Color matching the GH5 and Canon C300 MKI: can it be done?

GH5 and C300

After having a play with the Panasonic GH5 for a month I’ve decided to keep it and pick up a Metabones Speed Booster XL, although it can be hard to track one down these days. If you don’t have native lenses chances are pretty good you have some Canon EF-mount glass in your bag. Getting a Speed Booster XL makes my Canon lenses work great with the GH5. I might also have to get the ULTRA model as well since APS-C lenses will vignette. For example I like the Sigma 18-35 a lot and unfortunately it does vignette at 18mm with the XL.

Color matching the GH5: first attempt

Last week I started shooting a new Telemundo 20 spot and wanted to have some 60p for a few slowmo shots – and unfortunately my C300 MKI doesn’t do. It does 60p at 720 and I’m not interested in up-rezzing 60p. This was a great opportunity to give the GH5 a try. Here is a side by side of the C300 mki and GH5 ungraded. Pretty close right?

Matching the C300 and GH5 No Grade
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Straight out of the camera they look very close. I balanced both cameras manually instead of dialing them in so they would match a little better. Surprisingly they look very close. The C300 is in C Log and the GH5 is using the “Natural” setting.

The detail is also impressive from the GH5. I believe this is because the low pass filter has been removed.

Click image to view larger

The above shot was color corrected and graded in a few minutes. The GH5 is on the left and C300 on the right. Keep in mind the talent has different lighting on her in both shots and is facing in the opposite direction. Below are the camera settings for both. I didn’t have V-Log installed on the GH5 yet.

Camera Settings

Canon C300

Panasonic GH5 – Natural
Saturation -2
Sharpness -5

The C300 is the main camera that has the reporter saying a promo line so I wanted her to look really nice. The GH5 shot is a working shot. I went all handheld with the Canon 24-105 and Speed Booster. Did I mention how much I like that Speed Booster?

Mario With Aputure TRI-8
Mario thinks the Tri-8 is punchy!

We used the new Aputure TRI-8 for fill. This light is nice and punchy for its size and the handles on the back work great for handholding. I know a lot of people complained about the handles but I think it’s a great feature and when you use it “Hollywood” style you will appreciate them being on the light.

Premiere Pro CC 2017 not ready for 10bit 4:2:2

If you’re a Premiere Pro user currently on the latest 2017.1 (11.1.0). Until Adobe has an update Premiere Pro will crash a lot. The best work around is to transcode to either GoPro Cineform, DNxHD or ProRes. Pick a codec that works best for you.

Color matching the GH5: tweak both cameras, not just one

Instead of trying to match one camera over the other I moved them both around a little with Red Giant’s Colorista IV. This isn’t a full tutorial or review of the GH5 and color matching the C300 with Colorista IV, only a first impression of how the two cameras’ colors can be matched. For a first pass I think it’s going to be easy to do. I really like what I’m seeing color-wise with the GH5. I think it’s much improved over the GH4.

C300 Setup with Westcott Flex and Aputure TRI-8

The C300 shot is punchier due to the two-point lighting – I used an Aputure TRI-8 and a Westcott Flex 1×1. I got close but the reds are different. Yellows are a different depth too. When you see these two frames side by side like this, yeah they aren’t a perfect match but editing them in a sequence you won’t be able to tell the difference and I think the skin tone is pretty close. Again this isn’t a final look at all only a sample of how easy it was to get to this point. For the most part I’m very pleased because I think I’m going to be using this combo a lot.

FilmConvert is working on new software called CineMatch that in theory will make this a one click solution. Check out the article and the demo they did for us at NAB 2017. Very cool indeed.

More to come…

That’s it for now. More to come as I shoot the rest of the spot next week and when I go into post. I think the two cameras will be easy to work with and the 60p in 24p playback looks really nice and smooth when the clip is modified in Premiere Pro.

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