You may remember not that long ago there was a tweet from Panasonic New Zealand, which said that supposedly Panasonic will release details on the upcoming V-Log L update for the GH4 on September 1st. The tweet got deleted not that long after it was posted, but that didn’t stop the blogosphere and internet forums from designing, refuting, and discussing various possibilities and theories as to what may happen on Tuesday.
For those out of the loop (I can’t imagine many, but I am sure there’s a few out there who could care less about V-Log L or the GH4), Panasonic have been teasing a Log gamma on the Panasonic GH4 (now selling for $100 off at $1,398 instead of $1,498 just a few days ago) in a beta firmware for the good part of a year, matter of fact, there’s reports dating back to November of last year.
Regardless, ever since the Anamorphic mode firmware update 2.2 earlier in April, filmmakers have been awaiting V-Log L, which is said to give the GH4 12 stops DR. The Lite designation of V-Log L is a variant of the Varicam V-log which has 14 stops DR and is features in the company’s flagship 4K camera.
The company gave hints that the V-Log L may possibly appear in the form of a firmware release in June, however the summer came and went and Panasonic continued to release new models – namely the Lumix GX8 ($1,198 at B&H) and FZ300 ($598 at B&H), both with 4K on-board recording but alas no V-Log L or official statements/news of any sorts.
Now although it is understandable that the GX8 and FZ300 and even the very capable 4K Lumix DMC-G7 don’t feature V-Log L as they are lower tier cameras, and maybe Panasonic have something bigger cooking, when you consider the fact that both the Sony RX10 II and the RX100 IV have S-log2 and 4K on board, I can see why that may bother some people me included.
As we count the last hours of August, with the prophetic Sept. 1st date looming new rumors have come about of a brand new model called the GH4R – which would feature V-Log L, but other than that be exactly as the GH4 in both design and other features. If this actually happens, it would raise more than just a few eyebrows, but I won’t be surprised. Both the current GH4 and the GH3 are now selling at discounted prices – the GH4 gets $100 off and is now $1,398, and the GH3 is selling for $598 (at $200 off and has been for a while), plus this won’t be the first time a new major feature would be released with a brand new model.
I would hope the GH4R has better processing along V-Log L and not cost more than $100-200 more vs the current GH4 pricing. In the past nine months, Panasonic made a big deal of V-Log L by giving it to beta testers and letting them post footage online, which rubbed me the wrong way (I know beta testing is an integral part, but don’t make it public) and was a major reason why I sold my GH4 and bought an RX10 II.
I just hope that V-Log L, whether paid upgrade to existing owners or a brand new model or both be as good as they claim it to be and make want to buy a used and abused GH4 back. For all this waiting, I think we deserve it to be more than just awesome.