The answer depends of what kind of post processing you are willing to apply to the clip.

No post processing

In this case, don’t use any of the advanced/custom picture styles. Stay within the creative style such as portrait or landscape. The cinematic picture styles lack contrast and sharpness and your movie will look flat and dull to the untrained viewer.

Perfect for: iMovie editor

 

Clip will be graded

In this case you want to shot with a picture style that flattens the color the best while not creating artifacts. Experimentation has shown that the Technicolor “Cinestyle” picture style yields the best results (tho there is plenty of debate about this!). It flattens the contrast curve and maintains a high level of details which can be enhanced in post production.

Think you dont have enough time to grade clips? No worries, if your clip is well exposed, simply applying a S curve to boost contrast and playing with saturation is enough to make a Technicolor Cinestyle clip looks great.

Perfect for: Final Cut Pro & Color

What about Super-Flat and the others?

There are a variety of styles available – you’ll have to try them out to see which you prefer!

Some picture style reviews:

New! Just found this page where Canon has many picture styles with samples

Other picture styles that aren’t physically in files you can upload to your camera (you change your settings manually in camera):

NEUTRAL FLAT

based on NEUTRAL style

Sharpness: 0

Contrast: -4

Saturation: -2

Color Tone: 0

Dave Dugdale has a good overview video:

 

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