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After many years shooting with Canon I have only just realised that you can edit picture styles on your computer using Canon's Picture Style editor tool and then load them into the custom slots on your camera. Whilst I knew you could set up custom profiles, I had no idea how much control you had over the nature of the adjustments when in Picture Style Editor.

I've done some searching online and Canon provide a set of downloadable picture styles but there aren't many and they're not particularly interesting IMHO.

Fuji are currently being lauded for the film simulation modes on their cameras, it seems crazy that Canon aren't doing more with this feature and pushing it as a selling point.

So here is the question:

What resources are out there in terms of Canon Picture styles, both in terms of downloading pre-made styles and also guides to creating 'good' custom picture styles? Also, can I convert or recreate the HALD CLUT profiles used by RawTherapee in any way so that my camera can apply them automatically (unlikely I know!)?

Here are a few resources I've come across when reading up on this:

  • What kind of modifications would you like to make? You could probably get exactly what you need if you play with XMP file. – Olivier Sep 21 '15 at 16:48
  • Well I wouldn't mind recreating some film types like Velvia/Provia/Kodachrome etc. but I have to say the interface in Picture Style Editor isn't particularly intuitive. When you say play with the XMP file, do you mean the pf2 picture style file? – Tumbledown Sep 21 '15 at 20:56
  • @Olivier Modifying the color curve, and even shifting colors without pulling other colors near them on the color wheel is one of the primary purposes of using the Picture Style Editor. – Michael C Sep 21 '15 at 22:24
  • And youtube.com/watch?v=N6YDAd23wkA – Michael C Sep 21 '15 at 22:36
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Why doesn't Canon offer more presets and create more buzz for the possibilities of using their Picture Style Editor? You'd need to ask someone at Canon to know for sure. Having said that, it is probably the same reason they don't promote their own Digital Photo Professional editing software to any degree at all: they provide it free with all EOS cameras and would derive no additional revenue from increasing the number of Canon shooters who also use DPP.

I also think somewhere in the mix seems to be an assumption by Canon that the users of their software products are primarily the type of accomplished professional photographers that advise them on new product developments in terms of both hardware and software applications. Those guys can look at a picture with a particular look to it and intuitively see which colors are emphasized/shifted/muted/etc. They are the kind of power user that would rather write their own preset that gives them the total control to create a signature look that no one else is exactly replicating than to load a preset that is freely available for anyone else to copy. What Canon probably hears more from these photographers is a list of added features they would like to see in the next version of the software rather than a list of presets they would like to see available.

It's kind of ironic in a way. Canon sells more DSLRs than anyone in the world because they dominate the entry level market where the highest sales numbers are located. Yet they make corporate decisions based on what they perceive appeals to the users of their highest end products that sell the lowest number of units. In a way Canon has always been a lens company first, and are a camera maker in order to sell their lenses. This was the business model many companies followed in the film era, as there were little differences in film bodies from one maker to the next compared to the wide variety of film that one could load in any of them. In terms of manufacturers, the differences were in the lenses each brand offered. Only with digital has the hard wired sensor replaced the user selectable film type as the primary determiner of image qualities such as color, saturation, contrast, dynamic range, etc. And well over a full decade into the digital revolution Canon still hasn't caught on to what catches the attention of consumers, as opposed to imaging professionals, in a product.

  • Thanks for this. I'm guessing this is also the reason for them not bothering with what would seem like simple software additions like an inbuilt intervalometre and panorama tools. A lot of people seem to take the attitude that you should just shoot RAW if you want to do any of this but that kinda irritates me. I don't necessarily want to post process every picture I take. Sometimes I just want to take a nice picture and not have to think about it too much. – Tumbledown Sep 22 '15 at 12:39
  • The latest offering from Canon, the 7D Mark II, does include an intervalometer. – Michael C Sep 22 '15 at 16:22

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