swept the early HD video market with the Canon 5D MKII but the original release was crippled by being limited to 30 fps on the frame rate. Magic Lantern came to Canon’s rescue with a firmware hack that allowed the user to select 24 progressive frames per second and the DSLR video revolution was on. It wasn’t long before video shot with the Canon 5D MK II was being intercut with 35mm film and it looked good.
Then Canon made a terrific blunder and fielded the Canon 5D MK III, which was a big disappointment to filmmakers. The reason it was a disappointment was because Canon really wanted filmmakers to buy cameras like the $14,000 eC300 instead of the $3,200 Canon 5K MKIII. So, instead of making the camera filmmakers wanted, Canon decided to make the cameras they wanted filmmakers to want. And that was a really bad idea.
Instead of buying Canon’s more expensive big chip video cameras, filmmakers jumped ship to cameras like the Sony FS-100 and FS-700 which offered big chip performance and specialized video features for around half the price you could get a Canon. Another competitor that arose was Black Magic, producing a cinema camera with 4K output from a Super35mm chip and several other compelling models. The honchos at Canon discovered that filmmakers are not as brand loyal as still photographers.
And, here we go again with Magic Lantern bailing out Canon with another firmware hack that just might rescue dismal 5D MK III sales. Seems the team at ML have managed to unlock the ability of the 5D MKII and MKIII to export RAW video and the early results are quite impressive.
I’m not sure why Canon just doesn’t hire the ML crew and turn them loose in a real corporate development lab before Black Magic completely eats their lunch.