Panasonic Responds to GH4 V-Log Workaround & Releases New 2.4 Firmware

Panasonic LUMIX GH4 VLog L & Firmware 2.4 Update Process
You may have heard about the workaround that accidentally gave people V-Log L on the Panasonic GH4 for free.

While the activation keys have apparently just started shipping today (at least from Panasonic themselves), since the firmware technically already had V-Log in the software, a number of people got around the $100 activation cost by using Panasonic's own image app. The company has responded to the situation, and understandably, besides taking down the 2.3 firmware with this flaw, they've issued a new update, firmware version 2.4:

Many thanks to those who have recently purchased the LUMIX GH4 V-Log L upgrade. We are aware of an oversight in our Panasonic Image App which allows enabling of V-Log L as a “custom” setting without purchase. This was not our intent, and our apologies for the oversight.

We appreciate the many messages of support for the continuing development of innovative new products and features, and Panasonic intends to stand behind your investment in V-Log L and the LUMIX GH4. Therefore, it’s important to know that future LUMIX GH4 firmware upgrades, including mobile app upgrade pushes, will disable unlicensed activations of V-Log L. In addition, it’s Panasonic’s service policy to upgrade firmware during warranty claims, thereby eliminating unlicensed features. Thank you again for your continued support of Panasonic and the LUMIX G camera system and innovations yet to come.

NOTE:

A new firmware V2.4 will be available starting Sept 17th. Use of the V-Log L workaround associated with firmware Version 2.3 runs the risk of the Zebra Function not working and the Histogram reading improperly.

Though I and many others have called this a hack, it's not really a hack in any way. Flaw is a much better term to describe the situation, as you're not doing anything that the camera and the Panasonic Image App weren't already designed to do. 

This new firmware disables the workaround. If you really want to go the backdoor route and get V-Log for free, the capabilities are out there and Panasonic would have a hard time trying to stop a lot of the uploads of the old 2.3 firmware (and if you've already downloaded the Image App, there's not much they can do there, either). We are not encouraging anyone to do this, and we hope that you'd only use this workaround if you've already purchased the key but are just waiting for it to ship (which has just started as this is being written). 

Here's a guide to install it:

And the written instructions from the video:

  1. Purchase the key code kit DMW-SFU1 from this page. This is not for immediate download, as its kit that will be shipped to you.
  2. Update a fully charged LUMIX GH4 with firmware Version 2.4 from the Global Joint Update Service
  3. Export the camera’s serial number to an SD Memory Card by inserting the SD card into the camera and press Menu - Setup - Activate - Export Serial Code to save serial code as SERIAL.LST file.
  4. Upload the SERIAL.LST file by inserting the SD card into your computer. From the Update Portal Web Page use BROWSE to find and select "SERIAL.LST" file on the SD card. "SERIAL.LST" is saved in folder of PRIVATE - PANA_GRP - PAVC - LUMIX - ACTV - "SERIAL.LST then press Upload to proceed. 
  5. Input "Key Code" from the kit you purchased in "Upgrade Software Key" to this website to get activation code. Alphabet on key code must be big letter to input. Please be careful with misspelling such as 1 "one" and I "big letter of "i"" or 0 "zero" and O "big letter of "o"" Please input key without hyphen "-". Click Register
  6. ACTIVE.LST should auto download from the site. Save this file to the SD card in the folder PRIVATE - PANA_GRP - PAVC - LUMIX - ACTV . 
  7. Insert the SD card into the same fully charged LUMIX GH4 and press Menu - Setup - Activate - Import Activation Code
  8. When prompted power cycle the camera. You will find your new V-LOG L feature under the Menu Photo Style.

If you've already purchased the key, be sure to download the new 2.4 firmware. If the key was purchased from Panasonic, it should have shipped today (or will ship within the next day):

Check out the links below for more, and to buy it if you haven't already.     

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Your Comment

17 Comments

"We are aware of an oversight in our Panasonic Image App which allows enabling of V-Log L as a “custom” setting without purchase. This was not our intent, and our apologies for providing customers with a product without intentional crippling of it's built-in abilities"

September 17, 2015 at 9:29PM, Edited September 17, 9:29PM

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kyleclements
Artist / Photographer / Scenic
1038

Am I the only one, If I say it is really noisy?
And it's a pain in the ass that the ISO at the lowest point is 400 the 200 ISO option drops if you use the Vlog L profile.

September 18, 2015 at 3:47AM

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Shouldn't be that big of a deal. Just get some NDs. I shoot on an A7S, and when you're shooting SLOG 2 (which is really the only way to go), the minimum ISO is 3200. Takes a bit of getting used to, but it's not a big deal once you do.

September 18, 2015 at 4:19AM

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David West
Filmmaker
1317

Hi David, It is a little different on V Log. I've shot with S LOG 2 and it's a different beast. There is definitely something wrong with V Log's implementation. Noise in the shadows isn't even the main problem. The midtones are suffering from awful magenta/cyan macroblocking against grey/beige surfaces. Using a 10 bit recorder doesn't fix the problem either.

September 18, 2015 at 4:28AM

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It appears that the magenta/cyan macroblocking might be an Adobe Premiere problem, as other people are not seeing any problems with After Effects or DaVinci Resolve. ( working in 32-bit color space is key when applying LUTs )

September 18, 2015 at 6:37PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32382

I tried it in Resolve 12 (arri LUT) and it produced the same macroblocking just like in Premiere

September 19, 2015 at 3:22AM

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Mundy Marton
DOP/Editor
92

It is really noisy and I notice that they were billing the V-Log L as giving us an extra 2 stops of DR but in actual fact it's LESS than a single stop. How many people I wonder would still buy it now we know it's not actually that good. The extra DR is actually quite hard to spot and the colour space is all over the place. Had there not been the mess-up a lot of people would be dissaponted and Panasonic would have done very little about it. What about a 7 day money back gaurantee or something. I have to be honest I have compared footage I shot on my GH4 a year ago with Master Pedestal set to +15 and my Highlight/Shadow set to -5/+5 and the results look remarkably similar. And guess what you still get to use ISO 200.

September 18, 2015 at 8:39AM, Edited September 18, 8:39AM

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John Stockton
Filmmaker, Editor.
604

It looks like people are still figuring out how to handle V-log, noise, and magenta//cyan macroblocking. There definitely appears to be a problem when applying LUTs with Adobe Premiere, but After Effects and DaVinci Resolve seem to have no problems.

I've seen great V-log footage and I've seen crap V-log footage. It really appears that getting the right workflow recipe is key to making it work.

September 18, 2015 at 6:40PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32382

Almost a year ago I had the unfortunate idea of exchanging my CANON cameras by Panasonic GH4 cameras. I bought the full five cameras and today I have four of them stopped by bad pixels on the sensor. I live in Brazil and I made contact with the PANASONIC 'S BRAZIL was told they could do nothing because I bought the camera abroad. Very carefully because I am extremely sorry.

September 18, 2015 at 12:36PM

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Arthur
74

Are they just dead pixels? Have you auto black balanced? Canon DSLRs get these all the time, and they don't give you the option to ABB.

edit: Or I guess in the GH4 menu it's called remap pixels or something

September 18, 2015 at 2:36PM, Edited September 18, 2:36PM

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If they are still under warranty, you can send them back to the country where you bought them from. I live in Canada and often buy gear from the United States, which means sending it back to the States when I want warranty repair work done.

September 18, 2015 at 6:42PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32382

Try using Menu > Setup > page 5/6 > Pixel Refresh to fix (mask out) the bad pixels.

September 19, 2015 at 9:59AM

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Adam Wilt
232

V_Log looks noicy, not the big deal! Glad i didn't pay for this.

September 19, 2015 at 1:31PM, Edited September 19, 1:31PM

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hannes mair
photographer - moviemaker
147

That's what Panasonic gets for this rip-off.

September 21, 2015 at 6:46PM, Edited September 21, 6:46PM

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David Gurney
DP
2489

"firmware Version 2.3 runs the risk of the Zebra Function not working and the Histogram reading improperly." - Let's just say there're more bugs so people will upgrade to 2.4 ;-)

September 22, 2015 at 4:53AM

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Jordy Vandeput
Youtuber
84

Jordy, the zebras do work but they stop working around 79%. It's not a fault I think that's just a limitation of V-Log L in the same way that you have to start shooting at iso400 instead of 200. Personaly I absolutly agree with some of the other comments, If I had bought this I would have been GUTTED!! Panasonic are charging £100 for this. REALLY! Like I have said before, they saw the excitment and thought it was worth a punt to try and see if they could sell it instead of just putting it out there for fre like everyone else. Some of those Panasonic shills that have been out in force recently telling evryone that £100 is fair and reasonable "if you're a professional" (Bolocks) will have egg on their pompus ass faces.

September 22, 2015 at 8:14AM, Edited September 22, 8:18AM

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John Stockton
Filmmaker, Editor.
604

I was one of those telling people that $100 was a reasonable fee, and I'd still feel that way of the damn thing worked like it was supposed to!

Everyone who bought this needs to send it back and ask for a full refund. Mine arrived today, and I'm going to start the RMA process on my lunch break!

September 30, 2015 at 7:39AM

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