What You Need to Know About Camera Picture Profiles
DSLRs come stocked with a few basic picture profiles, but you can plug your camera into EOS Utility to install more.
A picture profile is basically a way of telling your camera how to treat specific colors. For instance, if you use the landscape profile then you are telling your camera that you are taking a photo / video of a landscape so your camera will then pop the saturation and vibrance of the greens and blues because that’s the colors that you most likely want prominent throughout a landscape photo or video. If you use the Portrait style then it will pop the oranges and reds and etc.
If you are going to edit the colors yourself then you want a flat profile. You are telling the camera that you want all colors treated equally. You can use your camera’s pre-installed Neutral or Faithful styles or, better yet, you can download and install Technicolor’s Cinestyle or one of the Flaat styles.
Cinestyle and Flaat are awesome because they basically do so little to the colors that it allows you to get more color throughout the entire dynamic range of the image. In contrast, in a Landscape profile the greens in the mid tones and the blues in the highlights are going to be taking up so much room in the camera’s sensor that you will miss out on some of the reds in the shadows or yellows in the highlights etc.
Cinestyle and Flaat are telling the camera that every color is important, to capture everything, and you will make whatever colors you want to pop in post. These profiles do require a good bit more time in color correction however and should may not be used if a speedy turnaround is needed.
Possibly more important than picture profiles, however, is white balance. White balance is your camera’s gauge of color temperature. Every source of light has a different color temperature (ranging from a 1,000 Kelvin candle light to a 10,000K heavily overcast sky).
You can keep the same picture profile and be fine, but you must constantly be changing your white balance in camera to make sure that your image looks natural and not too warm if you’re below the correct color temperature and not too cool if you’re above it.