Magic Lantern Firmware HDR Video Script
It was just a short time ago I first tried the Magic Lantern Firmware for my EOS 5D MKII. The options in the firmware are very handy, and using and installing it is pretty simple. For many of the options in the Magic Lantern Firmware you would otherwise need extra hardware. It has handy timers and removes the limits the normal firmware has for HDR bracketing. You can use more pictures, and a wider range of stops for your HDR pictures.
Another option is HDR video, and this of course a very unique option. Unfortunately it is not a simple process like “turn on, shoot and edit”. The people of the Magic Lantern Firmware have made a smart solution, you have to set two ASA values, and the camera records alternating every frame with the specified ASA values. So the final result will be a rather useless flashing movie. But on the Magic Lantern Firmware site you can download a set of software and scripts that will take your movie clip and convert it to a HDR movie, using Avisynth and VirtualDub. The results can be pretty nice, but moving objects or pans can create problems, because your 29.97 frame movie clip will have every 2 subsequent frames blended, creating ghosting.
But for shooting real estate this is usually not such a problem, and the HDR Video function of the Magic Lantern Firmware is excellent for that.
The scripts used for converting and blending the Magic Lantern Video to HDR video use jpg as intermediary files. Jpg is reducing the quality a bit of the video. I changed some of the scripts so the intermediary files are lossless; tif and 24 bit png. The intermediary files will be a bit larger, and the process may be a bit slower. Although the quality increase is not very much, it still is a bit different.
You can download the modified scripts here .
Just unzip in the directory where you installed the Magic Lantern HDR Workflow scripts.
The modified files have _GP in the filename, but otherwise work the same, they just use other file types… (only windows scripts changed)
Update: In addition some color space conversions have been removed from the original scripts, and the quality has improved quite a bit!