It has been months, but somehow it feels like years to me since Panasonic started to tease V-Log on the GH4 as a potential firmware update. What began as a rumour, then felt real when a few smart phone snaps from a trade show hit Twitter and then steam-rolled through the blogosphere, which then lead to Panasonic officially going out and saying – V-Log is coming to the GH4 – we just don’t know exactly when as we’re testing.
With the latest firmware 2.2 which enabled Anamorphic 2x shooting mode on the GH4 and alongside a few officially released videos shot on early versions of the upcoming V-log update, the prospect of the next step of actually releasing the highly desired feature to the public is slowly, but surely, getting closer to becoming a reality.
Nick Driftwood, an early tester and a man of immense significance to the development of the GH line as significant filmmaking tools, who definitely needs no introduction, just posted a comparison video between the GH4 using V-log Lite versus the venerable Sony A7s in its signature S-log2 gamma.
However, to make things a bit more interesting than just a vanilla test, you’d have to guess which is which in the test below.
WHICH IS WHICH: V-LOG-L / S-LOG-2?
Here’s test number 1 of a few coming up. A rather quick ‘vanilla’ test done in the back garden of my 83 year-old father – both cameras using similarly matched lenses , shutter and aperture was adjusted to keep in accordance to the default recommended LOG ISO as given by each camera. Exposure was bang on 0 for each. Nothing else I will give away about the above…just yet!
Panasonic GH4 has ISO 400 in V Log L and Sony A7s has 3200 ISO.
A7s is a full frame, GH4 is a M43.
I may or may not have moved the position of the focal length of each lens.
GH4 lens was a 12-35 Panasonic lens and the A7s was a 24-70 Canon.
This is a fun test and not to be taken seriously by camera fanboys.
With a little adjustment (not shown) its fairly easy to make both cameras match each other during grading.
3D LUTs employed: Panasonic VLog_to_V709_for_V35_ver100 & Sony FS55 1.From_SLog2-SGumut_To_LC-709 .cubes placed using LUT Utility plugin on FCPX.
NO OTHER GRADING DONE ON THIS
All 4K recordings were performed originally on an Atomos Shogun (zero’d) in 422 8-bit on the Sony A7S and 422 10-bit on the Panasonic GH4.
I personally am going with the GH4 being on the right, and the A7s on the left. I may be totally wrong, but the shallower DOF on the left side is swaying my thinking. This may be an intentional diversion, but we’ll have to wait until the next test(s) and see which is really which.
V-log Lite is supposedly going to add at least 2 more stops of DR to the GH4, and if I am reading right from Nick Driftwoods write up above, the base ISO in V-log seems to be ISO 400, which is pretty decent. I am hoping for less mushy and noise mid-tones in V-log when released and slightly improved low-light performance.
And if this isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, check out the brand new review of the “baby GH4” and very 4K capable Panasonic G7 by the good folks at The Camera Store TV. The review was shot on the GH4 with V-log Lite, and it definitely shows improved DR at least to my eye.
The overcast grey skies may not do the overall scenery a lot of justice, and I am still seeing the greenish skin tones issue, which has kind of become an unfortunate trade mark of the GH4, but it may just be down to the grade. Top review nonetheless as with everything these guys do.
The only thing left for Panasonic is to just release the firmware featuring V-Log Lite, which seems to be the last major missing feature of this otherwise fantastic camera for both video and stills. Looks like the smaller G7, which should make for a perfect B-cam to a GH4 by the way, is not going to be getting the V-log update, but for a camera that costs $800 I don’t think its intended user base will get the pitchforks out and storm the Panasonic HQ.
What do you guys think? Should Panasonic finally release V-log lite to the masses already? It seems to be about time – do you think this will make the camera more competitive to the Sony A7s? Let us know in the comments below.
BAG MEN – A DSLRPros GH4 4K Anamorphic Short Film – Shot using early V-LOG L firmware
Panasonic GH4 (Body Only) – $1,498
Alpha a7S Mirrorless Digital Camera – $2,498
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