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Nikon D7000 hacked to record LiveView RAW video

NTool

The latest version of NTool (patching software) can be downloaded here

Last weekend I posted a link in the weekly recap that Nikon D7100 firmware has been decoded by Vitaliy Kiselev who found out that the camera can output LiveView RAW video. At the same time Simeon Pilgrim posted a short video demo of the "Live View Silent Raw" recording on a Nikon D7000 camera:

"So for now it’s truly the raw buffer (the part that’s put in the .NEF but with none of the EXIF data), and it takes a hack to turn on, and I’ve not nailed the FPS, nor do I have a clue how to speed it up, but it’s all very cool.

Form the two test video’s I’ve done, the first took 25 frames in 18 seconds so 1.33 fps, on an Extreme 45MB/s San Disk SD card. The second video with an Extreme Pro 95MB/s San Disk SD card, I got 15 frames in 10 seconds, so 1.5 fps. Not ground breaking stuff, but the code to do this was already present in the D7000 firmware. So making it “better” will take a while."

Keep in mind that if you install custom third party firmware on your camera, it will void your Nikon warranty. The original firmware can usually be restored, you can still brick your camera. Some of the previous firmware modifications included removing the time limit during video recording for the Nikon D3100/D5100/D7000 and an unofficial “StarWars” theme for the D5100.

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  • Simeon

    Point of clarification on the bricking as compared to released patches. The bricking occurred on with changes that had never been tried before, and was fundamentally wrong.

    The changes we label released have been tested by many people.

  • apollo

    Even though that’s not a good RAW video with that FPS, as he said, it can be improved and I can’t wait to see how they do 25fps in RAW.

    • michael

      quelqu un peut t il expliquer en francais ? , les nouveautes de ce crack, et si on peut filmer en 25 image sec ppour le d7000

      merci

  • ShaoLynx

    I wish there was a structured alternative firmware comunity for Nikon as there seems to exist for Canon with the Magic Lantern. There is definately a user base for that…

    • Simeon

      I’m not sure I understand what a “structured alternative firmware community” would be.

      Is that the developers appear unstructured, or the community that lacks structure?

      • ShaoLynx

        i’m just saying that Nikon doesn’t seem to have a ‘Magic Lantern’ of its own. Unlike Canon. It’s not by Canon itself, of course, but rather by an alternative comunity. And ML adds a lot of added functionality. Take the automated AF tuning for instance. All that would be nice to have on a Nikon as well.

        • http://simeonpilgrim.com/ Simeon Pilgrim

          Thanks for the answer. That makes sense.

    • Den

      The reason of gap between Nikon and Canon custom firmware is that Nikon has quite obscured platform in comparison with Canon

  • fjfjjj

    I wonder how high the frames/second can go. There will be an upper bound, and likely a disappointing one. Even the D4, which has the fastest/largest buffer, has to sub-sample the sensor in video mode. It simply lacks the bandwidth to process full raw sensor readouts at 24fps for any meaningful length of time. I’m guessing that Nikon is readying this feature for a cine camera, their answer to the EOS C series.

    • RMJ

      When shooting a video, the camera has to deal with the full frames either way. And it’s capable of that. There has to be enough bandwidth between the sensor and the processor. The problem in Simeon’s first try is that he is writing full RAW frames directly to disc. Each frame is 24MB (resolution of 4928×3264). 30fps video would need ~750MB/s write speed, which is about 8 times more than the fastest SD cards offers.

      The trick is to make the frames smaller, they need to be resized to 1920×1080 for example, when they would need 2MB per frame. 30fps would mean ~60MB/s writing speed, which could be doable in optimal situation, at least 24fps could be certainly possible. With Simeon’s second try, the writing speed was around 36MB/s (24MB*1,5fps) which would be enough for 18fps at 1080p. With little tweaking, or by dropping few lines from the resolution, 24fps shouldn’t be a big problem.

      The question is, can we find a way to resize the frames on the fly. In theory, there has to be a way since it’s been done by camera everytime when you shoot normal video. But at a last step camera will convert the result into compressed video, which we would like to skip and save the raw stream instead.

      So, in theory it should be possible but the hackers aren’t yet far enough to run custom functions on Nikons. If they ever succeed in that, or finds a way to skip the compression part, then RAW video at full HD would be possible.

      Another solution would be to write the fiels on some other media than SD cards. (but even then the 750MB/s is far too much, the frames needs to be resized even then…)

      • fjfjjj

        “When shooting a video, the camera has to deal with the full frames either way…. The question is, can we find a way to resize the frames on the fly. In theory, there has to be a way since it’s been done by camera everytime when you shoot normal video.”

        No, the camera is sub-sampling the sensor. It is not capturing full-resolution raw sensor output and then resizing. It is sub-sampling. Sub-sampling. Hello?

        • http://simeonpilgrim.com/ Simeon Pilgrim

          “If you’re dropping resolution, that’s not raw video.”

          Yes it is, RAW video means 14/12/8bit data verse compressed H.264. Thus just like RAW picture is the ability to process the data later, and have more input to play with.

          • fjfjjj

            If RAW means compressed, I’m Donald Duck.

            • http://simeonpilgrim.com/ Simeon Pilgrim

              Lucky I said not compressed. “verse” was used “as compared to” which also means “not” aka “good verse evil”

              Dropping resolution is an element of resolution, you can have 1080p RAW, and you can have 1080p 4:2:2 or 1080p 4:2:0 H.264 (which is what these camera’s save to file as)

              Thus in that contexts RAW is referring to bit level/compression. Which is different to the frame size 1080p, 720p which is different to the frame rate.

            • fjfjjj

              “Dropping resolution is an element of resolution.” Yeah whatever you say. Check the dictionary for “verse” lately?

            • http://simeonpilgrim.com/ Simeon Pilgrim

              Internet Zing! My whole argument forfeited by me because of grammar mistakes. Well played.

            • fjfjjj

              Please tell us how dropping resolution is an element of resolution, and how 1080P data coming off a 3264-line sensor is “raw” by any definition of that term in digital photography.

              As for your grammar, not knowing the definition of “verse” is not a grammar mistake.

            • http://simeonpilgrim.com/ Simeon Pilgrim

              My understanding:
              Raw means video data bit level.
              Resolution means frame pixel size, at above data level
              Frame Rate means how many of the above resolution pictures you get per second.

              So if you shoot RAW video at any resolution/frame rate. What you are getting is the best bit level data you can.

              When the Magic Lantern folks say RAW video the above is what they are meaning. When the Black Magic people say Raw video again the above is what they mean. The quality of the bit stream.

              Where-as using a word that looks near to another word that it is not, I refer incorrectly as you point out as grammar mistake, as compared to a spelling mistake.

              But maybe I should just say, I am sorry I have mild Dyslexia, I will make mistakes, and miss small words and transpose small letter combinations, in written form, and not notice this, as it appears close to correct.

              But I still wish to partake in discussions on the internet. I guess I should stop trying to make sure we understand each other, because it appears we don’t and just go back to make the Raw Video functionality work better.

            • fjfjjj

              Interesting. Thanks for the clarification. I’m dyslexic also, FWIW.

            • rg

              u can drop resolution, or even compress (non destructive) and u will still have RAW data.

            • http://micahmedia.com/ Micah

              It’s not worth the argument Simeon.

              And to back him up, he’s correct. Raw data is unprocessed data. That’s all raw means. Think of it like this: the crop mode on the D800 will still put out a raw file. Sure, you’re using less pixels, but the data you’re using from the pixels is not compressed. Now picture just using different pixels instead of the middle 66% of the frame. Say, ever other line or two out of three lines or…it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how many or few of the pixels, you can still record raw data from them.

            • DeepC

              Pleas do that

            • http://simeonpilgrim.com/ Simeon Pilgrim

              Please do what? context is helpful sometimes…

            • deepC

              1080p raw @ 24fps

            • DeepC

              Pleas do that

      • http://micahmedia.com/ Micah

        …well the D7000 can already cope with processing 6fps of raw images, so we know that 2.5 fps barely more than 1/3 the limit for full frame raw processing. But yes, with lower resolutions more will be possible.

  • martijn

    I’d love to have RAW or 4:2:2 video in 1080P on any usable framerate. Would really make editing and color correction much easier!
    heck, i’d pay for it!

  • Sunsfan

    I dont care if its going to be 1920×1080, 1920×800 (which i really want to see as an option) or full raw resolution.Its STILL going to look better than the compressed video we have now, right?
    So better to get to it, then argue with some internet dudes:)
    Good luck!

  • http://www.postlinearity.com gregorylent

    with magic lantern, canon has left nikon in the dust

    • Fred

      I agree. I shoot with a D7000 and hope that RAW at higher frame rates comes, but it’s looking like I’ll be going to a 5DM3 this year.

  • koenshaku

    One of these links sent me to a malicious web site where a flash Trojan tried to download on my PC.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      which link?

      • koenshaku

        The link that says “Has been Decoded” I believe, it kept prompting my laptup to install flash after I closed the page which slowed my system down considerably. I had to power off my laptop right before then windows defender was prompting me of malware. On the reboot I dumped system temp files and reset my internet explorer and saw no abnormalities there after.

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

          Flash is not a virus.

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