V-Log for Panasonic S1

After Panasonic has introduced firmware version 1.2 for the S1, the V-Log upgrade become a hot topic and there is a lot of discussion over the Internet if this upgrade will be free of charge or not, how to get it, how to activate and when it will become available. There is a lot already clear: in countries like USA, Australia, Germany, France, Netherlands, the upgrade will be free of charge. I have asked Panasonic Poland a question how it will be in Poland and the answer was far away from what I would be satisfied with: in Poland this upgrade will be paid feature regardless if someone already has the S1 or not. Short and precise 🙂

The other thing is when it will become available and for what money? Here Panasonic Poland was not so precise: in a few days and ask resellers and watch the Panasonic Poland site 🙂

We know already where it will be for free and that in Poland we will have to pay, so at least in Poland there appears a question if it is worth to buy it?

What we will get

  • V-Log – well, at first sight looks interesting. But… frankly speaking it just helps – the same we can achieve in post production, by rising shadows and pulling down highlights. V-Log doesn’t do anything else 🙂 Dynamics over 14 EV? With this sensor, we have it anyway 🙂 It is also worth noting that V-Log works rising the base sensitivity somewhere to ISO 600 – 640 via stronger amplification for shadows. And we already have the HLG – with no V-Log upgrade.
  • Chroma sub sampling 4:2:2 – yes, it is important, but… Fujifilm X-T3 has it by default, in the base price, with no upgrade. Yes, over HDMI only, but anyway.
  • 10-bit coding instead of 8-bit – again important and again X-T3 has it in the base price
  • Waveform Monitor – very useful tool for exposure monitoring, much better than histogram

What we DON’T get:

  • Time code – no time code in the standard, no time code in the upgrade. And this is quite important if we are talking about serious video work.
  • REC start / stop over HDMI – again feature very important when we work with external recorder, but missing in the standard software as well as in the upgrade

Coming to the conclusion: in the countries, where V-Log upgrade is free of charge, the question does not exist, but here in Poland everything depends on price. If the price is 200EUR as it looks like when reading pages of Panasonic Germany, France or Netherlands, I really doubt if this purchase makes sens.