Late last year I made a blanket statement that shooting greenscreen with a 5D was just asking for a headache. While I still believe the camera's extremely limited color depth makes it an impractical choice for productions with any sort of budget...I recently watched a podcast by the ever insightful Mike Seymour and FxGuideTV that has got me thinking that there is hope for this camera yet.
I mean lets be honest its not just shooting on greenscreen that shows the chinks in the armor...grading the material can be a pain and really shows the lack of latitude. The standard settings that make the footage look best straight out of the camera do this because it crushes the blacks, sharpens the hell out of the edges, and saturates all three channels. The camera effectively bakes a look into the footage and makes it hard to adjust the look after the fact. So along comes cinema giant Technicolor who says, "You know...there has to be a better way." Turns out there was. With a lot of cooperation from Canon, Technicolor released the Cinestyle Plugin.
Cinestyle basically takes the RAW signal from the camera and uses it to create an 8bit image that optimizes the contrast and sharpness to a psuedo linear color space. The plugin loads directly into the camera and is accessible where you'd find all the other Color Profiles or Picture Styles are found. It also comes with an s-curve LUT to load into whatever post system you're working with that takes the flat linear looking image and lets you see it in its final punchy saturated form without having to bake it in.
I'm not going to pretend to be able to explain this any better than what Mike covers in this podcast...so go check it out and get it straight from the source. I will however say that it makes me rethink the possibilities and gets me excited for a test or two...