Panasonic’s GH4 has been rumored to get an upgrade with a V-Log recording option for wider dynamic range and greater flexibility in color grading. We saw this feature alongside the anamorphic firmware upgrade back at NAB 2015.
What we didn’t know at the time was when it would be released and if it would cost extra. We still don’t have answers to these questions but new rumors from Digicame-info suggest that Panasonic may introduce a new model, the GH4R, which comes with V-Log capabilities out of the box.
If that happens, will GH4 users have the option to upgrade their cameras to V-Log capable? We know that’s possible because we saw the GH4 running with V-Log enabled back at NAB (alongside the anamorphic feature that was released as a free firmware upgrade). If the GH4R comes out, that seems to suggest that any upgrade to the GH4 would be a paid upgrade. How much though?
What’s the right price point to keep budget-minded pros and enthusiasts interested?
Why would Panasonic charge for V-Log on the GH4 to begin with?
I think some of this decision might come from interdepartmental tension at Panasonic. This is based on some conversations I’ve had and also some reading in between the lines.
The GH4’s V-Log comes from the research and development of the professional Varicam products. Based on what I’ve heard, those who are over the Varicam products simply don’t want to give away professional features to consumers or low-end professional users.
That’s probably an oversimplification of the dynamics at play, but it all boils down charging more for professional features. And really, the professional users (even low-end pro users) are going to be the ones really putting V-Log to use.
I’m not saying for sure that a V-Log upgrade for the GH4 is going to cost money; however, these latest rumors seem to make it more likely. And that’s assuming that the upgrade is available at all on the GH4.
Again, these are all rumors and speculation but things are starting to match up with what I’ve heard from some people close to Panasonic in recent months.