When videographers are given a choice between shooting Log or any other picture profile, more often than not the decision goes to Log. That’s simply because shooting in this mode is claimed to provide a flat image, retaining more detail and making it easier to dial in the look you want.
For cameras like the GH5, Panasonic does allow you to shoot in their version of log (known as V-Log), although at an additional cost. Then again, the camera also offers the Cine D picture profile which quite frankly looks pretty decent. So, is it worth paying extra cash for the V-Log L upgrade and what benefits does shooting in log provide in comparison to filming with Cine D?
The Camera Department discusses the topic by bringing out the scopes, determining once and for all whether or not you should go for shooting in V-Log or Cine D.
Long story short, after all the test footage and time taken to look at vectorscopes, it’s safe to conclude that V-Log is the undisputed winner, especially when it comes to detail retention.
Based on the tests, the guys behind The Camera Department discovered that shooting in V-Log led to a more balanced image, hence the visual equality between the individual RGB channel graphs. This equality is what gives log its flat appearance. The flat nature of the profile also acts as a sort of baseline which can help GH5 shooters to match clips easily, even when being shot weeks or even months ago.
In addition to the RGB parade, you can see that from the waveform of the image, Cine D tends to clip at some points making pulling any information from the clipped area virtually impossible. Now, just because V-Log can match clips better does not mean Cine D is worthless. Quite the contrary, it is definitely possible to shoot with Cine D in many situations when you’re pressed for time and need to work under tight deadlines.
The trick is that if you’re planning on filming with the Cine D picture profile, you need to ensure that your exposure and other camera settings are adjusted more precisely. As for matching with other clips, there could be occasions when you may have to spend some extra time in post to be able to get the best results (mainly due to the more limited latitude of the overall image) but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should treat Cine D as a less reliable and ineffective option for shooting.