This is a guest post by GH4 shooter Thomas Schweighofer who tried out the new Vlog-L mode on the GH4 extensively during a trip through New Zealand.
In similar news, FilmConvert have announced that their GH4 VLog-L setting is available for download from today – click here! (NL)
This film was made during travelling through New Zealand in 13 Days by car.
I used the Voigtlander 10.5mm T0.95 and the Lumix G X 35-100mm 2.8 only since there was no time for changing lenses or setting up shots. All done by occasion and run & gun style.
Scroll down to find a quick shooters guide on how to setup shots with VLOG on the Panasonic GH4.
I will tell you how to expose your shots and what is important to get the most dynamic range out of the camera without getting any noise at all.
On my Facebook Page you will find all my LUT’s created to achieve these looks for free to download.
GH4 Vlog untouched & LUT applied (full size)
GH4 VLOG Shooters Guide:
You obviously want your camera to be in manual movie mode, then select the picture profile Vlog-L.
Make sure you have chosen full manual exposure (they fixed it that there is no auto iso in this mode available).
When shooting VLOG you MUST have turned on your histogram to judge exposure accordingly.
Go into the individual settings and make sure you are turning on zebras at 80%.
No matter if you are shooting vlog or standard, natural, cined… you should always have the constant preview and video priority mode switched on.
Once you have done this, it is saved, you won’t have to adjust those settings anymore, let’s carry on to shooting VLOG.
How NOT to shoot Vlog-L
Most of you people would obviously start shooting in Vlog like any other profile. However, that would be the wrong way to do it.
To achieve a well exposed image, you always have to expose brighter than you would think in Vlog-L.
Don’t fall for the highlight zebras:
Of course you don’t want to miss any details in the sky, so you are checking that there is no Zebra going on. The rest of the image would be way too dark.
Having the Zebra set at 80% it works best for me.
As you can see, there is now zebra displayed in the sky. That is okay, but we even have to push it even brighter.
Check the histogram.
The key to success when shooting Vlog is the histogram.
This might not be scientific, but my golden rule is to always see the middle part of the histogramm (from left to right) – this ensures there is no under- or overexposure in the image occurring.
Adjust your exposure, so that there is at least 1/3 on the left of the middle and a maximum of 2/3 on the right of the middle.
I would not go under 1/2 left and 1/2 right, and I tend to make it a bit brighter.
Your shots should be easily overexposed by about 1.5 up to 2.5 stops (check the EV).
But don’t rely on these numbers blindly. For example, imagine you are having a tree in front of you that is backlit by the sun – if you were to expose for that shot, you would be exposing for the sun, of course losing all the detail in the foreground.
You would need to tilt down, so that there is no sun in your image, expose for the tree according to the histogram and the EV between 1.5 and 2.5. Then tilt up again to have the sun in the background and adjust your exposure again, make it the smallest increment possible darker, so you will have a not blacked out tree and a not overexposed sun/sky. A shot like that of course goes beyond what this 8-bit camera can resolve in terms of dynamic range, there is no way to see it all even in Vlog-L, but we can get as close as possible at least.
With this guide you should be able to achieve all those high dynamic range shots and not having trouble with too much noise, which is easily introduced in underexposed LOG images of all kinds of cameras.
All my LUT’s are designed for shots exposed like described above (around +2stops EV).
For those of you who don’t have the time to play around with GH4 Vlog, or can’t manage to get the right exposure with it, you can download screengrabs of my ungraded GH4 Vlog shots and try to apply Luts and grading them.
Links to the LUTs and more can be found on my Facebook Page – click here.