A member of the Nikon Hacker community has been able to record a RAW video using a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera, an achievement which is not possible using conventional means.
Nikon is said to be lagging behind Canon when it comes to video recording. Moreover, the Magic Lantern team has already hacked multiple DSLRs in order to allow them to capture RAW videos.
Things are different, however, when it comes to Nikon cameras. Thankfully, it could all change in the near future as the Nikon Hacker community is growing and one member has been able to record a RAW video using a Nikon D5100 and its Live View tool.
Nikon Hacker manages to record and to extract RAW video from a Nikon DSLR
All current DSLRs come with a Live View function in order to allow users to frame their videos or even their photos using the device’s display. A developer named Leegong has been able to capture RAW videos from the D5100 sensor through Live View.
Much work needs to be done before the RAW footage can be sent in its entirety to the SD card. However, the breakthrough comes from Magic Lantern’s A1ex who has extracted a frame from the video and has output it in DNG format on the memory card.
A1ex says that he has extracted the frame from the Live View buffer, which is similar to what the Magic Lantern does on Canon cameras. The developer has taken a 1664 x 1102-pixel uncompressed frame from the Live View buffer and has converted it to DNG, which can be processed using conventional means.
The community has determined that this is not a trick and that this is the real deal. The RAW video file is in 12-bit and it seems like it will not be possible to go higher, even though the D5100 can capture 14-bit RAW photos.
Much work is needed, but early signs are promising
As stated above, Canon users are accustomed to Magic Lantern’s firmware, but shooting RAW video from a Nikon DSLR is a novelty, so this is kind of a big deal.
In the meantime, Leegong still has a few issues to work out, including some highlight problems and how to activate the display while dumping RAW files from the Live View.
Furthermore, A1ex must refine the conversion process and, soon enough, Nikon users will get their hands on fully-editable DNG video files. However, this is a promising start and it could lead to amazing things for Nikon users.
If you want to check out the full story of the patch, then head over to the Nikon Hacker forums.