September 15, 2015

Simple Workaround Gives Free V-Log on the Panasonic GH4

A few days ago, Panasonic released firmware 2.3 for the Panasonic GH4, which contained the V-Log L profile upgrade. 

While this firmware update gave you the profile, it could only be accessed with a key that you buy for $100 and gets mailed to you. Avoiding a download for the V-Log key was likely a way for Panasonic to try to keep this from getting hacked, but earlier today people did just that. If you've purchased the V-Log L key, when you get it in the mail, this is how you'll be installing it:

Matt Smith posted in our comments section a way to get this for free. This has been posted all over the web, but we won't be posting the instructions here. Essentially, if you want to get it to work on your camera, you'll need to have already installed firmware 2.3, and you'll need to use the Panasonic Image App. The firmware update is no longer available for download, and we don't condone anyone using this workaround who hasn't already purchased a key for V-Log L from Panasonic.

Apparently this update is causing issues with certain functions of the camera as well, like Zebras:

Plenty of people have already done this and it works (I don't own a GH4, but know people who have them). I'm not sure how this was figured this out besides just experimenting, but to reiterate, if you haven't purchased the key legally, we can't support using this workaround. I'm sure Panasonic will release a new firmware that disables this ability, but in the meantime, if you've already installed the firmware, these instructions should work.     

Your Comment

40 Comments

Anyone else having problems with downloading the firmware? The page seems to be down.

September 15, 2015 at 7:15PM

0
Reply
avatar
Josiah Moore
Owner - Rainy Parade Films
88

Yeh I think they stopped downloads im asking around for the old update

September 15, 2015 at 7:35PM

0
Reply
Maxwell Miranda
Director writer
147

Any luck finding a copy of the v2.3 firmware for PC? I'm looking everywhere for a mirror or something.

September 16, 2015 at 2:36PM, Edited September 16, 2:42PM

0
Reply

I downloaded it this morning and got it working (pre-ordered earlier this month, oh well) Curiously though, zebras don't work... anyone else have that issue?

September 15, 2015 at 7:27PM

6
Reply
Daniel Guillaro
Director of Photography, Editor
193

since this is down can you send me that file.... if you got the zip over the exe?

September 15, 2015 at 7:35PM

0
Reply
Maxwell Miranda
Director writer
147

This has nothing do with a flaw..

It's because the V-log L profile put the highlights at 79 IRE.. meaning that the exposure cannot get over 79% exposure. So if you Zebras are at 95% (eksample) then you do the math.. it will never get exposed at 95% because the V-log L profilel captures all data within a thinner margin on the histogram. (like CineStyle for Canon DSLR's). It's to compress as much info into the middel of the historigram to get more Dynamic range in the greys.

Atleast, this is how i understand it. So no.. it's not a flaw that the zebras don't work. It's normal.

September 16, 2015 at 2:16AM

0
Reply

Exactly, choose the Zebra Pattern 1, this one works as it covers 70%. For mac users, there's a link of the update ;)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5p9wze495zdgk1x/GH4__V23.zip?dl=0

September 16, 2015 at 5:35AM

9
Reply
avatar
Mark Angelil
Film Maker/Graphic Designer
149

yes please re-up as soon as possible

September 16, 2015 at 9:47AM

10
Reply

September 16, 2015 at 12:02PM

0
Reply
avatar
Mark Angelil
Film Maker/Graphic Designer
149

Well that didn't take long. They'll be more hacks if necessary...

September 15, 2015 at 8:07PM, Edited September 15, 8:07PM

7
Reply
Vidrazor
625

It's a computer, you own it...you are completely in your right to hack it. Saying you are aginst hacking it saying you are against magic lantern, or people rooting their phones, etc...besides you are promoting and linking to the solution. It's being very hypocritical in your statements and in the torrent world you are just as guilty. So you mine as well post it on your site because your are linking to it and promoting it, even if you don't endorse it.

September 15, 2015 at 8:10PM, Edited September 15, 8:11PM

4
Reply
Darren Orange
Director/Producer
278

They aren't posting directions because they probably plan on Panasonic ever speaking to them again.

September 15, 2015 at 8:13PM

0
Reply
Joshua Bowen
Editor
545

You clearly have never dealt with copyright laws or had to deal with IP.

If you download a trial of Adobe Premiere and hack it you guilty of software piracy. Not just hacking your computer. It's not your right. You're stealing. There is no other way to put it.

Magic Lantern is complete different. ML does not use ANY codebase from Canon or any other IP that is copyright protected. It's an application that runs ALONGSIDE the Canon firmware. Not, over it, does not upgrade existing codebase it doesn't even live on the camera. Only on media cards. Plus it's also free and licensed as such.

September 15, 2015 at 10:10PM, Edited September 15, 10:10PM

0
Reply

That's about the most ignorant thing i ever read.. So just because i own a computer, i can steal software !?! With that logic, Microsoft shouldn't be charging a dime for every iteration of windows...

I guess everyone who owns a dvd/blueray player are entitled to steal movies as well ?

September 15, 2015 at 10:37PM

0
Reply
avatar
Paul Lindqvist
Photographer
81

To Paul Lindqvist who, it seems, needs to read a little bit more. You have legal and moral right to do whatever you want to camera or software you buy legally including messing around, destroying/deleting, making money etc. except things that are otherwise specified in your license agreement. You are usually only forbidden to make a copy and distribute in any form. That goes for the software and camera alike. And I don’t know what you were trying to say with Microsoft my friend but if you buy a software from that company, and have required skills, you can change every line of code to open a web page about copyright laws where you can learn so many things. Just don’t make copies. Sorry for the condescending tone but our rights are a serious subject.

September 16, 2015 at 2:44AM

7
Reply

My response was to Darren Orange.

Im not sure who needs to read a little more. They charge for the FW upgrade which add new features, the assumption just because you own the hardware entitles you to getting the software for free for the rest of your life is indeed ignorant. The firmware update cost's money, want it ? Then buy it, period.

September 16, 2015 at 9:46AM

8
Reply
avatar
Paul Lindqvist
Photographer
81

No, but if they give you the functionality and you figure out how to make it work without needing to pay them then well...that's really on them. They gave you the ability for it to work...if you can push a few buttons you don't have to pay them, that's really their leak their problem not the end user.

September 16, 2015 at 9:07PM

0
Reply
Darren Orange
Director/Producer
278

The question wan't wether it's was their fault or not for enabling the V-log without paying. I responded to you'r initial post that argued that just because you own the GH4 you'r are entitled to the firmware for free regardless.

Now the their oversight has been adressed and the opportunists will have to pay like everyone else if they want to have their camera up to date.

September 17, 2015 at 10:12PM, Edited September 17, 10:13PM

0
Reply
avatar
Paul Lindqvist
Photographer
81

For the record, I really wouldn't consider this a hack at all. Panasonic didn't disable the ability to select V-Log in their Mobile app to control your camera from your tablet. You simply select V-Log. No hacking, as such their isn't any real legal basis for Panasonic to take legal action. They can't sue people for using their app that they put out there for anyone to use.

That said, I still want people to pay for this! I personally have preordered V-Log Even though the guilt is clearly on Panasonic, lets show our support for continued innovation of the GH4 by not taking advantage of their mistake.

September 16, 2015 at 12:24AM, Edited September 16, 12:24AM

4
Reply

I agree, it's not technically a hack and I highly doubt anyone will get sued over this, considering you're just using their products as intended but with some unintended consequences.

That doesn't mean we are trying to encourage people to cheat Panasonic out of what is a $100 addition to the camera. The directions are all over the place, and people were going to find it eventually, so that's why we decided to post about it.

September 16, 2015 at 12:39AM

3
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Camera Department

Right on. And agreed. If you like it support the project.

September 16, 2015 at 1:39AM

0
Reply

I thought the price was good. I wish Sony gave me that option to upgrade to slog 3 with the a7s.

September 16, 2015 at 1:03AM, Edited September 16, 1:03AM

2
Reply
avatar
Gerbert Floor
DP / Director / Camera / Editor
457

First of all, it's not a hack. Far too many people getting themselves all excited thinking they are Mr Robot. It's an option in the software provided by Panasonic, you simply select it in a menu like you would any other profile. It's also not stealing, which people seem to be accusing others of, like above, it's an option in the menu when you install the software. Also, it stinks of some kind of awareness raising effort. I doubt very much it's a coincidence that V-Log L could be pre-ordered for those already excited to get a hold of it. For everyone else, would they even know about it? Would they care? But a leak, something for free, a 'hack' gets everyone talking and checking it out. It's a common enough marketing technique these days. It's so simple and so obvious that there is no way Panasonic couldn't have known about it, it's a freaking option in a menu! :)

I would suggest getting hold of it to try it out before spending the $99 as in my opinion it's not really a great log format that introduces more post production work than it does dynamic range.

September 16, 2015 at 1:44AM, Edited September 16, 1:44AM

13
Reply

i agree with you on the fact that its not a hack or illegal action. yet.

i disagree with you that Panasonic planned this. You're obviously right about the leakage marketing, but i don't think it applies to their situation like it does when you see the new iPhones 5 days early. Hardware leaks can only increase the sales, whereas this leak can directly work against it. Also leakage marketing only increases the number of people knowing about the device, but i bet that every professional planning to buy VLog will laready have heard about it.

To me this is simply a huge fail from Panasonic who apparently worked hard against something like this.

September 16, 2015 at 10:28AM

2
Reply
avatar
Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
577

The download page just lets me know that I can't pay for v-log with a non-US account. I know I could switch my Paypal but that's a bunch of hassle. Anyone have a link for the EU site?

September 16, 2015 at 1:57AM

0
Reply
avatar
Sebastian Kammonen
Filmmaker
328

Hey,

1. Do you also have ISO limitation in VLogL minimum to 400?
2. Do you have any good LUTs for VLogL? I only found VLog_to_V709_forV35_ver100.

Cheers! :)

September 16, 2015 at 3:59AM, Edited September 16, 3:59AM

0
Reply
avatar
Kamil
74

Chicago via VLog L: https://vimeo.com/139454369

DR and color are much improved. There is some banding and noise that I hope clears up with an external recorder.

September 16, 2015 at 6:10AM

0
Reply

well this looks rather fantastic! Thanks for sharing Aaron!

Why did you choose to turn off OIS on the 12-35mm? Or is the OIS really that terrible?

September 16, 2015 at 10:31AM

0
Reply
avatar
Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
577

Oops, Panasonic!

September 16, 2015 at 8:20AM

0
Reply

I think that it's perfectly legal to install the firmware this way. At least from what we know right now. It shouldn't even void your warranty. I base my believe on the following:

- You cannot call it a "hack". You use your legally owned GH4 with the latest Image App from Panasonic together with the official firmware file you downloaded from their website. There is no process of changing, hacking, breaking or cracking anything if you ask me. You use a simple workflow with original Hard- and Software from Panasonic. I'd go as far as saying you can even ask for warranty repairs if this bricks your GH4.

- Panasonic hasn't made any statements regarding this incident. There is no piece of information published by Panasonic calling this apparent workaround illegal. Sure, one might argue that Panasonic didn't plan this because they put the firmware file offline, but this could also stand for a number of things and doesn't directly refer to the fact that this isn't allowed. Some software is sold for money through one channel and is completely free when taking a different, often more complicated route like compiling it yourself.

As far as I know it comes down to the question, if you have a way of finding out that you're doing something illegal. Since Panasonic hasn't informed anyone about this situation, it's perfectly fine to assume that while using their official products you can use their features any way you like, as long as you don't hurt the rights of others.

EDIT: Since a few laws in the USA are so messed up, i want to add that this is my personal unprofessional opinion and I'm not responsible for any possible actions regarding this topic you plan on doing. Inform yourself.

September 16, 2015 at 10:53AM, Edited September 16, 10:57AM

0
Reply
avatar
Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
577

Panasonic will release a new GH4 firmware 2.4 on September 17th that will disable this V-log hack. Later on the mobile IMAGE app will also be updated to disable the hack.

http://lumixlounge.com/2015/09/vloglactivationissue/

Here's one person's view on the whole V-log hacking issue, that I pretty much agree with. We will kill any future upgrades for the GH4 if we don't support Panasonic on this. ( and then the ONLY upgrade path will be buying a new camera )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfFivtW4J7c

September 16, 2015 at 12:12PM

3
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33046

I think anybody can find at least a few things to agree with in that video. I do as well. His point on paid updates being worth the money is completely right. Still, call me old fashioned but I think updates should be free. Period. I also agree with the fact that Panasonic messed up the communication and thinking about it maybe that's a large part of why I am pissed.

I definitely disagree with him calling it stealing and hacking. There is simply no stealing nor hacking involved. At least I see none.

I don't think we will see any relevant software updates for the gh4 in the future, just as there were none in the past 18 months. Except the paid one. I think it's pathetic that the 2.3 update only included one other tiny feature after all this time.

Also, I find it funny how lightning fast Panasonic can deliver updates when their own ass is on the line. They should keep that momentum for future development.

September 16, 2015 at 2:53PM

0
Reply
avatar
Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
577

Anybody have a dropbox link to the v2.3 update for windows?

September 16, 2015 at 2:32PM

6
Reply

What? V-Log only goes down to ISO 400? That stinks!

September 16, 2015 at 3:16PM, Edited September 16, 3:16PM

1
Reply

It has to do with getting the full 12-stops of dynamic range from the sensor. 400 ISO is the true "native" speed of the sensor. ( even with regular GH4 profiles, you will get the best looking image at 400 ISO )

September 16, 2015 at 5:03PM

0
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33046

So NFS is now actively promoting stealing Panasonic products? Seriously?!?

Panasonic, please bring NFS up to speed - start with the Napster case then move forward.

September 16, 2015 at 6:40PM, Edited September 16, 6:40PM

0
Reply
Zeb Tao
94

Yeah, just like every big news site is also supporting ISIS and Donald Trump for President.

September 16, 2015 at 10:09PM, Edited September 16, 10:11PM

4
Reply
avatar
Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
577

Honestly that euro version DMC-GH4RE-K is starting to look a pretty good option. Any word if it can shoot 30 fps?

September 16, 2015 at 7:51PM

11
Reply
avatar
Isaac Alonzo
Photographer / Cinematographer
373

This has been said on other forums as well, but I have personally tested this, and there is nothing wrong with the zebras or highlights. Set you're Zebras to 75% or 80% and you'll be fine. V-Log compresses the highlights and shadows into the middle of the histogram.

September 16, 2015 at 11:49PM, Edited September 16, 11:49PM

0
Reply

Panasonic responded with a new firmware 2.4 i.s.o. 2.3??????

September 17, 2015 at 9:48AM, Edited September 17, 9:48AM

5
Reply