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C8 Cinema or Cinema Lock

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Mark van der Berg
C8 Cinema or Cinema Lock
on May 30, 2015 at 10:14:08 am

Dear Canon Camera users!

I have a question, and I hope you guys can help me with it. I will be the DP on a filmshoot, and for the first time ever I will be using the C300. I think the camera is very user-friendly and mostly self-explanatory, but I had one question about the Cinema-setting or the Cinema Lock.

We will be doing extensive color grading, and we want to approximate the look of higher-end productions (because of course, haha). Now I get that for the widest range in post we will be using Clog, I just am wondering about the difference between C8 Cinema and Cinema Lock.

AbelCine ( recommends using the C8 version and not touching it anymore, because it's the same as Cinema Lock without the added sharpness. My question to you is: Is the added sharpness really bad (I.g. makes the footage look like cheap 'digital')? Are there any good comparisons? Would you recommend different settings? Thanks!

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Ryan Holmes
Re: C8 Cinema or Cinema Lock
on Jun 27, 2015 at 2:19:18 pm

I'm assuming your C300 shoot has come and gone by now, but for the sake of others who may stumble across this thread:

From Canon's website:
[Canon Website] "The difference between using CP CINEMA Locked mode versus setting the Custom Picture to C8 (CINEMA) is that once the camera is in the CP CINEMA Locked mode, you won't be able to modify custom picture items such as gamma, knee, color matrix adjustment, etc. All of those settings are effectively "locked out."

While it might seem like you are losing control of how your images are captured when using the CP CINEMA Locked mode, in actual fact you are both simplifying the production process and optimizing the final footage for post.

CINEMA locked is also ideal in multi-camera rental situations. By enabling this mode, the only settings that will need to be matched in camera are the ISO, aperture, shutter angle, bit rate/resolution and frame rate. With these matched, each camera will be capturing the same image and will be much easier to work with in post.

CP CINEMA Locked essentially treats your C300 like a traditional CINEMA film camera where you will meter, set ISO and other capture settings and then let the camera produce the most malleable images possible that can then be "color timed" or graded in post."

So I think what it boils down to is whether or not you want to noodle with the control and color settings additionally for the Log format you're shooting. If yes, use C8 Cinema and tweak away. If no, use CP CINEMA Locked and get to shooting. For all my work with the C300, we use CP CINEMA Locked. The footage has a perfectly cinematic look and feel, in my opinion. It's not an overly video feel like a Sony, Panasonic, or JVC.

Ryan Holmes

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