The hidden value of Cinemode

I used to be against the use of the “Cinemode” mode that is found on the Canon HD cameras. Truth is, it clips the dark areas pretty bad, and it’s too soft. However, having worked with it for a few months now, it’s true that it provides a much better color response.

People usually don’t like cinemode because it looks too dull, it’s not sharp and it has low contrast. However, Cinemode is not meant to be used as is. It is MEANT to be color graded. Look at my bad-hair-day frames below, as shot, and after having been color graded. As shot the “auto mode” provides a more pleasant look, but after having color graded, cinemode looks fantastic: look how more natural the colors are! I used unsharpen mask with a large radius to fix the contrast and sharpen issues, bumped saturation a little bit, reduced gamma, and using “Curves” I bumped the the dark areas a bit too.

Sure it still looks like video, but it looks less of it. So, if you are after the movie look, always shoot with Cinemode and the “neutral” color setting. The duller the picture is when shot, the better color grading response it has on post which will help you achieve that movie look.

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