How to Set Up Your Sony Camera Using a Baked-In LUT

Shooting with pro settings usually means relying on an editor to actually take that footage and transform it into some beautiful. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

Inexperienced editors or even those working on tight deadlines might not be able to make the most of your well-shot video and in worst-case scenarios you might have your name attached to clips that don’t look as great as they should.

You certainly can’t solve all the issues that pop up when you hand off your footage, but you can help the process out. Filmmaker Robert Machado has a solution to keep the footage from his Sony cameras looking good even when using Cine EI modes—baking in a LUT.

Let’s talk about how Sony cameras work with Cine EI mode. They stick to the chosen base ISO (either high or low) and then provide a simulation of the final exposure based on the exposure index you choose.

That means the footage is going to look bad straight out of camera and will need some work to get it looking as good as it can.

Sony FX9 Cinema Camera

Image Credit: Sony

To get things looking better for the editor he actually bakes in a LUT that gives it a “properly”exposed S-Log3 image.

Since exposure index changes don’t actually change the final clip, if you were to just drop a standard log correction LUT on top (which some inexperienced editors might do) then the footage won’t actually look good.

By baking in a properly exposed S-Log3 image the editor can use a simple LUT across the board and the footage will look pretty good right away.

Sony FX6 Cinema Camera

Image Credit: Sony

Robert uses the FX9 and in that camera he has the ability to bake in a LUT so that the footage has the exposure corrected right away.

In the camera’s shooting menu, you’ll find the Monitor LUT options.

In there, you’ll be able to choose a LUT. S-Log3 is an option. Then in the Monitor LUT Setting you can set Internal Rec to MLUT On. This will bake in the LUT on the footage.

Sony FX3 Cinema Camera

Image Credit: Sony

On the FX6 this is found in the Paint Menu where you will want to select S-Log3 as your Base Look. In the Shooting menu you’ll head to LUT on/off and turn Internal Rec to MLUT On.

For the FX3, which now has LUT options as of V3.0, you will want to be in the flexible ISO log shooting mode. This is actually the closest option.

You’ll want to double check your burned-in looks every time. Messing this up can ruin your day very quickly.

A bit of an odd tip, but very useful.

[source: Robert Machado]

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