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Andrew Reid

The importance of firmware updates and why Panasonic are too late with V-LOG for the GH4

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A couple of reasons why the market needs to be pro-active about this.  First users are tired of paying good money for camera bodies that are obsolete in 12-18 months.  Second, imagine your a rental house and your faced with having to keep your inventories current, its getting to where its not going to be sustainable.  Keeping your current camera body for 36 months and leveraging firmware (even paid) to keep it updated for that period of time makes much more sense. 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Andrew, I'm sorry that you have not been invited to the beta test, my opinion is that Panasonic has problems with mountain m4 / 3, has a diameter too small, not a FF sensor you can put it back, and if the GH5, panasonic not s35 puts a sensor is out for me, simply because FF lenses on a small sensor do so many problems ... as well as the chassis with the prominence useless limiting construction adapters ... see BMD..Pffff

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​Grading the current files works quite well, I would not expect the V-log to be any worse.  Besides you can trancecode your footage into 10 bit pro res on import anyway.

Log on compressed 8bit video files? Did I miss something?  Wouldn't grading such files cause banding and other such horrifics on files from the Gh4?   ​The Gra

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I pretty much agree with the sentiments of this article.

1st off...I have owned the GH4 for about a year now, and actually I love the Camera, I have become a lot more skilled in how to set it up and use it over the last few months.
I love what I am now getting out of the camera, and yes there was a learning curve with the GH4 to get the best out of it...I found that despite the fact that I used the GH2 for a long time as well.

BUT (And I am not pissing in Andrews pocket here) there were 2 sources that really helped get the GH2 a lot of recognition...and that was EOSHD and Personal View, plus the Vitaliy / Driftwood hacks.

Now Panasonic appear to have given Nick Driftwood a copy of V-Log2,(thats good)  yet not Andrew?
I know Andrew and Vitaliy appear to not get on...but that aside, to not give Andrew or Vitaliy a copy is nuts.
Now both parties dont speak of Panasonic that favorably...can you really blame them? they gave Panasonic free advertising for several years, by virtue of genuine enthusiasm and some honest criticism as well.

Now Panasonic more or less snub them and give copies to others, ...Seriously!!  they get a D or lower for marketing!!

PLUS...The current users of the GH4 have recieved no information why it has taken sooo long to get the V-Log L right...apart from Ilya Freedman saying once or twice...its coming sometime, cant say more than that tho...once again Panansonic gets lower than a D for marketing...possibly a Z for ZZZZZZ.
Yes I know...They cant give away secrets and all that (I have been a 3d beta tester and builder for years...I know about this stuff) and I know crap when I see it, and Pannys marketing is crap!! with a capital C.

They could easily say "We value our users, and we are developing V-Log L. we want to get it right and this V-Log  that will increase this or that in the Camera...they could easily do this and not give away a thing...but nope.... [...] corporate silence and seat warming....and the occasional Youtube vid showing a flat vs some LUT applied along with Youtube compression...so GH4 owners can guess away...seriousy this is BS!!
Meanwhile Sony has been chomping at the bit and moving into overdrive with mirrorless cams , BMD has created some really exciting new cameras coming up (yes they are generally more expensive...and they are only on paper right now, but they are still competition)...and of course Samsung has entered the market and made aggressive firmware updates to the NX1.

Meanwhile Panny has done a little, but probably Too little...and Too late, they really need to get off the collective corporate arses and do something ..or say something thats solid.
And give the firmware to some of the bloggers like Andrew!!
[...] As I said I am a fan of the GH4, but if they dont get a clue soon..I for one will be looking at Sony, BMD or Samsung for my next cam for certain.
 

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Grading the current files works quite well, I would not expect the V-log to be any worse.  Besides you can trancecode your footage into 10 bit pro res on import anyway.

​You know, except that everyone who shoots flat on the GH4 or S-Log2 on the A7S can't get decent skintones to save their lives. 

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I'm with you Andrew. It's a bit disappointing waiting for something that is in the air and does not arrive. Especially after I bought a BMPCC... I love the ProRes from this little cam and I don't understand why Panasonic can't add not only V-Log, but ProRes too and the nice frame guides options.

I mean, I love my GH4 and I think it's far more usable then the BlackMagic Pocket (GH4 has great battery life, better monitor, easy access to basic functions such as WB, ISO, Shutter speed/angle...), but the 1080 ProRes from BlackMagic is way better! And you can have it in an SD card, no external hardware required!

I hope Panasonic will update the firmware soon in that direction!

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I would have never have bought the GH3 or GH4 if not for Andrew's insights regarding the GH line of cameras.

As for my two-cents; I don't think the A7RII or the NX1 will be what buries the GH series, or MFT for that matter. I think it will be the "A7000" (or whatever Sony will call the A6000 successor). If this camera comes with an APS-C sensor, low-noise (like my A6000 - pretty much noise-free until ISO1600), great AF, 5-Axis stabilisation, SLog2, and most importantly, 4K (and perhaps even 1080P at 120FPS, to combat NX1), all for $699 - $899, then I'd say it's pretty much over for the GH line.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Log on compressed 8bit video files? Did I miss something?  Wouldn't grading such files cause banding and other such horrifics on files from the Gh4?   

Log does work very very well with 8bit. 8bit is not the issue, weak codecs are. 

Example, Canon C300, 8bit 50mpbs, Canon Log works a treat, even with the 8bit 24mbps C100, works beautifully. Sony A7s, works great (no banding or codec break up when while de-logging - some poeple don't like the a7s colour science but that's irrelevant).

Log is simply a logarithmic gamma curve to get a flat tonal range easier to grade and protect both ends of the spectrum it will work with any codec that has the ability to be strongly contrast-adjusted without introducing artefacts. 

GH4 4K 100mbps codec is one of the strongest 8bit codecs, as is the 200mbps 1080p, not to mention the ability to record 10bit 600mbps 1080p ProRes HQ through HDMI (You can get that for 300$ Ninja Star or 500$ Ninja2 that gives you an extra 5" field monitor)

 A strong Log curve coupled with tweaked colour science (which is what V-log is, it's also a little colour magic) is a perfect companion for the GH4. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I would have never have bought the GH3 or GH4 if not for Andrew's insights regarding the GH line of cameras.

As for my two-cents; I don't think the A7RII or the NX1 will be what buries the GH series, or MFT for that matter. I think it will be the "A7000" (or whatever Sony will call the A6000 successor). If this camera comes with an APS-C sensor, low-noise (like my A6000 - pretty much noise-free until ISO1600), great AF, 5-Axis stabilisation, SLog2, and most importantly, 4K (and perhaps even 1080P at 120FPS, to combat NX1), all for $699 - $899, then I'd say it's pretty much over for the GH line.

I get a sense that A7000 is going to be the 550D of the next decade. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Crippling doesn't seem to be in their philosophy AT ALL. Look at the A7R II and A7s and A7 II and A6000 they're just trying as hard as possible to get every single feature out there available and cram it into their cameras, even if they're not still perfectly implemented. 

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After the nx1, I really doubt sony can counter attack in the apsc arena. Samsung has access to the most advanced computational hw (the cpu in nx1 is a 'monster', by camera standards).

 

Samsung simply has to further tune its sw (fw) and add slog2 and vlog, along with cropped 4k and, if technically possible, even higher bitrates and 10bit recording.

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Log does work very very well with 8bit. 8bit is not the issue, weak codecs are. 

Example, Canon C300, 8bit 50mpbs, Canon Log works a treat, even with the 8bit 24mbps C100, works beautifully. Sony A7s, works great (no banding or codec break up when while de-logging - some poeple don't like the a7s colour science but that's irrelevant).

Log is simply a logarithmic gamma curve to get a flat tonal range easier to grade and protect both ends of the spectrum it will work with any codec that has the ability to be strongly contrast-adjusted without introducing artefacts. 

GH4 4K 100mbps codec is one of the strongest 8bit codecs, as is the 200mbps 1080p, not to mention the ability to record 10bit 600mbps 1080p ProRes HQ through HDMI (You can get that for 300$ Ninja Star or 500$ Ninja2 that gives you an extra 5" field monitor)

 A strong Log curve coupled with tweaked colour science (which is what V-log is, it's also a little colour magic) is a perfect companion for the GH4. 

​Well, I have the A7s and s-log2 is unusable in 8-bit if you care one bit about image quality. Plastic skin everywhere once you restore contrast; simply not enough tonal precision in 8 bits for the flatness of this curve. Besides, the s-log2 setting doesn't use a huge chunk of the coding space, this way further screwing the tonal precision.

Canon c-log is a different story. Its curve is not log really, just log-like in the upper end. And it has less DR than s-log. Much more 8-bit friendly.

 

Codec is important but not as important as the bitdepth. Try working with 16 stops log in uncompressed 8-bit and see what happens even if there is no codec at play.

 

 

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Crippling doesn't seem to be in their philosophy AT ALL. Look at the A7R II and A7s and A7 II and A6000 they're just trying as hard as possible to get every single feature out there available and cram it into their cameras, even if they're not still perfectly implemented. 

​OK, so "crippling" is a ridiculously overblown way of saying "mildly inconveniencing videographers" ;-)

I agree that with the A7S and A7RII Sony are on fire at their top end. Lower down the range however, and there's all kinds of segmentation shenanigans going on. Something Andrew said in one of his earlier posts: makers should differentiate between the cameras in their range on the basis of hardware, not arbitrary omission of software features. The firmware should be like an OS, in that the feature set is reasonably predictable across the range. e.g. most of the Sony cams have a nice function menu (fn), you know, the sort of quick menu where you program in 10 or 12 of your most used functions. The camera which most needs this, arguably, is the A5100, as it has few physical buttons. If they had implemented it with the A5100's touch screen, that would have been awesome. But the fn menu is not there on that cam. Or it wasn't last time I checked.

A7000 is rumoured to be delayed because of overheating issues. That suggests to me that they're trying to squeeze 4K, IBIS, BSI or whatever it is that they have in store for us into an NEX-style form-factor, rather than the larger A7-style body. I bet that means no mic input or headphone jack, and, yes, overheating. I would love to be proven wrong of course.

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Samsung simply has to further tune its sw (fw) and add slog2 and vlog, along with cropped 4k and, if technically possible, even higher bitrates and 10bit recording.

I agree. Samsung is in a unique position, they don't have to worry about cannibalizing their own high-end market with the NX1. The NX1 is their high-end. Keep making the NX1 better and better, gain a real following. Next, Samsung could pull out all the stops and give us a F55 or even a F65 for the price of a FS7 if they wanted. They make both the sensor and processor, and decent glass when they want to. Who could stop them? 

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SONY has a roadmap, but I'm not sure just what it is yet.  This is a very high stakes game thats playing out right now in the camera market.  Understand though its not just the cameras themselves its content.  Who is using these cameras and what are they shooting? Family vacations? Youtube movies? Wedding videos?  Short films?  Corporate video?   

SONY, Panasonic, Canon, whomever has to keep in mind the end user and balance whatever they do against a roadmap that includes both the enthusiast and the true professional.  The internet and social media is on the verge of making the old broadcast TV model obsolete, thats a big damn deal too.  Finally the camera market is going crazy.  So there is a lot going on right now.  

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

​Well, I have the A7s and s-log2 is unusable

 

 

I absolutely disagree. 

And anyhow, the GH4 is both 8bit and 10bit.

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The camera/firmware race is great! The real problem, and I really have little hope for a solution, is that normal people can't jump from/to a Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Canon without having to rebuild a lens set. Adapters are OK sometimes or too expensive. For the price of a Metabones adapter I can get a LX100!!! 

 

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The camera/firmware race is great! The real problem, and I really have little hope for a solution, is that normal people can't jump from/to a Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Canon without having to rebuild a lens set. Adapters are OK sometimes or too expensive. For the price of a Metabones adapter I can get a LX100!!! 

 

For professional photography, which requires AF most of the time, I can understand. However, if they were to invest in Nikon-F mount lenses, there would be no probably with system jumping. It's actually why I invested in a bunch of Nikon AIS lenses years ago. They've survived the jump from my 7D, to NEX-5, to D7100, to GH3 to BMCC and BMPCC, to GH4, to A6000 and A7s. In fact, I'd say the Nikon 28mm AIS F2.8 is the best lens I've ever owned. Not only in build-quality, but in optics. Masterpiece of a lens.

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