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Canon Cinema EOS Camera Systems
For all Canon Cinema EOS models: C700 / C300 Mk. II / C200 / C100 Mk II and EF / PL lenses.


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Old September 16th, 2013, 08:26 PM   #1
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shooting flat

Call me crazy, but I shoot with no custom picture profiles with the C100. I found some of them to be too "baked in" if that's the right expression (particularly the EOS STD which seems really saturated). I'm not sure what I'd be gaining with the wider dynamic ranges of some of the others, but I'm curious. I mostly shoot interviews and with no profiles set, it's slightly washed out, but seems to be spot on otherwise and easy enough to correct. Would the wide dynamic range settings be more useful for b-roll? I haven't played around with them because I haven't been displeased with the way I'm doing it now. Do they create more room for error or give you more detail overall in post? If say the Wide DR or C-log gave me more range than with nothing but required a little more tweaking in post, then that doesn't seem to be a big deal since I'm already adjusting in post my way. Does anyone else out there shoot straight or am I making a mistake and not maximizing the range of the camera? Thanks!
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Old September 16th, 2013, 10:17 PM   #2
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Re: shooting flat

i plead ignorance, i failed to ever realize there was a 'no profile' setting

:)

most find that the widedr just gives an overall good start, doesn't overdo it while being good enough in some situations to be left as is, but with plenty of room for post manipulation
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Old September 17th, 2013, 10:42 AM   #3
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Re: shooting flat

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Originally Posted by Bill Parker View Post
...I mostly shoot interviews and with no profiles set, it's slightly washed out, but seems to be spot on otherwise and easy enough to correct. Would the wide dynamic range settings be more useful for b-roll?...
Coming from shooting flat on Sony camcorders and a variety of flat to flattest profiles on the 60D, it depends!

It seems quite likely you are controlling contrast in the scenes through lighting?

Where flat profiles really come into their own is when the scene is high contrast. Shooting flat on a sunny day, for example, gives you some choices in post about shadow detail.

But that's really an extreme case; many shooters seem to shoot a flat profile all the time. In theory, they may be leaving some in-camera latitude on the table, but in practice this doesn't seem to have much effect.

My practice on the 60D is to use any of about 4 profiles, with range from "faithful" to "very flat indeed", choosing according to the scene/project, but it's just one method.

If it were me... if it ain't broke don't fix it, but, keep an eye out for high-contrast scenes and pull out WDR when you need it. I'd certainly want to do some test shooting with WDR and cLog to understand the details.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 09:23 PM   #4
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Re: shooting flat

Thanks. I'll take your advice and play around with it. For most of my interviews, I have total control of my lighting. I'll go out and shoot in less than ideal lighting and try both the WDR and c-log. I haven't used either in a professional situation partly because it looks so bad on a monitor and I would have to go through the bother of explaining that to clients. thx
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Old September 18th, 2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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Re: shooting flat

Quick question - is Cinema the same as C-log? I can't seem to find it as an option. thx
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Old September 18th, 2013, 08:28 PM   #6
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Re: shooting flat

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For most of my interviews, I have total control of my lighting. I'll go out and shoot in less than ideal lighting and try both the WDR and c-log.
Neither WDR or C-Log is meant for "less than ideal lighting"...it's meant for situations in which you want more range to handle highlight clipping, and this is usually not going to be in those situations.

The only time I use WDR is for an interview with a window in the background in order to maintain some detail outside that window, but I still light the interview quite heavily to at least get in the ballpark of proper exposure. WDR helps go the extra step with that.

Quote:
I haven't used either in a professional situation partly because it looks so bad on a monitor and I would have to go through the bother of explaining that to clients
C-Log does have that flat look, but I'm not sure why you would think WDR looks bad. I'd definitely resort to that profile before shooting with no profile at all.

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Quick question - is Cinema the same as C-log? I can't seem to find it as an option.
Yes. Cinema is the flat profile with the Log gamma curve.
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Old September 19th, 2013, 08:41 AM   #7
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Re: shooting flat

Just as a general theory, which supports Bill's original practice, if you're in control of the lighting (and therefore the brightness range) of your subject, and you light 'traditionally', then you're not going to need the extended dynamic range of the C-Log and WDR profiles.

You can take the 'Flat' look too far - C-log on a dull overcast day might give you a range of tones in the middle that need stretching out to get to proper black and white points - thus bringing out a boiling blocky noise pattern due to the 8 bit image 'falling apart' from too much grading.

Shooting C-Log in really difficult lighting - bright sunlit days with deep shadows, for example - is a joy. WDR is great for many things, but may still be too flat for office interiors. Be warned that the default WDR setting has got some 'sharpening' dialled in - which is better done in post than in camera. You're going to be grading anyway, so apply a little hint of sharpening along with your grade.

But for controlled environments, you can adapt a much contrastier (sorry) curve and still get some highlight protection for those overly shiny interviewees.

Agreed on 'EOS STD' - it appears to emulate the very worst setting (default?) for video on a 550D.

So, the 'off' setting is basically 'show room condition' - a balance of everything to make pretty 'video style' pictures with no work in post. It won't be the MOST dynamic range, or the BEST detail or anything like that, and whilst it's not going to be good for chromakey, bright exteriors and so on, it's the middle way and absolutely usable for the non-pixel-peeping non-tweaking types.

Just watch out for the sharpening thing. And shiny things.
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Old September 19th, 2013, 09:17 AM   #8
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Re: shooting flat

Thanks. These are very helpful suggestions. I'm shooting some b-roll today in a school setting running from room to room. What would you suggest I shoot with - it looks like you don't think WDR would be appropriate - what about c-log?

Also, if I'm shooting with no settings, is sharpening off altogether? As far as I can tell, you can only adjust it using one of the profiles.


thx
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Old September 19th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #9
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Re: shooting flat

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But for controlled environments, you can adapt a much contrastier (sorry) curve and still get some highlight protection for those overly shiny interviewees.
Actually, it's called "rice powder"...getting more highlight detail does nothing for shine, because it looks bad no matter how much detail remains in it.
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