Friday, March 2, 2012

The Technicolor Profile (Greater Depth and Range from your Canon DSLR)

Recently a filmmaker buddy turned me on to the new Technicolor CineStyle profile for Canon DSLR’s.  (You’ll need the Canon EOS Updater to install it; here’s a post on installing the Updater Utility if you lost or simply don’ t have the original disk from Canon.)

I came across Vincent LaForet’s blog looking up information, and I found this useful information in one of his posts:
Once installed  set the following settings in your picture style:
Sharpness: 0
Contrast: -4
Saturation: -2
Color Tone: 0
And as always, shoot in multiples of 160 ASA.  (i.e. shot 160ASA, 320 ASA, 640 ASA, 1250 ASA, 2500 ASA etc – NEVER 100 ASA, 200 ASA, 400ASA etc – this applies to VIDEO ONLY btw.)
You will get SIGNIFICANTLY better results.   You’ll find that something shot at 320 ASA has less noise than something shot at 200 ASA (sometime better than 100ASA!)  That’s due to the sensor’s native sensitivity (of 160ASA.)
Also turn off Highlight tone priority and auto-lighting optimizer.
Remember to never overexpose (or “clip”) those highlights.  You’ll never recover them.  ”When in doubt, underexpose” is what I suggest.  I routinely underexpose by 2/3 to 1&1/3 stops (in extreme situations) to make sure I don’t blow out highlights – I know I can easily open mid-tones and shadows within that range.   No one can recover the highlights however – ever.
You will notice that when using the Technicolor CineStyle profile, your initial footage looks more flat (like viewing an untouched  RAW file vs. viewing a JPG).  This is because your camera is capturing more information.  This means you have more to work with when doing color grading.  While things don’t look as shiny when you immediately view the footage (without making any changes), you will be able to get better final results when using this profile.

p.s. Here’s definitive proof of that “multiples of 160” if you’re not buying it.

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