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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old January 31st, 2010, 08:08 PM   #1
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Picture Settings

I'm curious at what others are setting as far as:

Color space? (sRGB/Adobe RGB)
Picture style?
highlight tone priority?
etc..

I've seen a number of recommendations, but haven't come to a solid conclusion. I'm mainly looking for settings that are a MUST.

Thanks in advance,

SA

EDIT: If it wasn't obvious, I am just referring to video on the 5D2

Last edited by Scott Aubuchon; February 1st, 2010 at 10:11 AM.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 06:59 PM   #2
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bueller... bueller...
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Old February 1st, 2010, 08:08 PM   #3
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Color Space is the range of reproducible colors.
sRGB is what you should use, Adobe RGB is used in commercial printing and will give subdued colors and your monitor is most likely sRGB not Adobe RGB.
Picture styles give certain kinds of image effects that deal with the color space that includes sharpness, color tone, saturation, contrast and filter effects and toning for Monochrome. You can also make up custom ones to suit your tastes. Many people will shoot a neutral image and make these corrections or effects in post. Think of it like a custom preset on your video camera with less variables.

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Old February 2nd, 2010, 07:58 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply... I bought Phillip Bloom's 5D2 video and he mentioned turning on highlight tone priority, then setting the picture style to neutral... as well as bringing down sharpness, contrast and saturation (in one of the user def's). This produces rather drab video, but as you (and Bloom) explained, it will allow for the greatest range of correction.

So, I guess you confirmed his advice... thanks!

EDIT: This was great info as well:

Last edited by Scott Aubuchon; February 2nd, 2010 at 08:37 AM.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 01:20 PM   #5
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Turning on (HTP) introduces noise pg. 177 manual. Also check out:
Cinematography | Hurlbut Visuals

Great blog info there. Also sign-up for Shane's newsletter @
Hurlbut Visuals

In his latest newsletter one bit of info.....
......."Go into your menu and turn off the auto light optimizer.* It jacks your video.* In the image menu area and turn off your highlight tone priority because this ads noise.* Staying in that section, take your high ISO noise reduction setting and change it to low or disable it. It will help in the post color correction process.* The same applies to the sharpness in your picture style menu, which should always be at zero.* Do not use the cheap pro-sumer sharpening tool."..........
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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I don't think color space has any affect on video, but I could be wrong. With respect to stills, shoot RAW and color space doesn't matter.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 03:15 PM   #7
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Great blog info there. Also sign-up for Shane's newsletter @
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That is a great blog, thanks for sharing!
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 04:23 PM   #8
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Turning on (HTP) introduces noise
For what it's worth, I find that for most scenes, the increase in noise is well worth the additional stop of highlight headroom. Also, be aware that above ISO 1600, HTP should always be enabled: 1600+HTP has the exact same noise as ISO 3200, but still retains the headroom benefit.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 06:29 PM   #9
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For what it's worth, I find that for most scenes, the increase in noise is well worth the additional stop of highlight headroom. Also, be aware that above ISO 1600, HTP should always be enabled: 1600+HTP has the exact same noise as ISO 3200, but still retains the headroom benefit.
I've been running under the assumption that all HTP is doing is playing digital tricks with the signal, meaning that if you nail your exposure manually and use curves in post, you'll be no worse off than using HTP, and you might even be better off because then you make the decisions in post how to handle it. But I could be completely wrong. I personally don't see the point in under-exposing a stop "just in case" I clip the highlights (a la HTP) because you're leaving the highest signal-to-noise part of the resolution on the table doing that. I guess it comes down to how confident you are in exposing to the right without clipping? Or am I missing something here?
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 06:56 PM   #10
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I've been running under the assumption that all HTP is doing is playing digital tricks with the signal,
That's one valid way to put it.

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Originally Posted by Bill Binder View Post
meaning that if you nail your exposure manually and use curves in post, you'll be no worse off than using HTP, and you might even be better off because then you make the decisions in post how to handle it.
In the case of video, it's better to use HTP (which takes effect on the raw 14-bit data) than a curve in post (which only has the heavily processed 8 bits to work with).

In case you were talking about raw stills, choosing HTP or not really has no effect on the raw data. All it does is set the ISO one lower than the number indicated on the camera, without changing the meter. That is, ISO 200+HTP is the exact same as ISO 100, except it meters for ISO 200. Personally, I prefer to just skip HTP for raw to make things simple.

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I personally don't see the point in under-exposing a stop "just in case" I clip the highlights (a la HTP) because you're leaving the highest signal-to-noise part of the resolution on the table doing that.
Well, if you only need 3 stops of highlight headroom, then I can see why you would see HTP that way. For you, the contrast of the scene is so low that none of the highlights are clipping or the ones that do clip are unimportant for the shot. In that case, enabling HTP would only be for extra insurance, "just in case" the scene contrast goes outside what you are expecting.

However, my situation is different. I find that 3 stops is almost never enough for conditions I'm in, so for me it's a matter of needing it all the time, not just in case. I want 4 stops most of the time, and even 5 or 6 (film-like) sometimes. Canon limited HTP to exactly one stop, so I can't get 6 in video, but I get 6 or more in stills raw conversions.

It's a matter of personal taste and shooting conditions.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 07:32 AM   #11
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5D picture profiles

Unlike others I have always tended to use a picture profile which gives me video which has far more vibrant colour then in the flat settings in Neutral.
I find that because I do a lot of my filming in India where a lot of vibrant colours are to be seen in general, I see no sense in shooting something in the Neutral setting at all.
My rationale has always been that if the camera gives such fantastic pictures out of the box then I save myself the aggro of having to do in post what my camera does out of the box.
Especially when it cuts down the work I have to do in post.

But then what is good for me is not neccessarily good for everyone because at the moment all I do is documentary work.

In my opinion, it is also good to show to the client on the macbook pro over the lunch break who ultimately is the one paying for this sort of work.

I will post the settings when I have a little more time.


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Old February 3rd, 2010, 02:21 PM   #12
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That's one valid way to put it.



In the case of video, it's better to use HTP (which takes effect on the raw 14-bit data) than a curve in post (which only has the heavily processed 8 bits to work with).

In case you were talking about raw stills, choosing HTP or not really has no effect on the raw data. All it does is set the ISO one lower than the number indicated on the camera, without changing the meter. That is, ISO 200+HTP is the exact same as ISO 100, except it meters for ISO 200. Personally, I prefer to just skip HTP for raw to make things simple.



Well, if you only need 3 stops of highlight headroom, then I can see why you would see HTP that way. For you, the contrast of the scene is so low that none of the highlights are clipping or the ones that do clip are unimportant for the shot. In that case, enabling HTP would only be for extra insurance, "just in case" the scene contrast goes outside what you are expecting.

However, my situation is different. I find that 3 stops is almost never enough for conditions I'm in, so for me it's a matter of needing it all the time, not just in case. I want 4 stops most of the time, and even 5 or 6 (film-like) sometimes. Canon limited HTP to exactly one stop, so I can't get 6 in video, but I get 6 or more in stills raw conversions.

It's a matter of personal taste and shooting conditions.
Yeah, sometimes it's hard for me to get my head out of the stills frame of mind, where I always shoot RAW. HTP in RAW just makes no sense to me, but I have to be honest, I'm still a little lost on what it does exactly. But for stills, if it just lowers my ISO and doesn't adjust my meter, especially when I'm within the real ISO ranges, I just don't see how that is helping me if I know how to nail my exposure, expose to the right, and not clip the highlights -- all I'm getting is one stop under-exposure, what am I missing here? All the rest I can handle in photoshop/lightroom.

But, I do see your point about the higher bit A/D for fully cooked images, less quantization errors (in JPG or MOV/MP4s). That's starting to make sense to me, maybe I should give that a go. Thing is, I do deal with highlight issues all the time, I do a lot of jazz, and spotlights are tough on that front, I basically have to spot meter for the highlights off the spots. If I could get more DR using HTP, that would definitely be useful.

So forgive my ignorance, and I have tried to read about this in the past, but what does HTP actually do then? It underexposes by a stop, then pushes it back using some sort of curves? This is where I start getting lost, it makes me think a little about digital limiters in audio, they're pointless, they're doing nothing I couldn't do myself by lowering gain and adding it back in post. That said, I very much get the quantization thing at 14-bit. Sounds like that might be the one exception to why this might be worth it (just not for RAW stills)?
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 02:53 PM   #13
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Yeah, sometimes it's hard for me to get my head out of the stills frame of mind, where I always shoot RAW.
Me too. :)

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Originally Posted by Bill Binder View Post
But for stills, [...] I just don't see how that is helping me
That is what I was trying to say in the last post. HTP has no benefits for raw stills (aside from perhaps a minor workflow enhancement in some conditions). It's JPEG and video that get the real benefit of HTP.

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...what am I missing here?
I think we agree on the (lack of) benefits of HTP for raw stills.

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Originally Posted by Bill Binder View Post
But, I do see your point about the higher bit A/D for fully cooked images, less quantization errors (in JPG or MOV/MP4s). That's starting to make sense to me, maybe I should give that a go. Thing is, I do deal with highlight issues all the time, I do a lot of jazz, and spotlights are tough on that front, I basically have to spot meter for the highlights off the spots. If I could get more DR using HTP, that would definitely be useful.
Yes. I'm sure you will find that HTP is far superior for video/JPEG, thanks to 14-bit raw vs. 8-bit compressed. If your jazz stuff is at ISO 3200 or higher, you can enable HTP for free -- there is no noise penalty compared to ISO 3200 without HTP. Even at 1600 I find there is very little difference in noise. But the lower the ISO, the higher the noise penalty -- at 800 and below it starts to become more of a trade-off.

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what does HTP actually do then?
It affects the gain, meter, metadata, and raw conversion. I think you know all this already, but here it is anyway:
  • Gain: Reduce the gain by one stop, but leave the ISO display the same. That means ISO 200+HTP has the same gain as ISO 100. Since there is nothing below ISO 100, HTP is disabled for that setting.
  • Meter: Run the autoexposure meter based on the displayed ISO. That means ISO 200+HTP meters for ISO 200 even though the actual gain is the same as ISO 100.
  • Metadata: The HTP metadata is a clue that indicates to the raw converter that middle gray occurs one stop lower in the raw file than normal.
  • Raw conversion: if the raw converter ignores the HTP metadata, the image will just appear one stop too dark. If it uses it (as in the case of the in-camera DIGIC JPEG and movie engine), it will increase the brightness by one stop with compressed exposure compensation (i.e. nonlinear gain), which does not clip highlights.

So from that, there is no benefit for a raw photographer, except possibly for streamlining the workflow with metadata and/or previews that more closely resembles the way in which you will convert it.

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That said, I very much get the quantization thing at 14-bit. Sounds like that might be the one exception to why this might be worth it (just not for RAW stills)?
That's certainly what I think.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 03:02 PM   #14
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Hey thanks for the help on all of that, I think I'll give it a try on my next gig. And BTW, it's a rare night of jazz where my ISO is south of 1600, LOL...
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 05:17 PM   #15
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What's interesting here, the more I think about it, is that although you pick something up by doing a curve on the highlights in 14-bit, you also are giving up a full stop of true dynamic range. This MUST be the case given the purposeful under exposure by one stop, that's a stop of range I will never get back no matter what kind of futzing it does after-the-fact. I'm not sure that's a tradeoff that's worth it; not sure though, hmmm...
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