Why CineMatch is essential for accurate camera-matching
The “look” of a camera has two ingredients – the light-sensing characteristics of the sensor, and the color science created by the camera manufacturer.
The color science is tailored to the performance of the sensor, and will only reproduce the correct colors when paired with the right sensor.
When you add a generic color space transform to convert, for example, Sony footage to Canon’s color science, all you’re doing is applying the color science from one camera to a sensor it wasn’t designed for.
In this example, Color Space Transform only contains a basic S-Log3 / S-Gamut3 input, and a Canon Cinema Gamut / Canon Log 3 output. It doesn’t account for the differences between a Sony VENICE and an FX3, or a Canon C500 and the Canon EOS R5, despite those cameras having very different sensors.
CSTs will mathematically place the color values within the color space selected, so the controls in your color grading tool will work correctly, but it doesn’t match your footage.
If you want to match cameras accurately and spend less time making primary corrections, you need to match your footage at the sensor level first.
How CineMatch works
With CineMatch, we profile each camera individually under identical shooting conditions, so when a camera records a color, we know exactly how every other sensor reproduced that same color.
CineMatch then performs a sensor match, adjusting the data recorded from the scene to how the target camera would have recorded that scene – almost as if you had that camera on set with you.
After adjusting the colors recorded by the sensor so they align, we reapply the target camera’s color science, so the gamma/gamut transform now matches the sensor output that it was designed for.
The end result is a more accurate match between your source and target camera footage, and less time required to manually correct your images.