The long-awaited V-Log L update for the Panasonic GH4 was officially announced earlier today just as promised. Unfortunately, it comes as a paid Firmware Upgrade Kit costing $99 that will be shipped to customers after purchase in a physical box. Yeap, you got it right. It’s not an instant download option and neither is it free as rumoured previously. Instead, there is a short procedure you should follow in order to install it on your camera that might take longer than a regular firmware update.
All in all, V-Log L gamma were developed to feature similar characteristics to Cineon format. Taking full advantage of the Four Thirds sensor at the heart of your GH4, V-Log L supposedly increases the usable dynamic range of the camera from 10 to 12 stops. Both V-Log and V-Log L have the same characteristic curve so that you can apply the same LUT to your footage when utilising either profile. V-Log L is based on the 14+ stop DR Log profile found in the flagship Varicam 35 camera, however, ported down to an “L” or a Lite version for the smaller sensor GH4, in which DR will be expanded to a maximum of 12 stops.
To add this feature to your GH4, first you need to purchase the key code kit DMW-SFU1 from the provided link (at the moment available only to US customers) and also download the latest firmware update 2.3 that you can find here.
After the kit is shipped, you need to export the camera’s serial number to an SD Memory Card and then upload it to the Panasonic’s dedicated Update Portal Web Page where you will get an activation code. After uploading the activation code and rebooting your camera, you should find your new V-LOG L feature under the Menu “Photo Style”.
Panasonic claim that they release this update “in response to the demand from the film production market”, however, many GH4 users won’t be very pleased with the fact that they need to pay for the upgrade and then wait before they can actually play around with it. In any case, the V-LOG is finally here and it puts the GH4 back on track by turning it into even more powerful and competitive compact mirrorless camera system.
To claim your Firmware Upgrade Kit DMW-SFU1 head over to the Panasonic’s official page. In the US, the V-Log L update is expected to ship starting 7th September.