Understanding The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Color Profiles
This help guide will explain everything you need to know about the color profiles inside the Panasonic S5. Panasonic has installed several fantastic color profiles into the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5. Additionally, the S5 has full VLOG installed. VLOG offers far more dynamic range than the regular color profiles which is why it’s preferred for situations that require it.
Getting great results straight out of the Panasonic S5 is very easy thanks to the great color science and color profile options. This guide will help you understand the differences between the S5 color profiles with image examples. Check out my full review of the Panasonic S5 if you haven’t got your hands on one yet.
The Standard profile is an underrated profile and works great for video and photos. By default, the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 is set to the standard color profile in both video and photo modes. The standard profile is an easy way to get a great straight out of camera profile. The standard works well for indoors and outdoors filming.
The Panasonic standard picture profile has too much contrast if you are hoping to grade the footage in editing. The idea of this profile is great results with no post-production adjustment.
Vivid is a profile that increases the color saturation to its maximum. If you are shooting something very colorful like gardens, landscapes, or kid toys then this is a great profile. The Vivid color profile is best for anything other than people and animals as it over-saturates skin tones more than any of the other Panasonic picture profiles.
The Natural color profile is one of the most used profiles by default for great out-of-camera colors. The main reason why natural is the choice on the Panasonic S5 is because of the great and accurate skin tones. This works great for both video and photography when the camera is set to the P mode.
L.ClassicNeo is a very flat profile except for the emphasized highlights. This is a flatter profile overall than some of the other more well-known and used video profiles. This has a slightly “aged” look but is not artistic or over the top. Grading this profile is possible, but as mentioned keep an eye on the highlights.
Flat is fast becoming my favorite profile that can be graded in post-production to achieve the desired look. In the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5, I much prefer this over the new Cine-D2 picture profile. The flat profile is not as bright in the highlights as the L.ClassicNeo or Standard picture profiles and will work great for color and saturation adjustments in editing. For those who have been using Cine-D, give the flat profile a shot because odds are, you’ll love it.
The landscape picture profile is great for high a strong contrast and highlights look. Comparing Landscape to Flat, you’ll notice how emphasized the shadows are. While this picture profile can really pop for outdoor filming and photography, the details in the shadows are somewhat lost due to the increased levels.
The landscape picture profile also offers an increased color saturation similar to the Vivid profile but not quite as pronounced. Thankfully, each of these profiles can be adjusted and customized to you’re liking.
The Portrait color profile on the S5 is a decent color profile. This is very similar to landscape except the blacks are not crushed by default giving you a slightly flatter image overall. Skin tones and overall accuracy is improved over many of the other picture profiles giving you a great look and feel right out of the Panasonic S5. This profile is great for portrait photography and for talking headshots in video mode.
The Monochrome picture profile in the Panasonic S5 is the first of the desaturated black and white profiles. This Monochrome profile has less contrast than the L.Monochrome option and gives you more options in post-production. I never understood why cameras had their own black and white profiles when you can do it in editing, but it’s a solid profile that delivers the Monochrome look.
This is very similar visually to the Monochrome (mono) picture profile but Panasonic has increased the levels giving it a darker look in the shadows. This profile is very usable but it will crush the black in the image more than monochrome (mentioned above). This is a desaturated/black and white picture profile.
L.MONOCHROME S (LMONO S)
Unlike the previous profile, L.Monochrome S retains more information in the highlights and shadows while still giving you a very usable black and white image to work with. Thanks to the highlights and shadow information being retained, this is a great choice for adjusting the levels and contrast in editing. This profile along with Monochrome/Mono offers the most flexibility.
CINELIKE D2 (CNED2)
Cinelike D2 is a very popular video profile for getting flat footage that lends itself to grading and adjustment in post-production. Sadly, unlike the GH5, the CNED2 does some really weird things to skin tones and almost shifting the color far cooler.
Video shooters should check out the Natural and Flat profiles ahead of this one thanks to the improved skin tones and post-production flexibility. The CNED2 profile gives you far more dynamic range than most of the other profiles, especially when shooting in high dynamic range conditions.
CINELIKE V2 (CNEV2)
The Cinelike V2 is one of my favorites out-of-camera profiles for shooting video with the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5. It made the out-of-camera image far more usable on my skin tones. One downside to the CNEV2 profile is that it adds more saturation and contrast allowing for far less ability to move after filming. If you nail this profile in-camera, you won’t need to touch the footage in editing. This is my go-to profile for recording web content. Remember, you can easily adjust the saturation, contact, highlights, and roll off in-camera so experiment around and find what works for you.
The 709L profile is another favorite for getting great results with little grading. I find this profile a tad strange on skin tones but people love it for video work. Unlike the majority of profiles on this page, Like709 can only be adjusted in both Hue, Saturation, and noise reduction. This is an upgraded over CNED2 on the Panasonic S5 but is also far more limited in the ability to correct it in post-production
The Panasonic S5 can provide 14+ stops of dynamic range thanks to the VLOG color profile. This color profile is perfect for grading and matching footage from other Panasonic or Varicam camera profiles. Filmmakers loving having this flat profile for video production work and matching shots under different conditions.
The Standard color profile is a good choice for regular videography. Additionally, this profile will match the ai photo settings on the camera very well. This is a good choice for a great straight-out camera image that keeps it very simple.
HLG is another great profile for creating videos. What HLG means is “Hybrid Log-Gamma”. HLG allows you to capture more color, highlight, and shadow information in a given scene. To make the most out of this profile you need a monitor that is capable of reproducing the recorded footage. The HLG profile will not require a lot of grading unless it is used on a 709 timeline. If you don’t know what this means stick to the other picture profiles.
How to access the color profiles
Getting to the Panasonic S5 color profiles is easy.
On the back of the camera press the Q button.
This brings up the Quick menu and by default, the selection is on the color profiles.
Next, use the front dial with your right hand to select the color profile you want to use.
The video below shows the color profile options inside the Panasonic S5.
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What is the best color profile in the Panasonic S5?
Selecting the best color profile in the S5 comes down to personal choice. For video, VLOG is the most flexible but also requires more editing. Cinelike D2, Cinelike V2, FLAT, and Natural are great choices for footage that requires minimal editing.
For hybrid shooters who shoot a mix of photo and video, I suggest using the same profile for video and photos so they match easily in editing. This is of course, how I work and I encourage you to find what works best for your situation.