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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planetMitch

chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind planet5D.com — which covers every aspect of HDSLR cameras (and a whole lot of other cameras as well). A lover of photography since his early days, he graduated to selling stock photos to make a little bit of spare cash. It wasn’t much, but it allowed him to upgrade to better cameras as well as computers, and it wasn’t taking money away from feeding his family.
He loves the stories that the still image can tell. In the summer of 2008, he read a story written by Arnold Kim called “I Quit My Job” — Arn is the owner of macrumors.com. He started macrumors in 2000 as a hobby, and by 2008 he was making more money with the site than he was on his day job, so he quit. The surprise to the story is that he was a doctor making more than six figures! Right then and there, planetMitch dreamed about doing the same thing.
September 2008 rolled around, and Canon announced this new version of the incredible 5D — the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. It was the first Canon DSLR to shoot full HD video and the earth moved! (It really was a huge deal in the photography world.) planetMitch knew if there was ever a chance to ride a wave of something he was really passionate about, this was it — and the blog at planet5D.com was born. It is now one of the most popular HDSLR blogs on the planet, and he is making a full-time living from blogging. He couldn’t be happier!
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