Technicolor Cinestyle vs. Neutral Style of the Canon 7D

Canon DSLR-Cameras are providing stunning images with the default settings in video mode. However, a color correction in the 8-bit video mode is restricted because of the high contrast. Flat curves in the Picture Style of the DSLR are improving the color correction capabilities. Besides profiles like for example Marvel Cine, Technicolor is now offering an authorized Canon Picture profile which should use the dynamic range of the sensor optimally. For this purpose we have filmed different lighting situations. We described the influence of the Picture Style and made a comparison with the Neutral Style of Canon.


The super-flat curves are using a sharpness setting of zero for a smooth, film-like look. Because of the reduced contrast of the flat curve it is more difficult to determine the focus point, therefore, we have increased the sharpness to 2. In organic structures, this is usually not a problem. But depending on the situation lowering the sharpness to 0 is necessary to reduce the formation of moire.

Situation 1: Inside, Highlights in the windows, shadow at the shelf
camera: Canon 7D
lens: Canon 24-105 f4.0 IS


Canon 24-105 @24mm, Neutral contrast min 1/50 f5.6 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -1, hue 0

The first image was taken in the neutral setting with reduced contrast. The contrast of the image was reduced to get a more latitude, a recommendation of Philip Bloom. The area to be exposed were the stairs on the left.

In the Picture Style Technicolor Cinestyle the midtone range is about 2 / 3 stops brighter than in the neutral setting.


Canon 24-105 @24mm, Technicolor 1/50 f5.6 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -2, hue 0<

Therefore, the image can be darkened by 2 / 3 stops to get more details in the window.


Canon 24-105 @24mm, Technicolor 1/50 f7.1 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -2, hue 0

LUT (LookUp-Table) of Technicolor for the Cinestyle Profile

The LUT of Technicolor is a standard S-curve with no particular emphasis on individual areas. The result is better than the neutral setting of Canon with lowered contrast.


Lookup-Table (LUT) of Technicolor

This LUT can be downloaded directly from Technicolor. For Adobe CS5 for example you can use the free plugin LUT Buddy from redgiantsoftware for Mac and Windows (see link at end)

Using the lookup table of Technicolor highlights disappear. The overall picture is too dark.


Canon 24-105 @24mm, Technicolor 1/50 f7.1 ISO160 with Technicolor LUT
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -2, hue 0

For working out more details and the strengths of the image you have to use a 3-way color correction or a curve of your own.

To get more details in the highlights, starting from the original, ie without using the LUT of Technicolor, the shadows are lowered and the midtone area is slightly raised so that the stairs are not too dark. The highlights are not changed.


Canon 24-105 @24mm, Technicolor graded 1/50 f7.1 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -2, hue 0

In the setting neutral the details of the window are reduced significantly, which cannot be fixed by a color correction.


Canon 24-105 @24mm, Neutral contrast min 1/50 f5.6 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -1, hue 0

The enlargement of the two images shows the difference.


Canon 24-105 @24mm, Neutral contrast min graded 1/50 f5.6 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -1, hue 0

When using the Technicolor Style more details are retained in the highlights.


Canon 24-105 @24mm, Technicolor Graded 1/50 f7.1 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -2, hue 0

Situation 2:
Outside, high contrast, highlights in the sky, shadows in the foreground.
Kamera: Canon 7D
Linse: Canon 24-105 f4.0 IS

This time, the picture profiles neutral, neutral with reduced contrast and Technicolor are compared to their suitability for color correction.
Neutral on standard setting has good basic color, but shadows and highlights are clipping slightly, so that readjusting in the color correction is difficult. You would need an ND filter so that you still could resolve the highlights because the lens used has a maximum aperture of F22.


Histogram Canon Picture Style Neutral

Neutral Standard

Neutral Standard Color Correction


Canon 24-105 @24mm, Neutral 1/50 f22 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast 0, saturation -1, hue 0

When you lower the contrast to minimum in the picture style neutral the clipping is reduced.


Histogram Canon Picture Style neutral contrast min

Neutral contrast min

Neutral contrast min Color Correction

Canon 24-105 @24mm, Neutral contrast min 1/50 f22 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -1, hue 0

With the picture style Technicolor there is still plenty of room for color correction without requiring an ND filter.


Histogram Technicolor Picture Style

Technicolor

Technicolor nach Color Correction

Canon 24-105 @24mm, Technicolor 1/50 f22 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -2, hue 0

Comparison of the Picture Style Neutral with standard settings with the new Technicolor Cinestyle:

The colors are OK but the highlights are reduced.


Neutral Standard Color Correction
Canon 24-105 @24mm, Neutral 1/50 f22 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast 0, saturation -2, hue 0

After color correcting the flat image of the Technicolor picture style more details in the highlights and the shadows are visible.


Technicolor nach Color Correction
Canon 24-105 @24mm, Technicolor 1/50 f22 ISO160
sharpness 2, contrast -4, saturation -2, hue 0

Both images side-by-side

Neutral Standard Color Correction

Technicolor nach Color Correction

Conclusion
The Picture Style by Technicolor improves the latitude of the Canon 7D by about two stops compared to the default settings of the Picture Style Neutral from Canon. If you already have reduced the contrast of the neutral setting as recommended by Philip Bloom, the difference is about one stop.

Linklist:
Technicolor PictureStyle und LUT:
http://www.technicolor.com/en/hi/cinema/filmmaking/digital-printer-lights/cinestyle

LUT Buddy by redgiantsoftware:
http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/downloads/free-products/

Corporate Film which uses the Cinestyle

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2 Responses to Technicolor Cinestyle vs. Neutral Style of the Canon 7D

  1. Pingback:

    [...] Histograms: histograms via unem.de [...]

    CineStlye LOG and LUT explained for people like me » cinema5D news

  2. ThoGo says:

    Sehr hilfreich, danke für die Erklärung und die Beispiele. Habe das Profil installiert und meine Probeschüsse mit Lightworks pro nachbearbeitet; sehr, sehr tauglich. Auch EB-Einsätze mit engen Produktionszeiten erscheinen mir mit einer standardisierten Korrektur möglich und das Ergebnis gefällt mir deutlich besser als mit der bisher verwendeten Einstellung. Klasse!

    Gruß, ThoGo

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