For fast turn around work where footage won’t have a chance to go through the post production process of being color graded, F5/F55/FS7 shooters have the option of baking in a user uploadable 3D LUT to the camera – or using one of four Sony 3D LUT presets (called LOOKS) built right into the camera.
Amongst the built-in LUTs are LC-709A which I wrote about in a previous article “F55 Matches ARRI Alexa’s Color” that mimics the REC709 mode of the ARRI Alexa for some very pleasing results. One catch about baking in 3D LUTs however is that you must shoot in the CineEI mode where there is no option for custom white balance. Instead you must chose one of the three color temperature presets; 3200k, 4300k, or 5500k.
Working with three WB presets might not always be a problem but for shoots where you might be dealing with very specific color temperatures or even mixed color temperatures and the footage will not be going through extensive post, having only three WB presets can be problematic.
For that reason the Hypergammas (HG7 and HG8) are still my go to gamma curve when I shoot in the Custom Mode on my F55. One thing some might not realize is that on the F5/F55 & FS7 cameras, HG7 and HG8 have the same dynamic range as slog did on the Sony PMW-F3 (800%) giving you around 12 stops of dynamic range so you are still getting an incredible amount of dynamic range without having to use Slog.
Seen in the featured image above is a frame grab from a recent shoot on the F55 in custom mode with the camera set to 2000ISO. The image is more or less straight out of the camera with only a small adjustment made to improve the blacks and a small bump on the mid-tones. I think it turned out quite nice and looks great overall.
Here is video clip with slightly more grading using DaVinci Resolve:
As for differences between HG7 and HG8, below is a Hypergamma Chart taken from my Ultimate Exposure Guide. I tend to use HG7 for lower light situations or scenes with low-key lighting and HG8 for brighter scenes or sunny days.