As soon as I got my hands on the V-Log L image profile, I put it through a lot of tests. It is a true flat image profile for the Panasonic GH4 camera, and the upcoming GH5, that allows for the capture of 12 stops of dynamic range, instead of the 10 stops you get with the built-in image profiles of these cameras. The idea of extra dynamic range is exciting, but there is a trick to taking advantage of this additional functionality.
In my tests, I found that recording internally on the GH4 using the V-Log L profile wasn’t worth it, because it drastically increased the noise in the shadows, and it made the compression artifacts more visible.
However, those problems did not exist when using V-Log L with an external recorder that captures video in 10bits, instead of the 8bits you get internally on GH4. Also, you can get more color space – 4:2:2, versus 4:2:0 internally (again, on GH4).
When I recorded my tests, I used the Atomos Assasin recorder because that’s what I had available. However, technology improves quickly and right now there are newer recorders on the market that offer even more functionality.
As of right now, the best deal out there for a 4K recorder / monitor is the BlackMagic Design Video Assist. If you have more money to spend and want the absolute best, then the Atomos Shogun Inferno 4K Recording Monitor is the way to go. If you want something in between, then Atomos also offers the amazingly functional Ninja Flame.
Of course, if you are planning on buying the new Panasonic GH5 camera, then you don’t even need an external recorder since that camera records 4K video in 10bits and 4:2:2 color space internally. So, once you get the GH5, you can just buy the V-Log L function from B&H, and you are good to go.
Here is my video explaining my experience of using the V-Log L function
Here you can watch my V-Log L tests in full 4K resolution – both recorded internally in-camera and externally.
Here is where you can get all the things I mention in the video and post