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Panasonic Lumix S5 Advanced Exposure Setup

Photo Moment - February 26, 2021

The LUMIX S5 is an incredible camera, with powerful tools that you may not realize existed. I'll show you how to use the waveform monitor, scopes, zebras and the spot meter in ways you've probably never considered!

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The Panasonic LUMIX S5 is an incredibly powerful camera, and many of its best features are buried deep in the system. In this video, I'll show you how to verify accurate white balance by using the vectorscope, show off how different color profiles look on the scopes, show the waveform monitor for monitoring exposure with a grey card, and then give you something truly amazing — a way to use zebra stripes to ensure perfect exposure while shooting V-Log, and then combine that with the Luminance Spot Meter to ensure you never overexpose!

The vectorscope is designed to show you where your colors (Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow) fall in the scopes, but it also will show you if white is actually white. This is a fantastic way to quickly verify that your white balance, whether a preset, manually set, or a custom WB, is actually perfectly accurate. It's also an interesting way to see how certain color profiles might shift your colors for “true” or natural. For example, if you switch to a Vivid profile, what's actually happening to the colors? Have the blue colors become more saturated? Have the greens shifted towards yellow? You can see all of this at a glance using vectorscopes.

Then we'll explore the waveform monitor. I'll start by explaining how it all works. What the dotted and dashed lines mean, the differences between 0 IRE (zero IRE) and “video black,” where pure white is on the waveform, and what to watch out for so you don't clip your highlights, and finally, how to identify middle grey, at 40 IRE, and ensure your exposure is perfect when using an X-Rite Color Checker Video or X-Rite Color Checker Video Passport. 

From there, we'll get into very advanced use of Zebras. You're undoubtedly familiar with using them to ensure you don't overexpose by enabling zebra stripes at maybe 80% or 90% or even 100% to be warned when your image is getting too hot. However, there's also a way to set zebras to only show up in a specific range when shooting in V-Log. This means you can set your zebras to highlight the parts of your scene that are exactly 42 IRE (which it turns out is the middle grey for V-Log, and not 40 IRE like it is for non-Log), which when paired with a grey card, is incredibly powerful! Then, just to be even more careful and accurate, you can enable the Luminance Spot Meter to ensure you don't overexpose your highlights — which when shooting V-Log is pretty hard to do since you can go as much as +6.3 stops above middle grey and –8 stops below middle grey, for a total of 14.3 stops of dynamic range! Having over 14 stops is fantastic, and knowing how to use these tools will ensure that every shot you get is perfectly exposed — especially when shooting in V-Log!

Finally, in case you're wondering… your LUMIX camera may have V-Log L, not V-Log. V-Log L is the “light” variant of V-Log that's found on cameras like the GH5 and G9. This is a slightly lower dynamic range variant of V-Log, however it is still Log. The S-Series full frame cameras like the LUMIX S5 and LUMIX S1H have full V-Log, just like the Varicam (professional Panasonic cinema cameras) do. In fact, the “V” in V-Log and V-Log L stands for “Varicam”!

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Comments from YouTube

Sooooo much coming this year… are you subscribed??
The point at the end is the creme de la creme. Such a fantastic way to quickly determine exposure. Thank you! :)
It’s so good, isn’t it!
Hi, was unclear to me why you used the zebras for good exposed middle grey, and not like always for overexposed (whites)? was just for demo? or this is another way to use zebras? (never heard of it).
thank you, your channel is really good
This is definitely a different way. By using zebras in a very tight range on middle grey, then you can identify perfect middle-grey exposure very quickly, and simultaneously use the luminance spot meter to ensure your highlights (brightest part of the scene) is within range of the sensor. Remember in log (and this is only relevant to shooting in log), you can capture data much brighter than in traditional shooting profiles, so “overexposed” means something different here. You can shoot way brighter than 100IRE that you’d typically max out the zebras at for overexposure. Zebras at 100 would be far from actual overexposed.
Hi thanks for your tutorial, where can I find the vector scope on the menu?
I've always relied on an external monitors false colors, but these tools are great! thanks for the tutorial!
Thanks! I never got into false color. I really should try it!
Really helpful thanks a lot!
you're welcome!
Fantastic tutorial thank you so much
love your content on S series, probably the only one that helps me with my new camera, since you are an S series "guru" i have some questions for you :P. As you set the Zebra with stops what would you recomend setting zebra 2? Or you believe that in the way you set up Zebra 1, zebra 2 is not needed? Second question is while i m recording vieo or generally at video mode on S5 i cant change the Exp comensation, even the dedicated button is not working, is this because its off on video mode? Does the camera do it auto? And last is any recomendation for any budget friendly lens beyond the 20-60 focal length of the kit or maybe something in this range that can give me really different results while shooting video. Thank you really much in advance, keep up the good work Sir :)
Thank You!!
Part way through the video (just bought an S5 as an upgrade from A6300). Very useful so far, clearly explained, great presentation and just the right pace. What has impressed me even more is your answering of questions in the comments. Subscribed!!!
the best explaning video of all lumix tutorials, thanks!
Hello. I was wondering which power adapter and or power banks to power the S5 indefinitely? I will be using to record for more than 1hr? Thanks sir
If you want to power it from the wall, you just need a slightly more powerful A/C to USB power adapter than the one it comes with. Don't ask me why the one it comes with isn't powerful enough… I don't have a good answer… but with a larger power supply you can just power the camera over USB-C indefinitely.
@PhotoJoseph much appreciated. I decided to test my 96W USBC Power Adapter from Apple. it works great!!!
Question, I am using zebras and the waveform to help balance my exposure and that’s helping, but now once that’s done, my question is what do I prioritize to lighten my exposure - aperture, shutterspeed or iso? Like should I keep aperture at a minimum (2.8 on my lens) and then use shutter speed and/or iso to adjust the exposure? Which one should I keep low and which should I be adjusting to move the waveform ? I obviously want to stay away from noise as much as possible, Someone please help I am dying trying to figure this out and I can’t!!!!
That’s a creative decision. Keep the ISO as close to native as possible to minimize noise, and don’t underexpose. This is not a question that has one answer.
Hi. Do you know how to install LUTs into Lumix S5? There are empty Sets in V-Log View Assist menu, but it says "LUT is not registered", though I have vlt LUTs on the SD card.
choose READ LUT FILE from the VIEW ASSIST menu, and it'll let you pick them off the card. If they arne't showing up, they have to be named eight characters or less — an annoyance that is, I believe, not listed anywhere!
@PhotoJoseph The CRAZIEST Thank you! It works.🥳
the best person to know more about Lumix
Do you have full manual iso control for video or is it auto only on the S5 ?
Hi Eliot. Did you watch this whole video? I’m not sure how l you could wonder that after seeing the level of control you have :-) yes, the Lumix S5 absolutely has full manual control. In fact, pretty much every Lumix camera has full manual in video. Hope that helps!
@PhotoJoseph Phew , thanks for that , Im looking at buying a s5 but kept reading about the auto iso and nothing about manual so was starting to get a little put off. Cheers ✅
No concerns there. All manual for sure.
Hi all - I'm just setting up my S5 and have the latest 2.2 firmware. I can't seem to see the shortcut menu on the touchscreen, on the right side (with the wifi etc, I'm assuming I must have turned it off by mistake? Please can anyone let me know how on earth to get it back?! It was there on my GH5 but I've not recollection of ever seeing it on my S5. Thanks!
I don’t have the camera in front of me but look for the touch menu. That side bar can be toggled on and off in there.
@PhotoJoseph thanks, I found it! Apparently it’s off by default
Hmm, Are you sure it’s off by default? I’m quite sure that has been on by default on every one of my Lumix cameras. Either way; I’m glad you found it!
Thanks a lot for sharing such an important and detailed information about the proper usage of the camera color process. Me (and I know some other users of S5 too) still wonder if S5 is a good camera compared to other famous brands just because we couldn't tweak the setup properly to achieve that spot color and sharp image. This tutorial makes total sense and I'm sure it will make the difference.

I just subscribed to your channel (as I also support those who promotes good health 😉) and I'd like to take the chance to ask you something I noticed when using VLOG in high bitrates such as 120fps. No matter how correctly the lighting is set, shutter speed at 180 degrees, etc. etc., the result is mostly a grainy / noisy image. When switching to "Natural" color profile, even if a bit underexposed, the noise is gone. Have you experienced this?

I struggle with auto focus as well (when I really need to use it) but I've heard that auto focus is worse when using a non Lumix lens (my case: Sigma 24-70mm 2.8). Firmware up to date... I know, this is a whole different story ☺️

Thanks in advance and greetings from Spain 😃
Thanks, fellow masker ;-) For the noise, this is normal in Log images, and comes down to how you expose it. In general, if you're not measuring off a grey card overexpose (don't clip your highlights, of course) and then when you underexpose in post, you'll lose the noise. Even if you're seeing noise when properly exposed, that'll be in the shadows, and once you stretch your shadows down dark, it should disappear. Finally if you are exposing off a grey card and you're still seeing noise where you don't want it, again, overexpose, and then drop it in post, and your noise will go with it. This is part of shooting Log.
@PhotoJoseph Thanks for taking the time to answer my to question :-) very clarifying! I'll have this into account the next time. So it's true that I'll have to carry my grey card with me anywhere I go :-) or either count on a grey surface somewhere, to properly set the exposure :-) (or don't work with Log at all :-D). Cheers!
Actually, no. Log is forgiving as long as you don’t clip, but that goes for anything. You definitely want to overexpose, not under expose. Google “Leeming LUT”; he has set up guides for many cameras when shooting in log. He recommends a technique called ETTR (exposed to the right) where he uses zebras to simply ensure that he does not overexpose. As long as nothing is too bright, then you can always bring the shot down. It’s a solid approach for run and gun. I was just setting up something in the studio today and ended up at a plus one stop off the gray card for the best exposure with the LUT I am using.
I bought a used GH5s as a (B-cam) for my BMPCC4k, and I was confused about perfect exposure in the gh5s, and you nailed it!
This what I'm looking for exactly, thanks a lot Joseph, this is very useful.
Awesome, very glad to hear that!
Hi Joseph - Ive looked through the playlist - Im looking for the 'mock slide' feature Ive seen a few times. Is it on that playlist, I can't see it.
I’m not sure what you mean by “mock slide”. Could you be referring to this feature?
@PhotoJoseph thats the one - wasn't sure what it was called. 👍
I just upgraded from the g86 to the s5. The amount of advanced features are mind blowing.
I’m going to watch your entire series.
I love to hear that, thanks!
Great, thanks for sharing this helpful tips 👍
Be sure to catch the whole series on the Panasonic channel!
Very helpfull. It means a lot for me after loosing parts of memory. Trying to get back on the track. Setting up wb should be applied after changing location and if the lighting changes, right?
Great review. Is Lumix S5 support for editing raw photo in Lightroom? Thank you
Yes, absolutely. I’ve been editing S5 RAW in Lr almost almost since it came out. They supported it almost immediately.
@PhotoJoseph Glad to hear that. By the way, I'm Finally picked S5 than G9 😊
how to activeted side fn button on screen
Thank you!
Great video Joseph!
What a powerful setup ! This camera series is awesome.I speak about the S series.
Agreed! :-)
I have to say I'm considering the S5 more and more over the bmpcc, that level of detailed control over the exposure and colour is fantastic.
Yeah… I really like this capability!
If you have muscular arms and man-sized hands consider the S1, it’s even better if you can handle it physically?
I did sell my pocket 4k and got the S5. I honestly not missing it at all. Fullframe, amazing stability, very compact and light.
All what I need from the kind of job I do. Just love it.
@CINEYTAL I recently purchased an S5 and also own a Bmpcc 4k. I may do what you've done - we will see.
With the Ninja V have you noticed a glitch being recorded into the footage? I keep seeing this during longer record sessions
@PhotoJoseph I wonder if it’s because I’m clicking record on the atomos and not the S5
@OriginaldoBo should not matter. What is the glitch and when does it appear?
Was going to sub to you, enjoy the content and precision of your videos. Then, I noticed your thumbnail had a face diaper on. Hard to believe you would promote something of such low efficacy.
That's OK, I don't need followers who are so petty they won't follow someone because they promote good health. Byyyyyeeee!
Really great technique. 🔥
Isn't it?! Ever since I learned this, I do this all the time. Amazing.
Great video, thank you for sharing!
Question; do you know if there's any way you can set the custom WB on an x-rite card (like you did here) and also have it SHOW you what temperature it's setting? I haven't figured it out myself and find it super annoying when using multiple cameras and quickly want to match them. Instead now we have to rely on setting the WB on our BMPCC4K and then manually putting in whatever that camera tells us on my GH5, backup G9, etc. Cheers /Fred
Great question — sadly no, it does not. However, two things — remember that WB isn’t just the temp but may include a shift, but also custom WB compensates for the sensor differences, lens differences, and color casts that might be on that part of the scene. I think it’s better to custom WB from each camera from each angle. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s how I’ve always done it.
Hi Joseph. I'm looking to upgrade to an S5 from my GH5. Please can you confirm if 'focus transition' (you can set 3 focus points and move between them) is available on the S5? I can live without 'Sony' level autofocus - but I can't live without 'focus transition'.
Hey there. Sadly it's not… this is considered an "H" level feature. It's on the GH5 and the S1H, but not the S5 or G9.
@PhotoJoseph That's such a shame. Good job I'm keeping my GH5 :)
@PhotoJoseph If Panasonic offered it as a paid optional upgrade to the S5, I'd be in!
Very clear and well done. Thank you.
Thanks mate
I noticed that in panasinic auto wb has better skin tone(for me it's even better than canon's) than when you use manual wb. To achive that level of skin tone you must correct manually white balance after reflecting from grey card.
@PhotoJoseph Usually I add more green(+6) and little amber. That's remove a magenta shift on the the skin.
@Паша Вибач you should consider getting proper Luts, the Panasonic ones are probably the worst any manufacturer offers.
@Dennis Schmitz  @Dennis Schmitz   @Dennis Schmitz  Panasonic have one of most great color sciences. For beginners it offers an auto WB and very good profiles. For Experts it has Log, Raw or flat profile, curves, 0-255 or 16-255 or 16-235 gamma's and color shift after custom WB. But in the middle, between rookie and video guru panasonic has missed a few moments. And when that type of user shoot in flat profile, whith a manual WB, and then take a random LUT for image he don't get why it's not so good as the other manufactureres. For example you can look an old potato jet comparesing of canon m50 and panasonic g7.
@Паша Вибач color science in V-Log is great indeed, you don't have to worry about any gamut clipping nor roll-off unlike with Sony or Blackmagic (yes, even Gen 5 colorscience) cameras.

Problem is their mediocre Rec709 conversions. Have been developing my own Luts with great results straight out of the box without messing with the tint which causes other hue shifts as well.
@Dennis Schmitz  I just started to explore codecs and standarts but here what I know Rec 709 its gamma levels = 16-235 old tv standart. When you shoot in 0-255 your player automaticly show's it like 16-235. If You use premire pro, preview, like player, it's convert that in 16-235. Maybe your problem with LUT becouse of rendering 0-255 in 16-235 whithnout conversion In and Out levels when you edit.
Thank you!
Wow! All of that adjustment! Great job PhotoJoseph! Too bad Panasonic refuses to fix their crappy autofocus! That is the exact reason that I do not buy this camera! Hear that Panasonic???? They have the best color on the market, but the elephant in the room is still video autofocus. Their sales would triple with real autofocus. They have improved it but not enough. As a stills camera Panasonic leads in my opinion. Yes we can buy a dedicated VIDEO CAMERA AND CARRY AROUND TWO CAMERAS, BUT WHY HAVE HYBRID CAMERAS IF THEY DO NOT WORK PROPERLY??
Thanks for the complement, but easy on the camera. No, the AF is not the best out there, but the camera is better than many others at many other things. No camera has it all.
That’s really helpful! Does all of this work on the GH5 too? I’ve never used the luminance spot feature.
No, the base/range zebras are only in the newer cameras. S5 and S1H have it; I think that's it. The luminance spot meter is in some other models, I think… honestly don't recall if it's in GH5 or not though!
@PhotoJoseph thanks for the reply! I’ll look into it
@PhotoJoseph fyi just checked and I have base/range on my BGH1 as well
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