New Technicolor Profile for Canon HDDSLRs
Technicolor has teamed up with Canon engineering as well as ASC Directors of Photography to produce what might be the best “picture style” or curve to use with the Canon 5D MKII. Oh – and it’s FREE btw.
Below you can see the Technicolor profile with the settings recommended in this article compared to what you could previously expect out of the Canon 5DMKII using the same Picture Style settings but without new profile. These are simple frame grabs off of a series of files opened up in Quicktime straight off of the CF Card (i.e. untouched – and the video file was not converted to any other format.)
HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES can be seen on the jump page.
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Below you’ll find some tips from me as well as step by step instructions from Technicolor, as well as HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES BELOW:
Given that the 5D MKII produces compressed H.264 footage (unlike the Arri Alexa or Red cameras that shoot a RAW format for example) you have to jam in as much information as possible into that compressed format. Unlike other cameras that do shoot RAW (or the still CR2 images that the Canon shoots) you are in effect shooting JPEGs (or motion-JPEGs) with your HDSLR.
Therefore it’s imperative to record your video with as little contrast as possible (and no sharpening!) You can always add contrast to an image – taking contrast away from a digital image is significantly more difficult.
You’ll need to install this with the EOS Utility V 2.6 or later and go ahead and give it a go. Technicolor walks you trough the install process in the instructions they provide on the download page. (Instructions are copied at the bottom of this post for you.)
p.s. if you lost the disk (I couldn’t find it myself but I luckily found a DMG I made years ago on my software archive – here’s a nice hack from Canon5Dtips.
Once installed set the following settings in your picture style:
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 rountinely 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.
Film holds highlight detail like nothing else – digital is the opposite (especially HDSLRs) those cameras excel in the shadows.
The Technicolor Profile will work with all Canon HDDSLRs – BUT it was clearly aimed at perfecting the 5D MKII specifically.
You’ll see that this gives you a flat, de-saturated image – that’s GOOD. It’s ideal to start from there and add contracts and saturation from there. You’ll immediately notice significantly greater detail in the shadows. The examples below are impressive. Keep in mind that the DARK areas in any video file get compressed and effectively CRUSHED (often into large rectangular or square blocks that are impossible to fix in post) - so this new profile will result in a much better final image once graded.
If you’d like to see a good example of what the files look like AFTER grading check this post out by Zech’s camera – it proves pretty conclusively that this profile is superior to the Superflat profile that has been out for awhile.
Technicolor also provides you with an S-curve look-up table (LUT) to work with in your grading (color correction) software. You’ll probably want to look into RedGiant software’s Magic Bullet LUT Buddy at some point to – get it here and here’s an FAQ. That’s it!
Here are some frame grabs below followed by instructions from Technicolor.
Details on these frame grabs: I shot both sets of images with the following settings in the pictures style menu: Sharpness: 0 / Contrast: -4 / Saturation: -2 / Color Tone: 0
For the Technicolor example I of course loaded in the Technicolor profile. For the Canon profile I used Custom Profile 1 and began with the “Neutral” setting and use the above settings as well – this is what I’ve been doing for more than a year now. The tests were shot in video mode, at 1080p, with Zeiss CP.2 lenses on a Canon 5D MKII. I opened the video files directly into Quicktime (ergo no conversion) and took screen shots that you’ll find high resolution versions of below. I suggest you open each image and compare them side by side.
INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS FROM TECHNICOLOR:
1. Canon EOS DSLR camera 2. Canon EOS Utility v2.6 or later
a. Note: you can find the latest Canon EOS Utility at http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/eos_slr_camera_systems/eos_di gital_slr_cameras/eos_5d_mark_ii#DriversAndSoftware
p.s. if you lost the disk (I couldn’t find it myself but I luckily found a DMG I made years ago on my software archive - here’s a nice hack from Canon5Dtips.
3. PC running Windows 7 / Vista / XP; or Mac running OS X 10.5 / 10.6 4. USB cable
2. How to load Technicolor CineStyle into your Canon EOS camera:
1. Ensure that EOS Utility v2.6 or later is installed on your computer 2. Download the Technicolor CineStyle Picture Style file using the links below 3. Connect your camera to your computer using the appropriate USB cable
a. Note: for the EOS 5D Mark II you may need to set “Communication” to “PC connect.” in the camera’s menu
4. Start the Canon EOS Utility
5. Select “Camera settings/Remote shooting” on the main window
6. Once the capture window opens, click the camera icon
7. Click “Register User Defined style” under “Shooting menu”
8. Once the new page “Register Picture Style File” opens, select one of User Def. 1, 2 or 3 at the top of the new page
9. Click the open file icon 10.Select the CineStyle.pf2 file you’ve just downloaded 11.Click on OK 12.Congratulations, the Technicolor CineStyle Picture Style is now loaded in your camera!
a. Note: You should confirm that the Picture Style has been properly loaded by pressing the Picture Style selection button at the back of the camera and using the thumbwheel on top of the camera to scroll through the stylesTechnicolor CineStyleTM v1.1 User Guide
3. Recommended Canon EOS camera settings with Technicolor CineStyle:
Based on Technicolor’s usage and testing of its CineStyle Picture Style, we recommend the following camera settings to optimize the image quality of your Canon EOS camera:
Sharpness: Contrast: Saturation: Color Tone: ISO:
0 -4 -2 0 a multiple of 160
4. Post-processing for Technicolor CineStyle
Acquisition with Technicolor’s CineStyle will generate what appears to be a flat, de-saturated looking image. While this image may appear unappealing and undesirable, it is in fact an ideal starting point for post-production and color correction.
To properly color correct and/or view footage shot with Technicolor CineStyle we recommend utilizing an S-curve shaped look-up table (LUT) in your editing or color correction application. You may download such a LUT using the links provided.
If your editing or color correction application does not offer the ability to import and use LUTs, other controls like the ASC CDL, Lift/Gamma/Gain, or Offset/Power/Slope can be used to color correct the image.