Panasonic GH4 gets V-log L Upgrade Option For $99

September 1, 20152 Comments

V log Upgrade

The wait is over! GH4 now has a paid upgrade for V-Log L. Since NAB we have heard it was coming but didn’t know if it would be free or paid. Now for $99.95 you can have it. Panasonic states the GH4 with V-Log L gives you 2 more stops of dynamic range taking it to 12 total stops. The good news is it doesn’t require you to send in you r camera. You purchase a activation key and download the the Ver 2.2 firmware from the Global Joint Update Service. Export the cameras serial number to a SD memory card then upload it to the designated URL. Panasonic servers then issue individual activation code. Sounds fairly simple. I think 😀

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Adds V-Log L Gamma Profile to GH4
  • Wide Dynamic Range of up to 12 Stops
  • Improved Color Matching with Varicam
  • Similar Characteristics to Cineon
  • Same LUT and Curve as Standard V-Log

In response to the demand from the film production market, log video recording (V-Log L) is now available for the LUMIX GH4, and offers exceptional flexibility as well as wider dynamic range for color grading in post-production process. V-Log / V-Log L were developed to feature similar characteristics to Cineon, which is a characteristic curve for film digitalization. Taking full advantage of Four Thirds sensor, V-Log L boasts a log characteristic with 12 stops. Both V-Log and V-Log L have the same characteristic curve, and LUT (Look Up Table) can be utilized.

V Log L

Maximize the dynamic range of the Lumix DMC-GH4 with this V-Log L Function Activation Code from Panasonic. This code allows you to easily install the V-Log L gamma onto the camera, giving you a flat profile that provides a wide dynamic range of up to 12 stops, improving upon the 10 stops previously attainable with the GH4. The addition of this gamma also allows users to better match color with existing Varicam systems that feature standard V-Log, as both profiles utilize the same characteristic curve and LUT. Additionally, the profile has been developed to have similar characteristics of Cineon, which is used for film digitization.

Updating your camera is a stepped process similar to updating your firmware; although, you will need this activation code along with your camera’s serial code to generate an upgrade key from Panasonic’s Update Portal.

I think for $100 it’s worth getting the update. I’ll be buying it as soon as it’s available To preorder the update CLICK HERE

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Here is a step by step video showing the instal procedure of V-Log L. It’s a little slow but does show you the whole procedure.

A new version of the GH4 has also been announced called the GH4R, It includes V-Log and has the recording time limit removed. The GH4R will not be sold in the US, it will be sold only in Europe. This also means that buyers in Europe will have to pay a higher VAT tax too since the record limit put the GH4 in a stills camera bracket now it’s in the higher VAT bracket as a video camera. It’s a strange tax system.

It would be nice if Panasonic offered some LUT’s to go with the V-Log L. I think many users are going to buy this and not really know how to grade the very flat image and could get frustrated. It’s not as simple as adding saturation and a S-curve. The Varicam LUT’s will probably work well and I have used the Arri Alexa LUT in Premiere Pro CC 2015 and it looked pretty good. Se my post on grading V-Log L HERE.

Finally. I’m not a fan of the noise in the GH4. It looks bad at 1600 ISO in the shadows. Many are fine with it but it bugs me how it dances around. I prefer a grain type noise that looks more organic. The GH4 is very digital.  With less in camera processing the noise could be worse in V-Log L. I say could because I need to test this and hopefully it’s not the case. When shooting log you need to get the proper exposer and all cameras act differently with Log profiles. So with this new gamma it changes the camera significantly and we need to learn how to shoot with it again. To really get the most from V-Lo L I would use a external recorder to get the most out of it. 8 bit 4:2:0 color space and H.264 codec isn’t all that great for color grading. It falls apart early when you push it around. 4:2:2 10 bit is much better and that is what you get with ProRes from an external recorder. Something to think about. Fun stuff!

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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (2)

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  1. Sandy says:

    yeah, everyone on Facebook are all annoyed about having to spend $99 for this upgrade and having to wait more time, just a bunch of winers (word changed for public viewing).

    Thanks for your update and eager to see your review, too.

  2. jason says:

    Already purchased mine this morning from Panasonic so I hope they keep to the schedule of shipping mid Sep. On BH they say end of September so not sure if it has to go to them and then out to customers. I am hoping you will shoot with it and let us know what you think the best settings are for that profile.

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