Comparison of Standard and Neutral Creative Styles

In this lesson we’ll focus on two Creative Styles – Standard and Neutral. I’ve left out the rest because they’re all special cases. It doesn’t mean you can’t use them, just that they aren’t interesting enough to me to cover in this much detail.

Standard Creative Style

Standard has great colors if you’re shooting stills. They just pop and look great, unlike the overly saturated look that Canon DSLRs give.

Here’s what it does for video (In this order: -4, -2, 0, +2, +4, click to enlarge):

Standard

Not bad at all. Good start, A7s!

Neutral Creative Style

Neutral is my favorite style for stills. Just love the muted colors. I also used this exclusively with Canon so I have a soft spot for it  (In this order: -4, -2, 0, +2, +4, click to enlarge):

Neutral

Who wins? Look for these things:

  • Which has better texture in the underexposed regions?
  • Which looks better when clipped either way? Is there a good roll-off at either end?
  • Which as more dynamic range?
  • Which has better skin patches?
  • Which has a better look overall?

Try to at least answer the above before reading the next. Otherwise I’ll be putting words in your head.

What I think

Clearly Neutral has greater dynamic range. It has better rolloff in the shadows, but they are pretty similar as far as highlights are concerned. I like how it holds texture in the shadows, and I love the look on the skin patches with Neutral. Standard has colors that pop out more, but that’s something you can achieve with a bit of grading.

Now you know why I use Neutral for stills!

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