JVC Adds LOG to Their GY-LS300 4K Super 35 Micro Four Thirds Camcorder For Free

Yes, you read that correct. JVC have just announced firmware 2.0 for their MFT mount Super 35 CMOS Sensor 4K LS300 camcorder, which will add JVC LOG mode among other important features at no additional cost to owners of the camera. The firmware update is scheduled in late September and also adds 4K DCI 4096 x 2160 resolution as well as 2K 2048 x 1080 mode. A histogram is also another addition, while the cameras Variable Scan Mapping allows for a 2.3x crop in HD and 1.25x in 4K. The GY-LS300 is quite an interesting camera as it does feature a Super 35 CMOS sensor but a MFT mount, quite an odd choice to many, but when you think if it you can still use APS-C lenses with MFT adapters and still get the same FOV as you’d get on a Super 35 chip.

JVC GY-LS300 4KCAM

Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, but the GY-LS300’s new Prime Zoom feature takes advantage of JVC’s unique Variable Scan Mapping technology, which was created to electronically adapt the active area of the camera’s image sensor to provide native support of various lenses when paired with third-party lens adapters. When used with a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) prime lens, the image can be adjusted between the maximum scan area and minimum scan area using the camera’s zoom rocker. As a result, the camera can deliver 2.3x maximum zoom for HD or 1.25x maximum zoom for 4K. The new Prime Zoom feature can also be used as a lens extender for zoom lenses.

While LOG footage from the JVC LS300 is not yet publicly available, here’s a camera test done back in March by Marc Valdes.

JVC GY-LS300 CAMERA TEST from Marc Valdés on Vimeo.

Here’s more info from the video description:

We had the chance to shoot with a preproduction model of the new JVC GY-LS300 and in order to make the most of this opportunity we shot in four very different scenarios: a sunrise, a night scene, an interior and a regular daylight scene.

In the night scene we were working between 800ISO and 1600ISO. In all the other shots the camera was set to 400ISO and we used the built-in ND Filters when it was necessary.

We present you the result without any kind of color correction. The original material was shot internally in UHD at 25p except for the night scene which was shot at FullHD 25p.

The camera allows you to define a great variety of looks through the menu settings but we chose to leave them as they where preset. We used Rokinon lenses (Samyang, Walimex) in a MFT mount and some old Nikon lenses with a Metabones Speedboster adapter. We want to thank our friends who kindly acted as sport models and who woke up very early even when the waves were not very good.

And we also want to thank our dear Steadicam colleague Txema Zuriarrain who helped us a great deal with the shooting.

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V-Log Rant below. You can stop reading here. Unless you want to read my thoughts on the upcoming V-log for the GH4.

While this is certainly great news for LS300 shooters, who now have an even more versatile camera for a very reasonable 3,500 USD, Panasonic GH4 shooters have to wait for an announcement on September 1st of an announcement of a the release of V-Log Lite for the GH4. I don’t mean to sound patronising or anything, I really hope Panasonic are listening and reading what JVC are doing.

Because this JVC firmware update, is a real firmware update. Panasonic gave us Anamorphic shooting mode, which is great, but its been nearly 9 months and still only select few out there get a beta version of V-log to shoot around and post footage. If you are going to have beta testers, at least don’t release the footage publicly and keep the whole thing behind closed doors. I am not saying that I am going to use V-log all the time (it would be nice to have for certain shoots), and so are probably many out there, but it’s the rich kid mentality of a silver spoon fed brat prancing around with his new kicks around the playground, while the have nots stare and grind teeth that gets me…

It’s not the way to do things, not that Panasonic owe me or anyone anything, but I just don’t see any rationale whatsoever for this botched V-Log PR fiasco. October is three months from now and by then a whole lotta things will change again.

I love my GH4, I really do, but it’s the attitude and approach towards customers that I cannot fathom here. Yes you gave us Anamorphic – great, no small feat here. But why brag about V-Log for a whole year… I am sure its not that easy, but it shouldn’t take a year to implement, test, test again and then release.

Apparently JVC are listening a lot more to their customers than you are.

“We listened to our customers and made sure this firmware upgrade delivered the features they wanted, as well as recording modes specifically designed for the 4K digital cinema market,” said Craig Yanagi, manager of marketing and brand strategy, JVC Professional Video.

IBC 2015 is rolling out soon in less than six weeks time. Sony will have an A7s style sensor in a camcorder-ish style camera and Canon will release a new EOS camera. Count on it. Panasonic my question to you is – what are you doing in the gapping hole of a sub-10K camera market? You have a Varicam and DVX200 (which wont’ see the light of day until October anyway) and nothing in between. Does V-Log L on a prosumer camera like the GH4 make for such a huge update?

Might as well release V-Log now and don’t bother with October, as there are plenty of other offerings to jump ship to. But I won’t be surprised to see a GH5 announcement in September though…

To those who say, Panasonic and any other company doesn’t owe me anything – maybe they don’t. But at least let’s drop the facade of “listening to customers and whatnot” better not say anything like that at all – just say – we’re a business, our mission is to augment our bottom line, and if it means loosing a few customers in the process, hey that’s the cost of doing business.

Maybe it means little or nothing to you what I think, but I had to say it. Hope your GH5 and DVX200 plans go well at IBC and after. I am jumping ship to Sony.

PRESS RELEASE

WAYNE, NJ (August 4, 2015) – JVC Professional Video, a division of JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation, today announced the Version 2.0 firmware upgrade for its GY-LS300 4KCAM handheld Super 35 camcorder. The upgrade adds a “JVC Log” mode that practically duplicates the look of film, plus new Cinema 4K and Cinema 2K recording modes, a unique Prime Zoom feature that uses the camera’s innovative technology to allow zoom capabilities when using prime lenses, and a histogram. Free for all current owners, the upgrade will be available in September 2015.

With the new JVC Log mode, the GY-LS300 delivers wide latitude and high dynamic range – up to 800 percent – to rival the look of film. The camera’s Super 35 CMOS sensor delivers a higher contrast ratio between dark and bright areas within the frame without saturation while providing details within highlights and shadows. V2.0 also adds 4096 x 2160 Cinema 4K and 2048 x 1080 Cinema 2K recording modes at various frame rates, each with a 17:9 aspect ratio for digital cinema presentations.
Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, but the GY-LS300’s new Prime Zoom feature takes advantage of JVC’s unique Variable Scan Mapping technology, which was created to electronically adapt the active area of the camera’s image sensor to provide native support of various lenses when paired with third-party lens adapters.

When used with a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) prime lens, the image can be adjusted between the maximum scan area and minimum scan area using the camera’s zoom rocker. As a result, the camera can deliver 2.3x maximum zoom for HD or 1.25x maximum zoom for 4K. The new Prime Zoom feature can also be used as a lens extender for zoom lenses.

Version 2.0 adds a histogram display, which is useful for checking the exposure by showing the brightness distribution of the image. The function is accessed through a convenient user button, and the range can be set to provide top and bottom limits. Beyond a histogram, V2.0 adds a color matrix adjustment, spot meter for setting exposure values, and black paint setting to precisely adjust color temperature of master black. Additional performance and streaming enhancements include a new 70Mbps recording mode, which makes it possible to record 4K on economical Class 10 SDHC/SDXC memory cards.

“We listened to our customers and made sure this firmware upgrade delivered the features they wanted, as well as recording modes specifically designed for the 4K digital cinema market,” said Craig Yanagi, manager of marketing and brand strategy, JVC Professional Video. “The GY-LS300 will also have the unique ability to use a prime lens as a zoom lens, which gives shooters even more shooting flexibility.”

Designed for cinematographers, educators, documentarians, and broadcast production departments, the GY-LS300 is the flagship camera for JVC’s new 4KCAM product line. It accommodates a variety of workflows with the latest advancements in 4K imaging and efficient encoding for seamless workflow integration. It also includes a built-in HD streaming engine with Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connectivity for live HD transmission directly to hardware decoders, the Wowza Streaming Engine, and the ProHD Broadcaster server powered by Zixi. With support for various streaming protocols including RTMP, the cameras can stream directly to content delivery networks (CDNs) like Ustream and popular Web sites like YouTube.

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