How can you achieve the highest possible dynamic range on your Canon HF10 (or similar) AVCHD camera? I have applied the same principles as you would on a DSLR.
In this sample you can see the difference between no image effect applied, and a custom picture effect where everything is turned off or to the lowest possible setting. That means color depth, sharpness, contrast and brightness turned all the way down.
I have added both sharpness (20) and saturation (120) in post, and I adjusted the black and white levels on both clips. Especially notice the detail in the darker areas, like the bricks in the foreground, and under the grey cabinet in the center of the image.
Download the original .MOV file below for a less compressed version.