Technical Solutions | Z 9 TIPS

LUTs: A Primer

A "LUT", or "lookup table", is an array of preselected values used in movie color-correction to map colors from the original input footage to the desired colors in the final output. Color correction is performed by looking up input colors and assigning them new RGB values based on the data in the table.

A lookup table that treats each of the red, green, and blue channels separately is a "1D LUT", which cannot be used to correct saturation or hue. Such corrections require a "3D LUT", in which each combined RGB value maps to a single combined value in the table.

Using LUTs with N‑Log

Designed to take full advantage of sensor dynamic range, Nikon's unique "N-Log" logarithmic gamma curve offers excellent balance between highlights and shadows and is optimized for 10-bit movie recording. Information on filming N‑Log footage can be found in the Z 9 Reference Guide available from the Nikon Download Center.

Nikon's N-Log 3D LUT is specifically designed for color grading N-Log footage. Although the N-Log gamma curve captures a wide range of tones, the raw footage will seem to lack contrast. The 3D LUT can be applied post-production for pictures that display beautifully on monitors that support Rec. 709.

To color grade N‑Log footage using the N‑Log 3D LUT, you will need third-party movie editing software. This guide shows how to apply the N‑Log 3D LUT using Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve 17.

Compatible Applications

In addition to DaVinci Resolve, the following applications can be used with the N‑Log 3D LUT:

  • Adobe: Premiere Pro
  • Apple: Final Cut Pro X

Note that Nikon neither endorses this software nor guarantees its operation.

Contact the publishers for information on using these applications.