While the Panasonic GH5 is touted as one of the most popular mirrorless cameras on the market these days, there is one struggle GH5/GH5s video shooters tend to encounter – how to make their footage look more cinematic. In this case, this expression would refer to producing visual aesthetics with more balanced colors, higher dynamic range, gentle highlight roll-off, and true-to-life skin tones.
With a highly-esteemed acquisition tool like the ARRI ALEXA, it’s easy to capture cinematic images right off the bat since the intuitively-crafted image sensor of the ALEXA cameras is arguably the best in the world. As for devices like the GH5, however, getting the desired film look is much more challenging, to say the least.
Nevertheless, Emotive Color suggests a LUT that allows GH5 users to get the most out of their favorite mirrorless camera. Filmmaker Cameron Gallagher has recently tested out the GHAlex look-up table as he who goes over the results attained along the way.
First and foremost, GHAlex comes in two flavors: daylight and tungsten balance. Of course, you’d use each LUT depending on your shooting conditions, given that you can afford to spend whopping 35 for each preset. That being said, are the results worth paying $65 for a few strings of computer code? Gallagher used the LUTs on some of his old GH5 V-Log test footage to find out.
Compared to the traditional Rec.709 look-up table, the GHAlex LUT produces video with more pleasing colors, reminiscent of more cinema-grade cameras. This can be seen in brighter areas of the image, such as the dress of a bride or the skin of the newlywed’s hand below.
Furthermore, there is a noticeable, more vibrant color shift when using the GHAlex LUT. The suggested look-up table also prioritizes skin tones and makes the skin seem more natural and pleasing. To further push the film look, using the GHAlex LUT can produce less contrast, making it seem as if your camera has more dynamic range than it’s initially designed with.
Because of the gentler treatment of the highlights, coupled with greater dynamic range and more vivid skin tones, adding a color grade on top of the LUT provides you with more flexibility before you push your image further in post, helping you achieve better overall results in the end.
While the GHAlex LUT can lead to more cinematic-looking footage, there may be some instances where the LUT won’t work entirely in your favor. This includes scenarios such as high contrast or overexposed scenes, or in environments that lack a significant amount of light.
Overall, if you can spare the expense, the GHAlex LUT seems to be a worthwhile purchase. With its ability to professionally emulate the appearance of cameras worth tens of thousands of dollars, you can certainly expect improvements when it comes to attaining better-looking, cinematic footage simply by adding this LUT to your post-production workflow.