Panasonic needs to release the V-Log profile for the GH4, and most people need to not use it

For several months now, Panasonic has been demonstrating, leaking and (presumably) tweaking two logarithmic picture profiles, VLOG, for the GH4. Two new firmware releases have come and gone since VLOG was first spotted in the field, and still nothing in our hands. Recently, the rumors have veered towards the upgrade either being delayed until the GH5, or becoming a paid upgrade ($100, $200?) Say it ain’t so.

There’s no way for us in the unwashed masses to know what Panasonic is actually planning, but since we know this sucker actually exists, I think it’s worth proffering-up an opinion on what they should do. And what that is, is release VLOG as soon as they can. Why? Because Panny got so many things right with the GH4, but they really blew it with the picture profiles.

The GH4’s RAW photos tease the color that the sensor is capable of, but none of the video profiles come close to delivering. The “Cine-D” and “Cine-V” profiles were supposed to provide gradable, “flat” images, but instead yield clips that are near impossible to properly resurrect in post. Let’s call the Cine profiles what they really are…half-baked. They’re no good to the casual shooter because they need to be post processed, but they’re no good to pro’s because they can’t be post processed.

VLOG promises to correct this misstep. Early reports are that it is a true logarithmic gamma curve, squeezing an extra 2 stops of dynamic range into the recorded image. It’s not RAW, but if VLOG can yield gradable files, Panasonic will not only inject new life into the GH4, but also go a long way towards ensuring serious shooters wait around for the GH5 instead of jumping ship for something with more workable color science.

Rumor has it that Panasonic is worried that the average user won’t understand what to do with VLOG. Rightly so. But if that’s the only reason Panny’s holding it back, then by all means, make it a paid aftermarket upgrade. The GH4 is a bargain compared to it’s competitors…nobody who has any business working with VLOG should balk at a few bucks to unlock its sensor’s potential.

Update:

June 11, 2015: Jordan Drake from The Camera Store has confirmed receiving a new firmware for testing that includes VLOG. We may be inching closer to a public release.


35 Replies to "Panasonic needs to release the V-Log profile for the GH4, and most people need to not use it"

  • Manny
    April 28, 2015 (12:19 am)
    Reply

    I’m with you man! My hope is vLog will make natural skin tones much easier to attain. …come on Panny!!!!

  • rafaelinux
    April 28, 2015 (11:33 am)
    Reply

    Everything the sensor, processor, dsp, display, and the rest of your hardware is able to do should be free to do. Or else we’ll have the DLC syndrome. GH5 is then released with lovely specs, can do 4k internally, or 5k 4:2:2 through HDMI, but if you want to do 5K internally you need to shell out $200, then for a better codec $200, compatibility with new SDXCs $100, raise the display’s brightness $250, faster auto-focus $500 and so on. If the capabilities are there from the start then it shouldn’t cost more money.

    • joe12south
      April 28, 2015 (12:05 pm)
      Reply

      VLOG was never (and still has never) been promised by Panasonic. This would be an additional feature that Panasonic has spent some (probably considerable) amount of time to implement and test. I don’t think a manufacturer owes a consumer anything more than what was promised before purchase.

      That said, Panasonic has been good so far in releasing regular, free, firmware updates. Maybe VLOG will be the same.

    • PW
      May 17, 2015 (10:51 pm)
      Reply

      Capabilities take software, that requires programming and R&D. That costs money. Welcome to life on earth.

  • Sergey
    April 30, 2015 (7:05 pm)
    Reply

    yep, pro feature for additional price is reasonable and doesn’t disturb an average home users

  • Old Sparky
    May 15, 2015 (5:48 am)
    Reply

    Has there been an updates on this subject, or any release date for V Log since this article? Love the Gh4 so much but tempted to leave It for something more costly, but with better profiles to work with…

  • ace
    June 1, 2015 (5:57 am)
    Reply

    I would be happy to pay a 100 for vlog.. just bring it on.

  • TJ
    June 8, 2015 (10:45 pm)
    Reply

    Amen! We need VLog already! The project I’m working on now, I’d seriously kill for it. Can we PLEASE get it ASAP Panasonic! You’re killing us with these tease announcements and then NOTHING. NOTHING!

    Don’t make me buy a freakin’ Red Camera! I don’t want one!

    • Charles sexton
      June 11, 2015 (4:37 pm)
      Reply

      Honestly TJ if you have the money, we both know you should buy a red.

    • joe12south
      June 11, 2015 (5:14 pm)
      Reply

      I want a Red! 🙂

      • oerry
        June 13, 2015 (2:41 pm)
        Reply

        No you don’t. That beautiful image will kill your pocket. the preparatory accessories is death to the independent filmmaker

  • Robert Piechnik
    June 16, 2015 (1:19 pm)
    Reply

    GH-4’s picture colour without grading is not so perfect to say profesional beauty. I was expecting more. Maybe V-log erase this want.

  • Ben Thurlow
    June 18, 2015 (2:07 pm)
    Reply

    They need to release it soon especially after Sony has just previewed 3 new cameras which do 4K internally as well

  • sanchogrey
    June 23, 2015 (1:43 pm)
    Reply

    I think they’re going to tease us all the way and then fuck us all off by putting it in the GH5. a DIRTY TRICK. And actually they do owe us something because the moment they went to NAB and told anyone who was willing to listen that we were going to get V-Log and yes it would be a a free firmware upgrade, how many people I wonder went out and bought the GH4 on that promise. The absolutely do owe us V-Log and it absolutely should be FREE. And never mind it should be paid to keep it out of the hands of mere mortals elitist fucking bullshit. Weather you use it or not if it was promised you should be entitled to it end of.

    • joe12south
      June 23, 2015 (4:36 pm)
      Reply

      Can you point to a record of Panny “promising” V-LOG. The only even semi-official language I can find is talk of “testing” a “possible” new feature. Admittedly, they have teased it pretty hard in public…but that’s exactly why it is very likely it is coming.

      It’s hard to imagine that Panny would leak a this visibly (it’s now in the hands of some prominent reviewers) without intending to release for the GH4.

      Besides, it’s entirely likely that the GH5 will use a completely different sensor. Whatever work has been done tuning V-LOG for the GH4 wouldn’t even translate.

  • Old Sparky
    June 23, 2015 (4:55 pm)
    Reply

    No they have not promised anything, but yes teased very heavily… At this point, I could personally use this profile to get the most out of the camera in a big way. I’ve come very close to moving on, but the idea that they could announce the release soon keeps me waiting around. The June 11 update above is reassuring. I read somewhere about a possible mid July release – but it was only educated speculation. I am somewhat happy with what I can do with my adjusted Cine D settings, but a true log profile would be such a solid addition. Just looking at some of the videos on YouTube & Vimeo where people have graded with GH4 vlog – the difference in range is noticeable immediately. Let’s go Panasonic – I’m dying over here.

    • joe12south
      June 24, 2015 (8:56 am)
      Reply

      V-LOG will certainly be a nice addition that will allow pro’s to squeeze a little extra DR out of the sensor, and hopefully it will be devoid of the color errors found in some of the other profiles, but I would caution people to temper their expectations. It will still be a highly compressed 8-bit image from a very small, last generation sensor.

      • Old Sparky
        June 26, 2015 (10:19 am)
        Reply

        I here you. It’ll never be a RED & it is what it is…but with some extra range, adjusted colors & what I can already get out of what’s there, I would be more than happy!

  • David Ross
    June 29, 2015 (4:22 pm)
    Reply

    Sort of in a strange spot: I’m needing to purchase a new camera as my GH4 got damaged and was deemed unrepairable by a repair center SO I just got my money back for the camera purchase including the cost of the warranty. SO do I buy another GH4 wait for GH5 or move on to something else? Finally have the both Lumix lenses 12-35 and 35-100, a speed booster and just picked up some Canon EF lenses. Noticed the price dropping on GH4 to around $1400 or so. Is this a sign?
    Need some advise / input/ thoughts. PS. I have bought the GH4 as a tool to begin to learn cinematography. I don’t make my living with this camera so nothing pressing except the weather is perfect for outdoor shooting/ learning.

    Thanks team!

    DR

    • joe12south
      June 29, 2015 (4:57 pm)
      Reply

      I don’t have any inside info, but based on history and the lack of rumors, I would not expect a GH5 in the very immediate future. Panasonic tends to have a long product life cycle, and it’s reasonable to assume that they will use the PR lift from the V-LOG upgrade to give the GH4 a second life before releasing the GH5.

    • jasonrae34
      July 13, 2015 (3:16 pm)
      Reply

      I love the GH4. For a beginner or someone getting started its perfect for ya. If I were you I would buy a used Gh4 someone online which will be cheaper than a new one and practice with that. The Gh5 is right around the corner and when you first start it really does not matter what camera your holding, its all about learning so why not learn with a used one 🙂 my two cents

      • David Ross
        July 13, 2015 (4:11 pm)
        Reply

        good advise – thank you!

  • Joe
    July 8, 2015 (2:00 pm)
    Reply

    The new Atomos Shogun firmware (6.4) has a LUT profile called V-LOG, which provides rec709 color monitoring to the V-LOG profile. I take this as a good sign, since Panny worked hand in hand with Atomos to get the product working right with the GH4. For this to suddenly appear… MUST mean that V-Log is around the corner. Right???

    • joe12south
      July 8, 2015 (4:49 pm)
      Reply

      1. That’s awesome, cause monitoring LOG footage sucks. 2. I hate to count chickens, but all signs do point towards an imminent release. I now have multiple “cinematic” projects that I want to shoot with it this summer, so I’m typing with fingers crossed.

  • Pablo Betancourt
    July 8, 2015 (4:15 pm)
    Reply

    Untill I can buy the Sony A7r II, I got the gh4 as a second body (Canon 5d mark III raw main one), but it’s really hard to match colors with the built in profiles of the gh4. You said that cine-like ones are even worst. What would be your recommendation?

    • joe12south
      July 8, 2015 (4:40 pm)
      Reply

      It’s difficult to match the two…especially skin tones… as their color science is so different. I had to do so twice now. I had the best luck with the natural profile and the hue shifted +2. If you can shoot a chart under the lighting, that goes a long way towards helping.

  • jasonrae34
    July 13, 2015 (3:19 pm)
    Reply

    I can’t wait for VLOG and I get it they don’t owe us anything but damn it stop showing it everywhere online. I do think that its right around the corner because Nick Driftwood was given permission to let people download the files and grade them. I did and it was amazing how big of a difference it was. It was like a whole new camera shot those videos. So with that said if panny does not release it soon and moving from the entire platform and into the Sony line so I can work with Slog. I have spent hundreds of hours fixing Gh4 footage 🙁 because of skin tones. So lets hope they do this and make it available soon.

  • Sergey
    July 17, 2015 (4:38 am)
    Reply

    that was funny, Garry)))

  • John Stockton
    August 26, 2015 (7:30 am)
    Reply

    This isn’t about money for me. It was supposed to be free. At least it was never suggested at anytime that it would be a paid for extra. Panasonic has had ever opportunity to put people right on this given all the speculation. I wouldn’t buy V-Log if it was $1. This is a principle. I also believe there are a bunch of Panasonic shills out there all trying to test the water on this. “Hey lets see if we could get away with charging for this thing” I’m shure some people are genuine but some are definitly not. I have spent a lot of money on equipment and paid my dues ten times over. I don’t like to be charged twice and that’s how it feels. It’s called upselling in sales speak. You sell something cheaply and charge through the nose for all the extras you need to get the best out of it later down the line. It’s a dirty trick and I’m not happy about it. So what if Joe Bloggs doesn’t know what to do with V-Log, just pick another profile. There are loads of feature on the GH4 I personaly have no use for but I’m not suggesting that Panasonic get rid of them or charge extra for them because they’re not a mainstream choice.

    • joe12south
      August 26, 2015 (7:58 am)
      Reply

      Not only was it never *supposed” to be free, it was never even supposed to *be*. V-LOG was not promised to be included on release, and to this day has never been, a published feature. When I bought my two GH4’s, I had no thought that I would ever have a LOG profile. There is no bait and switch. Am I very excited to possibly have V-LOG…absolutely. Does Panasonic owe it to me? Absolutely not. The smart thing for them to do at this point is to release it for free, but how can someone have a sense of entitlement about this?

      • Sergey
        August 26, 2015 (8:20 am)
        Reply

        oh, excuse me, joe12south, i didn’t saw you answer, so didn’t want to repeat the same thoughts))

    • Sergey
      August 26, 2015 (8:16 am)
      Reply

      you buy a car in basic configuration, than you may get a tuning option for extra bucks. by John Stockton’s logic this must be a free too?
      if panasonic engineers done some work and you can gain more from the camera with it, why the company could’t ask a price for that? Red Digital promised custumers some features with their products that isn’t ready when you buy it – that’s why they bring it to you later for free.
      when you purchased you GH4 Panasonic didn’t marketing it with some cine flat profile, they didn’t say to anybody in a shop that this camera certainly will run V-log profile in future, they even doesn’t press realise it officialy – you don’t buy the GH4 because of future possibility of V-log.
      so, when Panasonic unveil it to the market, i see it logically to ask some bucks for such update.
      after all, you pay for the updates to Adobe every new Photoshop – why?! they even could’t fix 7 years old bugs)))
      (so sorry for my english, have writing it in a hurry)

  • John Stockton
    August 26, 2015 (7:45 am)
    Reply

    Yea Sony. They’re looking so good right now. In body stabilization, S-Log (Standard) Amazing low light. And if you get the A7r2 you get 4K to the card. I think id like the option to record in 10bit to the card even with a resolution drop to 1080p That would be cool. I think regardless of V-log lots of people will jump ship as I’m hearing lots of people giving up on Panasonic because of the atrocious low light performance of their sensors. The low light isn’t just noisy it’s ugly noise. That’s a deal breaker for many. It may sound like I’m dissing the GH4. I actually love mine but it is very bad in low light, unusable even.

    • joe12south
      August 26, 2015 (8:00 am)
      Reply

      The A7r2 costs about twice as much as the GH4, and utilizes a full frame sensor. Very hard to compare the two.


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