28 Picture Styles for Canon - Professional Results for Cine, Video and Photo
Read about features, instructions and see videos below with 600D T3i and 5D Mark III

Get them right now, only 5 USD PayPal donation:

 

First Feedback: "Man This Picture style is insane cut all time spent in post production i just tested +h Version looking good I'm going to do more video and spread the word to videographer for ur hard work. Thank again AGAIN BIT TIME" (from A.O. Vimeo Member)

 

Are you tired of grading photo and video images in computer and losing time? So the Cook Picture Styles is for you. Perfect MOV videos from your Canon DSLR with real world colors, great tonal gradation and improved dynamic range without flatten the image. Perfect RAW photos converted to JPG in DPP software with shadow/highlight improvement.They are already finished in developing, ready to use and you will get them right now.
The Cook Picture Styles was developed with the Canon EOS 600D T3i and also tested with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with excellent results.


Learn How it works.
Questions and Answers about the Cook Picture Styles:

 

The Cook Picture Styles is an experimental project or a professional project?

The Cook Picture Styles is a professional product, I do not consider it a project because the development is already finished, they are ready to use. They can be used for professional video, cinema and photo work. They are a result of more than one year of developing since I got my Canon 600D T3i camera in November 2012. Tests was done with the 5D Mark III also. There was an experimental stage in the beginning of the development process, but everything was done silent with exaustive careful tweaking and this is the final professional working result.

 

Please, enumerate the main features of the Cook Picture Styles.

The Cook is a set of 28 Picture Styles for Canon to be used in camera and in Digital Photo Professional software.
The highlight preservation increases the range for capturing bright backgrounds without clipping, and when something clips the highlight roll off is ok.
The shadow lifting amount has 7 levels and the levels 1, 3 and 6 or 0, 2 and 5 or 1,3 and 5 are the best combinations to load to the camera.
The in camera versions intercut ok among themselfs in the timeline, they are calibrated.
The DPP versions allows to convert the RAW photos in computer without the need of many adjusts.
The contrast and other sliders are in or near the middle so you have room to tweak  before start recording MOV or when converting RAW photos.
With a good combination of the shadow lifting amount and contrast settings, you increase dynamic range without flatten the image.
The local and global contrast are preserved without the need of post grading. Local contrast is the perceived resolution, the correct amount of sharpness for a pleasant image, The global contrast is the balance of brigthness, contrast and gamma which removes the grey and misty flat look. Both are ok with Cook.
There is no significant noise increase even with HTP enabled up to iso 1600 in the 600D and up to iso 6400 in the 5D. It cleans ok with Neatvideo. I also use iso 3200 in the 600D with post denoise when I need.
The colors are corrected in a way to be as close as possible to what our eyes see. Just do a good manual white balance adjust.
The skin tones are improved to be more natural, removing the color cast from Canon sensor and internal processing.
There is no gradient banding, mud or texture breaking, the tonal range is very well preserved in all the 8 bit color space range.
The luminance level is calibrated to keep a strong signal but lowered a little bit to get a more imersive experience to the eyes, more comfortable and pleasant to see.
The dynamic range improved a lot, to a point which is pretty enough for shadow / highlight situations in daylight or night shoots.

 
What motivated you to create the Cook Picture Styles?

To get the best results from the Canon EOS sensor inside the camera. My theory was if I could grade the raw image inside the camera before the 8 bit 420 H264 compression It would be better and fast results than grade flat MOV files in the computer and a also more fast, easy and cheap workflow than working with raw video.

 

What are the main goals and main achievements of the Cook Picture Styles and why did you called it Cook?

The main achieved goal is to cook the raw image inside the camera. To improve the image using the in-camera grading concept and extract the maximum quality/performance from the Canon sensor before compress into the 8 bit codec.
The Cook delivers MOV videos and JPG photos which does not need grading in post production if the user  tweaks the camera settings correctly. And the Cook does this without downsides, respecting the limits of the sensor and the limits of the 8 bit color space. Also the images are friendly of post grading when the user wants different looks instead of the real world look.

 

What do you mean with "if the user tweaks the camera settins correctly"? What does the user need to do to cook the images?

To cook the raw sensor inside the camera, the user needs to do some things correctly: A good manual white balance adjust, first setting the Kelvin scale which adjusts amber/blue and then the Green/Magenta bias depending of the light source. The user must chose the correct amount of shadow lifting among the Cook picture styles options, my advice is to load the versions 1, 3 and 6 or 0, 2 and 5 or 1, 3 and 5. These are the recomended versions to load to the three available custom picture styles slots in Canon cameras. Then you chose the best for the light situation considering how much you want to lift the shadows and adjust the contrast of the picture style according to the light differences in the image. Lowering contrast increases dynamic range, increasing contrast removes the flat look, there will be a best point for a balance in between. Sometimes increasing the contrast in camera is better than decreasing it, the user needs to perceive this. Try contrast from -2 to +2, step by step. To do a good exposure with ISO, Shutter and Aperture is important because errors in exposure can hurts the perfect point. A tip is to set the brigtness of the camera LCD to 6 between 0 and 7 and use a loupe to avoid the ambient light and perceive the global look. You need to be good in the image capture moment, it is easy, you just need to practice to get it to flow. If you commit some small mistakes some corrections in post production works ok, just do your best. For the same image, I perceived that the shadows in the camera LCD are a little darker comparing to what I see in the TN computer monitor, and more close to what I see in the IPS monitor, so pay attention to this.

 

How the user can perceive wich version of Cook is best suited for each scene and how to set the contrast slider?

If everything is under the shadow, the versions 0 and 1 are recomended because there is no need to lift the shadows and this choice will deliver a better global contrast and skin tones. If there are slightly differences in light in the main subject the versions 2 and 3 are better option. The versions 4, 5 and 6 are for situations where you have things under shadows and other things under light, or a bright background, because these versions lift more the shadows. After you chose the version, you experiment the contrast slider from -2 to +2 to perceive the point which increases the global contrast without crushing the blacks or clipping the highlights or to perceive the point that increases dynamic range without flatten the image. Sometimes the highlights will clip because the sensor has a limit, so it is better to get a good contrast in the image with clipped highlights instead of flatten the final look in an attempt to recover the highlights.

 

The Cook Picture Styles default contrast is in the middle. Why not use contrast -4 to improve dynamic range even more?

The cook picture styles does not use the contrast slyder to improve dynamic range, it uses other settings in the picture style editor. There are two reasons to do this. First because the other settings allows more precise adjusts to get better texture and tonal range from the sensor and also avoid the flat look when increasing the dynamic range with a more precise control to reach the maximum safe settings. Second because leaving the default contrast slider in the midle allows the user to increase or decrease the contrast considering the light conditions of each scene to get good  images with great global contrast straight from camera. In the demo videos you can see there are different situations where I used contrast from -2 to +2 which is the safe range. You can start at -2 and increase step by step until you preceive that there is no flat look. In the Cook Picture Styles the contrast slider is used to do what it is intended to do, to adjust the final global contrast of the image.
If you set contrast to -4 and shoot flat to recover the contrast in post it will be difficult task to do because each image will need a different grading, and the grading can introduce banding artifacts in the image. To apply the same lut for all flat images have two downsides: it can hurt the shadows and highlights or leave some flat amount because each scene is different in light conditions.  If you load three versions of Cook to the camera and tweak the contrast from -2 to +2 you will get the best dynamic range for each scene while preserving the good contrast, no grading needed in post and no hurt in image. You will do the grading inside the camera direct from the raw sensor before the 8bit h264 compression avoiding gradient banding and get good images which does not need post production grading.

 

Why just not use the Cook6 all the time considering it has the highest level of dynamic range?

Each light condition needs a different level of dynamic range in the picture style. You need to be careful if you use the Cook6 in a scene with everything under shadows because there are chances of the tonal look become not so pleasant to the eye as it would be if you use the Cook0 or 1. This is not a problem of the Cook, this is because you are lifting an image that does not need lifting. But there are some ways to improve the look. If you use the Cook6 with your main subject under shadows and light in the background, there are two things you can do to keep the good tonal range: you can increase the contrast slider to +1 or +2 to get a better tonal range in the subject which is under the shadow or you can decrease the exposure changing shutter speed, iso and aperture, or a combination of both, some decrease in exposure and some contrast increase. Do not worry because increasing contrast to +2 does not hurt the dynamic range so much, it will improve the global contrast. If you use the Cook0 in a shadow highlight scene the shadows will be dark or the highlights will clip because the Cook0 is not intended to do this, but you can decrease the contrast to improve the dynamic range. The Cook5 and 6 are best suited to be used in shadow highlight situations and the Cook0 and 1 to be used in just shadows situations. I recomend to compare the combinations in the camera LCD before start recording. There are 7 levels of shadow lifting  in Cook Picture Styles in small increments: Cook0, Cook1, Cook2, Cook3, Cook4, Cook5 and Cook6. Unfortunately the Canon cameras just allows to load three custom picture styles, but I perceived that it is enough. Loading the 1, 3 and 6 or the 0, 2 and 5 or the 1, 3 and 5 to the camera solves all situations. And you can do improvements adjusting contrast from -2 to +2, this is the safe range. Another tip is to decrease the saturation slider a little when you increase the contrast slider to avoid color bleeding. Working in DPP to convert RAW photos you can experiment all the 7 levels of shadow lifting without the need of loading them to the camera.

 

Why there are two groups, the "_cam" and the "_dpp" groups? Are they different, and how?

The DPP - Canon Digital Photo Professional Software - process the RAW photos delivering different results comparing to the camera internal processing, so there is the need of two versions of the same picture style, one for use in camera and other for use in DPP. In the Cook Picture Styles, the "_cam" group is for use inside the camera, to load to the camera, for taking MOV videos and JPG photos. The "_dpp" group is for use in the computer for processing RAW photos in the Canon Digital Photo Professional software. In both groups the Cook behavior is the same, the only difference is each group deals with color, texture correction and highlight preservation using different settings because the internal camera processing is a little bit different from the software processing in computer. Do not use Cook DPP version in camera or the Cook camera version in DPP, this is wrong thing to do and will not give you perfect results.

 

Why there are versions with the sufix -h and +h?

There are two versions of the Cook for each group, the default version and the -h version for DPP group and the default version and the +h version for use in camera. The -h version in the DPP group removes the highlight preservation implemented in Cook and keeps the luminance range up to 255. In the DPP group, in the default version, the highlights are lowered a little bit. Do not worry, this does not hurt the highlight tonal range. I perceived that lowering the highlights a little bit was more pleasant to the eye. It works ok for converting RAW photos as you can see in the demo video. Also the highlight roll off is good with both versions. In the camera group the default version has the safe amount of highlight preservation which preserves the textures. The +h version has a more agressive highlight preservation for extreme situations, but it slightly reduces the textures, so use it only when needed.
The -h version is intended to be a choice for use with RAW photos in DPP software when you do not need highlight preservation or when you want the white point at 255. But I recomend to apply the default version in DPP and do a careful adjust in the Tool Palette's brightness adjustment until you find the best highlight roll off. In DPP, the Tool Palette's brightness adjust allows 1/6 fstop changes and each step makes a significant difference in the highlight roll off. To benefit from the Cook texture correction and also get good highlight roll off in DPP software the user must do three things: chose the correct version of Cook, adjust the brightness in the DPP Tool Palette and adjust the contrast slider. After this adjust saturation for your taste. Do adjusts step by step, each step makes difference, and zoom in the image to 100% size to perceive the details and tonal gradation.
For H264 MOV video recording I recomend to use the default versions for the Cook0, Cook1, Cook2 and Cook3 because they preserves better the textures in highlights. To avoid changing picture styles in camera, you can load just the Cook6+h or Cook5+h and the other two versions without the +h, their default versions. Just a warning, in the default versions the highlight preservation is more pronounced in DPP, In camera it works slightly less, but it helps. Due to this different behavior in camera and in DPP I developed the +h versions for in camera use in extreme situations. The -h version is not available for in camera use because there is no significant difference comparing to the default version inside the camera.
I was expecting that these differences in highlight would be more pronounced in the IPS monitor, but for my surprise I perceived that these differences are more noticeable in the TN monitor. I am using a Samsung TN and a LG IPS, both calibrated with color charts.

 

How does the cook deal with the skin tones?

I did a careful study about skin color and I did shoots of lots of different people in the streets to compare to what I learned in my researches. I also hired three professional models, white, mulatto and black to help me in the development under different light sources. So I did my best to remove the color casts which I found to be common in the Canon sensor with the factory default picture styles when compared to what I see with my eyes.
Also about color, I did study and experimentation about the numerical interpretation of the colors in the 8 bits color space to learn how to deal with the numbers to tweak the colors as I wanted to. When you know how to work with numbers your work flows better than experimenting with just intuition and try/error.
When lifting the shadows in Picture style Editor there is the need of doing some color correction and texture correction, because shadow lifting changes the skin color a little bit and breaks the textures. I did my best in color correction to keep the same skin tones in all different amounts of shadow lifting. In the _cam group intended to be used in camera, the versions are more equal in terms of skin tone and they work ok for intercut in timeline. In the _dpp versions intended for use with RAW photos in computer there are slightly hue differences among the versions because I needed to do a balance between color correction and texture correction to correct the texture breaking because the DPP software processing is very sensible to this.
Comparing the skin colors in the Samsung TN and the LG IPS monitors the TN shows better color reproduction even after calibration.

 

How do you deal with the green color cast introduced by the variable nd filters, what do you recomend?

I recomend to adjust the white balance kelvin scale with the green/magenta bias disabled and after get the balance between blue and amber you stat moving the green/magenta bias towards magenta step by step. This is better than change the tone slider in the picture style because the green/magenta bias changes the hue in more subtle steps. Comparing the Variable ND and the Circular Polarizer in my tests, I found that the color cast in a circular polarizer is almost unnoticeable and it decreases the light by 1,66 fstops. So I am using a circular polarizer instead of the Variable ND. The Circular Polarizer and the Fader ND can also be used to increase the dynamic range a little. When you rotate it in front of the lens you perceive that dark areas becomes lighter while light areas becomes darker. It is subtle but makes difference. In this demo video I used it only in the MOV videos, not in RAW photos. The reason is because I wanted to show the maximum dynamic range I could get. And when I show the difference from Cook0 to Cook6 and also to Neutral, the polarizer filter was used in exactly the same position in front of the camera lens. The differences in dynamic range in the demo video is generated only by the picture styles, the polarizer was in the same position for each scene. A tip about using polarizer is to not remove all the reflections from the foliage to not turn them into a green mass. Some reflections in foliage is important to keep good perceiving of local contrast. In this video I removed all reflections in some shoots and I perceived this when I saw the images in the computer, so in my next shoots I will do tests to find the best balance for the polarizer filter. Do this test also when you use it.
About light sources, sun light and halogen light do not need green/magenta bias adjust, or when it needs it is very subtle, but led lights and fluorescent lights introduces green cast and need it. In my tests the green/magenta bias in white balance is working to solve this green cast, but I wil experiment some glass filters, the SkyLight 1B, the 812 and the FL-DAY to perceive if it is better. Other thing to do is to try all the white balance presets in camera, but I prefer manual adjust. Other interesting about green cast is when you shoot under trees and over grass. The sunlight reflects on them and introduce green cast in the skin tones. Pay attention to this because the green cast introcuced by these refletions is difficult to solve because it is not uniform.

 

The other picture styles for digital cinema production introduce some color grading to make the images look more cinematic and less video look. Don't you think the Cook Picture Styles are too much video look?

Let me clarify this point, because it is important. What I did was to keep the colors close to what our eyes see in the real world. And the dynamic range improvement keeps the good contrast. So the images comes from the camera ready for tv broadcast, no need grading, no need sharpening. Depending on the ISO, some denoise is welcome and cleans prettty good.
I believe that color grading to get different look must be done in post, not in camera. The Cook will give you great dynamic range and great global contrast with good real world colors. And for my taste it is cinematic look because I like real world colors in movies. The graded cine look that makes the world different from what we see, you will introduce in post production with your own color grading to satisfy your taste and needs. After you have the best preserved tonal range from the sensor with Cook, you have room to do what you want in the computer.  Real world colors in the footage will give you freedom for post production. Also imagine a 30 seconds advertising showing food, clothes... Will you show these things with teal and orange look? I would not. So I believe that color manipulation must be done in post.
I kept in Cook a slightly lowered luminance signal, but keeping a strong image with calibrated gamma and good signal in the waveform. I found that lowering the luminance a little bit allow the eyes to feel more comfortable watching the screen and I consider this a more cinematic look. But I did it without lowering so much, because a strong image signal is best suited for TV broadcast and better for low lumens home theater projectors. In my tests with the Optoma DLP and Panasonic 3LCD projectors I found that 120 nits is the minimum for a pleasant image and the minimum to avoid crush the shadows in the 0.7x gain projection screen which is necessary to improve the black level of cheap consumer projectors. So using a strong video signal in the picture style is important. Also, the low light performance of the camera works better this way. And if you want to get an image with even less luminance to be more cinematic you can decrease exposure in camera or do it in post production lowering some values. I developed a low luminance versions of the Cook Picture Styles but I abandoned them because I perceived I could do the same thing lowering the exposure in camera or in computer. The luminance level of the Cook picture styles is the best balance I could find between the strong signal and a comfortable viewing experience. It is more cinematic and imersive than Neutral, more comfortable to the eyes while it keeps a strong signal.
About the saturation, I like strong colors, but I took care to avoid color bleeding. if you prefer, you can decrease the amount of saturation using the saturation slider in the picture style. And if you increase the contrast slider in the picture style when shooting MOV, decreasing saturation slider  a little can be a good decision to avoid color bleeding.
These concepts behind Cook makes it suitable to be used  in many different video aplications: Indie filmmaking, corporate, weddings, events, web, television, family, travel, sports, fashion, advertising, food, animals, landscapes, docs, and so on, because the images will be ok from camera with a great approach to what our eyes see. But If you want a different look,  the Cook holds the grading ok because it has good tonal range, so you can give your own look to the image in the computer. This also avoids the risk of regret due to introducing a different color grading when shooting.
There are some great computer plugins for color looks, image manipulation and filmgrain, which can do these settings in seconds or minutes just dragging some sliders. And then you render, export the final video. Set your project for 32 bit float, apply denoise if needed, apply your color/grading film look, apply your filmgrain, render to 10bit 422 and you will get great quality. About sharpness I like the results from the default settings from Cook without sharpening in post when working in 1080p. The denoise can introduce some softness, so you can do a slightly sharpening in the denoise moment. I did no post sharpening in the demo video, sharpness in the demo video is what I got from the camera.

 

How many fstops of dynamic range the Cook Picture Styles can deliver?

What I did when developing the Cook Picture Styles was to adjust the settings in the Picture Style Editor interger by interger to find the maximum and minimum values I could use without hurting the image. This means no significant increase in noise, no gradient banding, no mud, no flat. If I went further, as I did in my tests, the results would be not professional. It does not make sense for me to increase the dynamic range and get ugly noise, texture breaking, flat, mud or banding. So I did it respecting the limits of the sensor, preserving the quality. Also I made them friendly of HTP which also increases dynamic range. So I consider the Cook6 + HTP the maximum dynamic range from the Canon DSLR sensor while keeping the image quality. For the 5D Mark III the maximum safe shadow lifting is the Cook5 + HTP. I did not measured the dynamic range in terms of fstops but in my tests The Cook6 with contrast -2 has more dynamic range than Neutral with contrast -4.
I perceived that there are some videos in the web recorded in raw, flat or log to preserve dynamic range and then the post production grading just crush the shadows and clips the highlights. I have seen this... This is because to recover the correct contrast from flat images without hurting the highlights and shadows is very difficult. The Cook Picture Styles does this pretty well and does this inside the camera, I pursued this since the begining more than one year ago, and I got it working in the last two months of developing when I found the correct settings for each interger to recover the global contrast without hurting the shadows and highlights and keeping good tonal range without mud, banding or texture breaking.
In my test to improve the dynamic range in post production I did not get good results with the 600D T3i . Lifting the shadows in computer with 600D MOV videos increases the noise and introduces the vertical strip pattern, so I do not recomend. Recovering the highlights works if the overexposure is very small, less than one fstop and can be useful for extreme situations, but I would not overexpose more than 1/3 or 1/2 fstop. If you want to do this, find the correct exposure for the highlights and then overexpose  1/3 or 1/2 fstop without clip the highlights. This will improve the shadows and then you do the highlight recovery in post. Do your tests before doing this in a production, there is no guarantee to work. In my tests with the 5D Mark III I perceived a little more room to do shadow and highlight improvement in post production. My conclusion about this is to get the best you can from the camera in the shooting moment and avoid shadow lifting and highlight recovery in post. The Cook Picture Styles already extracts the limits of the sensor so we need to use what the camera can deliver.

 

The Auto Lighting Optimizer can be useful with Cook?

No. Do not enable it when using Cook, it hurts the image quality. And the shadow lifting in Cook is already calibrated, no need ALO. Also ALO does not work together with HTP. It is better to enable HTP (Highlight Tone Priority). I use HTP almost all the time. Cook was designed to work good with HTP. It is important also to disable ALO in the Tools Palette of DPP software when converting RAW photos to JPG using Cook. Always disable ALO in camera for MOV videos and JPG photos.

 

In the demo video you show a feature called texture improvement. how does it work?

I did the shadow lifting and highlight preservation with lots of care to avoid gradient banding and keep great tone gradation in the image. And I found there was another problem generated by shadow lifting. This problem is the texture breaking. After shadow lifting, some textures in colors gets ugly so it needs correction. The Cook picture styles uses some settings in the Picture Style Editor to correct the textures even when using shadow lifting and highlight preservation. I consider texture breaking a little different from gradient banding because the way to correct it in PSE is different. The Cook picture styles corrects both things.
In camera, recording MOV videos, you do not need to worry about texture breaking, you can chose any version of Cook and tweak contrast from -2 to +2 and the image will be OK. In videos with noise due to ISO, the denoise in post production helps to improve the final look.
In DPP software converting RAW photos, you will perceive that there will be a different version of Cook for each image which will do a better texture correction. This is due to the light and color diferences in each image. The DPP software processing is very sensible to this. Also the brightness adjust and contrast slider makes difference. If you do these tweaks in DPP you will get great images, it is simple and fast.

 

Did you use denoise in the demo video?

In the 600D T3i MOV videos yes, denoise cannot be done in camera. In the 5D Mark III videos, some images have denoise, some does not, you can perceive this seeing the noise in the images, for me the noise from the 5D is small, not annoying up to 3200 iso. I used Neatvideo for denoise. Cook Picture Styles cleans pretty good with it. In the RAW photos converted to JPG, the Canon Digital Photo Professional Software does denoise when converting RAW to JPG so I used it and no Neatvideo. I removed mainly te chroma noise which is more annoying in the cheap Canon APS DSLR sensors.
The Cook allows great results with denoise. Neatvideo works amazingly with it in iso up to 1600 in Canon APS-C cameras. Iso 1600 is the maximum safe ISO in the cheap Canon DSLR, but I am not afraid to use more if I need. I recomend to denoise before introducing custom looks in post and a tip is to not remove all the noise, just decrease it, to avoid plastic look. A word about iso above 1600 in canon APS cameras: you will perceive that high isos shows some image trembling after denoise. This is not a problem from Cook. This is due to the default noise particles size in high iso are so big and they change their position from frame to frame and this makes the image to move the position a little bit. In each frame the high ISO noise distorts the image in a different warp pattern, so after denoise, the dark areas trembles a little bit. In ISO above 1600 ou can camouflage this using film grain after denoise. Te demo video does not have film grain, just denoise. A tip to avoid trembling after denoise is do reduce the spatial noise removal and increase the temporal noise removal.

 

Which Canon picture style you used as a base for the Cook?

I did tests will all of them and I chosed the options considering the highest dynamic range and the colors more close to the real world for each version. I prefer not to reveal.

 

What you will do from now about the Cook Picture Styles?

I will use it! After this demo video, and these questions and answers, I think people already have enough information about it, the video is enough to show the quality and features and these answers have all the instructions and tips. Probably two things will happen: some people will be proud to say: I am using Cook Picture Styles. And some people will say that will not use it because they prefer raw video or other cameras or other picture styles. I can answer questions about it if needed. But I will respect the Freedom for choices, the Cook is just one more choice option.

 

Does the Cook work for all Canon DSLR?

It was tested with the 600D T3i and with the 5D Mark III, both with excellent results as you can see in the demo videos. Informations from internet says that the sensors in 600D, 550D, 650D, 700D, 60D and 7D are the same, so I believe it will work in these cameras also. About the other Canon EOS cameras, the Canon sensors and internal image processing are pretty equal in terms of light and color response in all EOS models, so I think all the people can use the Cook and no problem. Canon claims that the Picture Style Editor 1.13.30.0 is compatible with all EOS cameras which have custom picture styles slots. I started working with the 1.12.2.0 version which have the three panels and I finished the work with the latest 1.13.30.0 version which includes compatibility with latest EOS cameras. About the 5D Mark III, the maximum safe shadow lifting is the Cook5, for the 600D T3i the Cook6 works OK.

 

Why did you set the sharpness at 2 instead of 0 in the Cook Picture Styles?

The reason is to get a good local contrast and increase the perceived resolution.
About resolution for converting RAW fotos into JPG in DPP software you will get high resolution because you will be working with all the megapixels of the sensor. Sharpness 2 works ok for this. So the photographers who does advertising, fashion, weddings, art work and so on will be satisfied. And the sharpness amount can be also adjusted in DPP software for personal taste.
About resolution for MOV videos, there is a point that I consider important to understand: the perceived resolution. The perceived resolution concept is also called local contrast. People consider the MOV videos from Canon EOS cameras very soft. But there is a way to improve the perceived resolution from the MOV videos, the way is to use sharpness 2 in camera. First let me explain my understanding about perceived resolution. If the image does not have so much detail but it is sharp enough, the perceived resolution will be ok, the image will be pleasant to the eye. But if the image have high resolution and  blurred edges in the objects you will consider it soft. There are some vintage lenses which used  in a RAW camera will allow you to perceive that the resolution is good but the image is soft with something like a bloom or glow. If you use good lens or stop down one fstop, and use sharpness 2 in camera for MOV videos you will be satisfied by the H264 recording because the images will be sharp, low detail, but sharp. So this is the reason the Cook picture styles uses sharpness 2 as default. It is the highest setting in camera to get a sharp image without introducing halos and no need sharpening in post for 1080p delivery. If you will downscale 1080p to 720p then you apply some sharpness in the downscale moment. There is a myth which says sharpness zero in camera will be the best option for Canon H264 MOV, but in my tests I found that I could not recover the same amount of detail in post from sharpness 0 compared to sharpness 2 in camera. If you want a more sharp image or want to match the Canon DSLR with other cameras, you can apply some sharpness in Neatvideo in the denoise moment and combine it with some sharpening filter in timeline. I found that sharpening conservative in level 40 for the Y channel is the maximum safe settings for sharpening in Neatvideo for the Canon cameras with Cook.
There is another interesting thing I perceived. The 600D T3i with the VAF-Txi filter and sharpness 2 does not show aliasing. The denoised 1080p image with some filmgrain simulation is pretty good in terms of cinematic feeling and look. And the Magic Lantern FPS Override allows to shoot 35fps in 1080p for slow motion in 24fps productions. So I can avoid the bad quality from shooting 720p. This will be ok for a Blu Ray disc. If you stop looking to the screen so close and sit back, you will perceive that 1080p MOV videos using the Cook picture styles with sharpness 2 and VAF-Txi filter will give you a great imersive viewing experience. So the most important thing will be the content, the storytelling. You just need to find the correct distance from the screen which will make the image pleasant. Even in a movie theater with 35mm film projectors if you sit so close to the screen the image will be soft. After see the demo videos looking close to the screen to perceive the quality, I recommend to turn out the lights, sit back and relax, to see it again and perceive how the audience will get imersed in the images.
If you will downscale your final 1080p into 720p for the internet you will need sharpening. Set your timeline to 1280 x 720, resize the  1080p video to 66,7% to fit the 720p timeline, look at the image in full screen in the fullhd monitor, apply sharpening and start increasing the value until you perceive it is looking good without introducing halos in the edges of things. A tip is to not apply sharpness to the subtitles, it will be better to redo the subtitles in the downscale moment.

 

So, do you have a final word?

Thanks very much for watching the video and reading the questions and answers. Please, consider also sharing about the Cook Picture Styles with your friends. If a Canon EOS is in your hands, Cook your images and enjoy!

Contact: send email to cook[at]apefos[dot]com