Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Get GH4 V-Log profile for free

Some fans have been angered by the news that Panasonic would charge people to use the new V-Log profile on the Lumix GH4. This is an video profile that allows for higher dynamic range than usual.

However, with a simple trick, you can get this profile for free. Here is how:

  1. Make sure you have the Firmware 2.3 installed.Get it here.
    It seems Panasonic have closed the download, but you can try this alternative source.
  2. Turn on the camera, and enable the Wifi mode. This turns on the blue light on the top of the camera.
  3. Connect the camera to your smartphone with the Panasonic app.
  4. Set the camera in a video mode, e.g., by setting the mode dial to the creative video mode:
  5. Open the Panasonic Image App on your smartphone. Go to the "Remote operation" function:
  6. Inside the Remote operation, tap the "Q.MENU" item:
  7. Tap the first option, "Photo Style":
  8. Select V-Log L:
  9. Look at your camera: It now has the V-Log L mode:
  10. Save this mode for later use. Push the "Menu" button on the camera, and go to "Cust.Set Mem." to store it as one of the custom functions (C1, C2, C3-1, C3-2 or C3-3):

And that is it! Now you can test out the V-Log L mode for free, and see if you think it will improve your videos.

If you want to use the V-Log V profile for several different video modes, e.g., 4k and 1080p, then repeat this process for each mode. For example, start off with 4K before starting the Panasonic App to retrieve the V-Log L profile, and you will get a 4K V-Log L profile that you can save as one of the custom functions.

Note that successfully using the V-Log L profile requires skillful postprocessing in a program like Adobe Premiere Pro. Without this video grading, the V-Log L video will just look flat with boring colours.

Anyone who is not familiar with video grading are better off using the normal video modes. So V-Log L is not a miracle cure that makes your videos look fantastic. Rather, it enables competent users to get the most out of the video stream later.

The GoPro cameras have a similar feature called "ProTune". This creates a video file which is more flat, with less sharpness and less colour saturation. Here is what they write about this mode:

What this means for the every-day user is that Protune footage requires more editing to get that traditional GoPro look. That’s great if you want to spend more time editing your footage to put your own unique spin on it, but if you want to do simple editing and already like the GoPro look and feel that you’re used to, we'd recommend leaving Protune turned off.

Essentially: If you don't know what you are doing, don't use ProTune. Panasonic could say the same about V-Log, and in a way, they do, by charging an extra cost for it.

A new 2.4 firmware is coming on September 17th, which will disable using the V-Log L profile without purchasing it. Also, newer upgrades of the Panasonic Image App will also disable this.

6 comments:

  1. you can set v-log to custom profile (replacing standard) so you can always change back if you select other profile.

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  2. I assume this is a bug in the app that will be fixed with the next version, so I wouldn't rely on it!

    I'm no video guy and don't know how much R&D was necessary to include the feature in the GH4. If color matching is involved, then I think it is a bit more than just dialing down the contrast.

    Yes, it seems odd to have "in-camera-purchases", just like Candy Crush Saga, but if V-Log is a Pro-feature that is mostly used by people who know what they are doing and who just saved a few thousand dollars because they can use a GH4 instead of a much more expensive camera, they should not cry about 100 dollars for a key feature that pushes their gear into a totally different ball park.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, there will be a new version of the app where you can't select V-Log unless you pay for it. But you can just avoid updating the app, and you should be ok.

      Most people shouldn't use the V-Log L feature. It will give them more boring videos, unless they have the competence and software to do the grading in post production.

      For those who actually need the V-Log feature, US$100 is a small price to pay.

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    2. Also, the trick here is to save the V-Log L profile to your camera's customer functions. That way, even if the app is updated, you still have the V-Log L profile on your camera for future use, without the app.

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  3. For GH4 V-Log L is it the same curve with Varicam 35 V-Log ?

    http://pro-av.panasonic.net/en/varicam/35/dl.html

    I've read the white paper of V-Log, it shows 18% gray reference should fall at 42% on a waveform, and a 90% white card falls at 61% on a waveform.

    Will you going to write about the exposure on V-Log L ?

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  4. Since a few days verion 1.9.5. of the image app is not available anymore. The new one does not have V-log ...
    Who has an idea where I can get the 1.9.5.
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete