Cinestyle or no?
I'm reading about Technicolor's Cinestyle, and I'm thinking I might give it a try. Question - are there any reasons why I wouldn't want to use it? I'd like to be aware of any caveats before I jump in.
You will need to colour grade in post, the images direct from the camera will look very flat and desaturated. If you shoot for producers that edit elsewhere check with them that they understand this, some aren't patient enough to take the extra time and gain the extra benefits of doing this.
Using cinestyle will give you a lot more latitude for grading though. You'll have a lot more to work with in highlights and shadow areas of the image.
Do some test shoots, contrasty scenes and flat lit scenes and play with them in post. Take extra care with skin tones.
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Like Phil wrote: Cinestyle (or any other flat-style) is extremely valuable if you really want to get the last bit of quality out of your footage in post. So you'd have to put a lot of work into grading.
There are two excellent articles by Stu Maschwitz on his Prolost blog about shooting flat in general. In the second one he also mentions (and recommends) the Technicolor Cinestyle.
You might want to check them out:
I personally like to use the Cinestyle for my own projects, but I'd be also very careful if you have to hand the footage over to another editor or if you're showing it to your client. The "RAW"-footage looks kind of awful ;)
I did a couple of shoots lately with a picture style called "Kodachrome 25" which is not a flat-style, but tries to emulate the look of Kodak-films. This is something I use, if I want to have really nice and "warm"-looking footage out-of-camera without having to grade the heck out of my clips to look good... Downside is, you don't have too much room left for any kind of tweaking in post...
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Another thing to add..
Cinestyle is awesome... did some tests with this the other day and got great results for the colorgrade. You might want to apply a LUT to stretch out the image a little. Depending on what software you use for the grade, there are a few free LUTs out there available for download.
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I've used Cinestyle on a number of occasions and one thing to be mindful of is the fact that it adds noise to the footage. If you use it, it becomes crucially important to use the native ISOs of your camera to reduce the addition of noise. You'll notice that Cinestyle does add a bit of dynamic range to the camera, but I was able to get nearly the same results when comparing a color corrected Neutral profile clip and a corrected Cinestyle clip of the same subject.
In my experiences, the Cinestyle profile performs better in well lit situations. If there is ever an instance where you've slightly blown your highlights, then Cinestyle is great for pulling it back to a useable image. However in low light when using higher ISOs is the only option, you're going to experience more noise and a negligible difference in, and maybe even worse, performance as compared to a Neutral profile.
Also, this profile is suited best for the 5D Mark 2 and 3 because they simply have better noise performance than the 7D and 60D.
I do like Cinestyle, but I only use it in well lit situations. In a situation where light is hard to come by, I use a Neutral color profile. With this combo, I end up with cleaner images after everything is corrected.
Hope this helps,