The 4K Anamorphic and V-Log L modes are highly demanded and long-awaited features for the majority of the GH4 shooters, especially since the NAB announcement of the upcoming 2.2 firmware update that should be released any moment now. Firmware update v.2.2 will enable Anamorphic (4:3) Mode allowing for 4K video capture in 3328 x 2496 pixel resotution at a frame rate of either 23.98, 24, 25 or 29.97 fps. There also will be an option to record the anamorphic signal in 10bit 422 via HDMI as well as 24p. Up until now, 4K anamorphic was limited to 30p and only as a part of the photo modes, but this time, the feature is moving to the proper video modes. Yesterday, Panasonic demoed a beta version of V-Log L, a flat picture profile giving 2 extra stops dynamic range on the GH4, for the first time in the UK at a photographic convention in Edinburgh. See tweet below from the event.
Interestingly enough, V-Log L is currently being tested only with no confirmed date for release. Some rumours are circulating the web mentioning that this very well may be a paid upgrade, which is yet to be confirmed officially by Panasonic. Firmware 2.2 will not feature V-Log L, but instead focus more on the Anamorphic function. V-Log L is inevitable coming to your GH4, however when exactly that will be is yet to be determined. June 2015 has been the most often mentioned time frame.
Meanwhile, for those of you are eager to see what the Anamorphic V-Log footage coming straight out of the GH4 would look like here is a short film produced by the Eduardo Angel in collaboration with director Davis Northern and DP Sean Davis who recently got the chance to work on the very first GH4 Anamorphic & V-Log L project, shot exclusively for Panasonic North America and produced by The Digital Distillery.
Panasonic 4K Anamorphic and V-Log L – Official Video from The Digital Distillery Inc. on Vimeo.
Specifically for the shooting, the team rented a set of vintage anamorphic Lomo lenses (35, 50, and 75mm) and tested an SLR Magic as well as a Letus AnamorphX 1.8X Pro Adapter and a Veydra Mini Prime. They’ve also used a Small HD DP Pro7 to monitor the de-squeezed images while the Atomos Shogun was recording the video feed from the GH4’s HDMI port.
In order to get the signal on the SmallHD monitor tethered to the Shogun, the crew had to switch off the 4K downconvert option while connecting the SmallHD and turned it on when everything was properly connected. The Shoot w/t Lens feature on the GH4 also was turned on in order to work with the anamorphic lenses. Shooting the Anamorphic 4K ProRes 422 footage on the Shogun resulted in about 4GB per minute of footage. The trio used their trusted G-Tech hard drives to back up the footage.
As for the editing, Premiere Pro was picked as an editing platform of choice where the anamorphic workflow seems to be very simple and straightforward. The only difference when you are editing an anamorphic footage compared to a regular one is that first you need to de-squeeze the image. To do so in Premiere Pro, select the clip(s) by right-clicking navigate to Modify Clip and then conform it to Anamorphic 2:1 (2.0) Pixel Aspect Ratio in the Interpret Footage Tab.
The new anamorphic 4:3 mode will be part of the motion picture menus of the GH4 rather than 4K Photo Mode. The Firmware 2.2 is expected to be released later today. If you want to find out more about the shooting experience of the team behind the “Letters of a Dream” head on over to Eduardo Angles Blog.
Updated: You can download the new 2.2 firmware here.