I finally found a good picture style for me to start out with.

Martin Beek over at Marvels Films asked me to compare some of his new version “3” (actually version 2.3) picture styles, I tried all of them from his zip file in many different lighting conditions.

The new Marvel 2.3 flat low contrast works really well for a beginner like me. I think others just getting their feet wet with color correction and grading will also like this one as well.

From Martin’s blog here is his description of my favorite picture style:

Slight “best of both worlds” s-Curve for useful flattening of the picture, without introducing flattening artifacts such as “plastic faces” and other 8-bit color gamma defects. Optimized for low contrast shooting situations (e.g. indoors, night).
Classification: No color correction. Light flattening.
Version 2.3 of december 5 2010, by Martin Beek and Bart Keimen, Marvels Film.

I have tried some of the other more “advanced” styles like the version 1.2 (classic) or the new Panalog versions and even after tons of work I can’t make them look half way decent at all. Perhaps the Panalog is designed for the 5D and not the T2i 550D, maybe that is why I can’t get it to work for me.

Good DSLR Video Picture Style for Beginners


  • Dave

    Much appreciate your help! You have been a godsend to new users such as myself.

    Please forgive my little suggestion as follow:

    You are displaying your various shots/modes/color corrections, examples……….way, waaaaaaay to fast in your downloads.

    Please give us viewers maybe (three)? seconds to compare your various shots as opposed to .25 of a second view.

    All in all we love your fantastic help in the HDSLR world.


  • @Dan sorry about the fast speed. I will try to slow it down in the future.

    I do these tests mostly for myself so I can remember what I tested after a few weeks pass by, but I know others might benefit from it so I share it here. I kind of figure that everyone else is doing these same tests, I guess I am the only one sharing them.

  • Dave

    You basically are unique in your online sharing of your consumer experience.

    That is why I am very hesitant in offering suggestions. We (I) do NOT want to discourage your enormous help to though of us who have not gone that extra mile, as you have done.

    Please know that any suggestions come with deep appreciation of your work.

    I am not aware of any other “Dave Dugdale” out there.


  • @Dan I really like all the suggestions please keep them coming! Also typos are totally allowed because I do them all the time. 🙂

  • Dave, you are truly a blessing to give out soooo much info for free. I thank and appreciate it. (I know you’re looking at the donate button right now and after a couple minutes of skimming through vids I feel compelled to do so)

    I just got the T2i. Is this the software that comes with the camera? Because I cant find it. Which cd is it on? I looked on both and one is even empty.

  • I did some testing with Marvles Cine 1.2 inside the EOS Utility so that I could watch the histogram… I think what your seeing is that even though it has flattened your image it is clipping the levels. I found that with that Style you need to be careful not to “under expose” if you do the Style push too much of the information into the Middle and it “clips” so what you get is a gray with no detail.

    So even if you color correct it in post it will still look like a solid color…

    I think it would be usable but it would be best to have magic lantern installed so that you could check out a histogram and make sure that it is not clipping the mids.

    the new Marvel cine 3.3 does not seem to clip the mids even if you underexpose…so I think it is a safer one to use if you need to set up fast (run and gun)

    Anyway thanks:)

  • dave I started following your site about a month ago just after i bought the T2i. I was wondering what software you use to process your videos. You probebly cover this in one of your videos, but I haven’t found it yet.

  • Hi Dave,

    I recently bought an 550d and found your site yesterday. It’s great!!! Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences.

    I will be vistiting this site over and over to learn how to shoot video with my dslr.

    Greetings from Holland.

  • Hi Dave, been following ur site since last year so, sorry for not saying thanks for all the info I’ve picked up so far : )
    I use FCP for my editing and Colorista for grading, what would you suggest for me to use in sharpening after shooting flat? I can’t seem to get n answer in all the blogs, they just conveniently say sharpen in post, and I don’t think those soft images are usable even on my amateur level.

  • Hi Dave. Im newbie for dslr video. Can you suggets for begginer. The suitable DSLR for me.
    Im still confuse.

  • I am having a problem choosing from Marvel 1.2 or 3.4. I am a beginner on color correcting, and I am still learning stuff like rendering settings and proxies. Which Marvel picture style should I choose….Thank you….