Posts Tagged ‘dslr’

Remark: see update above.

I am in the process of developing a new picture style for the Canon 5D mkII camera, that will be used for a new feature film DSLR production. Base of the style is the Marvels Cine 3.3 style, that i’ve developed for Marvels Film, using my own tools (instead of the Canon profile editor). It is NOT a replacement for the renowned Marvels Cine style, but a new experimental version that will be used to shoot early-autumn exterior scenes in Italy this year.

If you live and shoot in a less-grey/blue environment than northern Europe, consider using this style instead of the Marvels v.3.3.

New in this version is a slightly altered s-Curve to provide better luminance linearity in the 65-75% range (e.g. skin tones) and uses the Neutral style as a basis, instead of the Standard style as in the Marvels Cine v3.3 style. This to move the overall tone a bit more to green instead of the pronounced orange skintone look of the Marvels v3.3.

Everyone is invited to download, test and use this new profile. Please check back regularly if you want to get the eventual release version.
Any comments, testresults, raves and rants are much welcomed..!

Download here:

By the way… all picture Marvels styles (most syles not by me, except for 3.3 and 3.4beta) can be downloaded as one ZIP archive here.



I normally don’t like doing this, but i am going to quote a weblog article by someone else. This was a comment on Martin Beek’ s blog article about a Canon Picture Style that i found specially interesting:

I personally have stopped using it (HTP) because it produces vertical banding noise (pattern noise) with almost any ISO number, under some specific conditions. Philip Bloom also reports that he stopped using it. Probably because it produces unpredictable results that are not easy to detect on-set.

HTP further limits your ISO range and gives you an extra amount of noise. Remember than Highlight Tone Priority (HTP) is essentially underexposing all your photos by 1 stop. ISO 200 with HTP is essentially an underexposed ISO 100 RAW data pushed up to look like ISO 200. That’s how it preserve highlights. You’re essentially pushing an underexposed ISO 100 RAW to look like ISO 250 in that image (since you raised exposure in ACR another +1/3 stop).

I personally don’t use HTP as said, but i follow another rule of thumb as an alternative, specially for commercial work that doesn’t allow for experimenting:
1 – use ISO 160, 320, 640, 1250 and 2500 for low contrast / low light shots
2 – use ISO 200, 250, 400, 500, etc. (ISO 100 and 125 are on their own) for well lit / high contrast shots

1, because the broken ISOs have considerably less noise, but also have less latitude (highlights clip at raw 12650)
2, because the whole ISOs have more noise, but retain highlights much better (highlights clip at raw 15300)

Together with Marvels Cine 3.3 this will make your day… ;-)



I think that Martin is mostly right, although i have to look up and compare the numbers he quotes. I must add one important remark: this is typically targeted towards shooting video, not RAW photography.

Update: quick link to PP: here (zip file).

I have developed a new type of flat picture profile for the Canon “d” series video DSLR cameras. This profile has been devised and tested using the Canon 5DmkII, a MacBeth colour card, two different calibrated light sources (3200k & 5600k soft floods), Adobe Color, Adobe Photoshop  and a few software tools i have developed myself. This picture profile uses 10 S-curve node points and mathematically wraps correctly around the existing build-in Standard Profile S-Curve.

Goals were striving for correct colorimetric reproduction (no weird chroma artifacts), no gaps or bumps in the resulting curve, linear behaviour in the skin-color-exposure range and a few more points that are described in more detail by Martin Beek on his weblog There you can download the picture profile and read about it’s uses for video shooters (i’m a colorist and mathematician, not a film maker…).

Go have a look and use it for free in your camera –  happy shooting!


We (Canon DSLR video shooters) have all been using MPEGStreamclip for our footage conversion, from H.264 to Apple ProRes. Not bad result and good speed all around. But since a few months another tool is available that i have been testing for a while, that delivers slightly better results with the YCbCr to RGB conversion: 5dtorgb. I was preparing a post on the whole subject with examples, but found a few links to blogs and videos from people who did just that the previous month(s). And the results are promising!

Here is a short blogroll (not a rickroll… remember that..?!):

From the links above you can follow many other links to tests and discussions.
For my tests, i’ll stick to using the latest version of 5D2RGB, but i will definitively remain using MPEGStreamClip for all the other (non-H.264) conversion jobs around the house….

From the 5d2rgb author’s website at

Professional Transcoding with Consistent Color

5DtoRGB is an awesome tool that extracts every last drop of video quality from cameras that record to the AVC/H.264 video format. Cameras like the Canon EOS series of HDSLRs record video in this format with subsampled YCbCr color. Because of this compression, the video is at risk of massive quality loss during the post production pipeline. By using a very high quality conversion process, 5DtoRGB gets you as close as possible to the original data off the camera’s sensor while putting the brakes on any additional quality loss. In short, it’ll make your footage look just plain amazing!

5DtoRGB is designed to transcode your footage to a camera master format, either as Apple ProRes QuickTime files or DPX files. This master format is a much higher quality version of the original footage off the CompactFlash card, and is suitable for editing or visual effects purposes. Transcoding to DPX is useful for visual effects creation (like pulling mattes from green screen footage), as DPX files are uncompressed and retain the most image quality. Furthermore, visual effects compositing programs like After Effects or Nuke work with RGB color (not YCbCr, which is the camera’s native format), and so a YCbCr to RGB conversion must be performed by either QuickTime or your compositing program before anything useful can be done.

The main problem with all this is that you have to trust your NLE or compositing app to do a good job of performing the YCbCr to RGB conversion. Many programs use QuickTime internally to perform YCbCr to RGB conversion which, according to our testing, does only a mediocre job. I suspect this due to a performance compromise, in that “well enough” is suitable for most users (remember, QuickTime is designed for real time playback of those 1080p movie trailers as well). This is probably OK for general use, but unacceptable when trying to maximize the quality of highly compressed H.264 footage for visual effects work, green screen compositing or film outs. To add insult to injury, QuickTime adds noise to its H.264 output (and so does any program that uses QuickTime to decompress H.264) in what looks like an attempt to cover up H.264 compression artifacts. And guess what? There’s no way to disable this. You’re stuck with it if you’ve converted your footage with Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, MPEG Streamclip or Canon’s Movie Plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro — all of them use QuickTime to decompress H.264. For an example of the result of this is, click here.

5DtoRGB takes a no-compromise approach to quality, ignoring any concerns about speed. 5DtoRGB bypasses QuickTime decoding altogether, works internally at 10 bits and uses double-precision floating point math for its YCbCr to RGB conversion. It also recognizes Canon’s full range 8 bit YCbCr values (0-255), avoiding clipping and the resulting loss of picture information. The resulting files are the absolute highest quality you’ll ever get out of the camera. In fact, you could argue that they’re even better than the camera originals since they’ve undergone high quality chroma smoothing (which you can disable if you want, but you shouldn’t).

5DtoRGB gives users the power to overcome the incredibly annoying gamma issues that have plagued Final Cut Pro and QuickTime users for years by allowing complete control over gamma correction and flagging.

5DtoRGB includes timecode support. Start timecode values are derived from THM files, just like with Canon’s official E1 plugin for Final Cut Pro and inserted into the DPX files or ProRes QuickTime files. You can also specify your own timecode value if you want.

5DtoRGB runs right now on Mac OS X, with Windows and Linux GUI versions planned.