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GH4 Firmware 2.3, V-log for $99, Epic Panasonic marketing fail
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  • Thanks Shian for your updated evaluation, Your advice not to use V-LOG recorded internally at 8 bit for sunsets and other such landscapes is taken to heart and will save me a lot of frustration. Look forward to using it instead on the types of scenes where it excels.

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    So finally got a profile to save with access to NR and Sharpness. Set them to my Cine-D settings of -5 NR and -2 sharpness. I'm in love with this camera with V-log. Sweet film like grain which masks the blocking really well. Grades so nicely. Superb detail and falloff allows detail in shadows with heavy grades.

    More in the flckr folder,

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  • @GoodAlwaysWins,

    I don't know about everyone else, But I prefer a "Sharpness" of -1 or -2 , and a "Noise Reduction" of -5

  • V-log is just not reliable (due to banding and macro-blocking) which makes it a no go for me. In my productions I need to be able to rely on something 100% in every situation, but V-log with the artifacts it's showing is not reliable whatsoever. If Panasonic wants me or anyone else to purchase full V-log they will have to change it so it works just as well as Natural, Cinelike-D, or any of the other picture profiles in terms of banding and macro-blocking. If Panny used the full 8-bits of data by the h.264 codec and/or use the prorez codec, or just resolved these issues in any way possible, Panny would be rolling in $$, and we would be happy with our fully working LOG profile.

  • Shot on my desk using an LED flashlight shining through a slightly opal piece of plastic (a "faux-pal" if you will) a halogen clamping desk lamp, and my iPhone's LED light leaned up against a glass of coke. Recorded using the internal 8bit codec. Interpreted in Resolve using ColorGHear's SOLID interpretation LUT, and graded in Resolve using ColorGHear Pro.

    I pan the camera over a couple of times so you can see the lighting setup, and to test how well the internal codec handles being pointed at lights. There's a little banding but it's not any worse than any other profile. You actually have to be looking for it. As it is, it doesn't bother me. If it ever does, I'll get a Ninja Assassin to kill it.

    • Nikon f1.8 50mm with Speedbooster and canon WD58 wideangle adapter. Aperture wide open. (Set according to handheld meter)

    • ISO 400

    • V-log L

    • 24fps

    • 1/60 shutter to combat halogen flicker

    • NR: -5

    • Sharpness: -2

    Grade: 4 nodes N1-SOLID, N2-WB and slight mid and hi tweak to compliment curve from N3, N3-Fuji 3513 mixed down to 70%, N4-TM Blue Steel mixed down to 70%

    download a sample clip of the raw internal codec V-log video used in this piece for testing, analysis, etc here

  • Looks great. What would a shot like that look like without V-log in normal setting or Scene D and color graded?

  • Well, for starters the V on his chest would be barely visible if at all, and all the shadow detail would get crushed. You wouldn't see the serial number on the light bulb, and you wouldn't be able to see detail on his left arm @ 1:27 at all, you wouldn't see the very subtle warm light wash on the back wall @1:40 that read 7 stops under, you wouldn't be able to make out any detail on that black base stand that holds the figure upright. And the falloff would be lacking.

  • Shian that was wicked, looked very cinematic to me! That along with Manu's fine demos makes me realize that this V-LOG has really brought the GH4 into a much better camera for certain shooting scenes including low light! Yes it is a bummer that the profile does not work equally well for all senarios so rather just a matter of knowing how and when and when not to use it.... Along with the grading process...

  • And so Shian, Will you be making your V-LOG LUTs available once you have refined and finished a batch? I purchased the Miller V-LOG LUTs and perhaps there are some good ones but sifting through the 200 is a wearisome process especially with no folder organization to describe what exposure, white balance and type of scene they will work for. I would happily pay the same or more for a few of your carefully crafted LUTs. Or if you give them away for free, leave a tipping option of course!

  • I just shot a 10 hour wedding all in 8-bit internal V-log with 2x GH4s. I'm batch transcoding at the moment using Film Convert and the Arri Alexa LogC profile. I won't know until 24 hours how it all went but from what I see so far, it's more appealing than what I was getting with Cine-D, the skin tones are awesome. With so much movement at these kind of events it's hard to spot the issues with using V-log.

  • @shian can you post or pm me a link to purchase these LUTs?

  • looks amazing!!...funny how your prediction about haters of vlog came true...even in 8bit when you focus on the key, the banding virtually disappears...10 bit would deal with that completely, but almost does not feel essential!...sent you a PM

  • ^^^ and that's what happens when you interpret incorrectly... look at that crazy banding on the lights and the warm wash over his right shoulder near the end. Same footage, bad interpretation.

  • Very instructive, an example of how to do it correctly and how to do it incorrectly. It would be good to get a 10bit test to see if it really will eliminate what banding is left.

  • I think the translation / grade of V-Log L is incredibly simple. An S-Curve and a tiny tweak /boost in Saturation. Generally that gets things looking 'as they were' and ready for a grade. I'm absolutely loving the colours and dynamic range, and I haven't noticed the 'macro blocking / magenta stuff' at all. Its a tad noisy when underexposed - like all GH4 footage.

    Also in terms of the NLE specific issues its worth noting that Premiere does 'encode' its previews, to its own iframe mpeg encoder, which you can switch to pro res or anything else your computer can handle. FCP X uses pro res as its 'preview' format. This may be a factor in 'macro block's appearing in some places and not in others.

    Anyway, I'm enjoying the V-Log footage i'm getting a huge amount and am certainly going to 'buy' the legit code, once Panasonic UK give us a way to!

  • I did a heavy grade on shians footage and didn't find it particularly difficult to deal with. As long as you take care around the highlights and have a level of understanding about color grading, I don't think getting good results will be very difficult.

    I can't speak to the effectiveness of shian's new luts, but slapping a generic lut on top of this footage won't work very well. The highlights jump and upper mids jump to makro blocking and banding very quickly if you don't watch it.

    This footage had a very solid chunky feel.

  • @shian: Actually, I noticed the banding during processing, but decided to go on with this fast edit so that to see the color grading result. My target was to see the colors, shapes and tones after my processing and as you can see I have very different taste of the way a movie should look, while your grading is definitely not my kind of look, to me it looks overartificial. If not paying attention to the banding, I think my result is much closer to the movie studios productions. So, what do you think about the banding - is it because of the image smoothing (Neat video)? What is your suggestion?

  • @producer lol - I can do more subtle grades, those are easy... I was doing it to show that it can withstand some serious push and pull.

    The banding is coming from the way you are trying to translate the footage from log space to linear or rec709. That is where my LUTs come in.

    I just finished 3 more. WRANGLER for those ugly white walls and gray sidewalks, and VARIABLE which gives you control of how much saturation to apply, cuz the color shifts as the saturation increases. And GENTLE which gives a softer flatter look without raising the shadows to instagram filter levels.

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  • @shian "The banding is coming from the way you are trying to translate the footage from log space to linear or rec709".

    What do you mean "translate"? Do you mean that I can't get tones that I want to get without banding? That's what I did actually, nothing else.

  • not with your approach, no.