ARRI has always nailed its color science. It’s one of (many) reasons why professionals turn to high-end ARRI systems for their productions. Most of us aren’t going to be lucky enough to have ARRI ALEXA’s at our disposal for most of our shoots. A lot of us are fortunate enough to have some recent Sony cameras though.
Filmmaker Nolan Molt has a workflow to make your Sony camera look like an ARRI ALEXA. It should work on most of the current models, including the a7S III, FX3, and a7 IV. It’s simple too, some careful shooting settings followed up with a LUT in post.
A lot of the heavy lifting is done with the LUT and to not keep you all waiting they are the Phantom LUTs. Especially so after the most recent update to gen 5. A lot of work is put into these LUTs to get them to go from one camera and match another. And it is surprisingly good.
The preferred settings are to use S-Log3 in 10-bit. It should actually work with practically any camera that offers it, including the a7 IV or FX6. Cameras like the a7C with only S-Log2 and 10-bit also have options but aren’t ideal.
The LUT’s latest update has a focus on color science and bringing the footage closer to the ARRI ALEXA. In the comparison footage it appears to have focused on making skin tones look more pleasing and perhaps an emphasis on red and a reduction of yellow.
Where you might see the biggest help with these LUTs is getting you close to an end result without needing to spend too much time grading. If you are newer to editing or simply don’t need or want to spend so much time getting things right this is a way to get 90% of the way there with a single click.
You also don’t need to mess around too much with exposure. You can expose “normally” and not worry too much about pushing overexposure to get things looking right later. Even just sticking with something that looks good using the in-camera Gamma Display Assist is going to work out fine.
Have you used Phantom LUTs before? Do you have any preferred LUTs?
[source: Nolan Molt]