2 important DSLR video tips about Picture Styles
Some people might need to use the EOS utility and 1/2 years after buying their DSLR camera, they probably threw it out, like me. :/ Anyway, the EOS utility is really important for your DSLR especially if you’re using your DSLR to shoot videos. Why, you might ask?
Well, you see, one important tip that probably a lot of DSLR users might have known by now is the usage of picture profiles. It’s okay if you’re not sure of this or haven’t heard of it. Anyway, picture profiles are those thingy on your Canon DSLR menu that has things like “Standard”, “Portrait”, “Landscape”, etc, etc. If you notice, there is about three options which say “User Defined”. Well, this is where the Canon EOS Utility comes in. You define your picture style or picture profile (really doesn’t matter which term you use here) through the Canon EOS utility and then you upload it onto your DSLR camera. Through the USB cable. Yes the cable. No software? No problem. No hardware? Sorry but you really need to get your hands on one.
Anyway, so what does picture styles have to do with your DSLR shooting video? Everything. You see, DSLR video compresses the images before it stores them. This results in a compressed video footage before you even begin editing. (Every editing process takes away a certain amount of data from your footage so its always advisable to start with the highest you can get) It’s fine and all if you’re just taking holiday videos for your personal use, but what happens when you’re shooting events, corporate videos, wedding videos, music videos, whatever. You know what I mean.
You see, thankfully for us users of the Canon DSLR, the nice folks at Technicolor have developed a picture style specially for us! So what does Technicolor do? Well I won’t go reinventing the wheel because this topic has been covered very extensively. But anyway, below here is a video showing a comparison between using the Technicolor picture style and the standard picture styles that come default with your DSLR.
If you’ve watched the video, you’d realise the amount of detail that the picture style manages to save, right? That brings us to the DSLR video tips number 1.
Increased Dynamic Range for your DSLR Camera
If you’re not sure what’s dynamic range, it basically means the amount of shadows and highlights that your camera is capable of capturing. Ever noticed how sometimes on your video footages, hair looks so god damn black, the strands looked all clumped together? Or how the background outside your house or window looks so white you don’t even see the buildings outside? Well dynamic range basically is how much of the shadows, eg. hair and other dark areas, and the highlights, eg. blown out exterior when you’re shooting from indoors, the camera is able to capture. Am I sounding repititive? Sorry if I am, but honestly, its really very simple.
But anyway, more importantly, as you’d have been able to see from the video, the Technicolor picture style is able to so capture details on the hair, the highlights that are blown out, much much better than the standard picture styles. Why is this important? Well, I mentioned earlier that you wanna start out with as much data and detail in your image as possible. This is why. The thing with digital video cinematography is that its always better to capture more detail on set to be on the safe side. (Of course, there’s the camp that prefers to do everything within the camera, ie. during your shoot) You can always darken the blacks, later during post production, but trust me it’ll be god damn ugly if you try to brighten up the dark areas after using the standard Canon DSLR picture styles.
As I explained above, the amount of latitude, or dynamic range that the Cinestyle picture style gives you can sometimes save you in post. For example, you might not have options for to control the lighting but with the Cinestyle, you’re really given a whole lot more options to play around with in terms of colour correcting during post. As you might know, not all cameras are perfect and the same goes with the DSLR. The thing with the Cinestyle is that it attempts to reduce the flaws of shooting DSLR video to a certain extent. Problem like moire and artifacts in the video images are reduced as the picture style aims to soften the general image to a certain extent.
But you may ask, then will your resulting image turn out soft? But I like getting sharp videos! Well, yes and no. Yes it does soften the image but only to aid in reducing the problems that come with shooting video with your DSLR. But however, with a simple colour correction twist and a slight sharpening filter, you’re back up to good in no time.
You might also ask, “What’s the point of shooting in Cinestyle if I’m going to have to colour correct it and it looks somewhat similar to the standard Canon picture styles?” Well, firstly, when you colour correct your video footages, you’re not aiming to go back to the standard picture style look. You’re aiming to go somewhat in between. Secondly, you have more options to play with in case anything happens. Let’s just take it that we’re all not perfect and tend to make mistakes. So let’s just make things simpler and play it safer shall we? But seriously, it doesn’t kill anyone to just download the picture style into your DSLR. So why not just do it? If you like the dslr video tips I’m sharing with you, do share it with your friends as well. But if you disagree with anything or have any queries, feel free to comment below.