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Thank you Prolost Flat, now it's time for PIXLA HTP

If not Canon Log, then what?

OK, so with the Canon 1Dx mkII, Canon Log is out the window and we have to find what the best alternative picture profile is.
Plenty of Canon users have been shooting for years with the so called “Prolost” settings, myself included. Although, at the time I didn’t use that name.

Prolost.com is the blog by all-around-nice-guy Stu Maschwitz. Stu has been living in and around the film industry for a long time—he worked at Industrial Light and Magic at one point.

When the Canon 5D mkII was released many of us jumped at the camera: full HD video recording on a 36x24mm sensor! Unheard of. The image had aliasing and the codec was seriously compressed 8bit, h.264, but that didn’t matter. To get the most out of the images then, we turned down the contrast of our favourite picture profile all the way down and reduced in camera sharpness too. It was recommended to also reduce saturation by one or two steps. Stu blogged about this and gave name ‘Prolost Flat’ to the following settings: Sharpness all the way to the left, contrast all the way to the left and saturation to -2. I was using similar settings myself, but with saturation at -1.

Now, it’s much easier to refer to the “Prolost settings” than to start specifying where each setting for contrast and so on has to go. That is why I now offer you—tongue firmly in cheek—my Pixla HTP settings.

The Pixla HTP settings

The Pixla HTP settings build upon what we already know, the Prolost Flat settings, but make use of an additional tool in Canon cameras: Highlight Tone Priority.



Highlight Tone Priority, HTP going forward, has been in Canon cameras for a long time. I remember it being marketed towards wedding photographers, offering them assistance to not blow out white wedding dresses when shooting .jpg. It doesn’t do anything to the image data when shooting raw, so it’s often dismissed by serious photographers—but it has its use for video. Here’s how it works:
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