First Promo Shoot with GH4 V Log L in 10bit ProRes. Is V LOG L Worth $99?

September 30, 201510 Comments

I decided to go ahead and shoot a promo with the new V Log L but not with the internal codec. Instead I wanted to get 10bit out to the Odyssey 7Q+ since the GH4 is capable of outputting 10bit I might as well take advantage of it especially when you have a LOG gamma to grade in post. Some people including myself are having issues with with chroma smearing or magenta patches especially when grading in Premiere Pro CC 2015. Luckily I didn’t notice this issue on this shoot. I did get some moire on a jacket but not with talent in this spot. I’ve moved most of my editing to DaVinci Resolve 12 now and the Color page is fantastic. Again I didn’t get strange chroma issues on this shoot.

Promo_setup

This was a pretty straight forward shoot. I had three anchors doing lines to camera. I used my normal setup bouncing the sun and shading with an overhead scrim.

Promo_setup 2

Shooting log can be tricky and getting exposure and focus is hard when the image is this flat. The Odyssey 7Q+ to the rescue! I used the Panasonic LUT and it looks great. Focus was easy and the on board tools made getting exposure easy. My biggest problem was shading the 7Q+ in the bight sun. I need a long hood. Still looking into that. Side note Convergent Design has a new matte screen protector. I’m getting one.

Promo_7Q+ LUT

The picture above is with the Panasonic LUT on the 7Q+ The waveform is such a great tool on the 7Q+. All the tools are really great. I was shooting for around 65 to 70 IRE on the skin tones. This seemed to work well in post. A little over but helps with noise control.

VLOG TEST.KUSI.Still004

This image is a UHD frame grab. It’s BIG!

The GH4 base ISO is 400 with V LOG L. I used an Hoya PRO ND filter. Not a variable. Those are fine for static stuff but never on people. Makes the skin look strange.

Promo_Histogram issue

I was using the FREE version since my paid one hadn’t arrived you. The histogram isn’t working right on this release and I’m not sure if the new 2.4 firmware fixed this issue. I’ll let you know after it arrives. As you can see on the camera it’s almost 2 stops higher than what the 7Q+ is reading. I trust the 7Q+ tools.

Resolve Grade KushiPost was pretty easy since the spot is fairly simple. I’m fairly new to Resolve still. Learning as I go, but wow! It’s a grading machine!!! I did the usually. Grade the image and add saturation back. Did a mask to brighten the face and added a nice soft vignette. Even played with the Qualifier tools to adjust the skin tone to my liking. Not that was bad. It looked pretty good, but I always tweak the image.

So is the GH4 V LOG L worth $100? I’m not sure. I’m still trying to figure that one out. The skin tone and overall color when graded looks better than any profile I have tried. I like the Natural preset the most. I like the image I got in 10bit. but that requires the use of a recorder. Is 8bit good enough? Maybe. I did shoot a little with the internal codec and it looked pretty good. I think you need to pay close attention to exposer and if you don’t have a monitor this could be an issue especially knowing the histogram isn’t working right. The GH4 to me is a noisy little camera and higher ISO can get ugly so keep that in mind. Al in all I have I feel this promo turned out pretty good. I learned a lot too so you cant beat that! Be careful with LUTs in post. They can add to the problem. I hope Panasonic will release a LUT for the GH4 and V LOG L instead of recommending the Varicam version. It really doesn’t work very well. I have seen a lot of people selling LUTS these days too so that might be a good way to get started in grading the image. My paid version should arrive any day now so we shall see if it’s acts different than the back door FREE release.

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Filed in: 4KBlackmagic DesignConvergent DesignDaVinci ResolveFeatured PostGH4Micro Four Third LensesMicro Four ThirdsMirrorlessPanasonicPost ProductionProduction
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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 (10)

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  1. marklondon says:

    Erik,

    I’ve used the VLOG update on 3 shoots already.
    My feeling is that if you’ve got plenty of light, its pretty fantastic. I actually drop the Alexa Log LUT in Lumetri on it – bingo. I mainly shoot people and the skin tones are fantastic.
    Re your variable ND issue – I use the SLR Magic one, and get stellar results skin tone wise.
    So, is it worth $99? I think as long as you feed it plenty of light you’re getting a phenomenal new camera.

    • jonpais says:

      what exactly do you mean by plenty of light? that it’s only good in bright sunshine? just asking…

      • marklondon says:

        Either bright sunshine or light where you are getting @base f5.6+.
        I find that it accentuates the poor light performance of the GH4, (you get incredible noise) but again, if you have a ton of light it looks amazing.

  2. jonpais says:

    Looks great! Excellent skin tones, too.

  3. george says:

    Nice work!

    Concerning the differences in the histogram (gh4 and odyssey)…Maybe that you had a LUT enabled on the odyssey had an impact ? Did you try and see if there any variation in the histogram ,without having a LUT enabled?

  4. The VLOG shots look great! Thanks for sharing your experience and process with the community!

    I was wondering what type of sun diffuser you used for those shots with the talent. It looks like a C-stand and some sort of rectangular diffuser. I’m always shooting interviews outdoors and I’d love to know how to diffuse them better.

    Thanks again!

    • Erik Naso says:

      I use a couple different diffusers but the technique is the same. In this shot I have a Sunbounce Sun Swatter on a a stand and bouncing light with a Matthews bounce board. Best when the sun is lower and behind talent. This was more from the side so the diffuser helps a lot. I also cheat and put talent in the shade so I don’t have to set up the diffuser. 😀

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