How to use Canon Cinema RAW Light format in Premiere Pro

If you are a user of Canon’s EOS C200 Digital Cinema Camera, then support for Canon’s Cinema RAW Light format in Premiere Pro 12.1 is for you.

In this article, you can find some of the workflow tips on how to use Canon Cinema RAW Light format in Premiere Pro. 

Color space & gamma

Premiere Pro enables you to choose color space and gamma when converting or de-bayering the raw files:

  • Using the Cinema Gamut color space and Canon Log 2 gamma provides 15 stops of dynamic range. 
  • Using Cinema Gamut and Canon Log 3 provides less range with 14 stops but the footage is slightly easier to grade as Canon Log 3 suppresses shadow noise by compressing shadow detail.

By default, Premiere Pro de-bayers CRM files to use Cinema Gamut and Canon Log 2. If you want to choose another option, open the file in the Source window, click Effect Controls > Master, then make your choice from the Color Space and Gamma menus.

Canon camera settings
Canon camera settings

There are other color space and gamma choices beyond Cinema Gamut and the Canon Log options. For more information, refer to More Like this at the end of this article.  

Color Temperature and Tint

SImilar to Color space and Gamma options, you can also alter Color temperature and Tint settings of Cinema RAW Light files using Premiere Pro.

When you import a CRM file, Premiere Pro uses the Color temperature and Tint settings from the file that was set at the time of recording by the camera operator. Color temperature and Tint usually stay at the same setting for the entire duration of a clip.

If the camera was set to use Auto White Balance, the Color temperature and Tilt settings change within a single clip. Premiere Pro displays the effect of the changes in the clip. The image changes its appearance on screen during playback. However, the Color temperature and Tint do not change, instead they display the settings from the first frame of the clip for the entire clip. In this scenario, it is recommended to split the clip into multiple parts.

Modifying multiple files

Premiere Pro can apply a saved preset to multiple clips simultaneously. This functionality is useful when you work with Cinema RAW Light files to change a raw setting on all of the clips from a shoot. For example, Gamma. Premiere Pro defaults to using Canon Log 2 for all CRM files but Canon Log 3 is sometimes a preferable option.

Creating a preset for Cinema RAW Light files

After adjusting the settings in the Effect Controls panel, right click Canon Cinema RAW Light Source Settings and choose Save Preset. This step creates a preset in the Effects panel which can then be applied to CRM files in the Project panel.

To apply the preset to multiple files, select multiple CRM files and drag the preset onto any of the files.

Easier access to Look-up tables (LUTs)

If you are shooting in raw with a C200 and Canon’s log gammas, you must be familiar with look-up tables or LUTs. 

The new release of Premiere Pro enables you to manage LUTs effectively as there is now a central location for LUTs. Put a LUT in that location and it is available to any Adobe application with Lumetri support.

On mac OS, create this folder: 
~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/LUTs/Technical

On Windows, create this directory:
~\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common\LUTs\Technical

LUTs that go into the technical folder are input LUTs, which are used for transforming log footage. A different location exists for creative LUTs, such as day-for-night transformation or film stock emulations. A common location is available for LUTs to support anyone regardless of who is logged into the computer. For more information, see the new features summary of the Premiere Pro documentation. 

The shared LUT location in the new version of Premiere Pro is the recommended way to manage LUTs. Putting LUTs directly into the application package has been common hack in the past but doing so can have serious side effects, including the LUT not being rendered at export or an entirely different LUT getting rendered without warning. Ensure that you are following the new process.

Canon has various materials about using Cinema RAW Light and Canon log formats. For more information, refer to More like this

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