I’ve been asked by quite a few people now to comment on the upcoming GH-4 V-log option. For a start I haven’t tried it for myself, I have only seen content that’s been posted online, so it’s hard to tell a great deal about it especially as the online examples I’ve seen so far have been terribly exposed, typically grossly overexposed (but maybe that’s a design characteristic). What I know for sure is that it brings an improvement in dynamic range from 10 stops to 12 stops and that’s obviously a very big improvement. But, it has to be considered that many video cameras have been providing 11 stop ranges for many years, so in many respects this is just the GH4 catching up.
I’m afraid I had to laugh at some online V-log examples where the shooter had applied look up tables for Arri’s LogC to the footage. This clearly demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of log curves and LUT’s and how they work. You’re never going to get a great image by applying a LUT designed a 14+ stop input range and wide colorspace to footage with narrow colorspace, totally different luma recording range and only 12 stops. I really wish people would learn how these things actually work before blindly assuming that “because it’s log it must be better” and “because it’s an Arri LUT it’s going to make my camera look like an Alexa”. Sorry, but it really isn’t that simple and this is a case of the blind leading the blind. If you want to use LUT’s then V-Log will need it’s own dedicated LUT’s as it’s unlike any other log curve out there. The majority of log cameras have ranges of at least 13 stops (2 x the range of the GH-4’s 12 stops) and more commonly 14 stops or more.
Clearly, it’s an improvement to the camera, but this upgrade really reminds me of many of the flat profiles for the Canon 5D that don’t do much other than making the picture look, well, flat. They don’t actually add any dynamic range. I’d be really interested in the noise in the shadows from the GH4 in V-Log. My suspicion is that it will be quite noisy or heavily noise reduced compared to the standard profiles.