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GH1, GF1 and G1 firmware hackable

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by F1L1P, May 16, 2010.

  1. F1L1P

    F1L1P Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2010
    I believe it is now possible to homebrew your GH1 firmware and remove 30 min record limit from EU version. Change language from japanese to english version....some features:
    Time limit for PAL cameras (done)
    50/60fps PAL/NTSC unswitchable (done)
    Audio Encoding bitrate low (done)
    24p native (done)
    Added G1 v1.50 Version and Japan->English patches
    Added GF1 v1.22 Version and Japan->English patches

    Have you seen this? Is it legal to comment on this forum about this stuff?
    • Like Like x 2
  2. texascbx

    texascbx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2009
    Interesting. They have been hacking Canon firmware for years. Firmware hacking is pretty common in the computer world.

    CHDK Wiki
  3. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    It will be interesting to see what are the real potentials of the hardware. I own a GF1 and I would like to see more options with video encoding.
  4. BoYzZzZz

    BoYzZzZz New to Mu-43

    Feb 16, 2011
  5. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    ~1hr north of Portland OR
    Jim R
    excuse me?

    Wonder how many video limits they removed from the G1.. :biggrin:
  6. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    Hack Benefits

    What are the benefits of hacking into the camera's s-ware?
  7. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    ~1hr north of Portland OR
    Jim R
    In this case, it seems to enable video features that the sensor and circuits are capable of doing, but Panasonic chose not to enable. The company wants certain cameras to behave differently from others, but users with spare time (and willing to risk an inoperative camera) re-wrote the code.

    I've seen some before/after video on the 'hacked' cameras where very little difference is noted - but to tech-folk the ability to do something outweighs the on-screen result of doing it. I'm not one so I can dare to utter such heresy! :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    Think twice!

    Hey Jim
    Regarding the GH1 "hack", while it improves the motion video quality, doing so will void the warranty. I got it from very good sources that Panasonic received several "hacked" cameras where the Venus engine was toasted. That's an expensive repair - I've heard $500-$700

    Later GH1's were modified to prevent the hack. The GH2 did raise the sampling rate, but not via firmware. The Venus engine is totally revamped and they added a third processor. I think that alone tells us that if it was only a matter of changing the firmware, that's the route they would have taken.

    I don't think Panasonic wants to cripple any camera. It's more about a conservative and reliable design rather than driving at full speed all the time.
  9. panystac

    panystac Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 14, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Later GH1 hardware was NOT modified to prevent the hack. The hack written by the hacker was contained in a software tool. (He was very careful not to circulate hacked firmware, most of which is copyrighted.) The software tool takes existing Panasonic firmware(any firmware up to and including Ver 1.33), and allows the user to change parameters in the firmware. The user can them load the modified firmware.

    The Panasonic firmware that was factory loaded after June 2010, was Ver 1.34, which has NOT been released on the Panasonic website. This firmware does not allow any firmware without the Ver 1.34 firmware format to be loaded. (for example Panasonic Ver 1.34 or 1.35 which is not available). If Ver 1.34 was released in the Panasonic website, the hacker could update the tool for 1.34, allowing modifications to 1.34, and be loaded as Ver 1.35

    Although loading the hacked firmware would void the warranty, ticking boxes in the software tool can set the firmware version to Ver 0.01, so the original firmware can be reloaded.

    The GH1 highest bit rate on video is 13Mb/s. In my view, Panasonic HAVE crippled the GH1 video to some extent, as the hack can provide higher bit rates, and more frame rates (for example 24p & 25p at 1080p), along with some other features like unrestricted video time and more languages. The problem regarding toasted Venus engines, as I understand it, is where users have tried very high bit rates (e.g. 80Mb/s), instead of sensible bit rates up to around 30-40Mb/s.

    The GH2 takes the next logical step, providing a higher bit rate of 24Mb/s with better hardware, but at a later stage, it's likely a hack would improve the video further.
  10. panystac

    panystac Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 14, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    The hack allows 24p 1080 which is the accepted cinematic frame rate. Also, the bit rate of 13Mb/s shows video "mud" when there is fast moving motion. Frame rates of higher than around 30Mb/s drastically reduce this "mud", allowing amateur film makers to produce good quality movies.
  11. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2010
    I have the GF1 and 720P is not bad really for Video is hacking worthwhile
    I higher res may not be worthwhile camera shake and subject movement may negate a higher resolution
  12. panystac

    panystac Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 14, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    It's up to you. The GF1 standard maximum settings are:
    1280 x 720p, 25/30 fps (output as 50p or 60p PAL/NTSC) 17Mbps

    If you want better video of high speed action, then using the hack, you could get rid of video "mud", by raising the bit rate to maybe 25 - 30 Mb/s.

    You need not use 1080p if you are happy with 720p, but the quality of the video can be improved.
  13. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2010
    Have you hacked the GF1
  14. panystac

    panystac Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 14, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Yes. And also the GH1, and the G1.
  15. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    How high is "safe" on a GF1?
  16. panystac

    panystac Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 14, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    I'd say 25-30Mb/s is safe.
  17. Jimboh

    Jimboh Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    Stable hack

    There was an effort to "standardize" the hacked settings to find a sweet spot between better performance for the GH-1 yet allow for a stable workflow.

    For example, you can probably change a couple of settings the enhance the video quality, but later on find it is not editable in FCP, Vegas or Avid, etc. Whatever hack you do, it has to be compatible throughout the edit chain to final product. Obviously, no one wants to cook their camera either.

    I saw this awhile ago, but not been able to re-locate. I've not hacked my camera, but now it's out of warranty, may do so, I just don't have time to work out the correct settings. Anyone see this?
  18. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2010
    Problem is the settings not seen clear instructions anywhere particularly for the GF1
  19. elife

    elife New to Mu-43

    Feb 28, 2011
    I bought used GF1 (Japanese version) that originally has no English language option...I am enjoying this camera much with the understandable language to me ;) 
  20. solutci

    solutci New to Mu-43

    Oct 3, 2011
    I just did the same with a GF2 and am tossing up between keeping it and selling it, any thoughts?
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