Long-time lurker, seasoned semi-pro FCPX user. I have worked professionally with video editing and shooting in the past, not currently my primary job. I do pro-bono work for non-profits and do the occasional paid work. I have a Sony FS700 with external RAW record and very soon a Sony A7IV for photo and 2nd video camera.
I want to get a software to handle LUT and Color workflow better. Shooting in SLOG2 on the FS700 has been good but challenging as modern LUTs don't really account for the FS700 SGAMUT, and not being able to export a LUT from FCPX means that I can't make a custom grade and move it or use it efficiently. With the acquisition of the A7IV, I want to be able to color match the cameras well. Goal would be to use modern LUTs with A7IV footage, build a color grade to match my FS700 to that, and be able to export the LUT, re-use, etc.
I'm looking at Black Friday deals and Color Finale 2, Cinema Grade, and Film Convert Nitrate are all around $95USD over the next few days. I'm thinking that I will pick up one and they all look pretty good. Looking over posts here and research I've done, I'm leaning toward Color Finale 2. I like what I see about the LUT workflow, how they have an automation with XRite chart, and clear M1 support. Film Convert Nitrate is the one that I haven't heard much feedback on online. I'm partly interested because it's older (and would have compatibility with FS700 RAW), it has the LUT export that I'm looking for, has grain and film settings, and Philip Bloom uses it and I've been following him forever. Cinema Grade seems like it has a quick workflow and clicking-in-the-viewer support seems really nice.
If I had to just pull the trigger on one, I think I would do Color Finale 2, but I'm wondering if anyone has any experience or opinions. I'm getting demos now for CF2 and FilmConvert, but I don't know how full-featured they are gonna be, and I value other experienced opinions a lot.
Thanks for any advice and Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating!
I use both, CF on most every project & FC when I want to tweak things into unfamiliar territory. While CF expands beyond FCPs basic routine correction FilmConvert puts the fun back into grading even a dry and unremarkable assignment.
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Top clip ColorFinale. Bot is FilmConvert. Each graded within its own plugin without any underlying adjustments in FCP to the clip itself. FC gives the option to select a film stock and introduce various grain based on mm of the film. I find adding grain mutes the sharpness of digital and introduces a form of depth to the image.