Ultimate Exposure Guide For Sony F5/F55

SonyF55 Guide Banner

The Ultimate Exposure Guide for the Sony F5/F55 has been a long overdue project of mine and I’m very pleased to announce it is finally available.

The Ultimate Exposure Guide for Sony F5 & F55 Cameras

The Ultimate Exposure Guide for Sony F5 & F55 Cameras

Since the advent of log based gamma curves on more mainstream cameras by Canon and Sony (C100/C300/C500 and F3/FS700/F5/F55/FS7 respectively) the internet has grown rampant with tips and information on how to best expose and work with these log based gammas. For some it has been difficult to understand how to get the best results exposing for S-Log while for some it has taken a considerable amount of time to perfect. Others new to S-Log or RAW are still learning the ins and outs of it.

As of late proper exposure has become a hot topic in the newer generation of Sony cameras (F5, F55 & FS7) due to the extremely rich feature set and capabilities offered by the cameras. For example these cameras offer S-Log 3 and S-Log 2 gamma curves, 16-bit RAW recording capability, Custom and CineEI modes, and both LUT and Sony Look Profile capabilities to work with.

With over 10,000 words, this 37 page guide is completely dedicated to breaking everything down into its simplest and most practical form in ways that make sense. It combines real-world situations and scenarios and avoids focusing on only the technical – although it’s also there for those who want it.

I am certain that many will find this to be the most practical and easy to follow guide written to date on the subject, and now conveniently all in one place. I look forward to sharing this book with fellow DP’s, cameramen, and filmmakers working with these remarkable and impressive cameras by Sony.

Section Topics:

  • Exposure:
    • Fundamentals
    • Dynamic Range
    • The Crux of S-Log
    • S-Log vs RAW
  • Standard and Hyper Gammas:
    • Dynamic Ranges
    • Key Differences
  • Five Exposure Methods:
    • Grey Card
    • White Card
    • Light Meter
    • Zebras
    • Monitor
  • Using the CineEI Mode
  • LUT/LOOKS Primer:
    • Differences
    • Use
    • Cautions and Tips
  • Light Meters:
    • Introduction
    • Meter Basics
    • Metering Modes
  • Rating your camera ISO

Digital copies are now available through my new website www.ultimateexposureguides.com

  1. Douglas BairdDouglas Baird07-14-2014

    I am enjoying visiting your site and would like top have a look at your Ultimate exposure guide.

    Please put me on your mailing list and give me a shout if you need support here in the West.

    Best wishes


    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg07-17-2014

      Hi Doug, thank you for stopping by and your support is appreciated.

  2. Nathan ThompsonNathan Thompson08-08-2014


    Thank you for your efforts. I haven’t made it through the guide yet, but am looking forward to studying it. Is there a way we can leave a “tip” through vimeo or something for your hard work and willingness to share? “Free” is great, but I know this would have required a lot of time. And sharing your knowledge in this way is of value to me, so I’m happy to at least give back a little.

  3. Brian KaufmanBrian Kaufman09-09-2014

    I subscribed to your F55/F5 exposure guide, confirmed the subscription, but I still don’t see any option to download the PDF… what am I missing? Thanks!

    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg09-24-2014

      Hi Brian thanks for your interest in the Ultimate Exposure Guide. I use a third party service to manage the subscriptions and sending out the mail notifications so incase any readers have any issues receiving their email with the link please contact me and I will personally see to it that you get a copy ASAP. Thanks.

      • Leopold FuchsLeopold Fuchs11-28-2014

        Hey Dennis!
        I subscribed to the newsletter 3 days ago, but didn´t receive any pdf till now. Is there a way that i get it directly from you?
        Kind regards,

  4. SebastienSebastien10-15-2014

    Hello Dennis,
    I have the same problem, I have received the confirmation that I am now subscribed to your blog but haven’t receive the link to download the pdf.

    Thank you.

    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg10-15-2014

      Hello, as per the signup box please allow up to 48 hours to receive the PDF. I see that you only signed up today. Thanks for your patience and enjoy the guide!

  5. anonymousanonymous11-03-2014

    I am reading with great interest your Ultimate Exposure Guide for F5/F55, and I am just wondering about, and trying to figure out, certain statements made in text which appears on page 18 in the Guide regarding the relationships between (a) the several, expressed dynamic ranges for hypergammas, (b) and the related range number of available, associated stops. For example, it is clear to me that a 1300% dynamic range, when 1300 is divided by 90, tells us that this dynamic range percentage is associated with about 14.4 stops. However, it seems to me that the dynamic ranges expressed for the several, listed hypergammas — which ranges extend between 325% and 800%, when these numbers are also divided by 90, yield a very small range of available stops, extending from between a total of about 3.6 to about 8.8 stops, rather than the range of stops, 11-12, expressed earlier in your Guide (page 9) for hypergamma settings.

    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg11-03-2014

      In short when you divide 1300 by 90, that doesn’t give you the number of total stops, that gives you the amount of levels higher than 90% white which can be captured and recorded by the camera. The camera in slog2 or slog3 mode is only every going to capture 14 stops. The number of stops higher than 90% white is around 2.5 stops. It’s therefore debatable what all those extra levels over 90% are really going to translate into in the final image.

      Imagine you need a scene that actually contains so much highlight detail that you need to exhaust those levels above 90% white? My opinion is that it is only under very rare circumstances that such a scene would even exist, and so that in all reality, will not contribute to making a “better” image as compared to one say captured with only an 800% dynamic range curve. But if you are shooting something with a lot of highlights in it and reflectivity elements, sure I suppose it might help.

      Not all gammas capture the full 14 stops. For example a standard gamma is limited to around 7-8 stops, and if it’s a 325% curve that means it can only capture white levels around 3.6 times higher than 90%. Again, 3.6 times higher doesn’t mean 3.6 stops. It means white levels above 90% white.

      Hope that makes sense

  6. TarxTarx11-25-2014

    I’m loving your website. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg12-02-2014

      Hello Tarx. Thank you for your kind words and I’m glad you find the website useful. Enjoy!

  7. DerekDerek12-21-2014

    Just picked up a copy of your guide Dennis as we started shooting with the FS7 this week – many thanks for putting this together! Truly applies for the FS7.

  8. Dennis HingsgergDennis Hingsgerg12-22-2014

    Hi Derek, thank you so much for getting a copy and finding it useful! Hope it was lots of help on your FS7 shoot!


    • Derek CooperDerek Cooper12-24-2014

      Guide is excellent. As you know, FS7 is fundamentally very similar.

      Question – what impact does setting the FS7 to 180fps have on setting the exposure using SLog3 Cine? For example, in the rating camera ISO section, would you set the meter to 180fps? I’m thinking no.

      Was going to test that later today myself if time permits.

      • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg12-24-2014

        Hi Derek and thank you for downloading the guide. HFR mode still uses the cameras native ISO so even as you adjust the frame rate, your meter would be left set to 24fps, or if you don’t have fps on your meter you could select 1/48th shutter speed.

        What happens internally, is the camera uses +gain in order to maintain the same ISO at higher frame rates, taking in account however that each new pixel in HFR mode is actually made up of four due to pixel binning and hence lessening the overall amount of internal gain needed to maintain the native ISO – but there is still SOME gain hence why many have found HFR to have some extra noise in it.

  9. Guy PintoGuy Pinto12-27-2014

    Thanks for your guide, it helped me to organize my thoughts.

    If I understand correctly, as RAW is linear (just like REC709) the right way to expose and get a better signal-to-noise ratio is to set the 90% white 2-3 stops higher then 100IRE?

    Best regards,

    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg01-05-2015

      Hello Guy, glad you enjoyed the Ultimate Exposure Guide and thanks for your support. RAW is data right off the sensor before it is de-bayered and stored into a color space using a gamma curve and furthermore compressed with a codec. REC709 is a color space and nothing more. Getting a better signal-to-noise can be done by overexposing but for every stop you overexpose you lose one at the top end of the curve. So if you do this, you need to watch your highlights more. It’s a trade off. I like using Neat Video Noise Reduction software to get usable dynamic range back from the lower end of the dynamic range curve.

  10. Is3Is301-15-2015


    How is this guide fit to F3 slog?
    Worth looking it out?


    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg01-15-2015

      Hi Luke, thanks for stopping by. The main difference to keep in mind with slog1 from the F3 is that its dynamic range is 800% versus 1300% as found on the newer slog2 and slog3 gamma curves. I’d say everything else in the guide is still very applicable in terms of concepts and information. If you decide to download the guide and get stuck with anything later I’d be happy to help clarify it. I’ve owned and shot with the Sony F3 for many years prior to moving over to the F55.


  11. Mark WeissMark Weiss06-10-2015

    Based upon the S-Log curves that I read about in Sony’s whitepaper, it appears that S-Log 2 makes full use of the digital grey steps, whereas S-Log 3 is designed to encompass 16 f-stops and a 14-stop sensor will only use 2/3 of the bits.

    Many shooters claim S-Log 3 is ‘noisy’. I think that this is because they are capturing on the HDMI port which is 8-bit. In this case, you have only about 140 grey levels from this sensor, and noise granularity will be amplified.

    Shooting in S-Log 2 covers almost the full 14 stops (13.5 I recall was the exact number) and uses the 8-bit range to the fullest on 8-bit recording devices. Of course, if you’re one of the lucky folks with the latest NLE that can import XAVC without a ‘generic error’, then you can enjoy 10-bit recording and probably S-Log 3 looks cleaner for you.

  12. KevinKevin01-10-2017

    Would your guides also apply to the Sony A7S? Which one might be the best or closest to it?

    • DennisDennis01-10-2017

      The FS5 guide is probably your best bet, the main difference from guide to guide are the mentioning of codecs and sometimes specific modes of the camera – but all in all the aspects on exposure on cine & slog gammas are identical. Cheers!

  13. KevinKevin01-11-2017

    Ok, great. Will get me a copy then.

Leave a Reply