September 12, 2011

$19 Canon DSLR Picture Style 'CINEMA' Debuts

In addition to the free official Technicolor CineStyle picture style, there is now a paid picture style for trying to get a narrative film look with Canon DSLRs. The CINEMA picture style is priced at $19 and promises to retain highlight detail while providing a more "analog" aesthetic than the default settings. Here are its selling points:

- Great perceived latitude, but with a nice contrasty image
- Keeps details on shadows and highlights while remaining quite contrasted.
- Vivid colors on low saturated areas, no greyish or monochromatic casts
- Analog like colors on high saturated areas
- Sharp image,
- Film colorimetry
- Doesn't need color correction, but feel free to grade it

That's all well and good, but the proof is in the pudding. So here are a couple tests from CINEMA creator John Hope:

http://vimeo.com/28550676

http://vimeo.com/28675016

There are a couple more tests from @MikeSpins at planet5D. At first glance, it looks good to me. Seems like a more contrasty, "no grading necessary" version of the Technicolor picture style. Then again, there is no such thing as "no grading necessary." I haven't used it myself -- anyone out there have hands-on experience?

UPDATE: Chris Marino at Wide Open Camera compares the plugin to CineStyle in a screencast.

Link: CINEMA Picture Style

[via planet5D]

Your Comment

53 Comments

It looks good, but I need to see tests from other people (like Mr. Bloom, for example). The shutter speed of the hens three seconds in somewhat invalidates what John Hope has to say on the appearance, IMO. It'd be nice to get a full run-through from a cinematographer that grades it in post.

September 12, 2011 at 1:59PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Brendan why do you need to see what Phil might do with it?

Decide for yourself :)

I know aside from me there are other more prominent shooters who are testing it right now as I've been chatting with them throughout the day based on what I shot and what they are testing.

September 12, 2011 at 8:18PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Mikespins (@Mik...

Well, if we all decided for ourselves, you guys would need to find something else to do in your time! In all seriousness, I just want to see someone (perhaps you, Mike) use it within a narrative context, and explain to those of us who can't make up our minds

John Hope's shots are nice, but after visiting his page, I would rather just see someone much deeper into the professional field testing it out, showing us the pros and cons rather than titling their videos "Test of the new amazing CINEMA Picture style on 5D!" (it comes off very bias rather than straightforward).

September 12, 2011 at 9:54PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Well in fairness he is trying to sell it :) I posted a link below to the piece I shot yesterday. I haven't used it for anything narrative yet but I will be doing so shortly.

September 12, 2011 at 11:07PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Mikespins (@Mik...

really brenden can't see why you need to see what bloom does with it.
if he says through yourself off a cliff, do you oblige???
dude, for heavens sake, go out film stuff, discover what's there and find out your limits and surpass them.
unbelievable!!

September 13, 2011 at 1:31PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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kuban

$19 dollars is a great price point. after using the cinestyle from technicolor I would have paid $20 bucks for it. So I think even if it doesn't solve every problem in the world (which is wont) then $20 is a good gamble. I've paid a lot more for gear I don't use anymore or software that wasn't awesome.
A card recovery program is usually $30 and if you don't have one yet you will one day. its a small investment for a fix to a problem that happens to most people. So i'm looking at the Cinema style to be worth it even if I only use it half the time

September 12, 2011 at 3:46PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Nic

Doesn't look very cinematic from the test. Also, picture styles are pretty easy to create if you know a little bit about color science. I do a lot of color science work and I can tell you...picturestyles are easy!

Canon Japan does a really good job of teaching you and you can download other styles not default in the American market: http://www.canon.co.jp/imaging/picturestyle/style/index.html

And one thing about Cinestyle is it is used for Technicolors workflow...

I'm very tempted to make a tutorial explaining how all this works.

September 12, 2011 at 5:07PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Gary

please do!

September 12, 2011 at 5:09PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I think it has a distinct cinematic quality to it though am a bit wary of not having any lattitude to work with in terms of post. I'd love a tutorial on some basic colour science and how to apply this to picture styles.

September 12, 2011 at 7:53PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Would very much so enjoy that.

September 12, 2011 at 8:00PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I like the look so far. On my to buy list.

September 12, 2011 at 7:47PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Thanks for the shout out Koo! I shot with the Cinema picture style yesterday for a 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero that I had to turn around really fast so after doing some tests I felt comfortable shooting with it knowing we didn't really have time for post processing.

I think it has a very cinematic quality and I love the colors straight out of the camera. You can push it a bit in post you just need to be careful. I took a look at it on my 42 inch HDTV today on Vimeo on Apple TV and I was floored at how good it looked.

September 12, 2011 at 8:15PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Mikespins (@Mik...

Sounds great! Any chance you could provide the link or your username so we could check it out? =)

September 12, 2011 at 10:35PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Trevor Roach

woops. I appoligze. I didn't read very well haha.

September 12, 2011 at 10:36PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Trevor Roach

Ha, no worries. Here's what I shot with it yesterday...http://www.vimeo.com/28896280

September 12, 2011 at 11:05PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Mikespins (@Mik...

I like what I see. I'm pretty sure I'll give it a try.

September 12, 2011 at 9:11PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Fabdex

Where can I download this 'CINEMA' picture style? I got $19.00 waiting to be spent, as soon as possible.

September 13, 2011 at 3:05AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ivan Uskokovic

as Stu Maschwitz tweeted, saying it "doesn’t need color correction" is very bad marketing, it just tells me this is most probably useless

anyway: my favorite picture style right now for those occassions when I need as much DR as I can get is Technicolor CineStyle with contrast=-4 and saturation=+3; try it; it's awesome

September 13, 2011 at 3:15AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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With or without the LUT in post?

September 17, 2011 at 5:02PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Nick

I think this isnt a real game killer. because have to more freedom to grade blacks and ashes in post. i think Cinestyle offer that but this is not. So will see . . . :)

September 13, 2011 at 3:19AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Does this one actually use bottom 17/256 of luma values at all like technicolor didn't? It was the biggest flaw of technicolor profile to waste all that color resolution. I'll keep using Marvels for better grading for now.

September 13, 2011 at 7:31AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Master Shake

Sounds like a nice option as an alternative picture style to have set on your camera. Since you can have multiple presets you could have both cinestyle and this new one.
I think the best part is not having to apply the LUT to every shot. If you don't have the time on some projects it can get very tedious to have to apply that filter to every single shot in your project, then have to render since you now have a filter applied. I love the cinestyle, but for some project I have found my self not using it only because I know I won't have the time to apply that LUT to every shot.

September 13, 2011 at 11:33AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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If i was shooting films in cinestyle and come to different location where they dont have Premier Pro or Final Cut Pro, how Im gonna put LUT on it? This is why I think CINEMA profile was a smart move without worrying about wasting time with color correction or putting LUT without frustration for others.

September 13, 2011 at 12:09PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Donald F.

@Donald, the idea of a LUT is to guide you through color correction. Many people mis-use it by applying the LUT directly to the footage in lieu of proper color grading. You CAN grade your Cinestyle footage without even using the LUT.

I've always seen the LUT is a reference, more so than a color correction tool.

September 13, 2011 at 12:29PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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@Donald You can download a free plugin from Magic Bullet called LUTbuddy that will apply the LUT that Technicolor provides.

September 15, 2011 at 2:28PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Angelo

I think I'm going to dish out the $19 and give it a try. I'm curious to see how far it can be pushed in post (although if I have any intention from the get-go to do intensive color grading, I'll just shoot with Cinestyle instead).

I DO like how the colors come out with this profile. :)

September 13, 2011 at 12:34PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Hey, I just tried to download the picture style this morning. Still haven't received a confirming email nor the actual download... They definitely charged my account. Kinda worried

September 13, 2011 at 10:55PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Julian

Does that first scene in the video (street scene) look a bit 'washed out' to anyone else? Or is it just my work monitor?

September 13, 2011 at 11:12PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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@bradleystc

None of the footage I've seen so far have convinced me to buy this picture style.

IMO, some of this footage is everything but cinematic. And those parts that could be labelled as such, are mainly so becos of the lighting and white balance settings, not becos of the picture profile.
I definitely feel all sample footage needs grading in order to make it look more like film. Right now it looks like standard video camera footage that could've been shot with a Canon HV30 (minus the shallow DOF).

I'll just keep on using my modified Neutral picture style, and custom set white balance and white balance shift.

Also, I do have issues with people charging money for a picture style. Especially when all picture styles so far have been for free and considering that even Magic Lantern is completely free of charge.
I'm not even sure you can actually charge money for picture styles without Canon's approoval.

September 14, 2011 at 7:36AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I bought it with the rationale that it was only $19 and I was curious. However I have to say its not that impressive, especially when you take into account the many established profiles like Marvels and cinestyle that are FREE, the creator actually has a lot of nerve charging anything at all. I think he is a much better marketer than he is a profile creator - $19 is the golden price for 'heck I'll give it a whirl'. But really I'd suggest everyone spend their $19 elsewhere and stick with cinestyle or Marvels or similar. Heck I know a certain kickstarter campaign MUCH more deserving of our money than this lacklustre profile.

September 14, 2011 at 8:40PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Paul

Mr. John Hope is a funny guy: the Paypal receipt states the name of Giovanni Speranza, which is italian for John Hope. Or rather vice versa, since he's located in Switzerland. Quite a talent with a sense of humor.
Honi soit qui mal y pense.

September 15, 2011 at 4:36AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Andreas

I forgot to mention that I totally agree with you Paul. I'd rather spent the money on a sensible project.

September 15, 2011 at 4:39AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Andreas

19 bucks for a sensible project?....
oh my God. I spend 1000 a months for sensible projects, not 19.
Now i understand why problems aren't solved out there.

September 18, 2011 at 8:17AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Joseph Miller

cinestyle got me so annoyed, yes more latitude but the highlights went to hell, skin tone looked awefull without perfect lighting. i'd buy this if it can keep the highlights in the skin tone

September 15, 2011 at 2:41PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Menachem

Every thing looks cool, but the only problem I found was that the last version of EOS Utility in order to install the picture style, does not run inside Mac OS 10.7 Lion. So I guess is better to wait until Canon updates it's software.

September 15, 2011 at 4:33PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ignacio

Why buy a picture profile ? if there are more cameras coming up and looking better?
there is a reason why i should i try this?
why is CINEMA anyway? what is the HEART of that picture style?
it makes a 2 strip proccess? it enhance the sharpness like the panasonic gh2?

i think , ok, its not expensive, but technicolor PP EATS 16 points in my 0-255 range, it doesnt help a lot.
the best setting around there is the one that Stu said.

September 15, 2011 at 7:36PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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LeoMedd

But it´s always nice to see the point of view from professional people. For me it seem like the Technicolor CineStyle is made more for professional colorist who want´s to do some post production with color software? Maybe Cinema Picture Style is more for people who is not going to work with the colors in post?

I´m not 100% sure about this? But so far it feels like Cinema Picture Style is the easy way for having a filmlook whit out working in post?

September 16, 2011 at 11:54AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Raymond

All i know is that this man is doing huge profit from this, you better ask canon what they think about this profile...

September 16, 2011 at 4:32PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Pedro

He doesn't sell it. He gives it away if you donate. Technically spoken, the item is a gift.

September 18, 2011 at 8:23AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Joseph Miller

So you are forced to donate if you want the profile...it's a big deal :)
I think the guy is able to buy his RED EPIC now, very smart marketer if you know that the profile was supposed to be called the EPIC picture style...Fortunately RED banned it, I supposed his sale, oh sorry gift, would have doubled with it.

September 19, 2011 at 10:33AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Pedro

Did you guys see at the 8seconder mark when the camera panned? the walls were bending. Is this a codec thing?

September 16, 2011 at 11:01PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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This is called the jello effect. The 5DmkII uses a CMOS sensor which dumps information from the top of the sensor to the bottom rather than all at once. All CMOS cameras exhibit this issue including those from RED, albeit to a lesser extent, as well as film cameras to almost imperceptible degree due to their shutter design.

There are plug-ins that correct for it in post but it's usually easier to either live with it or plan your shot list to avoid whip pans and other similar moves.

September 17, 2011 at 12:44AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Angelo

I have made a similar picture style.

Here it is for FREE

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/37533131/Vision_beta01L.pf2

September 19, 2011 at 2:19AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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James

I go into more detail about picture styles here:

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?262094-Adventures-in-the-PSE

September 19, 2011 at 2:50AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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James

If you want something more vivid:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/37533131/Cinema1L.pf2

September 20, 2011 at 2:51PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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James

Will this work with any Canon DSLR? I have a T2i, and I'm considering 'donating'.

September 21, 2011 at 2:47PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I am still pretty noobish at DSLR video, so keep that in mind. But I tested the Cinema PS out on two different types of shoots this week, and have been impressed with the results. Straight out of the camera with no color grading, a little exposure tweaking, and I am happy with the look of the project. I think once I become more adept and confident in my color grading I will move back to a flat picturestyle, but for now I will be using Cinema a lot.

September 21, 2011 at 4:04PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Joe

If you have a t2i or 60D, you will not be able to alter the white balance shift in video mode, which is a requirement for the overall look. Skin tones may look odd.

September 24, 2011 at 7:23PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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James

Partially correct. I have Magic Lantern for the T2i and I'm able to alter the white balance. I used the Cinema profile for a recent project, and I couldn't be happier. It looks great.

There is a little weird noise on blue hues, though... but I was able to remove it when I de-noised the footage.

After using it for my project, I can say I really like this profile, and I feel my $19 were well spent. :)

October 4, 2011 at 5:26PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Joe....is cinema1 the same as the above picture style ?

October 25, 2011 at 9:16AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Andy

Has anyone else tried the canon picture styles from Milk Studios? They are specially designed for skin tones. I find them easier to use than flat picture styles. Here is some more information about them http://milkstudios.es/

February 5, 2013 at 10:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ursa

Does anyone know if the Technicolor CineStyle that was free some time ago has turned out to this 20$ one? I cannot find the free version. Thanks

February 15, 2013 at 7:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Juan

I just bought the CINEMA picture style. What can I say. As to me it's piece of crap.

June 2, 2014 at 9:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john