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This is my personal travel, photography, cinematography and adventure related blog. Here I share my visual experiences coupled with interesting articles from my trips and photography outings

Grading DJI Mavic footage in Davinci Resolve 14 using LUT

I am going to demonstrate grading DJI Mavic footage in Davinci Resolve 14. The tutorial will be split into two parts. In this part, I will be focusing on grading DJI Mavic footage using built-in LUT. In the following tutorial, I will grade the footage from scratch without using LUT. 

Why Davinci Resolve?

I use Davinci Resolve for my work. It is great and it is also free. Although I am using version 14 in this particular case, everything I do is available in earlier versions as well. Also, version 14 is only beta at this stage, so I experienced some crashes. I also used Davinci Resolve to put this tutorial together and it gave me a little headache with the audio. But I am pretty sure Blackmagic Design, will iron out any kinks in the final version. I highly recommend trying it out. It is definitely a learning curve but software is extremely powerful. Color grading was always one of the best in business. Editing part caught up with competitors and in version 14 the audio capabilities received a significant boost.

DJI Mavic camera settings

I shot this footage in 4K D-Log picture profile, which is unfortunately not ideal due to low 60Mbit/s bit rate. I am an Android user and Art profile is not available to me. The closest second choice would be D-Cinelike and it some cases it would probably be a better option. However, I thought this sunset scene could benefit from D-Log, so that was my choice.

I set the sharpness to +1.  With sharpness set to 0 or anything below, the noise reduction algorithm kicks in. Unfortunately, it is so aggressive, that it smudges lots of high-frequency detail into an ugly "muddy" image.  

I set the contrast and saturation to -2. It worked for me pretty well. It has enough data for a slight boost in the grading. 

Auto white balance is always a bad idea so I set mine to 5600K. I kept the ISO at 100. I always do whenever it is possible. The Mavic's sensor is way too small to have a reasonable ISO performance.

For this shot, I used a NiSi ND filter on the camera. I am not really sure but I believe I used 8 stop ND filter to keep the shutter speed as close to 1/50 s as possible.

Hope you like the tutorial and I appreciate any comments.