New black GM1 arrived! U.S. firmware installation?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by PiAreSquared, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. PiAreSquared

    PiAreSquared Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 30, 2013

    I just got my black GM1 shipped in from Hong Kong.

    Does anyone know where I can find the U.S. firmware to install on it?

    It has 50i video rather than 60i, and I assume that means it's also shooting PAL vs. NTSC. But even so I would like to be able to set it to 60i.

    Maybe there is some trick to change it over without reinstalling firmware?

    Any advice appreciated!

    I'll post some photos and further thoughts soon.
  2. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sorry, but that's not possible. Firmware will not transform it into a US version. In addition, you won't have a US warranty. You might want to consider returning it and buying a US version now that they are available.
  3. PiAreSquared

    PiAreSquared Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 30, 2013
    Thanks for clarifying. Are you saying that there's a hardware difference other than the color of the camera? I'm just technically curious about the barrier to changing firmware. I don't doubt that it is not possible (it sounds like you've been through this discussion before).

    I can set it to AVCHD 1080 24p, which is just fine for my interests. I just figured that having the 60i option would let me use the highest frame rate if I end up wanting video mode for something with fast-moving action. It's not something I specifically expect to need.

    The video imports into Final Cut Pro and iMovie just fine as well.

    Having a less conspicuous black body is much more important to me than video options.

    Thanks again for your insight.
  4. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 17, 2012
    Well if the gm1 gets hacked then you will be able to change firmware among other things but the gh3 hasn't even been hacked yet so don't hold your breath. I used a Japanese model gh1 for a while even with the language unchanged m for a bit and when the gh1 hack came out was able to change it to function like a us body.
  5. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    I'm sure the hardware is the same, proven by the fact that earlier models have been hacked and changed. However, in this case the manufacturer chooses to make specific versions for specific regions, likely decided to control the warranty which is not global. That portion of the firmware which decides the regional version resides in memory that cannot be changed by public firmware update.

    In your case it sounds like you have a Euro version, based on the PAL format so the frame rate is 25 / 50. North American versions would be based on NTSC which is 30 / 60. This difference will present some challenges if you decide to start shooting video. While 25 / 50 can be converted to 30 / 60, the interpolation process can introduce some unwanted artifacts.

    Of greater concern (to me) is the fact that you have a new camera w/o a US warranty. If something goes wrong the repair could get expensive, if available. At this early stage I would return it and get a US camera.

    One final note to consider. We know that as the temperature rises so too does an image sensors noise. In sunlight, a "black" camera will get hotter internally than a silver camera. I've seen some measurements that prove that a light colored camera will have slightly lower (measurable but not likely visible) noise than a dark body. Look back at early 3 chip broadcast cameras and you will find solid state peltier cooling devices on the image sensors. They were put there to cool the image sensors, to decrease the noise. Personally I'd go with the lighter body.
  6. PiAreSquared

    PiAreSquared Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 30, 2013
    Thanks for your thoughts.

    The video that I took with the AVCHD 24p setting was imported into Final Cut Pro as 30p (or so it says). I'll have to do some more playing around to see what's up, but if it imports easily into Final Cut Pro and iMovie then my needs are more than adequately met. I'm not going to use GM1 video in a context where a transcoding artifact is relevant (or likely even noticeable). Others with more critical needs will definitely want to consider the potential issue you raise.

    The silver GM1 is at least 85% black. Granted, the top gets more direct sun exposure, but on the other hand the sensor is in the middle of the body, not sitting up top. I can imagine a variety of academic arguments about the details, but in my predominant use of the camera it will be indoors (60% of the time), in its bag while I'm walking around and pulled out as needed (20% of the time), and carried in the open as I walk around (20% of the time). The carrying around in the open will be half in cooler conditions.

    in the final analysis the ambient air temperature will induce a finite amount of additional sensor noise in either of the bodies, while the conditions under which my use of the camera is likely to lead to significant extra heating because of the black top are fairly limited.

    On the other hand, the all black version is more discrete, more easily mistaken for a casual point and shoot, and so is less disturbing to a lot of subjects and to security at venues that can be hostile to innocent, respectful photographers with pro-looking equipment!
  7. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    Most of us avoid direct sun for extended periods: harsh light and bad for your skin. Black would only be a problem for those leaving their camera on a tripod for hours. Albeit a white or silver camera has the advantage of being easier to find in the dark...
  8. BernieT

    BernieT New to Mu-43

    Nov 13, 2013
    SW WA
  9. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Is there some reason why this thread is in the 'Panasonic Cameras' section? Just wondering.....
  10. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Because the GM1 is a Panasonic camera

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Mu-43 mobile app
  11. Edsiajb

    Edsiajb Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2013
    I ordered from Hong Kong because I wanted the all black version for discreetness when shooting street scenes (and because it would be a great match for my E-M1). I was willing to risk the warranty issue - I have six Panasonic M43 bodies...never had a problem so far. If it does break, I'll probably just buy another one.

    And the last time I shot video was when my kids were infants...and my youngest will be 14 tomorrow. I understand that video is important to others, but find my own experience interesting - I have never gone back and watched any of the video I shot of our babies.

    Shame on Panasonic for giving USA customers only one color choice.
  12. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
  13. Mike Ronesia

    Mike Ronesia Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 16, 2013
    Mark James
    I agree about the color thing. I ordered from ebay so I could get a orange one. It was a reputable seller that states on the page that if you have a warranty issue you just mail it back to them. This at least gives me a little more piece of mind.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Edsiajb

    Edsiajb Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2013
    Awesome! I would really like to have the orange version looks great. And, I think I'm going to have to buy one for my wife anyway....she sure is fond of this black one. Then we can have the flashy orange version and the discreet black of both worlds!
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