Panasonic has released version 2.3 of its firmware for the popular hybrid stills and moviemaking marvel the Lumix GH4. This long-awaited update adds the Activate function to the GH4’s Setup menu tab, on page 6 of 6. Activate itself contains the Export Serial Code, Import Serial Code and Activation List items.
If you are planning on purchasing an optional software upgrade key for the V-Log L “extended function”, as Panasonic describes V-Log L, direct from Panasonic USA or one of the many authorized retailers around the world such as B&H Photo, or have already done so, then you may wish to download and install this firmware update now in readiness for receipt of your activation code.
If you have no need of V-Log L then you may choose to forgo installing version 2.3 for the time being. According to Panasonic’s information sheet, downloadable as a PDF, the Activate function is the only content in this new version of the firmware.
The Activate function’s Activation List item gives rise to some intriguing questions though. Does Panasonic have any further “extended functions” planned for future release? Only time will tell.
I was lucky enough to receive a loaner GH4 from Panasonic Australia via its PR agency earlier today and quickly put V-Log L through its paces with some footage shot in an interior. Tomorrow I will begin shooting a wider collection of footage and subjects to get a better idea of the benefits, and possible downsides, that V-Log L bestows.
The most obvious one is that, after choosing the V-Log L photo style, the GH4’s base ISO becomes 400. Flip from V-Log L over to another photo style and the camera’s 200 ISO base ISO is available once again. If shooting with V-Log L outdoors in full sunshine, make sure you have your ND filters with you!
I will be trying out other ISOs in V-Log L. I read an intriguing report the other day where a user stated he had achieved far better results with 1/3 increments instead of doubling or halving his GH4’s ISOs.
By default, the GH4 is set to 1 EV increments in its ISO scale. Go to Menu/Rec/ISO Increments in page 5/7 of the Rec tab to set 1/3 EV. I suggest trying an ISO of, say, 800 and then try dropping your ISO by 1/3 to 640.
The user who reported a marked improvement in image quality by dropping 1/3 EV was apparently shooting stills at the time so there is no guarantee that movie footage may benefit from the same procedure. And if shooting in V-Log L, there may be no improvement at all. But it is always worth trying!Panasonic Lumix GH4 firmware update 2.3 is here! Now lay your money down to unlock V-Log L. Click To Tweet
Joint update service for Four Thirds lenses
This page explains the Joint update service for Four Thirds lenses (including Micro Four Thirds lenses) for Panasonic camera body users, and provides a link to the page explains the same for Olympus camera body users, together with the Panasonic camera body’s firmware updates.
The following services are available for improvements on performance, operability, and compatibility in the digital interchangeable lens system camera and lens.
For complete Update Procedures, click HERE.
(cover photo credit: snap from Karin Gottschalk)