The Panasonic GH2 right out of the box performs as well and exceeds the image quality of some the more famous DSLR alternatives for Video. Vitaliy Kiselev hacked the GH1 back in its day to well exceeds it’s software / firmware limitations and earlier this year he has managed to crack the encryption on the GH2. Why would you want to hack the GH2? It does look great under stock settings as it is but if you consider the hack enables the ability to film more detail and resolution, especially for film, there is a lot to gain from the boost in quality. Shadows can be pulled in post better (dynamic range) and over all resolvable image is increased (closer to film detail) among many other useful features such as improved audio
-Higher Bit-rate for Video creates film like image detail & motion quality.
-Ability to allocate data towards Motion vs still scene detail quality.
-Higher Bit-rate for Audio, Boost audio quality from 192,000bps to 440,000bps
-Unlocked ISO up to 12,800k enables you to shoot in extreme dark conditions or overcome a slow lens
Step 1 : —> Download the Gh2 hack pack <--- and unzip the folder. Step 2 : Run "Ptool3.64d (200212)" step 3: Load Firmware, "GH2__V11" Step 4: The letter J will be highlighted in green along the button, click the letter J to load the patch settings. Step 5: Select Save Firmware and save it as GH2__V1x , the x can be any number from 0 - 9 just don't over write the original firmware so don't use..1! Step 6: Put the new firmware on your GH2 SD card, (Freshly formatted and with a full battery charge) With the firmware now on the card you can disconnect and turn the camera off. Step 7: Turn the camera on and push the play/preview button. The camera will detect the firmware and ask you if you want to update, select yes. Please be careful not to interrupt the update, don't push any buttons or turn it off during the update because it will likely brick the camera. Step 8 : Wait a minute and you are set! Enjoy !!
*Mac users are getting a “.cpgz” added to the firmware file name after the .bin. The correct extension for the firmware is .bin, that is what the camera looks for, fix that before trying to load it in camera.
*Keep in mind you can use the patches from the patch pack instead of the one included by just dropping them in the same folder. Their respective letters will light up and you can just click those instead.
Neumannfilms has made a Video tutorial featuring an in depth screen capture on how to download and install my hack and patch packs to get started using the Ptool Software (included). If you find my written instructions difficult, they make you nervous or you simply prefer to learn things visually. The screen capture will walk you through OSGFilms.com and show you how to download and install everything!
Recommended Basic set up for hacking : Body only, 20mm 1.7 Lumix lens, 64gig Sandisk 45mbs, & Extra Battery:
The 32gig (45mbs) Sandisk card will get the job done but as you use higher quality patches you will notice your recording time is going to go down considerably somtimes down to even 30min or less. If you need the extra time go for the 64gig (45mbs). I would say just shell out the extra cash for the 64gig because sooner or later you will want to film with the top notch patches.
If you need more help than just hacks and patching check out The Panasonic GH2 Guide For Filmmakers (its free) for things like how to pick an SD card and Audio Tips. Coming Soon