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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??
Hi @Joseph... I just bought the S5... even when the battery is not in the body... the body feels little wobbly inside like something is moving... is it due to the IBIS that the sensor is moving or I got the rotten apple... please let me know... Thanks
just the IBIS, nothing to worry about
@PhotoJoseph Thanks lot Joseph
This is probably one of the best videos I watched talking about exposure. Awesome work and great communication skills. Thank you very much
Thank you!!
Darn! Wish the S1 had the luminance spot meter, too.
How should I expose for HLG with my Lumix S1? I work with V-Log and I desire to shot in High Dynamic Range too, but also expose it properly. Cheers 😊
HLG doesn't need anything special; expose like Rec709 — meaning, make sure it looks good on screen and your highlights and shadows aren't clipped. Treat HLG like a finished format, like you would with any standard color profile. If you're shooting Log or RAW, then you generally want to overexpose -- just as long as you're not clipping highlights, you're good. That doesn't apply to every scene (i.e. a dark/moody scene you wouldn't expose like daylight), but still, in general, OVERexpose Log, but WATCH YOUR SCOPES.
Great info, I’ve just switched from a GH5 to a new S5.
Sweet! Enjoying it?
Joseph, if only the autofocus worked ☹️
it works great. It's not as fast as Sony/Canon but it works great.
Great explanation, sir! Thanks to you, i decided to buy the S5 today
The inverted Zebra blew my mind. Thank you for that! Good work as always!
Thank you!
When using the luminance spot meter, is it necessary to use the gray card or can you just put your spot meter in the middle of your frame and expose until you get to 40% or 0.0 stops?
@PhotoJoseph Thanks for the quick response. Makes a lot of sense now👍
@PhotoJoseph I believe +1.0 stop corresponds to 50%. If in V Log and exposing for skin tones at 50%, can I just point luminance spot meter at subject's face and adjust exposure until it reads +1.0 stop?
@Dan Crosby that is a rough estimate but of course everyone has different skin color. Caucasian skin is generally considered 70% brightness on a standard (non-Log) view. You really need to test if you’re not using a grey card. There are many ways to balance exposure.
@PhotoJoseph Ok. I'm really trying to nail overall exposure (particularly in V log) as well as skin tones while keeping the workflow as simple as possible. I think for now I will either use the waveform or try to expose at +/-0.0 stops by pointing luminance meter at gray card in the frame.
any tips on how not get Magenta color banding and blocks on image when using VLog?
Are you shooting 10-bit?
@PhotoJoseph Yes shooting 422 10-bit usually C4K 30p 150mbps. usual lut choice is nicest rec709
That sounds odd. Good exposure? Are the color blocks showing up over specific types of footage (i.e. always in shadows, or always over faces), or is it all over the place?
@PhotoJosephMainly in the high lights and yes I make sure I expose properly and I never go over +2 when in VLog and I'm taking advantage of the dual iso settings. I could send examples if thats an option or I could do a upload and send link.
Sure… DM me on twitter and let's take the conversation there and I can send you a dropbox repository
Mil gracias por este vídeo y sobre todo a la persona que lo ha traducido a Español porque gracias a él he podido comprender la clase magistral . Acabó de comprarme la lumix S5 para hacer vídeos no profesionales pero me gusta hacer las cosas bien y antes que nada aprender como se utiliza y cuáles son las opciones que tengo con ella. Mil gracias
I'm a beginner and this is all very interesting and useful. I look forward to testing out these techniques.
Hi Joseph. Quick question: what zebra percentage would correspond to 6.3 stops in V-Log? Is there a chart somewhere that links IRE and Zebra percentage? Thanks!
0 stops = 40% middle grey in v-log. So using that logic, since +6.3 stops is overexposed, that should equal 100% for your zebras
I notice a considerable noise shooting with my S5 in V-log, even in low ISO, I hear the same thing from other users, is that normal?
Hi Their, same issue but my noise on a 4 minute exposure in bulb mode renders my night time scene unusable" I was on iso 400 on 20mm, every colour dots and crosses all over the place, but someone suggested putting long exposure nr on in the menu helps....i use the s5, even my trusty Canon 90d on a 30 min exposure only puts out about 8 to 10 hot pixels that can be cleaned up in 5 minutes in corel.... This is crazy dude...
Awesome video. Everyone with an S camera should watch this.
If we are interviewing people and using the grey card to check exposure. Where do we place the grey card? Right in front of the camera or more towards where the interviewee will be sitting since the light will be pointed on them?
You put your grey card at the subject you are exposing for.
Hi Joseph, I am having an ongoing nightmare trying to locate the cause of significant flicker on the S5 during night timelapses, despite everything being set to manual. It drives me insane and is so bad that even plug-ins like GB Deflicker cannot fix it. The only thing left for me to suspect is the Manual Exposure Assist, on which there is no info in the manual. All I know is that Manual Exposure Assist is functioning whenever ISO is in manual mode (which is necessary). I've been doing timelapses for years on Canon then Sony, but I can't understand why the S5 is giving me this headache. Do you have any ideas? It happens with all manner of lenses and occasionally I randomly get a flicker-free timelapse within a set that all used the same camera settings. I cannot seem to diagnose the problem.
Sorry, I should add some other info - I am using a Sigma MC-21 Adapter to mount my lenses, which are mostly EOS mounts. I don't know if this could be responsible somehow. I also have high ISO NR turned OFF and the timelapse has at least 1 second of interval between exposures (ie: a 4 sec shutter would have a minimum setting of 5 sec interval). Exposure levelling is disabled as I am in M mode. Finally, I am using e-shutter as I'm on silent mode, but that was never an issue on other cameras so I'm not sure why it would be here (I'm outdoors after all so there are no studio lights to cause potential flicker problems).
Hey Simon. I don’t have a good answer but I’d try a few things. Switch to mechanical shutter just to see if it makes a difference. Try a native instead of adapted lens. Settings sound right but I’m not a time lapse expert. Let’s start with those.
@PhotoJoseph Thanks very much for a quick reply. I have no native lenses, but I will see if I can borrow one. In other news, after some serious digging and experimenting today I may have found the culprit, but I am still testing.
OK, please keep us posted. I'd love to hear it, because if you're experiencing it, then chances are someone else is, too!
@PhotoJoseph It turned out not to be the camera at all! I only shoot RAW in camera and produce my JPEGs in Adobe Lightroom, with processing applied. This has been my workflow for years, and it suddenly occurred to me that I should try exporting the JPEGs from one of these problematic timelapses without any processing applied. The result was flicker-free, so I knew it was something going on in the software, yet it had never happened before. Some further digging revealed that certain settings in Lightroom are 'context sensitive', meaning any slight change of light within the image when shooting would result in the software compensating for it by adjusting levels and even white balance IF one of these context-sensitive dials had been applied. To be honest I remain stumped as to why I have never seen this problem with other cameras, but perhaps it is because I'm still test-shooting in my neighbourhood (as opposed to out in the countryside), meaning any change of light from a passing car or me peeping through the viewfinder causes these issues. It has been driving me nuts for months and I'm just glad to have finally got the bottom of it. Thanks again for your fast reply.
Wondering if anyone knows whether you can use a LUT in VLog assist when shooting in-camera? There seems to be zero advice on this anywhere on the web, nor does the manual say you can or not. They just say you can import LUTS... but no mention of using while filming... or is this an over-think, and of course you can? I just don't see how! Thanks!
Sorry but Panasonic doesn't have a video on loading LUTs into the Lumix cameras but all the modern 10bit models (GH5 and newer) that offer V-LOG or V-LOG L can load a LUT (up to 4 actually). Here is a video that can help in Resolve if you plan to create your wn out and output as a .VLT file (not a .cube). If you already have your LUTs and they are in .cube format and you just want a fast conversion, this video will show you how it's done with the LUtCalc website .
of course you can!
Really well done. The S5 has the tools needed for perfecting exposure.
Thanks. Yeah I love these tools.
Thanks for sharing this, I've found it very helpful. Today I tested out the luminance spot meter in V'Log where I exposed an overcast but bright sky to 6.1 and it was not recoverable. I lowered my exposure in 1/3 stops and found the details in the sky needed to be at around 4 to be legible in FCPX. I'll do more tests to gain more knowledge and confidence but form what I've sen so far the 6.3 over hasn't allowed me to render details, just washed out, not burned out cloudy skies. Having previously shot with HLG I'm finding v-log a different challenge.
What are you doing to the clip once it’s in the timeline?
Oh and SDR or HDR? Explain your setup in detail.
@PhotoJoseph Thank you for your reply Joseph. I was using a SDR project. I have just tried the clip in a HDR and it makes viewing a lot easier. However there is still large areas of the sky unrecoverable at anything over +4. I applied a colour wheel adjustment to the clip but there is no data in much of the sky. I shot a clip about 90 seconds at various exposure values and it's interesting to see the sky appear as the meter gets to around 4. I can only conclude my positioning of the spot meter was inaccurate. I had the meter positioned at the top end of the frame and perhaps go vent the cloud cover and low sun there were brighter spots lower down. I will do more tests. Happy to share the file with you if you'd care to take a look. Thanks again.
Curious if you used a conversion LUT or graded from scratch yourself.
Details in highlights is pretty much gone. I am trying to find an ext recorder to see that maybe it's the codec who is causing it aa its still compression that we are dealing with. Also I am happy if you can share me the files as I want to see if its goes through CST in davinci resolve maybe I could recover it. Thx
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.
@PhotoJoseph so what you do with zebra 2 on the s5?
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!
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!

Hi Joseph,

Thanks for your fantastic vids!

I’ve set my S5 to V-Log  yet since them, for some reason I cannot fathom, my shutter angle has gone whacky to 288 and I cannot for the life of me reset it. Given no one anywhere as far as I can tell actually shows step-by-step, showing all buttons clearly, how to actually do this, I only figured it out randomly on my own to begin with – now can’t figure out how I did that. This is so basic for filmmaking, so ingrained on basic iPhone apps like Filmic Pro yet it’s shrouded in mystery – and not even on Panasonic’s page. Can you please help explain how to set it – whether one is in V-Log or not? Many thanks!. Kal

Sounds like you’ve enabled synchroscan

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