Monday, 11 April 2011

Picture Style Revisited

Ok, we’ve decided to dedicate another post to the custom picture style function on the Canon DSLR. When playing around with this and running some tests, we found that getting the movie mode to recognise the customised picture style, wasn’t quite as straight forward,  as some of the instructions we read made it sound.

After a fair bit of hunting around online, we found quite a few other people were struggling to wrap their heads around this problem. Well we found out how to do it and thought we should share it on here. Remember this is for the Canon Rebel T2i/550D, not sure if it’s the same for other Canons.

We won’t go into how to load the picture style onto the camera itself – as there are plenty of good ones out there, like this one…

1. We’ll assume you’ve loaded the picture style in User Define 1 (you have 3 User Define options to choose from). Switch the dial to video mode, and then hit the menu button. Now go to Picture Style (it’s in the 4th menu tab at the top – the camera icon with two dots next to it) and push the SET button.

2. Use the up and down arrow to get to USER DEFINE 1 (or whichever User Define you selected) and push the DISP. Button (next to the menu button).

3. With the arrow keys push up and down until the red square is on PICTURE STYLE, then push SET. Now, again using the arrow keys push up and down until you see your customised picture style.

Below are stills taken from tests we did with two downloaded picture styles; “Marvelcine version 3.3” and one called “Crooked Path Flat 3”, and one ultra flat style we knocked up ourselves, where we really flattened the shadows and brought down the highlights as low as we could. Now the important thing to remember here is that we’re not looking to make the picture look as good as possible “in camera” but as good as we can for grading and colour work in post-production. 

There are lots of picture styles floating around on the web and it’s worth playing around with your own styles too. The key is to experiment and test, test and test again.

Personally we found the Marvel style gave us the best results out of all the styles we tested. The custom made ultra flat style showed a few artefacts such as banding and image noise when pushing the levels and curves, so you do have to be careful with just how flat you make the picture.

You can download Marvel’s cine picture style here…

And you can download the Crooked Path flat picture style from here…