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GH2 Hack...so many versions?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by roverT, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. roverT

    roverT Mu-43 Regular

    121
    Nov 27, 2011
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I was just wondering if any of you hardcore videographers know much about the GH2 video hack. I see stuff from Vit, EOS, etc.... Are they all totally different in video quality or very similar? I'm trying to find one that'll work well for video interviews with the best of sharpness but I am unsure of all the different hacks from other users. I wish I could look more into it but I just ordered the camera and have to travel across the country and shoot in a couple days... :confused:
     
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    There's a ton of patches out there, but a handful of very popular ones. The Driftwood patches are the ultimate in quality, but they require fast cards and hurt record times. That could be problematic for an interview. I'm using the Cake v2 patch, which is a very reasonable balance of bitrate and record time IMO. More importantly it's completely stable in all record modes using a class 10 card, which I think is very worthwhile.
    https://www.personal-view.com/talks...-hbr-24p-and-vmm-at-2-2.5x-stock-bit-rates/p1
     
  3. roverT

    roverT Mu-43 Regular

    121
    Nov 27, 2011
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Thank you for such quick response. Yes I want something that's stable and still can view in camera. I have Clipwrapper so if that is needed on my Mac I have no problem with that. I have a Trascend 32GB class 10 card as well as a Sandisk 16GB Extreme class 10/hc1 card. Recording times for me are small clips. Most I try to keep 10 seconds for ambient shots to go along with interviews which are maybe at most 15 seconds to 5 minutes for the long winded people.

    I see bitrates of 44 vs double and triple that, and wonder how much better does it get in compromise to taking up space? I don't need a movie production but I do want nice clean/sharp HD picture. I've heard that the GH2 does awesome at 44 and anything higher is marginally better but to the Youtube Eye, it won't make much difference? That's where most of my video will be put. Not on cinema sized movie screens...haha
     
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Remember that YouTube re-encodes all video uploads to poor quality. Even blu-ray is only 24 mbit. The goal is really to gain as much latitude as possible during editing, not so much the quality at final output. Cake is a 44 mbit patch, and you might also look at Sanity 4. Another good one is LPowell's reliable in camera playback patch, which is somewhat lower bitrate.
     
  5. roverT

    roverT Mu-43 Regular

    121
    Nov 27, 2011
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Anything that is decently filmed and put on Youtube or Vimeo has been good enough quality watched in HD mode to me. That's exactly what I want. I would call a downloaded 1080p MP4 from a Canon 5D Mkii or iii, poor by any means. It's still noticeably better than what my GF2 can produce from it's hacked source MTS 44Mb/s file.

    That's why I wonder if filming at 44 with the GH2 is that much poorer than 88. I've seen some 44 stuff online and it's beautiful...but I can't compare what 88 vs 44 looks like from the source since I don't have one YET!! It's in the mail and I won't have time to test because I'll be using it right away to film. I'm relying on all your guy's video experience as a newb to the GH2 world! So exciting!! :D
     
  6. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    I was about to post a topic for a similar question and then I saw this. I too have a GH2 that I am ready to hack but I can't figure out which one to use. It was easy when I had a Canon T2i because all I had was magic lantern. I was wondering if any of the hacks have focus peaking? I have been looking online for somewhere to compare them but so far I have been unsuccessful.
     
  7. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    Also I know on with the HDSLRs you put magic lantern on the sd card and it would only work when that card was in use, are the GH2 hacks the same way? I am just thinking it would be nice to have different hacks on different cards so I can use each one when I might need them.
     
  8. Muntz

    Muntz Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Apr 23, 2010
    Canada
    You don't have to keep the SD card used to flash the hack in the camera. Once you flash, you can remove the card and replace it with a larger one. What I've done is setup of a few older SD cards each with a different patch so that I can change between the different patch settings easily. I have one with Cake 2.2, one with Sanity 5 and one with the stock firmware in case I run into issues while out.

    As for all the different patches, I just bought a GH2 and I've been doing a ton of research recently and testing on the various patches.

    I have a couple of Transcend 32GB Class 10 cards so I'm limited in how high of bitrate I can record. Anything over 100mb/s causing records to stop on me.

    Here are the patches I've tried so far:
    EOSHD Unified (88mb/s)
    EOSHD Vanilla (44mb/s)
    Cake 2.2 (66mb/s)
    Sanity 4.1 and 5 (38mb/s)
    Mysteron Mystic (146mb/s) (can't use this one with my SD cards)

    As you go up in bitrate, obviously you can record less per GB. From my testing the best compromise of quality, stability and record time has to be Cake 2.2.

    That being said, Sanity 5 also produced fairly nice results with much smaller file sizes.

    I haven't had a chance yet to test spanning on my SD cards. I plan to do that next weekend.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    Wow, I am loving the GH2 even more now that I know this. I have some time this weekend to do some tinkering around with a couple of those. Thanks for the great info.
     
  10. roverT

    roverT Mu-43 Regular

    121
    Nov 27, 2011
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I've been using EOSHD Vanilla's 44Mbps patch. I filmed a 17 minute file which ended up to be 3.4GB so not over the 4GB limit. But it recorded perfectly fine on my Transcend Class 10 32GB card. I'm amazed at the quality of this 44Mbps rate. Will the Cake 66Mbps be significantly better? There must be a point where image quality increases become much smaller like a 35% compressed JPG to a 0% JPG.

    The focusing on using this patch seems to be way better than my GF2 which does the hunt and focus. The GH2 seems to focus nice and slowly without overdoing it and coming back into focus. Maybe it's a function of the actual camera than the firmware?
     
  11. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    The patch doesn't do anything for focusing, that's the camera.

    I've haven't really found a need to patch the GH2, my GH1 benefits from it a lot, but I find the GH2 good enough as is.

    The GH2 also does not have a 4gig limit like the other DSLR's, you can just keep recording as long as you have storage and battery life. Only the European models have a 29min limit, which the patch also removes.
     
  12. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    New GH2 hacker here. Running 1.1 with Sanity 4.1 or Cake 2.2.

    In a few outdoor scenes I've shot I'll get a card error(Sandisk Extreme class 10 30mb/s 8gb). 24p cinema mode in 24H.

    I believe I'm overloading the signal - contrast, too much detail, etc.

    If that's the case, what's the workaround? Do you use a lower bitrate setting(720/60,etc.) or do you change the firmware back?

    Thanks.

    EDIT: I thought I was losing the files and corrupting the card because I couldn't do an instant playback. Perfectly normal and all files are safe and viewable with a power on/off.
     
  13. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    How do you find these patches? I just did the PTool v3.63 and followed the instructions but they left me without any info on these patches or what settings to use.
     
  14. Muntz

    Muntz Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Apr 23, 2010
    Canada
    Here are the two sources I used for patches:
    Hacks and Patches
    EOSHD GH2 Patch Vault | EOSHD.com

    And I think PTool v3.65d is the latest version. You should probably use that.
     
  15. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    Thanks, I'll check them out this weekend!
     
  16. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I haven't tried the hacks...but on the other hand I have yet to see any examples that are shot with the hack that I could distinguish from an unhacked GH2.

    If you are shooting interviews I doubt you will see any advantage at all...

    Forget about the hacks and spend your time making sure you get good steady, well composed and well lit shots with good clean audio that you can edit together well.

    Just my thoughts on the matter

    K
     
  17. youry

    youry Mu-43 Regular

    199
    Nov 9, 2010
    Winston Salem, NC
    You guys are wasting your time hacking your gh2's. Unless you compete for Hollywood or you use it as a B camera for Spielberg there is no way in the world you can make the difference between the factory output, which is about 28Mbps and anything above 100Mbps. If the people over dvxuser see any improvement is either the effect of some powerfull drugs they use or they fool themselves by pretending to see some improvement. I've hacked a ton of GH1's, GF1's and GH'2. Other than having the GH1 shooting native 24p and GF1 having manual controls in video more there was no improvement. Besides, most shoot to post online. To get the best and post 100Mbps one needs tons and tons of online storage. YouTube cripples down the footage to about 5Mbps. Anything above is a waste. There is one downside. If you make a mistake and camera stops half way while you update the software you get a very beautiful brick. I did it once with a GH1 and sold it for parts.
    A more powerfull camera doesn't make anyone a much better videographer. I'd use some time to learn a good editing programm instead of hacking a GH2
     
  18. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    The GH1 really benefited from the hack, it took the mud out of any moving footage and pans. The GH2 I really haven't found a need to, but if the end result is for projection, or there's complicated scenes with motion, then the hack may help.
     
  19. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Disagree.
    The factory output is 24, and then only in 24p mode or HBR (which is new). The other modes run at 17. The difference between the basic 17 and a timid hack of around 44 is fairly significant. I have my doubts about 44 versus Driftwood 176, but I don't have the lenses or ability to tease out a difference. Maybe others do. But 17 to 44 is a big change.
    Yes, YouTube sucks. But high bitrates are mostly about editing latitude, not final output. The GH2 codec efficiency is mediocre and the GH1's efficiency was poor. GH2 footage at 24mbps is not very close to a high bitrate hacked GH2 imported to PC and encoded at 24mbps via x264 or MainConcept.
    Same applies to an official Panasonic update, though you might get warranty coverage for that.
    As always, better tools do not make better results. But that doesn't make better tools worthless.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    Why shoot with a m43rds camera(or anything with the same or larger sensor) if you don't seem to care about quality? You can still practice almost everything you need to with a point and shoot, you're not shooting for national geographic or anything so why do you have to shoot with a quality camera? Facebook and Flickr just compress jpegs anyways.............