256 Shades of Grey – LOG, LUTs, 8-Bit and 10-Bit

In this episode of cinema5D Essentials, Li-Lian and Nino demystify the meaning of LOG, LUTs, and the differences between 8-Bit and 10-Bit color – all of which are key to taking your next steps in filmmaking.


What can you learn in this episode?

Many cameras come with a variety of Picture Profiles or Looks. While many are designed to produce the most pleasing images straight out of the camera, some cameras offer LOG Picture Profiles which provide “flatter” images with less contrast and saturation that allow you to play around with them a little more in post production. You will notice this flexibility becomes essential as you start improving your skills in color correction and grading.

However, nothing in life comes for free (except for your regular dose of cinema5D Essentials!), and there are a few challenges that come when shooting LOG. In order to accurately monitor your picture, you’ll need to learn how to use things such as the histogram, waveform monitor and a handy set of tools called Look-Up Tables – or LUTS.

Li-Lian and Nino also explain the difference between 8-Bit color – as can be found in most video-capable photo cameras these days – and the more professional 10-Bit color.

We hope this episode of cinema5D Essentials helped you understand these concepts a little better. Let us know you opinion in the comments section below!

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Adrian TanAL BearNino LeitnerLaszlo Habony Recent comment authors
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Issac Dhan

Actually 254 shades.other then that 1 is black other is white.

Nino Leitner


Laszlo Habony

What kind of camera did you make this video? Because the color is not beautiful, the skin is ugly in my opinion. Sorry!

AL Bear

Looks good


That’s just because they are standing next to a large brick wall draped with green leaves. The skin color normalizes when they walk away at the end. That being said, the end result regarding skin colors looks strange, but there can be many reasons why they decided to stand right there. Could be a noisy street in the other end of the area, the viewer usually will never know.

 Adrian Tan
Adrian Tan

Thanks for the video, guys. Log really confuses me. Wondering if I could ask a few dumb questions: (1) If you’re shooting an image where the dynamic range of the scene fits fine in your histogram without log, is there any reason to use log? Would it just be to give yourself options in post? (2) This was touched on in the video, but just to confirm — so when you shoot log, you can’t always get, even after grading, as saturated an image as one shot in another picture profile, right? So, for instance, if I shoot the same… Read more »

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