Sunday, May 8, 2011

First Look at the Technicolor Cinestyle Profile

Within the past week or so, a lot of buzz has been building up surrounding the newly developed Cinestyle color profile for Canon EOS cameras, developed by Canon and Technicolor. As with many video cameras, it is common to apply a flatter color profile to preserve the highlights and shadows creating a pseudo raw image for later correction. This new profile does the same thing replacing the Canon's built in neutral profile which we have used in the past with decent success. The big thing to remember is that like shooting in s-log, it is necessary to color correct your images or apply a LUT. Other wise your images will look gray and flat. This profile can be downloaded here, free of charge:

In true video geek fashion, after downloading the new profile we took out a Canon 5D mkII to shoot some test footage. The basics of the test are as follows:

1. Shot two different takes, one as Canon Neutral profile and the second as Technicolor Cinestyle, exposing for the skin tone while protecting the highlights as best possible.
2. Converted both shots to Apple ProRess422(HQ)
3. Color corrected a copy of the Cinestyle take to personal taste, pushing black to 7 IRE and white just at 100 IRE. Exported the whole sequence out at ProRess422 (HQ) to then upload as H.264.

The color correction for this test was done in Final Cut Pro 7, but could also be done in Color utilizing the s-curve LUT that Technicolor has also just released. The color correction in this test is not overly aggressive but there is definitely room working the colors as needed. The big thing I noticed, and where the new profile excelled was in three distinct parts of the frame. When watching the video look at the base of the tree and trunk, the amount of detail and shades of gray are greatly improved. Next take a look at the side walk, which overexposes in the Canon neutral profile as does the white car in the background. Both the car and the sidewalk retain nice levels of detail in the Technicolor profile.

Everything considered this new profile seems like a nice new tool to keeping the Canon DSLR cameras in the running along side their competition F3, Af100, and FS100. Have a look at the video and decide for yourself, and feel free to download the higher quality h.264 file from the Vimeo. Enoy!

1 comment:

  1. Nice work. I would create a custom S curve profile for my One Series cameras as my first tweak for stills. The idea was to give you more head room to extract more tonal range than the standard Canon profiles.
    -Mike L.