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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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Sooooo much coming this year… are you subscribed??
Thanks for the video. I have a few questions..
1. I would like to set my zebras for the maximum when they appear I should go low.. what would be the porcentage? 85 or 95?
2. I wonder if exposing for vlog and Raw Pro res (with the atomos V) is it the same way? Max highlights 6.3 stops and shadows Min -8stops?
thank you
It's all great, but what if I shoot on wide lens and his x-rite color checker takes 1/100 of the frame? I want to measure light on a subject not on the card which is 2m in front of the subject :D.

Is there general rule how to expose whole scene or skin colors in VLOG? I got light meter so that way I can easily check the exposure ...
@@photojoseph Thanks for promptly answer PJ. For some reason I cannot find digital zoom on my S5IIX :o.

I tried to trick it with manual focus zoom, but in that mode Spot Luminance or Zebras does not work :(.

I guess I have to rely on zebras, although with 18mm color card is so small (even pixel to pixel) that it's hard to guess it's really properly exposed :D.

Seems it shows 0.0 EV with base level zebras when whole scene is at -1EV, so maybe that is the hint. And VLOG assist (with REC709) LUT is also helpful, so :D.

Worse case scenario I can use false colors on my Atomos :D.
Less of ways to check exposure. This shows one very good one.
Hello...kindly reply... I bought holyland wireless transmitter to use with my lumix S5 (which I bought after watching your review) to use for live streaming in multiple camera set up...the problem is after connecting the transmitters with my camera they don't work....even after swapping the hdmi converters......I don't know what I'm doing wrong
Bro you are the man, I don’t comment on videos a lot but you deserve it , the explanation I needed as I was confused about exposure ❤️
Of course I did haha 🙌🏾
(Hope you subscribed 😁)
Love hearing that, thanks man!!
You’re the best
I recently changed to Panasonic from Sony and I'm really impressed with it so far.

I've noticed something interesting when using auto ISO in manual mode. It looks like the camera will push the exposure histogram to the right ( as if you were 'exposing to the right').
I haven't seen this documented anywhere.
Am I dreaming?
It's the same on S1/S5
@@photojoseph Yes it's working correctly alright, the photos are exposed correctly.
I forget what way my Sony worked, my buddy is going to check his.
But I've never noticed Auto ISO to push to the right before on a camera.
It's really slick
@@ardeesnapper ah. I just tested and it’s working properly. First make sure that constant preview is turned on, otherwise, the image on the viewfinder may not change, even though the exposure does. Set the camera to full manual and pointed at a white wall. Adjust the exposure until the histogram is dead center and white. When histogram is yellow, the exposure is “incorrect“. Then switch the ISO to auto and the histogram should be in the same place.
@@photojoseph Thanks for the swift reply.
I should have mentioned that I was shooting stills, with the standard profile.
Welcome to LUMIX! Do you mean that it overexposes? If you point it at a grey card are you seeing the histo or wave over by 1.5 stops? And are you shooting in V-Log?
Hi Joseph, Really appreciate this effort to explain everything in details.... it's a great help....wanted to know if you have covered in video about the knee and slope of vlog
@@photojoseph Thanks for your reply... Honestly I also don't know... but someone on YouTube was explaining how it affects highlights roll off on Sony Slog... and it actually works in Slog if I assume that person shared the exact same thing... Although don't have any complaint about vlog highlight roll off but seems interesting to know... searched on internet and it's there for almost all panasonic cameras from past but nowhere it's mentioned how to use it... Sony settings are different than Panasonic hence can't use that video as guidance
I didn't… pretty arcane video topic, I think. I'd suggest reading white papers and technical analysis if it's something you really want to dig into, sorry.
Holy shit this was a good video!
Love that response!!
Wow just wow amazing video!
Hi Joseph quick question. I did a test shoot yesterday with the spot meter and my color checker passport. I dialed it in to 0 stops in VLog. I was outdoors, the image quality came out great, but my luma waveform in final cut is showing the highlights at 75 ire. Pretty much the same for all of the clips. I tried pulling up the highlights in post but it killed the quality. Should I just leave the highlights at 75 ire from here on out?
There’s no single answer. If you want highlights to be close to 100, then expose for that. This is where shooting with the waveform and zebra is so useful. You can ensure that your highlights never clip, and it’s always better to bring the exposure DOWN in post than to bring it up. There’s quite a lot of room above 40IRE when shooting in log, so if it’s a bright scene that you want to look bright, I’d err towards shooting hot (just don’t clip!!) and bringing down in post. Also you didnt say how you went from Log to 709, but you can do it with a LUT or totally manually. In FCP I liked doing it manually. I felt the results were always better.
The GH6 is between +5.5 stops and -7.7 stops.
Hi, great video. Question - I assume that you expose for middle gray for both light and dark scenes the same way, from regular daytime brightness to a dark barley lit scene - and compensate by changing the native iso? Does the white balance and colors remain the same? I would assume so but just wanted to know if there were other things that needed to be done to expose properly so a short films scenes would all look okay.
@@photojoseph thank you
Exposing “properly” is merely a starting point. Everything else is a creative decision. Most important thing is to not clip highlights or shadows. If I’m doubt, expose high (without clipping) and bring down in post.
Hi. That method will work with GH6 aswell? Also thank you very much for all videos what you share with all of us... I have learn a lot from you YT channel. Have a top day Joseph 🫡
Yes! It’s an awesome feature.
Love your videos! I started watching them during the pandemic, and have been a student of the game for a couple years now. Do you always use this method to get white balance dialed in when shooting a project? I was just curious if white balance is part of the normal workflow or if you can figure it by eye after getting more comfortable? Also, what do you do in a run and gun situation, any tips for best white balance in those moments? Thanks sir!
Welcome! Custom WB is the way. You can’t trust your eye as it’s influenced by a million uncontrollable things. For run-and-gun, usually I just use auto since the environment changes constantly.
Question, I have the ninja V and the Lumix s5. My screen on the ninja looks nice and bright. My screen on my s5 appears slightly darker. When I try to white balance and put the white card in front of the camera it looks clean and clear on the ninja but extremely dark on the s5 monitor. When I try to set it, it tells me that it is unable to set wb because the scene is too dark. I have up'd my iso and I am still getting that message. What am I doing wrong?
Odd but if the message says it’s too dark then you’re definitely underexposed. Put the camera in program and see how it works. Note the exposure (iso, shutter speed and Aperture) and recreate in manual
Thanks for this video . I have been struggling with Vlog but after your video I feel much more confident in getting the right exposure and knowing how much leaway I have with both highlights and shadows. Thanks dude 👍
Is there an exposure meter on the S5ii like the that was on the GH5 it was perfect for setting exposure while shooting in non auto mode... but it seems that it is not on the S line of cameras... or at least I can't find it.
QUESTION. Just received my new S5ii. I’m in love. But when I assign zebras to any function button, it does not work. I confirm that it was properly assigned to the button, but it still fails to turn zebras on or off. I have to go into the main menu to turn on/off. All other Fn button assignments are working properly, but zebras don’t work when assigned to an Fn button. Any thoughts? Many thanks gang.
Brilliant. Thanks for the easy to understand info
Floored, this video was utter perfection and demystified the log profile for me!! 🎉
Same exposure principles for the GH6?
I can't work out how to get manual exposure assist on my S5 screen.. it's the MM in the middle bottom of the screen in the tutorial... I think 🤔 Can anyone help please?
After turn on the "dynamic range boost" on GH6, why does the darkest black turn to -7.7 stops?
OK now I understand the question — and I need to dig into this a bit. Give me some time.
@@photojoseph The luminance spot meter, just like 9:02 you showed the low end in the video.
@@rongchn_ no I’m reading your question more carefully and I am not sure I know where you are looking. Where are you seeing the -8 and the -7.7?
@@photojoseph Thanks for your reply! Before the DR boost, the meter is -8 stops on darkest shadow but after the DR boost the meter turned to -7.7 stops on darkest shadow, I'm confused why it's not the same. sorry about my poor English lol😂🥲
because you have more dynamic range, so the difference between darkest black and brightest white expands… but I feel like I'm not understanding your question completely.
What does mean “MM” on screen blow?
Wow! This will come in handy!
Hi Joseph, I have a question for you. Namely, I recently purchased a Lumix S5. Mainly for filming. I like to film very much in Slomo. However, the setting of high frame rates is somehow different with Lumix than with Sony. With Sony, you just set the frame rate to 120fps, for example, and that's it. With Lumix, a framerate is also displayed in the S&Q mode. There it says either 4K25fps, 4k50fps, Fhd25fps or Fhd50fps. Which one do I choose? When I first viewed the footage, in terms of Fhd, 50fps at 120fps seemed much smoother to me than 25fps. I didn't have to do anything else with the 50fps footage in Final Cut either, as it already looked great. But my goal is to shoot scenes with talking and drone videos in 25fps and the b-roll shots in 100-120 fps. Can I still set the 25fps at 120fps and then, on the other hand, have to do something else to 50fps in Final Cut Pro?
I hope you understand what I mean.
With kind regards
There’s two high speed modes in LUMIX cameras; VFR (variable frame rate) and HFR (high frame rate). There are two differences. VFR shoots/captures at one frame rate and outputs/records the file at another. For example, shooting at 120 but capturing at 30. This means the playback is automatically ¼ speed, in-camera and on the timeline. However you don’t get audio. HFR captures and outputs at the same rate, so a 120fps clip plays back in real-time at 120 frames per second. You gain audio. But now to see it in slow motion, you have to set the speed in the NLE. In FCP, right click and choose “automatic frame rate” and that will map your footage frame-for-frame to the timeline, giving you the slow mo you intended.
Hi sir how toreduce 3snaps at 1click plz covey.
Thanks for this great video! Great information and very clear!!
@@photojoseph Thanks for the attention, I watched again and understood! It was some lack of attention from my end (it's not my native language, that's why)
I don't understand the question. Substituting?
That's gold Joseph. Thank You.
Hi Josepth, great video, I have a question about the Lumix S5. While I'm watching the monitor, the resolution is low and make it difficult to focus (I'm more manual than auto), but at the moment I press REC the resolution change and now it's very crisp to focus without problem, even the Focus Peaking is more accurate. Do you know if there is a solution? Thanks in advance.
OMG 😱, what a useful video! Thank you so much! 🙏🏻
Awesome, you’re welcome!
Lum spot meter explanation is a game changer. Thx.
Isn’t it awesome?
Hi, I recently bought the S5 and I am struggling with noise in shadows. Is there any safe overexpose setting for run and gun? And when you apply vlog to rec709 conversion LUT in Premiere, do you apply it under input LUT or under Creative tab? What is your recomendation for profile when not wanting to use LOG. When to use LOG and when not to? Sorry for this many questions but I really don't have anyone to aks to. If there is a chance to continue this conversation somewhere else for more questions? Thank you Joseph!
Don’t clip highlights (use zebras). Apply base LUT at input LUT; that’s where Log to Rec709 should happen. Creative is to go from 709 to a “look”. Log when you want control; non-Log when you want it easy.
My on camera monitor on the S5 gets no signal in playback mode only. It works fine in Live View mode. Any ideas why ? Thanks.
Sounds like the eye sensor is getting triggered that shifts the image to the viewfinder
very useful video. guy is very clear
Why is my HLG video always over saturated in the reds yet my HLG photos look perfect straight out of the camera (you cant edit them anyway)
I dont get that VLog is capable of recording 14 stops (HDR ?) but is only in rec709 which is only capable of 6 stops (SDR) on a TV
6.9 stops in shadows and 2.1 stops in highlights = 9 stops overall. The theoretical rec709 limit is 9.97 stops
Brilliant, man. Many thanks. I wonder how this translates to shooting at night? I would love to hear your thoughts on that.
Well, the principals don’t change, but if you want it to LOOK like night then of course things need to be underexposed.
Bought the Lumafusion a month ago then I just bought my S5 two days ago and here you are again! Lol I learned fast cuz of you. Thank you!
Haha that’s awesome. And great combo!!
I am subscribed, thank you so much for this amazing tutorial. I learned so much! Where have you been all my life.
Thanks for these videos - I just watched all the campaign & early review materials for the Fuji XH2 S - which as a current Fuji XT3 shooter - I thought was a great advertisement for buying an S5. I picked up a new S5 for under 1.5K! Still waiting for shipping - wondering if you have any suggestions for color profiles vs VLOG for interior daytime real estate videography - totally new to Lumix. Cinelike D seems like it works like Eterna on a Fuji - is that accurate?
Wow simply great video. Is it available only in S5? I have Lumix S1 :(
Thanks. Pretty sure this is not in S1. Make sure it's up to date (firmware 2.1) but if you don't see it, then it's not there. The menu system is the same operation system, so you should be able to follow this video to check
Is there any performance disadvantages to shooting this camera in 1080p such as reduced dynamic range, noisier shadows, ect?
@@photojoseph Awesome. I know from past experience that a camera can perform like it's another camera depending on its resolution mode. I just received my new S5 yesterday and am excited to dig into it as well as your very helpful videos!
Some cameras crop into the sensor when you do 1080. Some “pixel bin” meaning they just throw pixels away. The S5 scales down so you have all the quality of 4K in a native 1080p capture.
@@sardanapalos Yeah, I'm looking for a camera with all the features of the S5 but I absolutely do not want 4k, just 1080. I've seen in tests with other cameras that sometimes the 1080 is noticeably different than the 4k within the same camera.
depends on where you post i think...for social and youtube imo there is not much difference with naked eye, however dynamic range probably is reduced but lets hope someone that has tested it can confirm it :)
Congratulation! This is by far the best tutorial how to expose V-Log correctly, either targetting at getting middle grey right or the whole scene w/o clipping the highlights (for example in landscape shootings).

I came to some sort of solution for protecting the highlights in V-Log by experimenting with the wave form monitor and observing at which percentage adding more light starts compressing the wave form at the upper end - and that was around 95%. So, I set my zebra to 90% to be on the safe side - and overexposed footage was gone!

And, now I learned from your great tutorial, that the luminance spot meter on the S1H in V-Log mode exactly measures the stops of the light. I just did the test with my S1H while watching your video. It is a perfect fit: when the zebra for 90% comes into action the spot meter is around +6 stops, leaving me 0,3 stops lee way.

I really ask myself where those stupid recommendations come from saying one should overexpose V-Log by 1-2 stops in principle, especially with such precise measurement instruments in my hands.
Thank you so, so, much! I just got the S1H, and subscribing to your channel is the best thing I’ve done.
Question: You set the zebras to around 40, and when they appeared on middle grey, you established that exposure was perfect. You then used the spot metering to show that white was at 2.1 stops over. But then you increased brightness til you reached 6.3 stops over. 1) Why would you want to increase brightness if the scene was already perfectly exposed? 2) If you push brightness upwards, wouldn’t you cause the perfect exposure of middle grey to be ruined? And finally 3) Most other videos state that skin is at 60-70 IRE. Isn’t that the level I should set the zebras at in order to get perfect skin exposure (instead of at 40 for middle grey)?

I apologise if these questions make little sense to you, I’ve probably misunderstood something 🤷🏽‍♂️😃
@@photojoseph YES it really helped! Thank you so much for giving such a detailed answer 😊 So looking forward to going through more of your content!
All good questions! When shooting log, it's better to overexpose than to underexpose. Noise lives in the shadows, so if you overexpose (as long as you don't clip your highlights), then bring the exposure down in post, you'll have a cleaner image. Within reason; don't shoot an all-dark scene eight stops over just because you can, but shooting a couple of stops over is normal for log, and especially for raw. If you are interested in capturing bright highlight detail, like clouds in the sky, then you should max those out without clipping, the stretch the mids and shadows down in post. Remember when shooting log, you are ALWAYS going to color grade in post. As to the IRE; yes skin is generally 60-70 IRE. Really light or dark skinned changes that a bit. But a known 40 IRE grey card is always 40 IRE. So you have a KNOWN exposure. Zebras can be set wherever you want; here they were set to 40 to measure on the card. If you're shooting "run and gun", meaning you don't have time to adjust lighting and just have to get the exposure as good as possible in camera, then this is where shooting with zebras around 60 or 70 IRE helps. Once skin hits the zebras, you know you're mostly correctly exposed. I hope that helps!
8:25 is where the light bulb for me jsut turned on. Wow, i actually now understand this way more then i thought i would. Thank you so much, your such a good teacher. Thanks.
That’s awesome to hear, thank you for that!

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

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