Boosting Your DSLR Video Quality with CineStyle

Color graded video screenshot.

Hello everyone, it’s James from United By Photography here. I’ve been tinkering with my trusty Canon 70D for quite some time, producing countless YouTube videos. But just recently, I stumbled upon a game-changer – CineStyle by Technicolor. And let me tell you, it’s been a revelation.

Magic of CineStyle

So, what exactly is this CineStyle all about? Well, it’s a color profile that was specifically created for Canon EOS Cameras. Let me break it down for you; normally, when you press the record button on your DSLR camera, it captures video in Auto mode. However, the drawback of using Auto mode is that there are limitations when it comes to adjusting colors during post production.

This is where CineStyle comes into play. By switching your picture profile from Auto to CineStyle, your DSLR camera captures more intricate details, allowing you to have complete freedom when it comes to color grading and enhancing your footage during post production.

Safety Considerations with CineStyle

Before you start worrying about the safety of your camera, let me clear the air. CineStyle, being a color profile and not firmware, only alters the picture settings like curve, contrast, saturation, etc. It doesn’t meddle with your camera firmware, so your warranty stays intact.

Getting Started with CineStyle

Setting up CineStyle on your Canon DSLR is a breeze. All you need is the CineStyle file and the EOS utility on your camera. If you’re a novice DSLR user, the process may seem a bit daunting. But don’t fret! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to download and use CineStyle on a Canon camera.

Part 1: Installing CineStyle on Your Computer

  1. Head to the Technicolor website and download the CineStyle plugin. Fill in your details like name, email address, etc., and you’ll receive a download link in your email. Make sure to use a valid email address.
  2. With the CineStyle files downloaded to your computer, you need an application to transfer it to your DSLR. You can’t simply copy-paste it onto your SD card.
  3. Visit Canon’s official website, select your camera model number, and download the relevant EOS Utility app.
  4. Connect your DSLR to your computer using a USB cable and turn on your camera. The EOS Utility app should automatically launch on your computer screen.
  5. In the EOS utility app, click on camera settings. A new window will pop up with a range of camera options. Click on “Register User Defined style” in the shooting menu.
  6. This will bring up the finder window where you’ll have to navigate to the downloaded file on your computer. Click on the browse button and locate the ‘technicolor_cinestyle_v1‘ file.

Once done, click OK to save changes, and voila! You have successfully loaded CineStyle onto your DSLR. It’s a small file, so it won’t take much time. Close the application and disconnect your DSLR.

Part 2: Setting up CineStyle mode on your DSLR

  1. By default, your DSLR records in Auto mode. To record in CineStyle mode, you need to change the picture profile to CineStyle. To do this, open up your DSLR, navigate to Setting > Video Settings > Picture Style.
  2. A new window will open, displaying various predefined user modes. Scroll down, and you’ll find the CineStyle mode. Enable it.

You might notice your viewfinder’s preview looks a bit faded. The videos may seem washed out. This is because the saturation, contrast, etc., are set to low. But don’t worry, this is normal. It means you are now recording in CineStyle mode.

Part 3: Color Grading CineStyle in Your Video Editor

Now that you’ve recorded footage in CineStyle, it’s time for color correction using your video editing software. Adobe Premiere Pro CC comes with an in-built Lumetri color panel to apply LUTs (Look Up Tables). However, if you’re a Final Cut Pro X user like me, you’ll need third-party extensions to apply LUTs, like the mLUT plugin.

Let’s see how to color grade CineStyle video in Final Cut Pro X.

  1. Start by creating a free account at motionvfx and download mInstaller. Once downloaded, install the mInstaller application on your computer. This application is essential for installing mLUT on your computer. Next, download mLut (free) from the official website.
  2. Add mLut to your cart, and once you click on checkout, you’ll be redirected to the mInstaller app. The installation will happen automatically.
  3. Open or restart FCP, go to Effects, and you’ll find mLut there. Select the video clips and apply the LUTs by clicking on the mLut library. To adjust the intensity, click on the file, navigate to video effects and adjust the intensity from there.

Wrapping Up: Shooting Cinematic Video with CineStyle

CineStyle is basically a picture profile that adjusts the contrast to capture more details in your image. Achieving a similar effect can be done by manually reducing the contrast, saturation and sharpness settings on your camera. However, with CineStyle, it’s much easier since it only requires a simple click.

It’s important to note that if you choose to use CineStyle, you’ll need to do some color grading during post production. If you’re not a fan of color correction or if achieving a cinematic look isn’t necessary for your videos, shooting in auto mode is perfectly acceptable. On the other hand, if you’re working on a project that involves multiple cameras, shooting in CineStyle helps maintain consistency in terms of visual style.

That wraps up today’s information! I hope you found this guide useful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below. Until next time, happy shooting!

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