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Director of Photography sees sensors as film stocks and canvases

Updated: Feb 24

Most digital cinema and still cameras sensors in 2024 are excellent in gathering colour information. With patience, a colourist or a retoucher can certainly get you the look you want in post production. However, out of the box, the colour science of each camera tilts toward certain characters.

Out of the box, Canon colour science tints red and magenta. Sony FX/A, Black magic and Fuji tints green. RED tints blue. Panasonic / Lumix tints yellow. Leica and DJI tints purple. One of the many reasons why ARRI, Panavision, Sony CineAlta, Hasselblad or Phase one colour science are preferred in cost intensive productions is their out of the box image tints toward neutral. Over time, colourist / retoucher hours adds up. Yes, you can throw a LUT on your monitor. But if cost of the equipment is a fraction of the cost of talents / the locations and the cost of distribution rides on a tight deadline, producers are happy to pay a premium for every tiny margin of advantages they can afford or pick whichever camera deliver footage closest to the desired look.


Canon excels in colourful advertising and youthful blushes. It is easier on the eyes when you want to see a bit of flush in complexion. It is great with food too. Think pizza, chilli and steak.

Sony FX/A and Fuji (Green) Panasonic / Lumix (Yellow) can smooth or even out warmer skins, particularly with fluorescent ambient lighting.

RED footage has been perfect for aerial and b-roll when we were after a vibrant blue sky or an ocean.

Leica and DJI saturates the magic hour, adding a postcard quality to breathtaking sceneries.

Of course, you can colour grade the footage or photos from each one of these camera to match another, to a certain extend, until they break.

Yet if a director of photography can get a look out of the box. Why delay our creative choices?


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