Leeming LUT One for Panasonic Cameras to get Version 503 before Mid-Year with Even Better Colour and Tone than Ever – UPDATE

Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One and Visceral Psyche Films is like a dog with a bone that he just will not let go insofar as improving and updating Leeming LUT One, “the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table (LUT) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading.”

Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One and Visceral Psyche Films in V-Log L footage made with Panasonic Lumix GH5 then processed with Leeming LUT One for Panasonic cameras, version 503 beta.

Mr Leeming has just shared an early version 503 beta for Panasonic V-Log L with me and, after applying it to some V-Log L footage of my own, it is clear that he has worked out how obtain even better, even more realistic colour and tonal rendering than before.

The more accurate and true-to-life the starting point obtained by applying Leeming LUT One before adding creative aka looks LUTs and other colour grading controls in your non-linear editing suite or colour grading software of choice, the richer and more satisfying the final result.

While this first version 503 beta is only for Panasonic V-Log L footage, Leeming LUT One version 503 for Panasonic cameras will be released for Cinelike D, HLG and V-Log L.

If version 503 has you as excited as I am, please do not put off purchasing it until later this year as version 502 is already streets ahead of any other camera LUT that I have tried out so far and purchasers of 502 now will receive 503 when it is finalized.

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L 503 beta, footage by Paul Leeming

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L 502 compared to 503 beta

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 502
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 503 beta
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 503 beta plus Leeming LUT Quickie Basic Brighter v2

Leeming LUT One 503 beta as a base for creative LUTs

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 503 beta plus Leeming LUT Quickie Basic Brighter v2 plus LookLabs Digital Film Stock Fuji 64D
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 503 beta plus Leeming LUT Quickie Basic Brighter v2 plus LookLabs Digital Film Stock Fuji Reala 500D
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic V-Log L version 503 beta plus Leeming LUT Quickie Basic Brighter v2 plus LookLabs Digital Film Stock Kodak 5245

Sneak Peek, Leeming LUT One 601 for Panasonic, Cinelike D

leeming_lut_601_gx8_cinelike_d_P1070265_601_1920px_60%
Leeming LUT One 601 for Panasonic Cinelike D, from 8-bit 4:2:0 4K UHD video shot on Lumix GX8 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 lens, LUT plus other minimal grading applied.

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Paul Leeming’s Leeming LUT One for the Panasonic GH5 Now at Version 502 for HLG, V-Log L and Cinelike D – UPDATED

Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has issued the version 502 update to his unified corrective LUT (Look Up Table) system Leeming LUT One for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and its three major video picture profiles, HLG, V-Log L and Cinelike D. 

Australian director/cinematographer Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One fame with his Panasonic Lumix GH4 rigged for shooting feature films.

The Leeming LUT One system was developed in order to help cinematographers obtain the best image quality from their cameras by providing custom settings and LUTs to maximize dynamic range while minimizing noise and other artefacts such as banding and YUV chroma smearing.

Mr Leeming advises cinematographers to adhere to the expose-to-the-right aka ETTR principle, which he demonstrates in his website.

Still frame of Paul Leeming, shot on Panasonic Lumix GH5 in HLG HDR mode then processed in Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Studio 14 using Leeming LUT One for Panasonic HLG version 501.

He has produced Leeming LUT One custom settings and LUTs for cameras including those made by Canon, DJI, GoPro, JVC, Panasonic, Sony with potential support for cameras made by FujifilmDigital Bolex and Samsung should there be sufficient demand.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 HLG Footage and Leeming LUT One for HLG, Before and After

Still frames from GH5 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 HLG footage exposed using ETTR, the ‘Leeming LUT One – Panasonic HLG v502.cube’ applied followed by ‘Leeming LUT Quickie – Basic Balanced v2.cube’ from ‘Leeming LUT Quickies 1 version 2’.

Mr Leeming will be updating his free ‘Leeming LUT Quickies’ collection soon to reflect the improvements made to the most recent version of Leeming LUT One for Panasonic cameras.

Our recent weather has been heavily hit by the effects of extreme climate change and global warming, and we have experienced few pristine Sydney summer days with their classic cobalt skies for some time now.

With many skies almost becoming high ultra-violet light boxes, the excellent highlight roll-off of the HLG profile in the GH5 is becoming even more important, and Leeming LUT One for HLG does a great job of maintaining the original look and feel of a scene while preserving realistic colour and especially skin colour.

Initial grading as in these still frames provides a good starting point that can be further enhanced with some of the many creative aka looks LUTs or analog film simulation being made available by a range of LUTs makers.

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Taking a Panasonic Lumix GH5 Equipped with a Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5 on a Brisk Walk Through Gloomy Sydney

I took a much-needed break from fulltime caring to travel into the city of Sydney CBD for a walkabout with the Panasonic Lumix GH5, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Probreakthrough  standard zoom lens, Breakthrough Photography X4 ND and X4 UV filters and Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5 replacing the GH5’s provided eyecup, all carried in Cosyspeed’s excellent Camslinger Streetomatic Plus camera bag in black faux leather.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens with Breakthrough Photography X4 UV filter, and Guerrilla G-Cup for GH5 attached instead of the GH5’s supplied eyecup. I usually attach Peak Design Clutch and Cuff camera straps to my cameras.

The day was dark and gloomy with prevailing light far from my favourite for putting hardware and software to the test.

My intention was to shoot HLG HDR (hybrid log-gamma high dynamic range) footage for sharing as SDR (standard dynamic range) as below after applying the latest iteration of Paul Leeming’s Leeming LUT One camera settings, camera LUT and custom LUT for the Panasonic GH5 HLG.

The latest version of Leeming LUT One for Panasonic cameras was 501 at the time but that has since been replaced with version 502, offering some refinements for a current limitation in Apple’s otherwise excellent Final Cut Pro X non-linear editing suite.

I also applied a small selection of analog film simulation LUTs from LookLabs’ Digital Film Stock (DFS) 3D LUT collection to some of the footage to enhance the look and feel of the scene depicted.

Still frames from Panasonic GH5 HLG HDR footage

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Leeming LUT One for Panasonic GH5 and Other Panasonic Cameras Now at Version 501, Supports HLG, V-Log L and Cinelike D

NOTE: Since this article was written some time ago, Leeming LUT One has been updated and improved again with version 502 and is to be followed soon with version 601.

You may wish to read this more recent article here:

Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has released version 501 of his groundbreaking Leeming LUT One camera profile 3D LUT for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Super 16/Micro Four Thirds camera in three flavours based on which picture profile your footage is shot with – Cinelike D, HLG or V-Log L. 

Still frame of Paul Leeming, shot on Panasonic Lumix GH5 in HLG HDR mode then processed in Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Studio 14.

Mr Leeming chose the GH5 as his benchmark camera and will be updating other Leeming LUT One camera profile 3D LUTs soon, enabling cinematographers using a range of cameras to start “with a common, colour-matched baseline, meaning much less time trying to match cameras in post before starting your creative grading”.

Users of previous versions of Leeming LUT One may notice a change in the behaviour of version 501 when applying it to old footage, resulting in a darker rendition:

The new philosophy is zero brightness shift in the LUT itself, so the only shift is to the colour values. At first this may seem like the LUT is not doing anything, but watch skin tones in particular when you apply it and you’ll see the difference. Of course the other colours are fixed too, but skin is where you’ll see it most easily as it’s a pretty obvious shift from yellow to skin tone.

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic Lumix GH5 and X-Rite Color Checkers

Leeming LUT Quickies, a set of free looks LUTs, will also be updated to work better with Leeming LUT One version 501 but in the meantime Mr Leeming advises using the current version at “40% intensity (or gain)”.

Given the colour science characteristics shared by current top end Panasonic Lumix cameras such as the GH5, GH4 and GX8, it appears possible to apply Leeming LUT One to all three cameras to obtain similar colour grading starting points.

I will be putting Leeming LUT One 501 for the GH5 to the test on GH4 and GX8 Cinelike D (aka Cine-D) footage over the coming days, but my early tests using a late beta of 501 showed marked improvements over previous full versions of Leeming LUT One.

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic Lumix GH5, HLG, Before and After

The GH5’s HLG (hybrid log-gamma) picture profile is intriguing given it is an HDR (high dynamic range) standard developed by the BBC and NHK for future program creation and broadcast in 4K and higher resolutions.

While HLG HDR 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 production and post-production are not fully supported by current hardware and software, the wisdom of future-proofing your work has been borne out many times in recent years starting with the move to 1080p and then 4K.

Mr Leeming and Leeming LUT One version 501 for GH5 users have reported anomalies in various non-linear editors and colour grading plug-ins when applying the LUT to HLG footage, and testing is currently under way to work out optimal software and workflows.

As with any radical advance in video production and postproduction, software needs to catch up with the capabilities of new hardware and this is no exception.

The advantages of HLG HDR may persuade movie and TV show makers to adopt it as their new default standard when it is fully supported.

Mr Leeming reports that:

My new favourite profile is Hybrid Log Gamma. It uses more of the 10 bit space than V-LogL, and has just as much dynamic range as far as I can see.

It also has slightly more accurate tonal density response (the relationship between colour and saturation/luma levels).

Best of all, it’s a free profile in camera, instead of a $100 activation code sent half way across the world….

Only down side is it’s not available in 8 bit, but for that, we can continue to use old faithful, Cine-D.

Roger Bolton of Final Cut Pro X plug-in maker CoreMelt has been sent Leeming LUT One to test it in his recent-released high-end colour grading and LUT application plug-in for FCPX, Chromatic, and I look forward to his report with interest.

Other such colour grading and LUT application software seems to be having problems with HLG footage.

Meanwhile Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio colour grading and non-linear editing software is reported to be handling the GH5’s 10-bit HLG HDR footage well and readers are encouraged to download the free version or invest in the paid version if they have not already done so.

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The Panasonic Lumix GH5 & Some Notes Before Upgrade to GH5 Firmware Version 2.0 – UPDATED

I was lucky enough to try out the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 recently and quickly came to the conclusion that it really is the top-quality Super 16/Micro Four Thirds documentary video and stills photography camera that I have been hoping for.

Looks like a previous reviewer forgot to re-attach the GH5’s rubber eyepiece.

As reported in a previous article, the GH5 loaner at right arrived in a stripped down state, minus its rubber eyepiece, HDMI port protector and the lens hood for the provided Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric kit zoom lens, so there were some minor challenges.

Sadly, the loan period expired before Panasonic released its feature-packed firmware version 2.0 so I have yet to experience all that the GH5 can do now, firsthand, so no HLG HDR or ALL-Intra for me for the time being.

Top of the wishlist

The GH5 and associated accessories have been living at the top of my video camera hardware wishlist for some time, but purchasing must be put off until our self-financing effort via land subdivision and sale is finally finished sometime early next year, after getting through the multiple gauntlets of high-priced consultants, three levels of bureaucracy, recalcitrant tradesmen and the inevitable cost overruns tying up all our savings until completion.

Seercam’s Cube GH5 cage with Classic Handle Plus and Extension Kit is terrific for bigger rigs on or off tripod or stripped down to cage alone for smaller and more mobile assignments. Seercam is currently working on a battery pack, seen at right behind and below the microphone. As a fan of Panasonic’s battery packs, I look forward to Seercam’s coming cage-savvy battery solution.

When I do get my own GH5, one thing is certain – I will be adding a battery grip and XLR adapter and I am hoping that Olympus will have released its M.Zuiko Pro 17mm ultra-fast prime lens by then along with the 42mm and perhaps a 12mm or 14mm focal length.

Although I do love my Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens for stills and video, I always feel safer supplementing it with a fast prime to account for available darkness situations and find a moderate wide-angle more versatile than a so-called normal focal length of 25mm in Micro Four Thirds.

I am hoping Olympus’ excellent pro-quality M.Zuiko Pro lens range will achieve a full complement of well-spaced fast primes and zooms by early to mid-2018.

Although I own and use several non-M.Zuiko Pro Olympus and Panasonic lenses and find their lack of manual clutch focus annoying, their focus-by-wire challenging but workable enough via back focus button, I am far more comfortable with lenses I can manually focus fast with repeatable and predictable results.

Stills made with the GH5

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is a fine stills camera made more so with the absence of an anti-aliasing filter to combat moiré.

I am adding photographs here as I reprocess them in the latest versions of some raw processors and image editors.

Most have been done in DxO Optics Pro Elite as that is the very first raw processor I ever used and remains my reference for all camera types other than Fujifilm.

DxO products are built on a codebase that supports only Bayer sensors, not non-Bayer sensors such as Fujifilm’s X-Trans.

Video still frames shot with V-Log L, processed with Leeming LUT One for V-Log L 501 rc2

Leeming LUT One is being updated to version 501 to get even better results from GH5 V-Log L footage at the moment and will be released soon along with LUTs for Cinelike D and HLG HDR.

In the meantime, here is a gallery of GH5 V-Log L video still frames minimally graded with Leeming LUT One version 501 RC 2 with the occasional addition of a second LUT from Paul Leeming’s free Leeming LUT Quickies 1 version2 set.

I found that the combination of V-Log L plus Leeming LUT One with the GH5’s in-body stabilization is a powerful one, granting me the confidence in knowing I am able to shoot almost anything anywhere.

As a result using the GH5 was, quite simply, fun.

Of course neither IBIS nor V-Log are the answers to every shooting situation and there are times when I will want to carry a monopod, a tripod or one of the new generation of gimbals like the Zhiyun Crane 2.

Video still frames shot on GX8 with Cinelike D, processed with Leeming LUT One for Cinelike D 501 rc2

I was so taken with the GH5’s V-Log capability that I quite forgot to shoot enough Cinelike D footage, but here is some footage from my GX8 by way of comparison.

According to professional documentary cinematographers like Rick Young of Movie Machine, the GX8’s sensor is not dissimilar to the one in the GH5 and produces similar results to the point where they use both cameras on the same projects.

I don’t think I am going to have any problems editing footage from the GH5 and GX8 together in the same project when using the appropriate Leeming LUT One for each.

GH5 first impressions

Straight out of the box and in its shopworn state, as it were, the GH5 impressed me with a solidity and ease of handling well beyond that of the GH4 and even the GX8.

The GH5 packs so much more processing power in than its GH4 predecessor and GX8 sibling, and that extra hardware has to go somewhere so a slightly bigger and heavier body it is.

The GH5’s hardware ergonomics has advanced beyond that of the GH4 and Panasonic has done so with great balance and a solid feel in the hand.

Some reviewers have complained about its size and weight but, as always, I prefer small cameras to be a little weightier for better balance and achieve that by adding battery grips, cages and other accessories as appropriate.

Naked or mounted in Seercam’s excellent Cube GH5 cage with Classic Handle and Extension Kit, the GH5 felt just right and neither too heavy nor too light.

Other users may differ but I prefer a little extra weight due to permanent injuries received on the job some years ago as it helps with my own sense of balance and ability to move.

There were, as always, annoyances with the GH5 but they were minor and have now been accounted for in Panasonic’s GH5 version 2.0 firmware release.

Foremost was the positioning of the Display button in precisely the worst location possible, with one solution being adding a Sugru collar around it and the other, courtesy of firmware version 2.0, switching the button off via a menu item.

The other annoyances were so minor that they have escaped me now, sorry.

With the GH5’s stablemates

Panasonic Lumix GX8 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro and Røde VideoMic Pro+ attached via no-brand 3.5mm-to-2.5mm adapter that I have since replaced with a Beachtek SC25 coiled adapter cable.

While the GH4 and GX8 retain their places in my heart for advancing the small camera moviemaking promise that Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II waggled so prominently about, the GH5 gives me the best of those two Lumix stablemates along with other fine qualities from more recent Panasonic releases, the G7 and the GX80/85.

I have not had the pleasure of trying either of those two latter cameras, but there are clear similarities between the GX8’s sensor and the GH5’s, something I deduced when applying Leeming LUT One for the GH5 to footage from the GX8.

The GH5 and its siblings show that the self-funded independent moviemaking road ahead belongs to mirrorless hybrid cameras, with an array of professional-quality features DSLR-users can only dream of and that may never come to DSLRs of either traditional major brand.

Pro-quality video features

Foremost of these features is the GH5’s ability to shoot 4K UHD and 4K DCI video in 10-bit 4:2:2 with the V-Log L flat logarithmic photo style, the closest thing to raw that can be achieved in a non-raw video camera.

The first thing I did when the GH5 review loaner arrived was to install indie documentary moviemaker Griffin Hammond’s GH5 camera settings file, but after comparing his Natural-based custom photo style with others offered by the GH5, it was clear that V-Log L was what I really wanted.

I had passed on V-Log L for the GH4 after downloading and trial-grading 8-bit 4:2:0 log footage that early purchasers were sharing.

Macro colour blocking and other strange behaviours indicated Panasonic was reaching too far with too little colour depth and that 10-bit 4:2:2 was the way to go.

Then there was the unfortunate still-current issue of the way in which Panasonic sells the V-Log L licence.

Sending a slip of paper in a cardboard box packed with synthetic filler around the planet so one can complete the transaction online before throwing box, filler and little bit of paper away – sheesh.

Sorry but time to wake up and smell the coffee of global environmental responsibility, Panasonic.

Getting the best out of non-log footage prior to the GH5

Paul Leeming’s GH5 rig in 8Sinn cage and Scorpio handle, rod riser, Shoot35 follow focus, and Manfrotto Xume magnetic filter attachment system on vintage Zeiss Contax prime lens.

Instead of Natural or any other Rec. 709 photo style, I chose a Leeming-customized Cinelike D photo style for my GH4 and GX8, and have been happy with the results even though they both only shoot in 8-bit 4:2:0.

Then and now, 4K 8-bit 4:2:0 flat footage shot at 400 ISO satisfies a fair percentage of my short movie shooting needs.

Paul Leeming’s Leeming LUT One for the GH4 brought the best tone and colour rendering I had achieved in small camera video by combining Mr Leeming’s custom Cinelike D settings with his Leeming LUT One for the GH4 applied to my footage in Final Cut Pro X, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve or, even, Adobe Photoshop’s Motion workspace for short video projects.

Paul Leeming testing Panasonic Lumix GX8, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, Samsung NX1 and Digital Bolex D16 cameras for versions of Leeming LUT One for each.

I have achieved good results on the GX8 with the GH4 and now more recently using the GH5 version of his Cinelike D LUT to the point where I am happily combining Cinelike D and V-Log L footage from all three cameras into the same movie project.

Mr Leeming tells me he will be updating some of his LUTs after having completed work on several feature film projects to approach the results he has obtained with the V-Log L photo style version of his LUT for the GH5.

Work is in progress right now on that and he will be releasing recommended camera settings for all Panasonic cameras along with two Leeming LUT One versions that will work for all off them, for Cinelike D and V-Log L.

Versatility and 15 photo styles options

I set the GH5 loaner up with Mr Leeming’s Cinelike D and V-Log L photo style customizations, but shot most of my video on V-Log L and have been very happy with the results and the one to two stops extra dynamic range that it bestows.

The GH5’s 10-bit 4:2:2 V-Log L and ISO range from a base of 400 up to 1600 or 3200 depending on how prepared one is to apply de-noising in post-production gives me the confidence to take on pretty much any subject or common lighting situation.

Panasonic has gone to town with photo styles on the GH5.

As well as four custom settings slots, eleven readymade customizable styles are available when shooting video and one has a choice of nine when shooting stills.

The Panasonic Lumix GH5’s 15 Photo Styles:

  • Standard
  • Vivid
  • Natural
  • Monochrome
  • L.Monochrome
  • Scenery
  • Portrait
  • Custom1
  • Custom2
  • Custom3
  • Custom4
  • Cinelike D
  • Cinelike V
  • Like709 – video-only
  • V-Log L – video-only

The new ability to shoot JPEGs in Cinelike D or Cinelike V is an interesting one. I bought my GX8 as a backup video camera as well as production stills camera, and the addition of both customizable options to the GH5’s stills photo styles list improves its usefulness as a production stills camera, alongside of its 6K and 4K Photo capabilities.

Shoot Cinelike D or Cinelike V JPEG stills for fast, easy integration into the video edit without raw processing or painstaking colour matching.

If the video has been shot in Cinelike D customized for Leeming LUT One, create a matching customized Cinelike D for your JPEGs, hand them over to the production company then archive your raw files for post-processing later.

For years I relied on two Leica M4-P rangefinder cameras and a set of Summicron lenses for documentary, magazine and newspaper photography assignments and personal projects, along with cameras in other formats.

Movie production stills photographers traditionally rely on DSLRs encased in blimps, an unwieldy and costly solution to the need for shooting silently when the cinema cameras are running.

However, the production stills photographers of my early acquaintance carried Leica M rangefinder cameras that they used in between takes, not while movie film was rolling.

Although I did not enter my colleagues’ esteemed ranks working on feature films, I took on the occasional small production stills assignment and relied on my Leicas, 120-format rangefinder cameras and 4”x5” sheet film cameras, all mirrorless and close to silent when shooting.

Now, I might choose from an array of mirrorless cameras each with the native ability to shoot silently via their electronic shutter options with my current personal preference being rangefinder and rangefinder-style cameras in Micro Four Thirds and APS-C sensor sizes.

Sensors, sizes and camera shapes

In the long lead up to the arrival of the GH5, some documentary moviemakers of my acquaintance added a GX8 to their tool kit and raved about how good its video is and speculated that the GH5’s sensor may have similar qualities.

Their guesses were close to the mark especially in both cameras’ megapixel ratings. 20MP has become the new mirrorless base standard, and picky clients have even fewer reasons to demand their photographers shoot only with so-called “full format” or “full frame” cameras.

Until I invest in a second Fujifilm X-Pro2 rangefinder camera or more likely the coming OVF-less X-E3 for second-camera duties on documentary stills projects, I carry my 20MP GX8 alongside my 24MP X-Pro2.

Despite its lack of an OVF, the GX8 handles in a similar way to the rangefinder camera especially in allowing me to shoot with both eyes wide open and brain displaying wider and narrower images side-by-side.

Better yet, the GX8’s unique tilting EVF allows me to shoot as if using a waist-level viewfinder camera like the sadly discontinued Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex cameras.

Full articulation and HDR bracketing

The GH5 and other DSLR-style cameras do not, or at least they do so with some difficulty.

I was not a dedicated SLR photographer during the analog era, preferring rangefinders and the sheet film cameras with which I learned photography in art school.

However, I find that DSLR-style cameras like the GH5 and GH4 are my best option for two forms of photography for which I once relied on sheet film and roll film technical cameras – architecture and product photography.

The key feature tipping me over into relying on both cameras for both types of subject of matter is their fully articulated monitor.

The one or two-way tilting monitors on Sony’s and Fujifilm’s cameras do not come close in utility value. If a monitor is to move at all, please, give me full and not partial articulation.

I often shoot HDR architectural exteriors in our famous Australian laser beam sunlight that makes squinting into an EVF a challenge.

A fully articulated monitor can be tilted and swung away from the camera body and shaded or shielded with a hood.

It allows me to hold the camera high or low without the old news photographer’s Hail Mary guess at what the camera is actually seeing.

Product photography in my cramped little kitchen-cum-studio is next to impossible without a fully articulated monitor allowing me to set up and make a shot while standing off at left or right of the camera and Panasonic has my eternal gratitude for this.

Much of my product photography is shot in HDR these days, a habit I took up when I discovered my GH4 allows up to 7 bracketed exposures.

I stayed away from High Dynamic Range photography for years when HDR appeared to be all about hyper-surrealism and the extreme exaggeration of colour and tones.

All that changed with Macphun’s Aurora HDR 2017 and now Aurora HDR 2018 used in combination with Macphun’s Luminar raw processor-cum-image editor, allowing me to produce architectural and product shots that look and feel more realistic than single-shot photography permits.

Recently I have found myself shooting 5 to 7 brackets at 2/3 to 1 stop apart, combining them in Aurora then exporting them to Luminar for export to JPEG after the most minimal of tweaks.

On lenses and the Leica kit lens

GH5 with Panasonic Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 kit zoom in its Seercam Cube GH5 cage with Røde VideoMic Pro and Peak Design Clutch and Cuff camera straps, making for a versatile, protective handheld rig. Breakthrough Photography ND filter attached via Breakthrough Photography brass step-up ring.

The loaner GH5 came with the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens, one of two kit zoom options with the other being the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/.8 II Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens.

The Leica zoom lens’ optical qualities are a pleasant reminder of my beloved Leica M-System prime lenses and its 12mm to 60mm is a more versatile improvement on its Lumix sister’s shorter 12mm to 35mm focal range.

The rationale for kit zooms is that they should provide enough focal lengths to cover most stills or video situations that one might encounter.

The Leica zoom is a promising solution for photography given the GH5’s ability to leverage the lens’ Optical Image Stabilization with the camera’s In-Body Image Stabilization via its Dual IS capability.

Its low effective maximum aperture of f/4.0 at the long end is more of a problem for documentary video where shooting in unpredictable lighting is common despite the increasing availability of small, portable LED lights.

While carrying the GH5 plus Leica zoom throughout the day within a range of lighting conditions, I often found myself yearning for a faster maximum aperture or a longer maximum focal length as well as a more usable manual focussing system than focus-by-wire.

I would love to see Panasonic’s optical engineers take a leaf out of the Olympus lens design book.

The manual clutch focus feature in Olympus’ ever-growing M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lens range tipped the balance for me in buying two Olympus zoom lenses and I have more on my wishlist.

Ditto the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro f/2.8 zoom lens maximum aperture and f/1.2 prime lens maximum aperture.

Many times even f/2.8 can be a stop or two too little and having one or two f/1.2 prime lenses in one’s video camera kit proves to be a wise investment.

If f/2.8 or f/1.2 and upper ISOs of 1600 or 3200 are not enough then time to consider carrying a Rotolight Neo 1 or Neo 2 to supplement that available darkness with some beautiful available light.

Enough for now?

I had intended this article to be much more in-depth when commencing writing, but being at the end of the review loaner queue tends to steal one’s thunder after so many brand ambassadors and early adopters have already published such excellent videos and articles.

What, I often wonder, would I have to add that is new and interesting to an already mature conversation?

I have removed the video still frames and photographs used to illustrate the first version of this article as software and LUT makers have now added or improved GH5 support to their products or that support will be be coming real soon now.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris. Product shots made as single shots or HDR brackets on Panasonic Lumix GX8 or GH4 with Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens then processed with Macphun Aurora HDR 2018.

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  • Atomos Ninja Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI Recording Monitor and accessoriesB&H
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  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 8-18mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone AdapterB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H
  • Seercam GH5 CageB&H
  • Seercam Cage for GH5 with Classic HandleB&H
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Paul Leeming’s Leeming LUT One for Panasonic GH5 Soon the be at Version 501 for HLG, V-Log L and Cinelike D

NOTE: Since this article was written some time ago, Leeming LUT One has been updated and improved again with version 502.

You may wish to read this more recent article here:

Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming is about to issue the latest update to his unified corrective LUT (Look Up Table) system for a range of popular hybrid mirrorless and DSLR cameras and camcorders, Leeming LUT One, with first camera to receive the version 501 update for V-Log L and Cinelike D being the Panasonic Lumix GH5. 

Panasonic’s VariCam 35 3DLUT V-Log to V-709
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic GH5 V-Log L version 405
Leeming LUT One for Panasonic GH5 V-Log L version 501

The Leeming LUT One system was developed in order to help cinematographers obtain the best image quality from their cameras by providing custom settings and LUTs to maximize dynamic range while minimizing noise and other artefacts such as banding and YUV chroma smearing.

Mr Leeming has produced Leeming LUT One custom settings and LUTs for cameras including those made by Canon, DJI, GoPro, JVC, Panasonic, Sony with potential support for cameras made by Digital Bolex and Samsung should there be enough demand.

Selected still-frames from GH5 V-Log L footage

The GH5’s 10-bit 4:2:2 colour and V-Log L really come into their own when shooting long dynamic range subjects and especially those containing whites as below. The GH5’s expose-to-the-right enabling exposure zebras are also an asset in setting optimum exposure and one that Fujifilm, for instance, can learn from.

More GH5 V-Log L still frames processed with Leeming LUT One version 501

Mr Leeming has not notified us of when to expect the version 501 Leeming LUT One update for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 but we will report here at ‘Untitled’ when it becomes available.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris. Still frames from Panasonic Lumix GH5 V-Log L footage kindly supplied by Paul Leeming.

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  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 8-18mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H
  • Atomos Ninja Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI Recording Monitor and accessoriesB&H

Grading Panasonic Lumix GH5 Footage? This List of LUT Plug-Ins and Color Grading Utilities for Final Cut Pro X May Be Useful – UPDATED

A number of Panasonic Lumix GH5 owners using Final Cut Pro X with LUT loading plug-ins have reported varying LUT interpretation results with 8-bit and 10-bit footage. The problem involves clamping or lowering the footage superwhites after LUTs have been applied. 

High whites are well-preserved in GH5 V-Log 10-bit 4:2:2 footage with Leeming LUT One applied in Premiere Pro, before and after

The most common problem reportedly does not appear in Adobe’s Premiere Pro NLE using the Lumetri Color panel, but seems to be centred on Apple’s Final Cut Pro X or more specifically some current versions of third party LUT-loading plug-ins.

So far the specific causes of this problem, and its permanent solution, have not been 100% identified, but it may be useful to share a list of the free and paid-for LUT plug-ins and related software that are currently available. If the cause resides in one or more specific LUT plug-ins, then it may be wise to try out others on the list below.

Meanwhile Premiere Pro itself has some problems with correctly supporting 8-bit and 10-bit GH5 footage and Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve colour grading software-cum-NLE also seems to incorrectly clamp super whites after LUTs have been applied.

LUT and colour grading plug-ins, and applications

  • Chromatic – currently undergoing development, CoreMelt’s Chromatic color grading plug-in is their “all in one color grading plugin that combines curves, color wheels, tracked masks, inside-outside mask grades, selective color correction, LUT loading and management and degrain, regrain all in one tool.”
  • Color Finale and Color Finale Pro – colour grading plug-in suite with LUT loading capability, made by Denver Riddle of Color Grading Central.
  • Epicolor – intriguing new product by Lemke Software, available through FxFactory, includes a post production LUT application feature.
  • FxFactory – retails a catalog of plug-ins and effects for Final Cut Pro X and other NLEs including colour grading plug-ins.
  • FCPX LUT Loader – free plug-in for Macs running macOS Sierra and later, made by FCPX plug-ins specialist Pixel Film Studios, which offers a number of LUT looks packs for purchase.
  • LUT Buddy – free LUT loader plug-in by Red Giant, formerly available as a separate download but now included in Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite 13, available in a trial version.
  • LUT Gallery – according to maker Denver Riddle of Color Grading Central, the “most powerful way to do color grading with LUTs! Includes Auto WB Color Picker”.
  • LUT Utility – by Color Grading Central, also maker of Color Finale.
  • LUTx – FCPX plug-ins maker CoreMelt states that LUTx is “the most powerful LUT solution for Final Cut Pro X” and retails a number of looks LUT collections.
  • mLUT – free LUT loading plug-in by motionVFX, retailer of a range of looks LUT packages.
  • ScopeBox – professional scopes application for macOS computers, that allows feeding video from a range of DIT tools and Adobe video software as well as Final Cut Pro X into ScopeBox via ScopeLink. ScopeBox maker divergent media says that “the scopes found in most desktop editing applications leave a lot to be desired – they’re not accurate, they’re slow, and they’re not configurable”.

The crux of the problem and a workaround

Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One describes the problem as follows. The LUTs from his unified, corrective LUT system are “designed to maximize dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec. 709 starting point for further creative colour grading”.

The Leeming LUT One system provides “the best possible settings to maximise dynamic range and image quality for that camera, while minimising noise and other unwanted artefacts”. Thus the system’s LUTs are “designed to work with the full float levels of the video clips as they come out of camera”.

“Some cameras stop at 100 IRE, but others such as Panasonic and Sony retain superwhite up to 109 IRE (usually), so my LUTs are designed around that limit, not the 100 IRE limit,” Mr Leeming says.

He offers one potential workaround, until LUT plug-ins are updated to support float space. “The easiest temporary solution is to adjust IRE for clips to fall within 0-100 IRE, then apply the LUT, as in theory the distribution of values in float space should be the same. That should avoid clipping”.

Mr Leeming notes that he designs Leeming LUT One in Premiere Pro which “handles superwhites with the LUT directly” and “no need to pull down exposure” and was “not aware that there were programs which didn’t pull down superwhites or lift superblacks”.

A more permanent solution

Roger Bolton of CoreMelt, developer of Chromatic and LUTx, has further insights into the problem and its solution:

A LUT is defined in the color ranges 0-1 in float with 1 being defined as the highest legal level (100 IRE). You can stretch the LUT out to handle the additional levels but that’s changing the look of the LUT if it was designed on legal levels. There’s not really a “correct” solution that I’m aware of, so how a LUT loader should handle this is something that needs flexibility.

As Chromatic is currently under development, Mr Bolton says that “we plan to allow a few different ways of dealing with the issue” and has asked users to send him their requests. He states that LUTx will be updated to handle superwhites and Chromatic will also handle them when released.

Update

CoreMelt has released Chromatic and its is available as a 14-day free trial or as a special launch offer for one week only, closing at Pacific Standard Time (PST) 7th August 2017. The special offer contains Chromatic and over 150 LUTs.

Links

Image Credits

Still-frame from footage shot by Paul Leeming with Panasonic Lumix GH5 using V-LogL and Leeming LUT One GH5 settings then processed in Premiere Pro with Leeming LUT One for GH5.

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Camera, Kits, Battery Grip and V-Log L

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 8-18mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens Kit – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H

SDXC V90 cards

  • Angelbird 64GB AV Pro UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Angelbird 128GB AV Pro UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Panasonic 128GB UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H

L-Plates

  • Really Right Stuff L-Plate Set for Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Camera Body  – B&H

Camera Cages

  • Movcam Cage for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Movcam Cage Kit for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Seercam GH5 CageB&H
  • Seercam Cage for GH5 with Classic HandleB&H
  • Seercam Extension Kit for CUBE GH5 CageB&H

Paul Leeming’s Leeming LUT One for the Panasonic GH5 Now at Version 405 for Cinelike D and V-Log L

NOTE:

Since this article was written quite some time ago, Leeming LUT One has been updated and improved many times with support for the Panasonic Lumix GH5’s new Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) added in a recent update. 

You may wish to read those more recent articles by typing “Leeming LUT” into this website’s search box. 


05/17/2017:

Cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has released version 405 of Leeming LUT One for the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Micro Four Thirds Super 16 stills/video hybrid camera and he has nailed it in obtaining the best video tone, colour and dynamic range of which the camera’s sensor is capable. Leeming LUT One version 405 for the GH5 comes in two versions, one for Cinelike D and one for V-LogL. 

Leeming LUT One version 4.0.5 for Panasonic Lumix GH5 applied to V-Log footage along with a looks LUT for a filmic look and feel. Footage shot with Contax Zeiss 35mm f1.4 lens at f2, mounted on Metabones Speed Booster after modification.
Leeming LUT One version 405 for Panasonic Lumix GH5 applied to V-Log footage along with a looks LUT for a filmic look and feel. Footage shot by Paul Leeming with Contax Zeiss 35mm f1.4 lens at f2, mounted on Metabones Speed Booster after modification.

Mr Leeming also supplies a GH5 monitoring LUT, LL1_V40x.vlt, for viewing the corrected colour and tonal range in camera, or an external monitor or monitor/recorder such as those made by Atomos, Blackmagic Design, Convergent DesignSmallHDVideo Devices and others.

From the evidence, Panasonic has got it right with V-LogL given the GH5’s 10-bit 4:2:2 option that was unavailable on its predecessor the 8-bit 4:2:0 GH4.

Mr Leeming’s recommended settings whether using Cinelike D or V-LogL in combination with expose-to-the-right (ETTR) making shooting  great footage an attractive possibility for GH5 owners including those less experienced in grading now that version 4.0.5 of the Leeming LUT One for the GH5 is available.

Shot on GH5 with V-LogL, Leeming LUT One version 405 for V-Log applied, no looks LUTs, before and after

Shot on GH5 with Cinelike D, Leeming LUT One version 405 for Cinelike D applied, no looks LUTs, before and after

Add the current generation of LUT-savvy NLEs, plug-ins and colour grading suites into the mix and getting the best out of the GH5’s Rec. 709 Cinelike D or flat logarithmic V-LogL footage is the easiest it has ever been.

Another benefit of Mr Leeming’s effort to create a version of Leeming LUT One for every popular video-shooting camera upon which he can lay his hands upon is ease of colour matching footage from a range of cameras used in the same project.

Using a mix of cameras, sensors and thus native colour science has become common but colour matching footage without benefit of a tool like Leeming LUT One is a time-consuming chore better spent elsewhere.

I look forward to Mr Leeming releasing versions of Leeming LUT One for other cameras that I use to shoot video, soon.

Testing the GH5 Cinelike D Leeming LUT One with Lumix GX8 Cinelike D footage

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GX8 rangefinder-style is one of my favourite cameras for shooting stills and video, and is favoured by other moviemakers like documentary cinematographer Rick Young of Movie Machine.

The GX8’s sensor has been described by some as between those in the GH4 and the GH5 in quality and colour response. Paul Leeming is working on a version of Leeming LUT One for the GX8, and tells me that it may work well with his GH5 Cinelike D Leeming LUT One.

I tried it out during an overcast late autumn day and here are the results. I applied some looks LUTs from the Leeming LUT Quickies free collection to some of these screenshots, on top of the GH5 Leeming LUT for Cinelike D.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris. Still frames from Panasonic Lumix GH5 V-Log L footage kindly supplied by Paul Leeming.

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  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 8-18mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens Kit – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H
  • Atomos Ninja Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI Recording Monitor and accessoriesB&H