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V-Log For The Lumix GH4 Has Officially Been Released For An Upgrade Price Of $99

As rumored, Panasonic finally announced the availability of V-Log for GH4 users as a paid upgrade today. For $99 current GH4 owners will be able to download and install an activation code that will allow them to use the new picture profile on their cameras.

Additionally, we now know that there will in fact be a GH4R camera that will come with V-Log installed, however that will not be available in North America, only Europe.

Below are the official V-Log specs from Panasonic which are on par with what many of us have been expecting:

  • 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

If you’re looking to upgrade, you can do so through B & H by clicking the link below:

V-Log-Now-On-Lumix-GH4

V-Log L Function Activation Code – $99 at B & H

Personally, I’m happy to know that Panasonic has created a reasonable upgrade path for current GH4 shooters. If they had simply released an update to the GH4 with V-Log pre-installed, but didn’t allow users to upgrade via firmware that would be a huge letdown. That said, it would have been even better if the upgrade wasn’t a paid one, but as I mentioned in a previous post I do understand that a lot of development time and money likely went into V-Log integration, and the price does seem reasonable.

V-Log-Released-For-GH4

Here is Panasonic’s official statement on the release:

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.

More on this soon as I have a chance to shoot with it…

What do you GH4 shooters out there think? Will you be upgrading, or is the price not worth it for you?

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About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

24 Comments

  • Bruce
    September 1, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    I’ll get the upgrade.

    Looks like the GH4R is available only in Europe with the VLOG installed and unlimited 4K recording – https://twitter.com/LumixUSA/status/638718549398290432

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      September 5, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      I think many pro shooters will. If you use the camera day in and day out, $99 really isn’t too bad.

      Reply
  • Jason
    September 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I already bought my kit this morning from panasonic and 99 bucks to 2 extra stops of DR is nothing. I think the people complaining are just not understanding the value of this update. This is a big deal for guys like me who want to keep my gh4 alive and shooting well…lol I think panasonic did great by releasing this I just wished it was several months ago is my only complaint. Also hope that ships in mid September not the end 🙂

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      September 5, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      I totally hear you Jason. As I mentioned in another comment, I think $99 is reasonable… I only wish Panasonic was more transparent about the whole process earlier on, although it’s nice to see they came through finally.

      Reply
  • Christian
    September 1, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Quite some time ago, a film / video production was n t a one man orchestra. And buying a camera was like buying a car, really expensive and it lasted for long time, and was still after some years quite state of the art (3ccd etc. not to mention the time before that..:)
    Then big changes came faster after saying goodby to tapes (and capturing…:)
    Now over the last years, in which I made my living producing high end digital video content with my company, each and every year enough revolutions were made to sell the one year old model and buy a new camera because it was so much more advanced (GH1-4).
    To get the feeling now that this time it might be the fist time in years, when i ll stay using a camera for more than a year without dropping it directly for the next model exites me.
    At least in a way, in which I think it should be normal to not buy a new camera every year.
    This is a time of tecnoligical revolution in digital imaging which will be legendary.
    And besides the price for the update to Vlog, which I think is completely fair for people like me who earn money with this camera, the decision to not bring out a GH5 in 2015 and keep the GH4 for a year getting the most out of its sensor via post release developement and firmware update is a good step regarding sustainability.
    That said, yes, of course and like everybody else reading this, I also can’t wait to see what Sony ll throw into the game later this month 🙂 I really love the GH4 and will probably stay using it with the great voigtlaenders but maybe the camera to last 2-3 years will have internal 4kp60, log, never again any low light noise problems,240fps fhd, full frame and an awsome in-body-stabilisation…
    we ve became such tec-junkies…:)

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      September 5, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Great points Christian! Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  • Illya Friedman
    September 3, 2015 at 5:02 am

    Hot Rod Cameras is doing a special through Labor Day on the V-Log upgrade. If you purchase a new GH4 from HRC, you can add the V-Log upgrade for 1/2 price. To get the deal now you have to send a message to them on their Facebook page, before the discount goes live on the site this weekend.

    Reply
  • Harold
    September 4, 2015 at 2:59 am

    I understand the need/desire for the very flat image that VLOG-L(light) will provide when color grading my GH4 footage, but how do LUTs figure into this? I’m a hobbyist only and realize that if I have to ask then I probably don’t need VLOG, but I guess I don’t get the relationship between a flat VLOG image and look up tables. Anyone?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      September 5, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      A LUT will essentially get your flat image to look more like Cine-V (or similar) straight out of the camera. It’s an easy way to get your flat footage to look semi-graded with a single click… But you still are able to retain the highlight/shadow detail and extra dynamic range of the log format. So essentially, it’s a best of both worlds way to work.

      Reply
  • Harold
    September 5, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks for the reply. Should I think of LUTs as sort of like Red Giant’s Looks or is that not an app comparison? Bring my flat VLOG-L footage into Premiere and drop a LUT or a LOOK onto it. Are they the same? Thanks for the education on this.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      September 14, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      Hi Harold,

      Great question. A LUT and a preset color look are very similar in the sense that they both offer a quick way to adjust the color of your image. In fact, most preset color looks in various software platforms are in fact LUTs, but they may not serve the purpose to interpreting the differences in color space. In other words, let’s say you shoot in V-log… You would first want to use a specific LUT to translate the color space from log to Rec 709 (which will look more contrasty and saturated). You would then use a separate LUT or preset to add a creative look to your footage.

      Hope this helps to clarify!

      Reply
  • Dan
    September 15, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    I share some of Harold’s questions as well. Do you “need” to use a LUT to grade log footage in order to get a good result, or is a LUT just a fast way to get your footage close to what you want and then tweak from there? For example, could you just drop a three-way or fast color corrector onto your footage in Premiere for some simple color correction, or is that a bad idea?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      October 2, 2015 at 12:22 am

      Hi Dan – You are correct in that the LUT is basically a shortcut. You can simply add your own contrast/saturation adjustment to your footage to get it looking right, but the LUT will offer a quick and consistent way of getting there. The 3 way color corrector idea you mentioned will work too, however the LUT will likely give you better results across a wide variety of footage since it’s been specifically created for the color science of your camera.

      Reply
  • Flaaandeeers
    October 22, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Hi Noam,
    I’ve been testing GH4 with VLog internally and getting mixed results as most of the users. Even when I love the color rendition and the additional dynamic range, 8 bit 420 is not ideal to grade from a flat profile like Vlog.

    I’m analyzing the external recorder option, but can’t really spend $1.3k for the Assassin…
    Do you think that a cheap 1080p ProRes recorder like the Ninja 2/Star or maybe Blade/BMD VA would provide better results than recording 4k (CineD) internally?
    I’d use it mostly for guerrilla filmmaking / low-budget narrative-documentary projects.

    Thanks in advance and as usual for your help.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      October 28, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      I do think that the external recorder would help to some degree, but the question is really how much it will help. I am working on a V-Log update and will try to test it out on a shogun or 7Q+ in the near future to give you some more detailed feedback. Certainly though the Ninja star 2 is a great option – I love that device!

      Reply
  • Flaaandeeers
    October 30, 2015 at 2:43 am

    Thanks Noam.
    I’ve been thinking of getting rid of the GH4 and all my m43 glass in order to go for a larger format hybrid camera that would let me shoot nicer stills and good FullHD video with nicer colors and dynamic range.
    Not really IN LOVE with the GH4 as I’ve been with my GH2 back in the days… I waited for VLog but nothing changed really.
    There is something regarding noise, color, sensor size, highlight rolloff, dynamic range… that does not please me and I’d rather go for better colors in a decently sharp 1080p.
    Atomos Ninja will also be an option for the GH4 if I decide to keep it or the one to come.

    Thanks again as usual. Useful insights and inspirational work here!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 12, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Interesting to hear as I have gone through the same ups and downs with the Lumix GH line. I’ve never found any Lumix camera to be as “filmic” for lack of a better term, than the GH2. Going to post an article soon about why I sold my GH4… Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  • Jeremy van Bedijk
    December 1, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Noam!

    I was just chatting with someone from Panasonic about the V-log. It’s not for sale anywhere outside of the US and if I ship it to a friend in the US who then gives me the key, it might still not work with my camera in Europe. You must fully understand how much this upgrade is wanted by us, by me. When and how can we get the V-log upgrade in Europe? I live in the Netherlands.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      December 8, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      That’s too bad Jeremy, and unfortunately that’s not something I know about. Hopefully they will come around as it seems silly not to offer the same functionality in Europe… After all it is the same camera!

      Reply
  • Austin
    February 10, 2016 at 3:51 am

    Hi Noam,
    It seems like you have upgraded your camera selection here since this post, but do you have any notes on the VLOG for the GH4? Is it still worth the buy, even if you don’t output to an external monitor? Will it make the 8 bit footage compressed internally better, or will it still grade the same as before? Also, if you do record the VLOG internally through the camera, do you think you could still get away with applying a LOG Lut like an osiris, or would it still be better to use a Rec 709? Thanks Noam

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 11, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Hey Austin – Great questions. I think I would personally still invest in V-Log even if I was recording everything internally. As long as you’re aware of the potential banding issues and can work around them, you should be fine. And yes, I do think you’ll still squeeze out a bit more DR and therefore the image will be more grade-able in the edit suite. I haven’t used the osiris LUT, but you can certainly use any LUT on this footage, but for LUTs that aren’t conversion based (let’s say log to Rec. 709), you will want to add them separately after you have brought your footage into Rec. 709 color space.

      Reply
      • Shrigg
        March 8, 2016 at 9:46 pm

        Noam do you know of any GH4 VLOG banding workarounds you can point me to? Thanks

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          March 10, 2016 at 6:13 pm

          Not off the top of my head, but I am sure if you work with an external recorder (such as a shogun), you will have much better results.

          Reply

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