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Why Upgrading to V-Log Is Worth the Money for GH4 Users

Noam Kroll

Panasonic recently announced the long-awaited V-Log picture profile for their GH4. The cost to upgrade is $99. Here’s why it’s worth it.

When Panasonic first teased customers with the prospect of V-Log, the response was overwhelming. It quickly became very clear that GH4 owners desperately wanted the ability to shoot in a Log color space, and for the last year or so, many users have been eagerly anticipating the release.

As of last week, V-Log was finally officially announced — but the announcement came with a catch: the upgrade wouldn’t be free and would cost current users $99 to upgrade. While some GH4 owners were upset by this, I personally understand the upgrade pricing. It’s not the first time a camera manufacturer has charged for a firmware update, and while the $99 isn’t cheap, it isn’t outrageous either. In my opinion, the upgrade is well worth our money for these three reasons:

1. Added Dynamic Range

Vlog Example

With V-Log enabled, you’re now able to capture twelve stops of dynamic range with the GH4, which is about two stops more than any other picture profile — and those 2 stops will go a very long way. Under certain circumstances it may mean that you need less lighting and/or grip gear, and the upgrade could potentially pay for itself on your first shoot.

This video shows us the cinematic potential of the new V-Log format:

2. More Flexibility in Post

LUT Example

For anyone out there like myself, who enjoys color grading — this update is for you. Not only will your images have more dynamic range, but you’ll have a far greater ability to grade the images in the editing room. If you’ve ever color corrected log footage, you know how much more freeing it can be when compared to working in a Rec 709 color space.

3. LUT Integration

Over the years, many LUTs (Look Up Tables) have been created for log footage, and now they’ll all be compatible with your GH4 footage. You could theoretically use an ARRI ALEXA LUT (or any other LUT designed for Log) with your GH4 footage and get some very instant results that may not need a whole lot of tweaking. Not to mention, one of the biggest issues with the GH4 in the past (for me at least) has been skin tones. The combination of Log and the right LUT will help with that immensely.

There are also a lot of really good free LUT resources online. This article from Johnny Elwyn shares a few links to a few free resources.

Pricing and Availability

The new V-Log update for the Panasonic GH4 will cost $99.99 and be available mid-September.

Are you excited about the new v-log format in the GH4? Share your thoughts in the comments below.