Make Your Pocket 4K and 6K Footage Look Like an ARRI ALEXA

A lot of praise has come to Blackmagic Design’s Pocket Cinema Camera lineup, especially since the release of the 4K and 6K models. Much of that has been because of the affordable price points while still delivering exceptional raw image quality combined with versatility when the footage finds its way into your NLE of choice.

Now, if you are working with a Pocket 4K or 6K it is probably because you don’t have the budget for an ARRI ALEXA. But what if you could make your Pocket’s footage look like it came right out of an ARRI camera? Filmmaker Erik Werlin seems to have an idea for doing just that using The One LUT from James Ballard.

One of the main reasons Werlin supports The One LUT is because of how it was developed. James Ballard took both a Pocket 4K and ARRI ALEXA and shot them side-by-side.

Then, he took that footage, color-matched it, and created a LUT for the Pocket 4K that gets it extremely close to the ALEXA with its beautiful, creamy video and nicely saturated colors. 

Looking at Werlin’s sample footage and the before/afters, even if it isn’t a perfect match it is a great-looking starting point. Moving into DaVinci Resolve, Werlin shows us how he applies The One LUT to his clips.

To start, Werlin did record his footage in Blackmagic RAW, which is the best option for maximum flexibility during grading. After bringing it into DaVinci, he did select Rec.709 as the color space in the camera raw menu. The only thing he did to the footage was fix the white balance.

For better showing the viewer the difference between the standard LUT options and The One LUT, he set them up in their own nodes, which is one way to apply a LUT if you choose.

Showing us the Blackmagic Pocket 4K Film to Video LUT you can immediately see how the contrast gets a lot stronger and highlights start blowing out very quickly. Shadows also get very contrasty.

Using The One LUT on the other hand saves a lot more of the detail in the highlights with a nicer rolloff. It’s very easy to see in the sky in his footage.

That alone would make this quite worth it in your workflow. Doing the same thing with another clip reveals the same thing and an even nicer example of color.

I would keep in mind that LUTs aren’t meant to be the one and only thing you do to your footage. They are usually a good starting place or even finishing step, but you should probably be doing a bit more work to get your footage looking just right.

The fact that this saves so much information compared to your default options makes it well worth the cost. Do you have your own favorite LUT?

[source: Erik Werlin]

Order Links:

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (B&H, Amazon)
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (B&H, Amazon)

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