New versions of Cinema Profile for DSLRs from CinePlus (video comparison with CineStyle)

Just the Cut

Last September Cine Plus released the Cinema Picture Profile for Canon DSLRs for $19. You can read the WideOpenCamera write up on it here. At the time I was shooting corporate videos for a number of companies around the SF Bay area that had strict turn around deadlines. More often than not I found myself opting to roll with the Cinema profile to save time with the grade in post. It’s a fantastic look but I found that it often crushed the blacks when trying to protect the highlights. Fast forward a year later, and Giovanni Speranza from Cine Plus has released a new set of profiles to address this concern.

There are two profiles included in this package. Both are designed to extend the range of the image while maintaining a simple zero to minimal post color workflow. First off you have Lightform C which takes the teal/orange look from the Cinema profile while supposedly extending the head room. The other is Lightform N which has a much more neutral color profile to it with out the teal/orange look. The package is again available for $19 at the CinePlus Website. Giovanni proves to be an adept marketer with his slew of new example videos demonstrating the potential for these new profiles. It is claimed that the Lightform profile can out perform Cinestyle in terms of highlight roll off. Curious, I decided to pit the Lightform C profile against my own grade of the Cinestyle profile to test the range and see if it’s true.

The verdict? Before I get into it, keep in mind that Lightform C is meant to be used in situations where you have little or no time for post color, or you are handing the footage off to a client and have no control over it. I’ve seen a few shooters roll with flat picture profiles only to hand off their media and see a completed cut out in the public with no grade work done whatsoever. With this in mind, I left the Lightform C footage untouched, but graded the Cinestyle footage as I would normally. Now I wouldn’t say there’s any hidden detail being brought out in the highlights, however it does appear to have a smoother roll off. You can see this in the bright edge of the roof in the first comparison shot as well as around the sun in the second. Skin tones appear decent however I feel there’s a bit more green in the overall image than I’d like. I’d recommend dialing down the in camera sharpening as it can be a bit intense in certain situations. The cinestyle footage was shot with the sharpening turned off completely, and it’s especially apparent in the first shot. When you take into consideration the 5 or so minutes I took correcting the levels on the cinestyle footage for each shot when looking at the comparison, I’d say the new CinePlus profiles do an excellent job. They’re perfect for handing the footage off to the client and resting assured the color will be decent.

alexwalkerstudios.com
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Jared Abrams
Jared Abrams is a cinematographer based in Hollywood, California. After many years as a professional camera assistant he switched over to still photography. About two years ago a new Canon camera changed the way the world sees both motion and still photography. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
  • http://www.cineblur.com Brent Pierce

    Nice. Been wanting to see a side-by-side comparison of these two. To me, Cinestyle is still the winner. Seemed alot smoother with the highlights.

  • Alex Walker

    Definitely if you’re doing it yourself. Though when you stretch the luminance values back to 709 it does introduce more banding on the Cinestyle footage. Shows up on the histogram. I haven’t seen it fall apart yet, but something to keep an eye on. 

  • Noisyboy

    Hey, nice post! I just got the Lightform profiles but haven’t yet had a greadt deal of time to try them out against Cinestyle. Have you seen the Visioncolor PP yet? I also downloaded that and found that (on my limited tests, this seems to actually handle highlights even better! Would love to see all three against each other  but I just don’t have the time myself right now :)