How to Match the Panasonic S5 IIX to an ARRI ALEXA Mini

The ARRI ALEXA is still the gold standard of cinema cameras. Much of that is simply because of the image—not just because of quality, but because of the color rendering.

The ARRI look has yet to be surpassed and attempting to mimic it with the camera you have is a common goal. Though reaching those goals can be very difficult.

Coming from Anamorphic on a Budget is a way to get an ARRI look without dropping the cash on an actual ALEXA Mini. By using a proper LUT in realtime you can perhaps transform a Panasonic S5 IIX into a baby ALEXA.

With the S5 IIX finally out it is worth looking at what makes it different from the base S5 II. Let’s start with what is the same:

  • 24MP full-frame sensor
  • Hybrid AF system
  • Card slots
  • Body and control scheme

Where it changes things:

  • All-black design
  • Addition of All-I recording formats
  • High bitrate, up to 800 Mb/s
  • ProRes
  • External USB SSD recording
  • No recording limits
  • Raw output built in

It’s basically the S5 II but with a ton of video-specific upgrades. I think it is well worth the upgrade if you are planning to use the camera for professional video production. It might even top the S1H at this point.

For anamorphic recording, it does have improved open gate recording. Though, it is tough to get the full 6K resolution with the extra height.

There are some 4:3 modes at reduced resolutions and the codecs like ProRes stick to the more standard options. Still great, and there is a nice anamorphic stabilization setting.

Panasonic Lumix S5 IIX Mirrorless Camera

Image Credit: Panasonic

Now, how does it compare to the ALEXA Mini?

It compares very well and you can get it matched even better. What you’ll need to do is make a LUT.

To do that he heads into DaVinci Resolve with some basic footage.

He uses a color space transform on the color page to take the Panasonic V-Gamut color space with Panasonic V-Log input gamma and sets the output color space to ARRI Wide Gamut 3 with ARRI LogC3. Export that as a 33-point .cube LUT. Load that into your S5 IIX.

Image Credit: ARRI

By using this as a baked-in LUT it’ll actually get the S5 IIX to closely match the output of an ARRI ALEXA Mini. It may not be perfect but in his experience, it was close enough to get it to work on set with an ARRI as the A cam.

Are you going to try and get your S5 IIX to look like an ALEXA?

[source: Anamorphic on a Budget]

Order Links:

  • Panasonic Lumix S5 IIX Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)

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