Although it is old news now that Panasonic’s firmware update version 2.2 excluded the exciting V-Log logarithmic profile, improved support for shooting anamorphic widescreen has got some GH4 moviemakers excited too and that excitement might spread over the coming months.
Veydra announced it is working on a Micro Four Thirds anamorphic 25mm mini prime lens, Vashi Nedomansky released widescreen templates and an After Effects plug-in, and Eduardo Angel is showing how he shot an anamorphic V-Log L movie in some crowded city streets.
And let’s not forget SLR Magic’s promising SLR Magic Anamorphic 1.33x 50 Anamorphic Adapter. Might we be entering a new age of independent widescreen feature film moviemaking? Only time will tell. But meanwhile I am grateful to Eduardo Angel for showing us how he shot Panasonic North America’s official anamorphic and V-Log L video, and to Mr Nedomansky for sharing a intriguing set of widescreen graphic templates.
I used to shoot widescreen stills on corporate assignments in the deserts of Western Australia, equipped with a 4”x5” sheet film camera and Sinar Zoom 120 roll film magazine. Its 6x12cm panoramic option felt so right for shooting figures in landscapes straight out of some weird science fiction/western crossover.
Which reminds me of old analog ways to achieve the longer tonal ranges the razor-harsh light in which those landscapes were bathed. If shooting monochrome, I would over-expose the film then under-process it to cope with that long, long natural tonal range. If shooting color transparency, the choices were more limited, consisting mostly of bouncing sunlight around to fill the shadows in figures close to my camera. Fill-in flash wasn’t really my thing.
I was searching for the analog equivalent of a flat but long dynamic range picture profile like V-Log L and it was like chasing a pot of gold at the end of an ever-elusive rainbow.
Although some industry insiders are telling us that V-Log L may make it into a firmware update around the middle of this year, it might be worthwhile downloading and installing version 2.2 even if you have no use for anamorphic. The updater also adds a shutter speed range of 1 second to 1/16000th of a second when shooting with the Electronic Shutter.
The version 2.2 link at the usually reliable Panasonic Japan joint updates pages seems to have issues so please try the link below. It combines updates for the GH4 and the YAGH interface unit, but discard the latter if you don’t own one (I don't).
- Firmware updates for AG-GH4 Camera body / AG-YAGH Interface unit – eww.pass.panasonic.co.jp/pro-av/support/content/download/EN/ep2main/soft/upggh4_e.htm
Shooting 4K Anamorphic and V-Log with Panasonic’s GH4. Ten Valuable Lessons
Via Eduardo Angel:
Just like in 2013 when we had the opportunity to field test a GH3 in the Middle East and last year when we shot with one of only three prototypes worldwide of the GH4, for the past couple of weeks I had the privilege to work with director Davis Northern, DP and tech wizard Sean Davis and many other talented people on one of the very first GH4 Anamorphic AND V-Log L projects, shot exclusively for Panasonic North America and produced by The Digital Distillery.
Panasonic 4K Anamorphic and V-Log L — Official Video
The project was exciting and very challenging, as working with hardware prototypes and beta versions of software or firmware always is. We had a lot of moving pieces and an extremely tight deadline, but I’m proud of the final results and very satisfied with the lessons learned. This article covers some of the most significant ones, and it is written from my very own personal perspective. As always, I try my best to be as objective and brand agnostic as possible. The lessons aren’t in any specific order and some links will take you to articles with additional information . Please consider using our links to help support our very time consuming articles and tutorials.
1. Shooting Anamorphic
It can definitely be achieved by a very small crew on a small budget. We mostly shot with a crew of three, with very limited gear and time. I’ve always assumed you needed a 2-ton truck and a crew of 30 to pull this off. Clearly, this was not the case for us.
In terms of lenses, we opted to keep a “low profile” while keeping our options open. In other words, we rented a set of vintage anamorphic Lomo lenses (35, 50, and 75mm) and tested an SLR Magic as well as a Letus AnamorphX 1.8X Pro Adapter and a Veydra Mini Prime.
Read full article at Eduardo Angel's page “Shooting 4K Anamorphic and V-Log with Panasonic’s GH4”
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(cover photo credit: snap from the video)