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V-Log May Never Come To The Lumix GH4, But Their New Firmware Update Looks Excellent!

Another quick update from the NAB showroom floor –

I just finished chatting with a rep from Panasonic who had a number of Lumix GH4’s rigged up with anamorphic lenses, running the highly sought after V-Log cinema profile. For those of you that don’t know, V-Log is essentially a very flat picture profile that may become available for the GH4 at some point via a firmware update. It delivers a beautiful log-style image similar to C-Log or S-log on other cinema cameras, and could theoretically generate images that are more gradable than what you might get with Cine-D (the flattest GH4 setting currently)… Not to mention, V-Log will likely improve dynamic range by some extent.

Naturally, I asked the Panasonic rep if V-Log would be made available soon, but was surprised to hear that it may never be made available. According to the rep, it is still being beta tested and if it is made available it would be later this year, but there are no guarantees. I can only speculate as to why they don’t want to release it at this point, but might guess that the V-Log setting introduces too much shadow noise or other unfavorable artifacts that you might expect with such a flat profile. Hopefully whatever kinks may exist at the moment get fixed so all of us GH4 owners can start using this amazing setting.

V-Log-GH4

It is also possible that if V-log isn’t made available until very late in the year, Panasonic may opt to roll it out with their Lumix GH5 as opposed to a firmware update for the GH4.

I would say that there is certainly a chance that V-Log may become available for GH4 users this year, but personally I’m not holding my breath.

That said though, the new firmware update announced today by Panasonic (version 2.2) looks quite good. Here is the info from their press release:

Panasonic announced the release of a much anticipated firmware update Ver.2.2 for the award winning LUMIX GH4. This new firmware enables two new features, most notably the ability to record anamorphic video content.

Anamorphic lenses are used to create a cinemascope aspect such as 2.39:1 or 2.35:1. Panasonic discovered that cinematographers had been experimenting with the 4K PHOTO mode 4:3 aspect ratio in the LUMIX GH4 and vintage anamorphic cine lenses to achieve the classic Hollywood look of anamorphic film capture. Unlike complex digital post processing needed to achieve the look, many of the background distortion and light flare effects that became so popular with anamorphic film capture can now be achieved optically in the LUMIX GH4.

Thanks in part to its Micro Four Thirds format and 4K recording ability, firmware Ver.2.2 for the LUMIX GH4 enables an Anamorphic (4:3) Mode capable of recording video in 3328 x 2496 pixel (equivalent to approx. 8.3-megapixel) resolution at a frame rate of either 23.98, 24, 25 or 29.97 fps. With an anamorphic lens such as 2x*1 you can capture and un-squeeze a 3356×2496 image in post-production. In addition, 4:2:2 / 10 bit HDMI output is also available*2.

A further enhancement of the new firmware is the addition of a very high shutter speed of 1/16,000 sec. when using its electronic shutter mode.

Anamorphic shooters will be particularly impressed by this update as the GH4 will now have the ability to shoot at 3328 x 2496. This is incredible for DPs that love the look of anamorphic lenses, but don’t necessarily want to use the GH4’s 4K Photo Mode (which also allows for anamorphic shooting) as 23.98 and 24 frames per second modes were not previously available.

That’s about it for now…

Check back soon for more news from NAB! Also follow me on Twitter and Instagram for additional updates!

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!

19 Comments

  • […] a V-Log color profile, which will allow for more dynamic range and increased flexibility in post. At this point, I’m not sure if we’ll ever see V-Log made available for the GH4 via firmware, but it’s pretty much a given that it will be made available on the GH5. V-Log in itself would […]

    Reply
  • Pablo
    July 27, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Fortunately the sony a7rII is here so we can sell now our gh4s that never got the Vlog.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      July 28, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      Or wait for the GH5… It’s really too bad there’s no V-log yet either way, as I was hoping the info I got at NAB (about it not coming) was wrong. Looks like it was right!

      Reply
  • Julian O
    May 12, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    It doesn’t make sense for them to hold out on V LOG. Manufacture more Cameras? or sell more GH4’s, at less cost, with the introduction of V Log? What more can than Jam pack into the next GH camera, anyway? 4:2:2, 4:4:4, RAW, 6K? I don’t think so. Not yet. Makes sense to milk the GH4. It’s hard to believe that it’s not going to be released. Might not be for free and that’s okay.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 17, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      Agreed. If it’s a paid upgrade that is somewhat understandable, but if they just don’t release it at all that would be a bit insane. Although, the GH5 can’t be too far away at this point either… Another 3 – 5 months and I’m sure we’ll have an announcement.

      Reply
  • Jef Gibbons
    April 14, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    I can’t believe we still can’t punch in to focus while recording… This is the one missing feature that is so disappointing. I was definitely hoping for something along those lines with a firmware update. V-Log would have been great too… as would an interchangeable lens version of the GH4 with XLR and ND, but alas…!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 15, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      I would love that punch in ability as well… Hopefully we don’t need to wait for the GH5 for it though.

      Reply
    • Travis Kelleher
      April 23, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Having focus assist while recording would be an awesome addition.
      I wonder if there is some technical reason they haven’t implemented it yet, otherwise they’re just being damn rude. I think most users would rather some actual utility features like that over anamorphic.

      It would be nice if each mode had independent ISO, shutter and aperture settings.

      I’m constantly switching from creative movie mode (4K), over to another option if I want to take a full res photo. When switching modes, settings have to be changed as well. For me, this is a real pain if I’m in a situation where I’m shooting photos and video.

      Reply
      • Noam Kroll
        April 24, 2015 at 7:15 pm

        Hey Travis – I am waiting for focus assist too and desperately could use it on a lot of my shoots.

        You bring up a lot of other great points here… I hope someone from Panasonic is listening!

        Reply
  • Matt
    April 14, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    So disappointed about V-LOG not being released. The footage that I’ve seen over the past few days (by Illya and The Camera Store) is very convincing indeed. It would be such a huge cherry on top of the GH4 cake.

    I’m considering starting a petition to Panasonic. Unless you fancy doing it Noam!?!

    Reply
  • Tim Sewell
    April 14, 2015 at 11:08 am

    On a couple of blogs the guys who have shot tests with the beta V-Log firmware are strongly of the opinion that Panasonic wouldn’t have encouraged them to publish tests unless it was definitely going to be available at some point – so hope not lost yet!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 15, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Good to know! Thanks a lot Tim.

      Reply
      • Tim Sewell
        April 15, 2015 at 8:55 pm

        So Erik Naso is now reporting that he’s been told it is coming, but it may be a paid-for update. That’s kind of shitty – if Sony can give users S-Log I fail to see how Panasonic can have the chutzpah to ask for money for something that really, given the video-centric nature of the GH4, should have been available out of the box.

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          April 15, 2015 at 10:18 pm

          Completely agree with you. A paid firmware update would be a bit of a slap in the face, especially assuming that new GH4’s will likely come with it installed if that’s the case. I understand paid firmware updates on expensive cameras, but for a DSLM in the $1500 range it is sort of unheard of.

          Reply
  • Danny
    April 14, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Oh well, I still love my GH4 and all its greatness. BUT all these videos on youtube on showing reviews and previews of the V-Log, Hopefully Panasonic gives us a V-Log for the GH4, would be cool! If not, its still an awesome camera. I plan on taking it to the Amazon later this year. I already took it to the Philippines and did an awesome job in the hot and humid weather.

    Reply

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