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Old December 6th, 2012, 08:07 AM   #1
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Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

Hi, I'm sure this topic has been aired, but here it is again!

What picture profile do you normally shoot on?

I used to mainly shoot on Cinestyle. The main disadvantages seemed to be: (a) too much time spent grading; (b) if the lighting is already low-contrast, like an overcast day, it's very much the wrong profile to be on; (c) you can never really get the image to be vividly saturated in post; (d) noisier image than other profiles, I think. The resulting images often had a slightly sad feel to them; and I used to always envy the clean, vivid images from Still Motion, etc.

So, I shot the last few weddings on fairly bog standard Faithful, playing with contrast depending on lighting condition. And I did enjoy playing with contrast; I found I could get some interesting and sometimes dramatic effects. Certainly, silhouettes seemed much easier to do. But then the disadvantages were: (a) high contrast problems, particularly at night time; (b) the skin tones often seemed too red; (c) I think it's actually easier to expose in Cinestyle -- you have more margin for error; (d) having a larger perceived dynamic range a la Cinestyle probably does contribute to a cinematic look -- perhaps more so than having nicely saturated images.

Have two weddings this weekend. Probably will shoot tomorrow's on Faithful again, and will likely return to Cinestyle on Saturday. Thinking about using Standard (seems vivid, but colours sometimes a bit off). Perhaps Neutral. But presumably Neutral is a profile that needs a grade, rather than being something that's usable straight out of the camera. And if you're going to spend time grading, why not go the whole hog and use Cinestyle instead?
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Old December 7th, 2012, 10:04 PM   #2
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

I was thinking the same not to long ago... I'm a cinestyle user as well. For all the reasons you brought up that left me looking for a different profile. Faithful seemed like a good choice, but comparing the two in-camera, I was losing a lot of detail.
I decided to adjust my cinestyle profile instead. I bumped up the sharpness, contrast, and saturation... I'm still not a 100% satisfied, but is is better then before. I attribute some of the issues you brought up to my camera bodies (T2i/t3i's) and the lens's. Here's my latest wedding after my adjustments...

I'm interested to hear what others have chosen as their profile.

Steve
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Old December 8th, 2012, 02:43 AM   #3
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

I use the cinestyle preset as well but only when it gets too dark, I find it otherwise difficult to set the right exposure based on what I see, but at a dark reception I have to leave the iris wide open all the time anyway and then the cinestyle preset gives me much more to work with in post, especially with my 14mm f2.8 lens. During the day I use the neutral preset but when it gets too dark I loose to lot of detail in blacks and with cinestyle it's like getting 2 extra stops of light. Color correcting is easy as I have a yuv preset in Edius that brings back all color and contrast and only needs some fine tweaking after that.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

Over the years I have tried all the super-flat profiles including Cinestyle but nowadays prefer to get the look in camera & not have to spend time in colour grading. I use Faithful because it's the most errr... faithful combining the right degree of rich contrast without the colours being oversaturated. Canon : Picture Style

Another problem with Cinestyle apart from noise is that it's harder to see when you are in focus properly with the low contrast image on the LCD. Shane Hurlburt recommends using a regular picture style for setting up the shot & then switching to Cinestyle for actual recording which is OK for narrative drama but useless for weddings & other run'n'gun events.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

I use prolost flatt. Which is basically neutral with all the settings down. I found that you'll get less dynamic range from using standard and turning the sharpness or saturation up will easily introduce moire. I also don't like using cinestyle because I don't think it stand up to grading as well as neutral.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:56 PM   #6
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

I've used cinestyle for a long time but sometimes it introduces strange flesh tones when graded. It also requires one hell of an S-curve to shoot at -4 on the contrast setting. You get to keep a lot of your dynamic range but you still lose detail when you grade that heavily on 4:2:0 h.264 footage.

I've switched to simply shooting on Neutral with 0, -2, 0, 0. It provides a great image with a few more shadow details. It's not entirely necessary to grade it but a touch of contrast really livens it up. Saves me time and complexity, and therefore money as well.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #7
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

This might be of interest. Copied from Magic Lantern Wiki page.
" You can use a different picture style when recording (toggled automatically). May be useful with flat picture styles."
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Old December 15th, 2012, 12:56 AM   #8
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

That function is actually quite useful. I sometimes have a high contrast profile to get focus and once I hit record it switches to a flat style.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 01:01 PM   #9
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

I usually use Faithful or Neutral, occasionally Portrait if skin tones are important. I usually bump up the saturation, because it's really easy to de-saturate in post, as opposed to trying to recover information that is lost with low in-camera saturation.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

Yeah, I've always been a bit curious why the typically recommended settings are -2 for saturation (along with 0 for sharpness, -4 for contrast).

Sharpness is for the aliasing; contrast is for perceived dynamic range; but why the drop on saturation? I suspect it's because (and this might be completely wrong): when you shoot low contrast, and then apply a curve or play with levels to correct it post, bringing up the black point also has the effect of increasing perceived saturation.

Anyone know the correct answer?
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Old December 16th, 2012, 02:44 AM   #11
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

For me adjusting the saturation in either direction is a compromise, so it just depends on which compromise you'd rather make ... Bumping up the saturation results in loss of detail, while lowering saturation results in lack of color info.

Personally, I've always been frustrated when using levels/curves to get colors back in H.264 video, so the compromise I have chosen is to bump up the saturation and de-saturate later.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #12
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

Where can I download the CINESTYLE picture style ?
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www.photozone.in
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Old January 8th, 2013, 04:58 PM   #13
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

https://www.technicolorcinestyle.com/download/

I've gone back and forth over the last few weddings over what profile to use. Driving me a bit nuts.

Currently using Neutral, using Rob Adams settings -- contrast and sharpness all the way down, color tone to default, saturation one notch up from the bottom.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 02:57 AM   #14
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Re: Picture profile for Canon DSLRs?

i always thought that the reason for dialing down the color was because it is too saturated by default, and that if a color is blown out, you lose information.
am i off base?
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