This is not about color grading. It is me learning about contrast curves.

I am still in the learning phase with the Cinestyle picture style, this test is all about contrast and noise. This is not about color grading.

Download the LUT for Premiere Pro (preset file)

Wide Open Tees – 10% discount code.

Thanks to Samuel Hurtado for also suppling me with a LUT as well for After Effects.


  • hi dave
    there are 3 things i’d like to say/ ask:
    for some of your videos in my area (germany) it’s not possible to watch them.
    because youtube says: “This video is not available in your country” (i.e. d5100-t3i-shootout)
    i love your lighting set-up. maybe some day you make a tutorial with all the facts about brands, picturestyle and post used?
    in a lot of your videos, i noticed that you are sometimes totally out of lipsync. why is that so?

    thx for all your work, tomi

  • Hey Dave
    My 2 cents. Forget the lut. If you’re monitor is calibrated eyeball the luminance S curve yourself to dial up-down the correct amount of shadow detail and contrast.

    And pretty sure the guys over at are going to do a thorough review of Technicolor quite soon.

    Haven’t done any thorough tests myself, but doubt you can preserve the same amount of shadow detail using the default Neutral setting

  • i dont know dave

    i still like the cinestyle…

    i color grade everything anyways so maybe thats why… its not really adding too much to my workflow

    thanks for the video!!!

  • I agree with you…the cinestyle sucks if you don’t color grade; Even the guys at technicolor that created the thing will agree with you there…even calling the picture you get from the camera “Ugly” in one interview I watched from NAB. The point is that this thing was made for color graders and not a necessity for those that would like to get the picture right in the camera. It would be interesting to get a possible review done of some of the picture styles that people have made to see what is possible for Run and Gun situations where color grading isn’t an option.

  • Dave, remember the neutral picture might look nice on your monitor… but have you tested this on a calibrated tv for broadcast?

    Remember it might look nice on a monitor but might look way tooo bright on a tv.

    Keep that in mind

  • I think you’re forgetting something in terms of which one keeps the most data.

    You’re using a non-corrected shot vs a corrected shot. The non-corrected Neutral held very little more information in the shadows than the corrected Cinestyle. But the cinestyle corrected looks -heaps- better than the uncorrected Neutral.

    Which means that you’d have to correct the neutral style regardless, and seeing as an uncorrected neutral only holds as much info as a corrected cinestyle, you’d lose alot once you had corrected the neutral style.

    There’s no real “straight out of the cam” setting that looks just spot on, you’d always have to correct it, regardless of neutral, super-flat or cinestyle. So for my two cents, it’s always best shooting with the one that gets the most information.

    Something I’d love to see from you would be an “Okay, I’ve learned alot about colors, contrast and holding information. I’m gonna go all out and try a color-grade, not a correction.” type thing. Let your hair down and push yourself artistically as well. You’ll learn a lot trying to match post-work from some of your favorite films, or by giving your footage a “movie like” color-overhaul. In my experience, it’s when you start to tinker with giving things a “look”, the real winner of picture-styles will present itself.

  • Hey Dave! You’re right, the neutral is much better, Cinestyle is meant and done for the 5DII, you can use it on the 550D but making changes to the curve other ways not that great. I use neutral on 550D and yes ,cinestyle on 5DII where I really see the benefits.

  • Yes but why does NOBODY answer the REAL question: Is CineStyle just lifting and desaturating and changing gamma as you could do in post or not? So a proper test would be: Shoot video with Cinestyle than same with Neutral (0,-4,-2,0). Then lifting the blacks in post of the NEUTRAL video to the same as the Cinestyle video and then compare which has the most noise. So you will know which captures THE MOST DETAIL, and that is what this is about, not getting nice looks..

  • Hi Dave, first off I really enjoy the honesty of your reviews its clear your learning and I think its refreshingly humble to hear that (I’m learning too 🙂 ) I think its important to remember that as posted above that there is a direct modification to the Gamma (pre acquisition) when running CineStyle (so you could argue to run a log picture profile is getting it right in camera), this benefits not just the blacks but helps keep the highlights from clipping as well. I’m not sure if you have a MPE complaint card to go with your CS5 software but I encourage you to keep grading. CineStyle I believe, retains the most information i’ve ever seen of any of the profiles, (shutterdown pancake or cine marvels) but its certainly no substitute for lighting a shot. Love your work,

  • Dave

    I’m trying to do this BUT and its a BIG but for me, I can’t seem to bring the sharpness back in post.
    I’ve checked numerous shots to make sure focus is right, I just can’t get the level of detail I see from even a controlled lighting setup.