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Shootout: Canon T3i with CineStyle Picture Profile vs Panasonic GH2

05.10.11 @ 5:37PM Tags : , , , , ,

First of all, Technicolor has released a new version (click on the “Registered User Download” tab) of its CineStyle LUT compatible with Red Giant’s LUT Buddy and Apple Color. Given CineStyle is proving tremendously popular with Canon DSLR shooters, how do the Canon DSLRs with the Technicolor picture profile compare with the Panasonic GH2? Andrew Reid from EOSHD shot a video comparing the two:

As is often the case in these tests, the Canons don’t fare too well when A/B’d with the GH2. While I certainly don’t expect the Canon’s resolution to hold up to the greater resolving power of the GH2, I do think that some of the Canon shots could’ve been graded more favorably. Here’s Andrew’s conclusion (note the Canon 600D is known as T3i in North America):

My opinion is that the GH2 looks more ‘real’ and the 600D looks more ‘cinema’. Oddly, RAW stills confirm that the GH2′s sensor has less dynamic range to begin with relative to the 600D (and especially the 5D Mark II) – but clearly the Canon is not running away with it. The Canons lose so much in the scaling process, not just detail and a clean image but tonality and dynamic range. The GH2 holds onto a hell of a lot, so even though the Canons have sensors capable of wider dynamic range, the GH2 still beats them, CineStyle or no CineStyle.

Click through to his article for more thoughts.

Link: Canon 600D Technicolor CineStyle versus GH2 Cinema Mode


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 35 COMMENTS

  • This is great. I was playing with the new picture style on my Canon T2i and came up with some crazy exciting results! If you are interested you can check it out here.

  • Just checked that new version of the LUT, imported it into LUD Buddy in After Effects. It is reported as a 3D type, 16 bits depth and 33 samples while the original version was reported as a 1D RGB, 8 bits depth and 256 samples.
    Right off I I applied both LUTs on two different layers with the same picture, zoomed 1600% in and switched between versions, there is a very slight difference.
    I will read further about it.

  • Thanks so much for this link. It’s exactly what I’m looking for, as I’m deciding between these two cameras for purchase. The big problem for me (and many like me?) is that I can only afford one. So the camera has to pull multiple duties……….be my filmmaker camera, be my home video camera, be my vacation stills camera, be my photographer’s camera.

    The Panny has better video, but it’s stills leave somthing to be desired……opposite for the Canon. Why can’t they mash these two into one!

    • Here are the two things that made me go for the T2i :
      -The GH2 only records 1080p24, 1080i60 or 720p60
      -Larger choice of lenses for Canon cameras as well as old lenses that could be used with an adapter ring

      This is just my opinion, everybody feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

      By the way, concerning the filmmaking purpose, I often read that what shapes the final result isn’t the cam, it’s YOU. This definitely is right.

      • I definitely agree with Sven about the Camera and You. It’s not the camera that makes a great film! It’s you.

        However, having played with both extensively and owning a GH2 (My Brother owns the T2i and D90), I have come into the conclusion that the GH2 is a better overall camera (And amazing Video Quality). Although 1080p24, 1080pi60, 720p60 is an issue. It will no doubt be fixed by the Hack that Vitaly is already working on to unlock many other filming options. So that should be no issue.

        Like the GH1, I think the GH2 can only be truly evaluated when the Hack appears. It turned the GH1 from Great Video to Absolutely Amazing. It will do the same for the GH2. For a reference, these are the additional formats proposed by Vitaly that should be available post-hack.
        1080p60, 1080p25, 1080p30.
        v720p24, 720p25, 720p30
        1:1, 1.2:1, 4:3, 1.37:1, 1.59:1 and 21:9 aspect ratios.

        • Lliam Worthington on 05.11.11 @ 11:21AM

          Vitaliy has stated several times he is not sure until he’s right in there, but thinks 1080 60p unlikley.

          • Look at dpreview article on the gh2 review. It is really about the same level photographically to a 7d. I don’t think in any practical use someone will see the difference. As a photo camera the Canon has a big advantage (autofocus). On the video side it is the contrary as the Canon does not autofocus, the gh2 can accommodate almost any type of lens. It also has autofus on its native panasonic lens.

      • While Canon does have a better selection of lenses for the native mount than Panasonic and Olympus, Micro 4/3rds as far as I know is much more adaptable to a variety of different lens mounts than anything else out there. You can find adapters for m4/3 for virtually any mount, from c-mount, to obscure Russian lens mounts, and just about everything in between.

      • I believe you are wrong about the lenses… It’s true that canon has many more lenses for the EOS mount but as for adaptability, the GH2 is wayyyyyy more flexible, you can virtually use any lens due to the small distance from the sensor to the lens. You can also adapt some lenses in the Canons but your adapter needs an extra optical element and that is giving you more crop and, worse, a loss of light… This doesn’t happen with the GH2 and you can use even more lenses with it…

    • Love all the feedback. Much obliged!

  • Generally GH2 looks better, but it looks like he graded the t3i to look like crap purposely.


    Rebel T2i Technicolor CineStyle, Marvel CineStyle LowC and Canon Standard Image Style comparison.

  • I think the worst time to look at Canon DSLR footage is right after looking at GH2 footage…

  • Reid has some kind of agenda. He’s either trying to kiss someone’s ass or comfort himself for some purchase he made.

    Vast discussion down to a sentence — tell me about the GH2 when it becomes a new Hollywood defacto standard, has swept the awards at Sundance, is used to produce countless national broadcast TV ads, and is being used by national and international television networks for content production in part and sometimes in full.

    Oh, and to add to my one sentence, when it’s recording a 45 Mbps mpeg-4 stream to the internal card OR outputting a clean HDMI that is actually usable (as opposed to the current 60.0 fps) with external recorders.

    Micro Four Thirds was a bright idea in 1996 when a single full frame sensor cost ten thousand dollars to produce. The future is larger sensors, not smaller sensors.

    • you know the 45 Mbps codec on the canons is terribly non-efficient, and could as well be 24 Mbps without any loss of quality, right?

      I totally understand that if the look is so beautiful everybody caring enough about their final image will hop through all the hoops, and so should I; that’s why I have a 550D instead of a GH2; just leave the bitrate out of this, it’s more an embarrassment than an advantage

      • The gh2 is quite new, it is still unavailable in many places. So we will have to wait and see. The Canon has been here for 3 years, perhaps the new 5dmark III when it comes out will make the Canon better. But until now, no moire, aliasing, high resolution … I almost forgot no time limit and overheating. The vista vision large sensor look, is another matter. Now if Canon take too much time, I think a lot of these adds etc will be shot with the FS-100 or F3…. The Canon is also not the defacto standard in Hollywood… its more Alexa, red or Sony if I am not mistaken.

    • While I agree there is a larger ecosystem behind the Canon, Panasonic may well win this one. There are lots of outstanding 4/3 lenses available, cheap even, and the big difference is in the camera software. We’ve reached the point where more megapixels don’t make a better camera, especially for video. In fact I’ve read that the GH2 imaging is so good that they actually disabled some functionality so it wouldn’t cannibalize their $5,000 pro video camera. Canon has the same problem. If they get much better, filmmakers won’t have to buy their higher end production tools. Great for us, but a big headache for corporate. I’ve seen about two hours of comparison video, and I have yet to see ANY Canon DSLR beat the GH2 on video.

    • Abaciproductions on 01.25.12 @ 10:49AM

      @Andrew Gupta: Just because it says Canon on the body doesn’t entitle it as the camera that’s being used in major hollywood productions or is sweeping sundance. The 5D is for sure the premiere DSLR in hollywood right now wooohhoo. If I were looking to drop $5,000+ on a camera I’m going to use primarily for video (what the comparison was labelled as) then I would get a dedicated video camera.

      You show me anyone in hollywood using the t3i (the compared camera) and I’ll delete my comment.

  • Simon Edwards on 05.11.11 @ 3:38AM

    Whilst I love reading, it does seem to have become a bit like the”Anti-Canon” zone. I really hope that Canon gets it seriously right with the 5DmkIII / 7DmkII etc. to redress this shift in balance.

    • I’ve been following EOSHD for awhile now. The dude definitely does not have a panny bias and many of his articles are 5D related. Bottom line is that after owning 2 cannon DSLRS the GH2 just blows them away. I was a non believer until my crew bought one and ran it through its paces. With the hack it will be a beast!

      “Vast discussion down to a sentence — tell me about the GH2 when it becomes a new Hollywood defacto standard,” -Thats just down to marketing and being first. There areother factors as well such as poor build quality. The GH2 image wise alone is a just a better video camera. You can see it plain as day in the raw footage. Panny has not marketed this amazing camera very well.

      “Larger choice of lenses for Canon cameras as well as old lenses that could be used with an adapter ring”
      m4/3 is able to use any lens on the planet cannon just has a larger native choice of lenses. i just don’t have a need for autofocus lenses.

      • Sorry bro I was a Panny Fan boy at one time with my DVX but now I own 2 7d’s 1 5dmk2 and the GH2. I prefer my Canon’s. Don’t get me wrong I love the GH2 but on my Canon’s their is no need for a hack anymore. I can’t even remember the last time I used ML for my MK2. Panasonic isn’t far from getting it right but not close enough yet for me.

  • this adobe curve is basically the same as the Technicolor CineStyle LUT (the original one), but it requires no add-ons, and has no negative performance impact on premiere (whereas LUT buddy can’t be accelerated through CUDA, this one is just a curve)

  • I shoot with the GH2, 5DII and 7D. They all have their purposes, but I prefer the GH2 for many reasons over the Canons now for video. For stills the Canons are my “go to” cams.

    Don’t know the experience EOSHD has, but the Smooth setting on the GH2 is far superior than the Cinema setting. Smooth presents much more range in tonality for post work. Cinema crushes the blacks and a little on the whites in camera which is a poor starting point. Otherwise, I welcome the detail the GH2 gives me along with just a little more inherent depth of field. Shooting a 5DII at F1.2 is just silly. Immerse an audience in the story or a message and it just doesn’t matter what the sensor size is, how shallow the the depth is or even how much dynamic range there is.

    I know everyone on the net loves tests, better just to shoot and create. Much more productive than pixel peeping all the time.

    • I’m glad somebody has the same mind set as me.

      I keep reading these reviews and articles about this new profile and I can’t help but think that its a PROFILE. It’s not a new firmware update or a mod to the camera. It’s the tiniest change you can make to a DSLR. I understand that it does help, but why is everyone making such a big deal about it? I’d be a lot happier if instead of everyone of these “Does Cinestyle work” articles, I had a “How to write/direct for budget shorts” articles. And in the long run I’m sure everyone in the community would be better off.

      • Alex, I hope you’ll find (or have already found) that NFS focuses on more than just cameras, and includes a much broader set of articles (directing, writing, independent careers in general)…

  • I’ve been following for a while now and I do feel that it’s content has slipped over the last 6 months to a year, whenever the AF-100 was announced. There are too many “DSLRs are still totally important and better then everything” style articles. They totally have sadly turned an otherwise informative website a bit of a joke, it’s sad to see someone convince himself that what he bought is the best at the sake of his credibility. These videos just show me that I wouldn’t want Andrew to be my colorist since all the “graded” shots are flatter than the origional raw footage, they lack any contrast or saturation… the things you want in a final image. He needs to learn a bit on post production, though I do appreciate his preview of the Cinestyle next to the GH2. Even if articles such as these have made me take Reid with a grain of salt on most issues he is still the authority on all the crazy weirdness of Anamorphic lenses available to the HDSLR and large chip video community.

  • The dumb music in the background made it difficult to watch this test. Besides that, it was somewhat irrelevant – great video footage is possible with either camera depending on the skills of the shooter.

    I’ll stick with Canon’s APS sensor for now.

  • A question for all you DSLR experts out there.

    I own the Canon T2i and have been happy with its performance except on one major note. In the EOS Utility I cannot upload a picture style to my video User Def. Style. I can upload them to my STILL picture styles, but not to the VIDEO picture styles.

    I thought that uploading them to the still and video picture styles where one and the same, but apparently not. The “Register User Defined style” is grayed out when I go into video mode.

    Does anyone have any idea what I am doing wrong? Or have any solution?

    I would be extremely grateful for your help!!

  • The only thing I would add is that there are actually a TON of lens choices with the Panasonics (maybe more?). The lack of a mirror box and the plentiful lens adapters opens the possibilities up quite a bit. I’ve already played with C-mount, M42, Canon EF and Pentax K lenses. I can also use Nikkons and Canon FDs as well as many others. The number one thing I LOVE about the GH2 as opposed to the Canons I’ve used (7D and 5D Mark II) is the usability out of the box. The flip out LCD makes it immediately video friendly out in the field and the compact size is a pleasure to use as an all around camera (especially with the 20mm pancake lens that is easy to leave on the camera). The 40 frame per second burst mode (4mb only) is a great added feature for photos and the live view on both the LCD and the Optical Viewfinder are my favorite way of adjusting exposure (of course this is the first camera I got out of “auto” mode on so I learned this and the GH1). If this one has a flip out LCD that would go a long way for me on the Canon side. I know some people don’t like them but I LOVE them for the creative possibilities. I do like the Canons for sure. Lot to love!

  • lol how did I know that this test was by eoshd. SO biased. He’s so obsessed with the GH2 it’s not even funny. He thinks it’s better than the RED LOL what a joke.

  • Now everyone that has a comment please show a link to your latest movie, short, feature, what ever you have done….no comparisons just your work…the proof is in the work.