I have become quite familiar with the colour characteristics of Panasonic cameras and have created a new set of LUTs for them. The built in colour profiles of the cameras are generally quite good but in some areas they are also quite flawed. And I wish to have good colours without always resorting to film emulation.
My new LUTs do the following:
- Gives more even and reddish skintones
- Fixes the shift of reds into orange
- Gives greens and blues a subtly deeper and more satisfying colour.
- Fixes the shift of orange to yellow (which is generally what causes the poor skin tone rendition)
- Stops yellow from becoming overpowering.
- The set includes two types of LUTs. One is called “Pleasing” and it gives a Canon-like rendition. The other is called “Neutralising” and gives a RAW photo look (ie. very neutral). Within each type, there are several alternatives. “A” is the main one to use, whilst “B” and “C” are offshoots with slight differences.
Each LUT is actually quite subtle in how it changes the image, but its the subtle differences that can change how natural an image looks. The LUTs will also make it easier to apply film emulation LUTs without certain hues going out of control (eg. yellows becoming nuclear).
A note on camera settings:
Having done a lot of testing of camera profiles, I do believe Standard is the best. Some people recommend Natural but it shifts a lot of colours towards orange, which looks good for grass but is a bit unnatural. It also makes people look orange. Contrast at -5 is good but saturation at -5 is a bad idea if you plan to increase saturation in post anyway. This is because when you increase saturation in post of the 8bit footage, you will get loads of colour noise in the footage.
I also have iDynamic on Low and highlights at -5. I use preset whitebalances with the adjustment dot set to M5 (5 points below the centre).
I don’t have a GH4 so I can’t say how well it will work for CineD footage.