Donnerstag, 14. Juli 2011

Is the technicolor Cinestyle really more noisy than super flat?

The word out in the internet lately was that the new Cinestyle for the Canon DSLR's has problems with the high ISO range causing more noise than the old "super flat" setting. There is no doubt that the Technicolor setting has brought a lot of nice possibilities for the postproduction even though it's quite difficult to find the focus without the viewfinder or a bigger screen. There has been a lot of discussion about the problem concerning noise but is there really a difference? Andrew Schär took his 60D and made a comparison between the two styles pushing ISO from low to high (thanks Andrew!). After seeing this I really don't see a difference. Cinestyle is brighter in general and therefore the noisy might be more displayed because of the high contrast and brightness. For the original statement check below the video.





Andrew Schär:

"A little while ago, Technicolor released Cinestyle - a profile for Canon DSLR's - that aimed to give filmmakers a greater latitude in the shadows when filming.

Vincent Laforet had a post on his blog about this (
bit.ly/​q5KxOV) - you'll notice from the still images there, how the highlights are roughly the same or perhaps even slightly less bright, while the shadows are much brighter than the Flat Canon profile.

Anyway, the previous test I did focused on seeing how much noise was produced at each ISO increment, bearing in mind that Technicolor recommends using multiples of 160 for the lowest noise -
vimeo.com/​23082874

However, after chatting to a friend & phenomenal filmmaker, Salomon Ligthelm (
vimeo.com/​ligthelm), he shied away from the Cinestyle profile, saying that it was too noisy for his liking.

So I wondered - If I shoot the same test using the "Flat" profile, and put them side-by-side, would I see less noise?


The EXACT same contrast, brightness, and curves settings, that I used to boost the Cinestyle test, were used on the Flat profile footage. The only problem was that I couldn't see any noise! At first I thought that this meant the Cinestyle profile was in fact, much more noisy than the Flat profile. Why wouldn't I think that when the results were clearly showing no noise, vs. plenty noise?


The thing is, I could clearly see though, that the Cinestyle footage was much brighter, or at least had a different gamma to that of the Flat footage. Of course that's completely logical since we know the Cinestyle profile gives a much greater latitude in the shadows.


But what I wanted to know, was whether or not my images would be noisier if I shot using the Cinestyle profile. So I played with the brightness and contrast of the Flat footage to try and VISUALLY MATCH the brightness and contrast of the Cinestyle footage.


I found that if I increased brightness by 18.4% and contrast by 2%, I could practically replicate the Cinestyle image on the left.


After I had done this and played it back, the noise to me seemed practically identical, which lead me to conclude that the Cinestyle profile isn't CREATING more noise, it's simply DISPLAYING more noise, since shadow brightness is boosted by around 20%.


In the video you'll see the Cinestyle footage top-left, the further-boosted Flat profile on the right, and the "same-boosted-settings-as-cinestyle" Flat footage on the bottom, for comparison.


I'm guessing that if you tried to boost just the shadows of the Flat footage in post, that the real-world footage wouldn't be as clear, or would be more noisy than what the Cinestyle footage is creating in-camera, while filming.


In other words, the idea behind Cinestyle's brighter shadows is that you're going to ultimately DARKEN them a bit (along with noise) in post - according to your needs - whereas shooting with the Flat profile means you may need to BRIGHTEN the shadows in post - which logically speaking, would be worse for your image.


Whether or not this is true in everday filming, is up to the viewer and filmmaker I guess."

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