I finally got around to installing Technicolor’s CineStyle profile today.
You may remember my post on latitude a couple weeks ago where I talked about it’s benefit and how that’s likely going to be “in-thing” this year. This achieves greater detail retention in the shadows and softer highlights. it’s super-flat. While it doesn’t technically increase the camera’s inherent dynamic range, it does allow you to be able get more of the camera’s existing dynamic range without losing a large part of the image in crushed shadows and blown highlights. This is after all, what we wanted.
Overall, it certainly doesn’t solve the solution to aliasing and poor compression, 4:2:0 color space, etc., etc. but it certainly gets rid of the horrible “brittle” feel to image off this camera producing wonderfully soft highlights and great, gentle roll off into the shadows much like the image off the GH2. Nor is this unlike the flat feel (not to be confused or mistaken with overall dynamic range, color space and image processing) of much higher end cameras.
Starting here will get you a leg up when planning to work with much nicer cameras later on and give at minimum a great starting image from your Canon when exposed properly. Not to mention, make your colorist happier. But please, please, don’t bake or burn-in any LUTs if you’re handing this to a colorist.
EDIT 1: I later learned that this LUT only utilizes 95-685 on the 0-1024 spectrum of color. It’s not actually giving you all the detail available. Do with that what you will and I think still beats the stock stuff in the camera. If you want something that gives you the same latitude but utilizes the full 0-1024 range, check out what Steve Shaw’s done with his Light Illusion Gamma Curves.
EDIT 2: Cineform’s First Light now includes a Cinestyle workspace which eliminates any need for a viewing LUT and any risk associated with accidentally burning it in.