Panasonic GH4 VLog-L Samples Before and After

Panasonic recently announced they will have a firmware update with a new VLog-L Profile for the Panasonic GH4. I loaded up a 'sample' of this for a test drive. Unfortunately it was slightly overcast on the day I went out. so I did not get to simulate many high contrast scenes, but I did what I could trying to shoot random scenes that shared both bright and dark areas.

The 'sample' VLOG-L that was installed is not the official release, so there seems to be some bugs. Especially problems with the histogram meter, so it was very hard to gauge how to properly expose. In any case here's a few samples of my first day out with the new VLOG-L on the GH4 + 12-35mm.

The base ISO for VLog-L is ISO 400. So outdoors on a bright day, you'll need to either stop down the aperture, crank up your shutter speed, or carry around an ND Filter. To make life easier I used the XUME Magnetic Filter Adapters paired with a set of Tiffen Static ND Filters.

I only had a few hours of practice, but from what I can tell, it might be good to keep your ISO under 1600 whenever possible. To add some color and contrast back to the VLOG-L footage, I started by applying the Varicam 35 LUT and then fine tuning the exposure from there. You can download the Panasonic Varicam LUT (here).

From just my early tests, I can say that when the new VLOG-L update is officially released, it's worth the $99 dollar upgrade. By then, hopefully they will fix some of the bugs with the histogram.

I know that the results would be much different on a bright sunny day, so i'm going to go out and try again this week when I have some free time. So far though, it does feel like the camera has added dynamic range and will be a great addition to all GH4 shooters.

15 thoughts on “Panasonic GH4 VLog-L Samples Before and After

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Dan - If the histogram is fixed, then expose according to the histogram. But typically people say you should expose to the right because of the noise from LOG footage. It's better to bring your footage down in post instead of trying to boost it up. So shoot as bright as possible while protecting your important highlights.

    Try out different ISO settings too and see what you are comfortable with. Footage shot at ISO 400-500 and lifted in post will look more crappy than if you had just shot ISO 1000 and brought the exposure down in post.

  2. Dan

    Hi Emm - there's a lot of info on the net about exposing +2 stops. Is that because of the histogram problem? No that it's fixed, should we expose for 0?

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Dan K - For FCPX you need a plugin that can add a lut, for Adobe the new version can install Luts. It throws it in the footage but you can tune it to your liking.

  4. Dan K

    Emm, another question.

    How do you install the Varicam LUT after downloading? Is it only for certain editing programs? Premiere? Final Cut? How do you call the LUT up?

    Pardon my ignorance. Never used a LUT before....

  5. Dan K

    Agree with R-No: The VLOG-L setting footage is really, really flat, then you add the Varicam LUT, the footage is rich and contrasty with dark blacks. It may start with 12-stops, but does it have that range after grading?

    How does that Varicam LUT-graded footage compare to the standard CINE-D setting?

    What is the advantage of LOG footage if you're just going to grade it to look like one of the regular settings? Or is the point that you have the option to hold the shadows or highlights if you want to?

  6. Austin

    Overcast or not your footage came out great! Along with your next video of a brighter day, do you think you will be able to make one showing your color grading process? It made the overcast footage look immensely better.

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @marco - Not if you keep the ISO below 1000-1600 and shoot a bit over exposed then lower the exposure in post.

  8. pops

    @Emm - Thus far I'm really enjoying V-LOG. However, I'm really curious how it compares to the new A7's dynamic range. I've read some compare it to working with Slog 3. I'm finding it really easy to work with thus far. Set your zebras for 75% and go from there. It likes a hot exposure.

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @R-No - Maybe when I have more time. Honestly the day was pretty overcast, so there's really no reason anyone needs LOG on an overcast day. Maybe on ideal conditions where VLOG really shines, a comparison would really show off the abilities.

  10. R-No

    Hey Emm,
    thanks for your blog,
    what would've been nice to see is only a few scenes with different "picture styles", (normal, vivid, cinestyle D, V and then V-log + v-log corrected)

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @Alan Halfhill - Yeah it was tough trying to find a balance, as the Histogram doesn't actually work with VLOG right now. I'm going to try an external waveform and see what that does.

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