How to hack the Panasonic GH2 (w / Hack Pack)

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

Key Features

-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.

Video Instructions

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 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

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Comments 242

  1. Post

    the frequency of the light is what causes the pulsating look you are seeing. You have to match the frequency of the light by adjusting your shutter speed. Shutter speed is often the main culprit but it may throw off your exposure if you need to speed it up too much. The hack only enables higher bit rate and thus higher quality, it will not make banding more apparent if the conditions aren’t already there for banding to occur stock settings or otherwise.

    1. Ok. Followed your hack to the letter and when i turn the camera back on with the new firmware on the sd card, i get “No valid picture to play” and no option to load the new firmware???

      1. Post

        Change version increment to 2 or 10 after you load the patch.. now save. That usually solves it and has for most users that did everything else right. If you are still having trouble we’ll figure it out but sounds like the same issue.

        1. Ok so i Followed your hack to the letter and when i turn the camera back on with the new firmware on the sd card, i get “No valid picture to play” and no option to load the new firmware, i have tried changing increments to 2 and 10 but still same result.. what do you think?

    1. Post
      1. Thanks for publishing this guide.

        i have a Problem, its important for me to have 1080p25, dont know how to set thw right patches and the gh2 to get it. can anybody plz help me?
        Thanks 🙂

        1. Post
    1. Post
  2. I set the increment to 10. Every “new” version of the firmware I install needs to be the same revision correct?

    Also, with the hack and with an unhacked version of the firm ware installed I am now getting weird artifacting/moire like jagged edges on sharp edges such as piano keys in both 25p and 720p. Also 720p now looks like a much lower resolution and is not sharp at all. Im disappointed. Im gonna play around with the setings.. any ideas?


    1. Post

      “Every “new” version of the firmware I install needs to be the same revision correct?”

      This is not necessary and i for one always leave it at 1. I am not sure why he thinks 10 is a good increment but no you are not stuck using it now that you have started.

      “I am now getting weird artifacting/moire like jagged edges on sharp edges ”

      I can’t say without seeing your settings why you are getting weird artifacts but i also suspect you are talking about what you see in the little lcd rather than after having dumped and edited or at least viewed the footage on a proper monitor. That tiny screen is no where near the resolution needed for the increased detail and i too see jaggies. I dump it and then i realize oh that looks amazing! its just the GH2’s screen/squeezing it down so little. For the most part i mainly shoot 1080p myself but in light of this comment i updated my settings above which includes from what i hear just about the best 720p image you can get in the lastest Ptool. I use the 66mbs 1080p and love it! Use the new settings above and test out your 720p again. Like I i said i also see the jaggies but that’s only on that tiny GH2 screen so just keep that in mind. After the hack, you are now cramming in a ton of detail into a tiny screen not designed for it… always view it on a proper monitor before you judge.

      1. @osgondar, thanks for you quick reply! I agree with your view on monitors. I use the 720 for slowmo The jagged distortion is visible in FCPX. I have not tryed any gh2 footage in fcp7 or premiere as of yet so maybe the transcode is bad. The settings I am using are a blank patch (nothing checked) set to increment 10. Again, Thank you.

        1. Post

          If you don’t set ANY parameters and only check increment then you are not using any of the hack, only stock firmware, consider the settings i posted above for you. Just right click and save target as (in case it pops up as text in a new window) load it in ptools and make a new firmware. If you are not sure how to then just re read my tutorial i promise the settings are way better than stock. As for transcoding, its not needed, especially if you go with premiere, edit from the native full quality mts in the premiere timeline because that’s an NLE that can do that very well and the results are fantastic. That is what i use and i am consistently impressed with the quality. Enjoy!

  3. October 1/11 with the official Panasonic firmware update coming out any day now, do you think that it will mess things up, for p tools, will it have to be rewritten, for the new firmware I really want to use it but I am afraid that if I use it after updating my camera then put p tools on it may brick the gh2, any thoughts, the pertinent me says wait

    1. Post

      It will add 25p. Panasonic is releasing new line of lenses which is probably all the new firmware will add compatibility for. The hack will still be far.. ahead of the game.

  4. Thanks for publishing your settings. I hacked my GH2 with your settings. Everything worked with one exception. When I use 1080i or 720P in FSH mode (48mbits/s). camera crashes with message “motion picture recording was cancelled due to slow write speed on the card”. When I use the other bitrates, it works fine including 66MB in 24H mode. I have tried a Transcend 32GB SDHC, Transcend 64GB SDXC and a SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB 45mb/s UHS-I card. They all fail with the same message.

    1. Post
  5. Hi.
    I hacked my GH2 PAL according to your description. Everything looked as described, camera found new firmware and updated. However, when I shoot in 24H movie mode and transfer to FCP, the clip info still shows 17 MbS 24 fps. Why? Where do I set shooting mode to 1080/25p ??

    1. I also noticed this when looking at files in FCP. I have the 42Mb/sec hack and my files range anywhere from 10Mb–>18 or so, depending on the amount of information in the clip (dark scenes tend to be lower bitrates). Are the values listed in FCP accurate representations?

      1. Post

        Do not rely on FCP to give you accurate Data rate on hacked footage. The codec is variable so some scenes will indeed be lower but generally those rates per second should still be well above the stock 24 megabits per second.

  6. If you hack your Gh2 can you still use the picture setting? The reason I ask is we like to snap a few photos at a wedding for the DVD and BluRay cover artwork.

    1. Post
  7. Hi Osgondar,
    Thank you for the tutorial! I have two very important questions (beginners ones)

    1. As you see in this video ( apart the problem with the light frequency, at 00.06min there are rings of shades on the wall?
    I hacked it so could it be that? I can always reinstall the old(new) firmware (to do it do I just need to reinstall the original one downloaded for the hack?).

    2. How to use 25p after hacking?

    thank you very much


    1. Post

      Edit * The rings of light are just a consequence of 8 bit processing and not because of the hack. The banding is a product of the light frequency which you can fix if you adjust your shutter speed to match the light frequency.

      2. Don’t load the original firmware untouched! You have to load the original firmware into ptools first as if you were going to modify it but simply don’t check off ANY setting besides version increment. Thats it, just check version increment, save firmware and you will be safe to update. Now you are back to stock settings…

      3. Enable it in the ptool settings as well as 30min limit removal and i believe it shows up in the GH2 menu after the update. I don’t know where off hand and i will have to verify that later today. I use 24p only since i’m in the states but i think that’s all it is. Ill get back to you when i get my hands on my camera and update with pal enabled.

      1. First of all thank you.

        1. so I can’t get rid of those rings?
        2. if the rings are not due to the hack I won’t come back 🙂
        3.I can’t see it, so I’ll wait for your tip.

        Btw I am using transcend 16gb 10 (if that is important!)

    1. Post
  8. Hi, when i want to update to a future patch how is this done? via the same instructions as above where I just add the patch to within the folder where pool is residing and then check off that particular patch in ptools? thanks

    1. Post

      Every time you want to make new firmware just make sure you have version increment checked and you will successfully update to any new settings/firmware you create. You add the patch to the Ptools folder, Run Ptools and click on the letter its saved to in order to load the settings, then save or create the new firmware. You can make new firmware indefinitely while you figure out your favorite settings or appropriate settings for a particular shoot.

    1. Post

      The camera only says that when the card is empty…. which is normal. So lets say you just put firmware on your card… push play and select update , great now you are hacked, you then reformat to have a clean card to film with… but if you push play again then you obviously wont have any thing to display unless you film something fist so of course it will say that.. I’m not sure what the problem is here. You may want to be specific if you expect my assistance.

      The only other senario is that on occasion after filming them certain clips wont play back. Just turn it off and on again if its having a problem and it plays again.

    2. Thanks for getting back so quickly. Sorry I wasn’t more specific, I was kinda sleepy. Anyway, I’ve tried loading the firmware onto the card every way I can think of – through the card reader, in-camera, etc. The camera just isn’t recognizing it when I hit play upon restart. The firmware’s not supposed to go in one of the folders, right? I’ve been using VMware to open ptools (I use mac), but it works exactly as your instructions describe. I even thought that the .bin extension was confusing the camera, so it tried trimming it off. No dice. Also, does the GH2__V10.bin.cpgz file have anything to do with it?

      Anyway, thanks so much for your time and effort on this.

      1. Post

        There should NOT be a .cpgz added to the file name. The Correct extension is BIN, it couldn’t possibly confuse the camera if that’s what is it is looking for. Everything else you are doing would. Keep it as .bin. Put on it on the card and not any folders. Turn the camera off and on. Select play/preview, it should ask if you want to update. hit yes. update. Format or delete the firmware now that its loaded. You are set.

      2. Combo, had exactly the same problem.

        Until I added this after step 4 of the tutorial:
        4b. Within PTool program change to Enter increment: 10
        Then Save and continue given steps.

        1. Post

          I guess if that fixes what seems to be a bug for some, sure. You can keep version increment at one or any number of your choosing really but default should not be causing an issue, its only critical that it at least be checked, no matter what increment you choose. Should i see more of this bug i will add to the disclaimer but i think its a mac related problem only… like the addition of cpgz to the “.bin” file name. That shouldn’t be happening either.

  9. thanks. i created a new firmware with patch. But windows 7 (running on my mac) doesn’t see the GH2 formatted SD card. any suggestions?

    once i get window s to recognize the card, i take it i can’t use my macbook pro os x to transfer the video files. is this your experience?

    1. Post

      Any Mac will recognize an SD card as well as a Windows computer, most macs have a card reader built right in. If you are using the cable the camera came with same except it will ask you once you plug it in if you want to connect to the computer or how to connect. select PC.

      Transferring video files to a computer after you film them should never be the concern. FYI i use win7-64bit for my editing station.

      1. i formatted one card with disk utility (mac) with fat32 mac then sees this one but the GH2 one doesn’t mount in mac parallels windows 7. strange will reformat in my GH2.

        1. Post

          If you want to format the card without the GH2 you are on your own. Packets cluster size and other considerations in the process will make it not format the way the GH2 would format it and as a result cut compatibility with the camera and the hack working right. I cant help you if you choose to do unnecessary complications. only format in camera. If your computer cannot recognize a simple sd card the problem is not with the camera. I couldn’t possibly guess what is wrong with your hardware. Are you sure the camera is trying to mount the card?

  10. You mentioned to check off all 4 boxes under compression, but pool 3.63 now has 6. In regards to 42mbs is this the bitrate the gh2 will record in even though i have seaQuake patch which runs at 166 or 176? this part gets confusing. thanks a lot for the help.

    1. Post

      If you do not use my settings and load any other patch it will record what THAT patch says it will…. i dont know what Bit Rate seaQuake records at.. LOOK AT IT what does it say? you tell me. If you drag it in to a chrome window it will read out like a text file. OR in ptools LOOK at what it says for the bit rate under that parameter. Why would it record 42mbs if you just loaded a patch that has a setting for 176mbs? What ever setting you load and save, THATS what you are recording with. If you are gonna modify a path and tell it to record something else, then it will record something else… Just loading the seaQuake patch and creating firmware will obviously record at that patches settings. Why would it do otherwise?

  11. Hey, thanks for this post. Really helpful.

    I’ve followed your instructions and everything works for the most part, but I’ve started getting a d “Recording cancelled due to limitation of the write speed of the card.” I’ve got a 16gb Class 10 card in their. Thoughts?

    Thanks again!

    1. Post

      A 16b class 10 card is only half the story, what brand? What patch are you using? Please be specific in your posts. You need to tell me what bit rate or what exact patch you are using as well what card and brand etc so i can investigate its limits or the combined compatibility. If you tell me nothing then i can help you with exactly that much.

      1. Sorry for the lack of info.

        I’m using Transcend, SDHC class 10 cards. I’m using the patch and settings you listed above in this post – AQUAMOTION’ ver 2.

        Does that help? Thanks!

        1. Post

          It is most likely the card not keeping up with the high demand of data per second. I recommend you upgrade to a good card, in particular one of the sans disk ones. If the card can at least do 20megabytes a second of sustained write speed then it can handle the Aquamotion v2 100 meagbits per second easily but you will be pushing it for anything higher like seaquake which exceeds 20 megabytes a second since it runs at about 170 megabits per second which is just above its limits.

    1. Post
  12. Hi Osgonar
    I am new with this digital DSRL…Here what i like to do
    get some video image of quality over 50mbs and
    get the video file at 4;2;2 at the end of the process for editing.
    It’s look like i could achieve this with the GH 2 ? with out the used of the nanoflash technologies.
    I am interested to the GH2 for 2 ting capture chip size and some16mm movie lens will be available at a attractive price.
    I hate lens flare when the filmmaker abuse it like in the film; super 8
    for me a lens flare it’s a defect and a distraction in the story telling.
    If this help the story telling it’s ok.
    And i hate when the story it’s all the time in a low light situation, i care more on the light vs shadow in video HD in film it’s less visible.
    I have a film user background first and i do documentaries, and GoPro and the DSRL have many advantage in the process to make a documentary today.

    1. Post

      Hi PIERRE
      The GH2 and most other DSLR will not give you 4;2;2 and right now hdmi output is not yet optimzed for direct to harddirve uncompressed recording. However the image you are getting from the hack to the an SD card is really close to uncompressed with the high end patches and will end itself very well for special effects and color grading. The lens flare you are talking about is not specific to any camera, it is specific to the type of lens you are using and in particular that kind of flare you mentioned in the film “Super 8” only happens with anamorphic lenses & adapters. If you need help with the GH2 feel free to ask but… You have not really asked me any questions, you only told me about what kind of films you like. Concerning your Needs, The GH2 if you read my tutorial at all, will provided as high as 176mbs with Intra-AVCHD like encoding…

  13. Hi OSGondar

    ( hdmi output is not yet optimzed for direct to harddirve uncompressed recording.)

    Thank you answer my question

  14. I followed your instructions to a T but when I turn my camera on and press the green play button, it just says “No valid picture to play”. I thought this was supposed to be idiot proof but apparently I’m worse than an idiot.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Post

      After dropping the new firmware in make sure to turn the camera off, then on… and only then push play. You also have to make sure you did not put the firmware in any folders only on the root card, none of the folders.. and last but not least you can try setting increment number to something different , ie 10, or 2 or w.e works if the default increment of 1 isn’t working or you..

  15. Pingback: Finally…the biggest missing feature (for non US users) to the GH2. 25p firmware update (or 30p for US owners) | Philip Bloom

    1. Post

      Phillip Bloom?!?! Thank You, i am honored! I think your site is pretty great and same goes for your work. Thanks for the mention =)

  16. I had to use a downloaded rar extractor software to unlock your Hack Pack and have failed at the second stage. When I try to open ptool3.63d it opens in my flv player?
    I’m clearly doing something fundamentally wrong as I couldn’t update the 25p update from Panasonic either!
    I’m using a Mac, any ideas?
    Sorry for being a donut, Adam

    1. Scratch that. I repeated the whole thing on a PC and updated the camera with no obvious problems… I don’t think it worked. File sizes are the same, data rate the same, shots look the same. Not sure what went wrong, any thoughts anyone?

      1. Post

        Are you sure you loaded the patch correctly before saving the new firmware? remember you are loading the new firmware on the gh2 not the old one, it should have a different name than original for especially if you keep everything in the same folder…. If you did not push the green letter button and load the driftwood patch before saving then you are just making new firmware same as the original. I will make a video sometime in the next two weeks but just be sure you follow the steps you really cant go wrong.

  17. Not being a CS5 user, I am wondering how well will Vegas 10 HD Pro handel a hack from the GH-2? Currently I just import the video from my GH-2 and I’m good to go, no transcoding etc.

    1. Post

      Sony Vegas edits MTS Natively with out any problems for me on both 10 and version 9 with any patch including the high end ones. I dont know about that HD Pro but i imagine its similar? Sometimes i still use vegas for quick renders or tests but Premiere is where the real magic happens thanks to After Effects having native premiere pro support. No trasncoding needed to send the edit for final effects and corrections into after effects. Red Giant has stopped supporting Vegas so you are out of luck with what basically amounts to the best collection of tools available for the final master. I highly recommend you graduate to the professional ensemble, cant stress that one enough, i promise you will never regret it. Colorista II, looks, and denoiser are incredible tools.

  18. Pingback: Panasonic GH2 gets 25p / 30p and $300 off » cinema5D news

  19. Got my new gh2 from amazon today. I have a hacked gh1 and have done this in the past but like some others I am also getting “no valid picture to play”
    I have tried changing the increment to 2, to 10 and no luck.
    any ideas?

    1. I just bought a GH2 yesterday, and I’m having the same issue of “No Valid Picture To Play.”

      How did you get around it?

      1. Post

        Some people just change the version increment to 10, and be sure to turn it OFF after you throw the new firmware on the card. After the restart it should read the firmware assuming its on the root of the card and not in any of the folders.

    1. Post

      Not yet, you cannot patch the new firmware panny put out recently but you can revert to the patched 1.0 even after you test the new one out.

  20. hi osgondar, how do I choose 60 shooting in 1080p and the 720 seems not working since i used the ptools b

  21. Hi,
    I just got a GH2 14-42 + Canon FD f/1.2 and planning to hack it.

    1. but 100mbs seems too much as i cover events for hours. If I wanted maybe 30-50mbs instead of the stock 17mbs on 1080i, i’m assuming it’s one of these I adjust:

    Video Bitrate FSH/SH=68000000
    Video Bitrate FH/H=56000000 ? If not which one do i adjust?

    2. I couldn’t find the instructions to go back to stock settings if I ever needed to. Where can I find that?


    1. Post

      There are other patches out there , not just the professional level intra. I can post some for you in a post dedicated to them, i don’t really use them myself but i can see the need for lower bit rate when run time is an issue. This week i will make a patch vault of the best in each category if you like. Generally for paid gigs i stick to intra patches myself.

      To go back to stock settings after the hack just load the firmware as if you were going to hack it but don’t load any patches, just make sure version increment is checked. Save firmware. Now you have made a new stock firmware you can upgrade to.

  22. Pingback: The Ultimate GH2 Quick Start Guide

    1. Hi Orlando, really great post and site, very helpful resource for all us GH2 filmmakers!

      I just recently did a shoot with 2 hacked GH2’s using the ‘AQUAMOTION’ ver 2 100mb hack you linked to on this post and using your instructions everything went smoothly.

      Only one suggestion/request would be to post a list of compatible SDHC/SDXC cards. I had a lot of trouble researching what cards to buy on etc. and finally ended up buying 4 of the Transcend 64gb class 10 cards since they were mentioned often as working.

      However using these cards I often got errors during takes longer then 10 minutes saying (something like) “Motion recording has been stopped due to memory card speed.” So for long interviews 30-40 minutes both cameras would crash 2-5 times and have to be restarted.

      I think this must be because of the memory cards I bought so now I want to buy new ones – but I still don’t know which brands will work.

      Could you please tell us what cards you have been using that work for you or link to a page somewhere that lists compatible cards? I am trying to find something above 32gb that will work with the Aquamotion v2 hack.

      Thanks very much for your time and the guide!

      1. Post

        Hi this question / request would be better posted in here :

        I will add a section concerning what cards to use but i can in no way test them all out. Donations are not THAT good, they help me out but lol jeez that’s a lot of cash to burn. A list of compatible cards would have to be a group effort of everyone posting what they are using and successes. I can however test a few and make sure to post which ones of those few will work well with demanding patches and or research it so i at least have a list of 10 or so.

        Google is your friend and so is looking at your card. I’ts very basic because most cards say their write limit RIGHT ON THE CARD. the transcend cards are cheaper and do not feature high write speeds, even if they are class ten they are often BARELY class 10. You have to look that up first before buying the card, Google the card and what it writes at “MBs”. MOST cards say it right on the card, You know the patch writes 100mbs so don’t buy cards that cant write that fast? You just have to look it up, take a few minutes. I stick to sandsik for my work with at LEAST a write speed in the 30 megabyte per second range which translates to at least 240 megabits per second, twice what that patch requires which is 100mbs. If i recall correctly transcend cards barely break 20 megabytes sustained write speed which is a max write speed of 160megabits per second which means that it’s comfortable work horse area is a bit lower right? That information you can look up on the specific card you are considering using Google and holding the card in your hand and reading what it says for its limit. its really that simple. When the card doesn’t say it a couple of minutes on Google will. Just follow this example.

        Example: You want to run Aquamotion V2 a patch which runs at 100mbs (megabits per second). You look at your card and it claims a sustained write speed of 32 MBs, megabytes a second. Since that equates to double what you need you are set! 1 megabyte = 8 megabit

        Most cheaper cards wont meet this criteria. Transcend cards are solid but look up the sustained write speed, is 100mega bits per second its limit? then buy something better! Just remember that 1 megabyte = 8 megabit . so when your patch says 100mbs find out how many megabytes your card writes at. General rule i would recommend is to plan to use it at no more than 70% its max write speed to be safe and you seldom encounter errors. I can run my computer’s cpu at 6.2mhz which is fairly unstable and often crashes. I find it rarely crashes and runs amazing at 4.5mhz The Stock setting was 3.6mhz, this is the Same logic. Don’t use cards that can barely run at those speeds maxed out or close under it. Brand is certainly a factor as well which can kinda complicate things with build quality concerns let alone just mbs vs MBs…

        I recommend my card below and any card that exceeds its write speeds and isn’t cheaper than this about doing so:
        I find out which large capacity card is just as good for you. for now use this. not transcend.

        Just consider what patch and mbs you want to run then get a card that comfortably exceeds that write speed. Performance is pricey but worth it. Use the math provided above to aid you to determine if it meets the demands of the patch you want. Also, Please visit the Guide <--- or link above and consider a contribution =), the button is below the guide, if you can of course. Either way I will still do this and add some more of this into the guide for you and start researching those cards, i promise to test and feature 10 solid cards for the high bit rate patches or intra ones. It is however fairly expensive! I will write out the chapter on this soon. For now its late i'm going to pass out. ill rewrite this comment to if its unreadable lol... sorry for the delay i've been busy

  23. Osgondar,

    Thank you for all that you do. You’ve really helped get me up to speed quickly w/ my GH2!

    I have a Mac (running snow leopard) when I download the hack pack and try to run ptool3.63.exe my computer defaults it to text edit.

    How do I run the program?

    I tried unzipping GH2__V10.bin which produces the file GH2__V10.bin.cpgz (like you say) but when I unzip that file it produces a second version (GH2__V10 2.bin)

    Also does the hack pack contain the full res uncompress SeAQuake patch? If not where do I find it and how do I apply it? Or can I get away with AQuamotion v2 (see below*)

    (*I’m using a SanDisk extreme Pro 64GB, class 10, w a maximum speed of 95MB/s and intend to project images theater size on the festival circuit)

    I’m a novice as far as patches go. Aren’t the bitrates limited by the cards actual max write speeds?

    Thanks again for all your help!

    1. Post

      Just follow my instructions but include the seaquake patch in the folder as well so you can load it instead of the patch the hack pack comes with. You can get all of the intra patchs here : you apply patches how i explain the the guide…

      For theater display aquamotion v2 is good enough, yes! but seaquake would be the best and your card can definitely handle it, so include that in the ptools folder. It will be lit green inside the program. Just follow the instructions!

      As for running ptool , its not a mac program so most people use wine or other methods for running .exe on mac, as you can see from other comments most mac users do just fine. If you contact me privately via “contact me” we can work something else out if its hopeless.

  24. Thanks Man really appreciate it! May as well use the best possible 🙂

    Think I’ll just used a friends PC to expedite the process. Have you completed the Anamorphic lens section? Another grey area for me.

    I’ve been out of the loop for a while so maybe you can help clarify:

    1. I will be limited to 95mbs/sec due to max write speed

    2. Since I’m currently using an iMac I don’t have DVI ports to import full res.
    Is there a way to dump the 40min (64GB) to a hard drive uncompressed (ie:mini HDMI)

    1. Post

      Please refer that question to the right post. The anamorphic lens section is being developed for Panasonic GH2 Guide for Filmmakers, i also wrote over there, all new questions should be on that post.. so .. not here…

      To film with the GH2 you put an SD card into the camera. You film something and now you have files on your card…Then you take your sd card and put it in your imacs card reader OR connect the camera to the computer with the usb cable that came with it. THE FILES HAVE ALREADY BEEN RECORDED, how you transfer them to the computer is completely irrelevant. What would be the point of the hack then? You tell the camera to record at “such” quality, now you have files of “such” quality on your SD card. Dumping them to your desktop or w.e doesn’t effect what was already recorded! Really, What do you think the point of the hack is? Please Google DVI or HDMI port, this is how you connect a monitor to a computer or to the gh2, and is 100% irrelevant to the quality of the hack or its files. Also if you dont know how to transfer files from an sd card to the computer, look that up too. STAY ON TOPIC. not basic computer questions, HACK questions ok?

      Yes you are limited by the write speed of your card but your card’s write speed is high enough for any hack, they don’t show them in megabits they show them in megabytes so you are misunderstanding the information… If the card says 95 megabyte write speed, then you have 760 megabits write speed!. Not a single hack goes any near that high.

  25. – I download GH2 Hack pack and you wonder if you can change only the parameter FH / H from 56K to 16K in a single patch for all bit rates they need for my work?
    FH / H with a fixed camera I use for theatrical works where I need at least one hour of continuous recording time using 8GB cards …

    – Regardless of how you enable 25p updates? For us Europeans, 25p and very important …

    – If I install the new firmware 1.1V to return to the old 1.0 and I always have to load it in check only Ptools “Increment Version” or you can directly upload Driftwood (‘AQUAMOTION’ ver 2)?

    Thank you for your work!

  26. Thanks so much for this info. Yours was the instruction I used to finally hack my GH2 and I love Driftwood’s Aquamotion patch. Especially after using a Nikon D7000 ;-). This little camera is amazing. I cannot wait until I fully understand all it’s little nuances.

  27. Hi, I’m about to hack my Gh2. Just wondering if multiple patches can be selected at once and then chosen back and forth once on the camera according to the situation or does the whole process have to be repeated every time one desires a new patch?

    Also, with the hacked higher res video, given that all other variables are the same, will there be noticeable difference in quality of a finished project after importing/editing between Apple ProRes and the unconverted original native files? If so and if currently using Final Cut Pro X, I guess one should choose the option of importing original media (instead of ProRes) along with proxy media (for editing only). FCPX has been a frustrating experience but the hope is that it will be updated soon to solve many of the problems including the compatibility issue with Red Giant’s software. I have purchased the suite from Red Giant already and consider buying Adobe’s editing software to use in the meantime but dread a new learning curve unless it will be superior longterm. I hope this is not too off track but any comments on the choice of editing software may directly pertain to this much higher quality of media from the hacked GH2.

    Also, in order to realize the improved quality of the hacked Gh2, say with the AQuamotion v2 patch, what would your lowest recommended output compression settings be for viewing say on a 40” HD TV screen? Thanks

    1. Post

      Do you mean for burning to… bluray ? OR for the web but you happen to use a large screen with your computer? I tend to render out at the original Bit Rate of the patch. Vimeo would re compress anyway so i tend to at least give it the original quality to work from.

      For editing Adobe Premiere CS5 and After Effects CS5.5 is what i use, I LOVE My workflow. I highly recommend it over trying to force final cut to play nice. I always edit from the native .mts files right onto the timeline. Red Giant Plug ins all work amazing with adobe.

    1. Post
  28. Wow, that video looks amazing Rakim. I am a full time performing musician so can appreciate that aspect but also the video production is excellent. If you care to comment, I would like to know your choice of editing software for this 150mbps video and also the export/compressor settings for this youtube version. I played it full screen on my 27″ Mac and it looked fantastic.

    I just finished installing the AQuamotion v2 hack on my GH2. Naturally my class 6 card failed and so I’ll be shopping soon!

    1. Post

      Check out the new chapter in my GH2 guide for choosing an SD card! I wrote it due to popular demand and i think it will help you out.

  29. Hi. Naive question – I have a MacBook Pro with a SD card slot. I would like to hack my GH2. I downloaded your folder and it unzipped to (2) more Zipped Files: GH2__V10.bin and ptool3.63d.exe

    These folders will not Unzip.

    How do I do Step 2 : Run “Ptool3.63d” ???

    How do I do Step 3: Load Firmware, “GH2__V10″ ???

    Thanks so much! Looking forward to using these hacks on a new film.



      1. Post
  30. Yes Osgondar, I chose several SD cards that will work with the hack – thanks.

    With regards to seeing the best quality of the hacked footage on a large HD TV screen, yes I meant burning to DVD. With exporting out original bit rate then there may not be enough space on a regular DVD right? I suppose bluray is the way to go rather than a regular old DVD? I am new to all this, just getting started so appreciate all the help – I even paypaled you $20 donation to show some appreciation for all your posts.

    After all my research, your feedback and the sluggish playback of FCPX, I will have to jump into Adobe’s 5.5 Production Premium suite although I dread the new learning curve! But it is nice to know that much hard drive space will be freed up without having to transcode the much larger files from the hacked Gh2.

  31. Whatever I do, I keep getting “no valid picture to display” message. I saved the file under GH2__V11.bin, under GH2__V18.bin and under GH2__V22.bin. I am using Class 10 30 Mb/s card. I copy the file in the card’s root directory, then safely remove it, detach the USP cable, turn off the camera, then turn it back on and press the play button.

    What am I doing wrong? I am going crazy. Tried both on my iMac and my PC, same result. Please help. Thanks.

    1. Post
    1. Post

      in my workflow chapter in the guide i will cover this but i can tell you in advance i don’t really use final cut. Its highly limiting in post compared to the premiere , after effects combo.. especially with all the amazing 3rd party plugins for grading and such.

  32. Sorry for throwing too many questions. My raw video pre-post was 169Mb/s, but after post-production and exporting on FCP it fell down to 43 Mb/s. Is it normal or am I doing something wrong during exporting? Thanks and sorry again for these questions. I am so new to this.

    1. Post

      Well.. you are the one that’s going to tell the computer what you want. It should be of no surprise what bit rate you are encoding to! You are not doing anything wrong unless you are just clicking a quick export setting in which you are not matching the quality to the original files or choosing your codec or wrapper etc. I would recommend it for professional applications to go just short of original bit rate but going with half the bit rate for the web works just fine. More on this in the workflow chapter i promise.

    1. Post
      1. I shut off the ETC mode and it seems to work without issues at that point. I’ll do some more testing on it.

    1. Post

      what?? why would you think that, you install the firmware, that’s it.. its installed… format your card make movies, move on.

  33. Hi,
    Great hack. Works really nice… except, I’m in PAL land and don’t seem to find that the hack enables 25p in 1080. The files is still recorded in 24p. The 720P is 50 though… Am I missing something here?

  34. My GH2 arrived today with the 14-140 lens. That’s the only lens I have at the moment. I’m shooting interviews for an event Monday outdoors. Will hacking the camera do me any good if all I have is that lens and the only SD card I have is a Transcend 32 gb class 10 card. In other words do I have I need to turn this VW of a camera into the Porsche it’s meant to be or do I need til I have a prime lens from canon or Nikon and a super high mps sd card first? Don’t want to blow the engine , pardon my auto puns

  35. Dear osgondar
    I keep track with ur update information..always !
    The latest setup gh2 doesn’t work it out .
    so I go back to 88mb ..
    anyway thank u ..

    1. Post

      i’m not sure why its not working for you it seems to be going well for everyone else. I use the same tool and patch. what seems to be the problem? sometimes the gh2 doesn’t recognize new firmware but there is a simple fix for that.

    1. Hi greatidea, maybe you can help me out, since i feel a little bit stupid. This is what i want: 1080/25p since i’m in Europa + the Driftwood AQuamotion v2 hack which gives me 100 or 88 mbps. I’m confused how to do this. I installed the official Panasonic firmware update GH2_V1.1 so now i have 25p. Can i install the Driftwood AQuamotion v2 and still have 25p.? Or do i have to go back to the Panasonic old firmware version V 1.0 and then install Driftwood AQuamotion v2? And does the Driftwood AQuamotion v2 also give me 25p as suggested here:
      Key Features
      -Higher Bit-rate for Video creates film like image detail & motion quality.
      -Ability to allocate data towards Video Motion or still detail quality.
      -Higher Bit-rate for Audio, Boost audio quality from 192,000bps to 440,000bps
      -Pal & 25p framrate
      -Unlocked ISO up to 12,800k enables you to shoot in extreme dark conditions or overcome a slow lens

      Thanks, Wout

      1. to Wout Boekeloo;
        as i said , i keep track with osgondar’s share.
        he knows everything about the ”update” of gh2 .

    2. Post

      Hi thank you , ive been busy filming and such, been busy but i will be updating all tools and the Panasonic gh2 guide with everything that’s been going on. These posts may not be as up to date as my guide for filmmakers. So by next week or so, be sure to look there from now on. i will probably update these too but mainly focusing on the guide when i do the update first.

  36. Hi osgondar,

    Did you get a hand on the new Driftwood Quantum X Series Settings: v3b Rocket – v4b Orion – v5 β Pictoris?

    Any easy tutorial on how to set this up?


    1. Post

      I ill update the guide for patches section soon, ive just been busy these last couple of weeks with filming and stuff. so head over to the panasonic gh2 guide for filmmakers in less than a week

  37. I have been using hacks for a while, but I have an issue that keeps coming up. I keep getting the mssage the data rate is too much for the write speed of the card. Yet I have tried only Sandisk Extreme and Extreme Pro cards (30Mbs and 45Mbs). These really should be fine, but if I try anything more than the 44Mb patch I get that mesage. I hope the cards are genuine – all purchased from Amazon. Has anyone get any ideas what may be up?

    1. Post
  38. Dear Osgondar, thank you for your wonderful hacks! I am looking forward to your updated ‘how to hack GH2’ page. I wondered if you could also add a section on how to transcode hacked footage? I recently installed a hack using the latest PTool for the latest Panasonic 1.1 firmware. The raw footage looked fine, but all my attempts at transcoding to Pro Res resulted in files with various problems – Clip wrap crashed a couple of times and the resulting clips had faults (freeze frame from half way through the clip). Imported by Final Cut directly using log and transfer resulted in intermittently jerky clips. I’m not sure these programs understand the ‘hacked’ formats or file structures – Could you advise on this please when you get chance? I personally like to work in the solid Pro Res format rather than native AVCHD for a number of reasons – and the material needs to enter a pro workflow. I am uk based so 25P is my preferred flavour. Thank you very much, ! Mark.

    1. Post

      My guide is my most up to date source on the hack and the tools / instructions so please check there first not this page. I don’t know why you are trasncoding because i never do that, its a waste of space in my opinion, you cant pull out more details than the original file so I drag and drop mts files straight to my timeline or bin, in premiere pro cs5, No hiccups whats so ever and i use the top intra patches. I don’t use macs because they are way too slow, i build my own editing systems with current generation technology you’ll never find on macs. They are windows based so i’m sorry but i cant help you with final cut or pro res i never feel the need to trans code don’t know much bout why it has so many bugs on mac or cant handle it.

  39. Generally I don’t read article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very great article.

  40. Pingback: 8 Ways Technology is Going to Disrupt the TV/Movie Business | | False ProfitFalse Profit

  41. Hi, my letter B is not highlighted in green, it's also red like the others, only the last letter is green, I thought it was J that was green. How do I solve this?

  42. Hi, my letter B is not highlighted in green, it’s also red like the others, only the last letter is green, I thought it was J that was green. How do I solve this?

    1. Post

      J is correct! I updated the tools and patch it USED to be B… The instructions are up to date in The Panasonic GH2 Guide for Filmmakers . This post shares the same tools and the text was not updated when i updated the tools. Please refer to the link, my guide is the most up to date source for these things and replaces these older posts. Thank You, new patch pack in another day or two as well. Still testing a bunch of em

  43. I am having a little trouble with the patch as I have a japanese model… I have unzipped (saved to desktop), followed the instructions and then copied the new saved V12 file onto the camera’s SD card. When I turn the camera on in play mode, the language is Japanese, so I’m not sure what to do…

    1. Post

      Well generally speaking the first option that comes up after play is do you want to update yes or no. I’m pretty sure its the first one. Worst case scenario you hit no and nothing happens. So restart the camera turn it on this time hit yes, update will take a minute and you can clearly see the bar appear and start to progress if it starts the update.. I’m not sure but think there is a language patch let me get back to you on that and get you running in English if possible. Not sure if its compatible with the current hacks as i have not investigated this feature since mine is already in English. stay tuned.

  44. Hi i was just wondering if yo can post other patches that are popular like driftwood 9vb or sedna i have a hard time trying to download those from personal view i became a member but it still doesnt allow me to download the zip files, sorry im new to this your patsh at the top is the only one i ever used in the gh2

    1. Post
  45. Are there certain settings which allow you to view your video clips in camera, and some that don’t? Or will any hack prevent you from being able to view footage in camera?

    Sorry if this has been answered…


    1. Post

      Technically yes some patches make the videos none view able in camera but those are not nearly as common and generally happen with extreme audio patching. You should be able to play most and most likely all Video patches just fine in camera.

        1. Post

          I generally recommend leaving patches as they are meant to be used or as you download them especially the more complicated driftwood patches.

    1. Post

      Technically not “all” please do you research before giving the wrong answer to my readers. Patches with high audio settings will usually not play in camera but provide that extra quality once taken into post and even though the clips wont play in the GH2 they are recorded just fine.

    1. Post

      Did you read the instructions? It is going to ask you to update when you put the firmware on the card. So yes its supposed to happen. Install it.

      Unless of course you mean… you did that step but still kept the firmware on the card for no reason. Once the update completes there is no reason to keep it on the card. Logically its going to keep asking if you keep wanting to update detecting firmware ready to install. Install the update, format or delete it after. Stop making it think you want to update by keeping firmware ready on the card. You are past that part now.

    1. Post

      That was taken care of when you installed the patched firmware. What patch did you use? those are the settings you are shooting at. 24h is what the patch says it says it is, same goes for 24l. Those are the only mbs settings to be made in camera. There res is done in ptool when you patch the firmware to w.e mbs you want or found a patch you want to try.

  46. Pingback: The ultimate cinema camera buyer’s guide for 2012 | Art Of The Story

  47. I installed the firmware at my Panasonic GH2. I use HBR with these cards: Lexar 16Gb class 10 400 x speed. I can only shoot 20 minutes and then the memory card is full! And when I want to shoot with FSH my cam says: cannot record due to low speed of the card. Besides that, my HBR footage looks stunning. But what did I do wrong??

    1. Post

      Besides a slow card? i wouldn’t know i haven’t watch you film or work the camera. I do know write speeds are related to card that can handle the settings. I did specifically recommend Sandisk 45 mbs cards so that you would avoid this issue.

      Read The Panasonic GH2 Guide for filmmakers, the chapter on which sd cards to get and how to understand write speeds.

  48. Pingback: DMC-GH2 Hack or Not-Convert 1080 50/60p AVCHD to FCP/iMovie | HDCam AVCHD/MTS Joiner

  49. Just bought GH2 to cover weddings(video). What patch and bit rate settings you recommend for longer shooting time(2-3 hours) ?

    I just test shot video without any patch and played it on LG 40″ LED TV/Monitor without any editing. The video looks good however, during any panning, it shows moire effect. Camera settings – 1080i AVCHD, FSH, AFC in Auto shooting mode, used Sandisk Extreme Pro 45MB/S 32GB card. Any recommendations on avoiding moire effect. Thanks.

    1. Post

      You are confused about what moire is. Moire is not something that happens as a result of panning, That would be ” Rolling Shutter” Moire is generally the artifacts that appear due to the way the camera sees certain patterns and or the appearance of false colors in very sharp images. Panning or not if you look at certain patterns like screen doors or stripes on a shirt etc most cameras see strange patterns and artifacts within them. An obvious sign that the footage was shot on video. The GH2 however is praised for practically having zero Moire and in all situations like that and i have not seen any Moire in my images. Rolling Shutter on the other hand ALL cameras have this. Its in the nature of how the senor works because it renders one line at a time for the length of the sensor. So by the time you pan and its not done rending a straight object you get that jello looking effect. That is Rolling shutter not moire.

      Secondly if you are going say hey i don’t like what the camera is doing and i shoot auto whats the best patch? This is silly. Attempt to learn how to use the camera so you even know what you need improved. Patches increase quality yes but as you test them out you get a feel for which offer the image you want at the bit rate you want there is no magic patch for everything. But that only applies to the kind of person that cares to learn the camera a little not simply sets everything to auto. Also why would you want to shoot in interlaced this day and age or on a camera that EXCELS at progressive film like images. Does your fancy hd tv not support progressive? Interlaced artifacts as well should be a thing of the past but you want to shoot interlaced regardless. Why ?

  50. I have been researching making an education documentary and have decided on the GH2 but which one currently is the best to go for – in the Uk there is the 12 and 16 mp – which specific model at the moment is best for this hack.

    1. Post

      As far as i know a GH2 can only come in a 16 megapixel version pal or otherwise for photo, are you sure the other is a GH2?

  51. Hello, When I click to download the GH2 Hack Pack I get a bunch of numbers and letters etc.? I’m using a Mac and am not sure how to hack my GH2. I have the WineBottler software installed already, just not sure how to do it.

    1. Post

      I am not sure why its doing that for you maybe its your browser set up. I realize there is no left click on mac but there is an alternate click so you can choose “download file as” if normal click isn’t working.

      I clicked on the patch packs and hack packs through the GH2 Guide and the single posts and all downloaded just fine for me. Try a different browser while you are at it??

      The direct link is :

      Try to copy and paste it into a few different browsers or click should just download the file. I am only suggesting all the options yous should have tried by now. I cant think of anything else, everything is working correctly. The link is just like any other link so there is no reason for this behavior.

  52. Hello & Thanks for Your Good Work!

    * First of all; I just got my GH2 a couple of months ago and it has ver 1.1 firmware installed.

    I read in one of the posts that you couldn’t hack or patch (I’m new to this so I think they are synonymous) the ver 1.1 (the latest from Panasonic). Is that still true?

    * Second; I am happy with the camera for the most part as it is, but I am very unhappy with the noise generated at low ISOs and Especially using ETC Mode.

    Is there a hack/patch that improves the quality by drastically reducing noise, especially in ETC Mode?

    * Third; when running the hack, I assume it changes some or all of the cameras setup menus. Does it just add setting options, or does it replace all of the menus with new ones?

    * Fourth; once hacked, can you still choose the original settings that are available in ver 1.1 (or ver 1.0 if you still can’t hack ver 1.1) i.e. FSH @ 17 mbps, 24H @ 24 mbps, or HRB @ 24 mbps?

    Thanks Again!!

    1. Post

      1. check out / follow the instructions.. The version we are hacking here is firmware 1.1, so answer is yes.
      2. no hacking makes noise more visible, cleaner. you get a lot more detail the noise is not increased but more apparent. However in this purer state its far easier to clean up in post. ETC mode will always be noisier than regular mode and there is nothing you can do about that
      3 & 4 Hacking changes the bitrate you film at by patching the firmware. It is not a menu replacement. All will look as if nothing happened besides much higher quality video.. no menu items disappear or are modified to reflect the new bitrate. bitrate was never something you freely chose in the menu anyway. Please read the article to know what patching is… or watch the video to see how it works before posting.

  53. Hello,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I read and watched everything I could find, but until you do it, you can’t always see it.

    People that write most of the posts that you read on this topic, do so from a point of intimate knowledge, not the perspective of someone new to the topic, and therefore aren’t speaking to that particular audience.

    That’s why I never let my software developers write user manuals!

    But now that I have Hacked my GH2, I totally get it.

    I didn’t want to hack it before I had a better understanding though, and I needed clarification after I read all of the posts and watched the videos.

    Thank you for answering my questions in a plain talk, direct manner, I really appreciate it!!

    1. Post
  54. I tried out the mysteron hack successfully by naming the hacked firmware as GH2_V12.bin Now, I want to try out Cluster V3. Can I just use the same name or do I need to name it as GH2_V13.bin ? Thanks for your help and a very informative site.

    1. Post

      Step 5: Select Save Firmware and save it as GH2__V1x (x = whatever you want from 1-9) you already understand this plus that it has to end in bin. I’m not sure what the problem is. Whatever patch you chose to use does not effect the firmware name so its irrelevant what you do here.

      However i recommend that you change the last digit to something else and have a text file in the same folder as your firmwares telling you what each firmware is patched with. In case you want to use that same firmware again, why remake it? Sometimes you want to go back if you don’t like a new one or have a favorite patch you use more than others etc. The text file can have notes on each firmware and what you like or don’t like about it while you test out your V3 vs the old one. It may not be best to simply rewrite it using the same name but if you don’t think you’ll use it again sure use same name rewrite it.. or not its up to you. This questions is entirely on you but that’s what i would do.

  55. I received my GH2 with firmware v1.0. I installed 1.1 and the version number shows 1.1. Then I installed a hack and the camera went through the updating process but when I look at the version number it still indicates 1.1. Does that mean that the hack was not installed? If so, what do I need to change inorder to install the hack?

    Thanks for your help.

    **EDIT** I figured it out. I used StreamParser to check the .MTS file that I just took and it shows an average bitrate of 93,527,840. So that tells me that the hack did get installed and is working otherwise the bitrate would not be that high.

    1. Post

      The firmware i gave you to download and patch was v1.1 so as a result when you install v1.1 patched or not… that is what it would say when you look in the camera for the version number. It doesn’t matter what patch you used to hack v1.1 its still going to say.. 1.1 because that is the firmware version.

      Also you did not need to install 1.1 official before installing the 1.1 you hacked. Every time you patch a different firmware again just install what you want to use right away with no need to install a clean firmware before you hack it each time.

  56. Thanks for the clarification. Being new to hacking this camera, I thought there would be a change in the displayed firmware version with the hack applied.

    I’ve tried several in the past few days and will be trying some others until I settle on one that looks good to me with the kinds of videos that I normally do.

    Thanks again for the help.

    1. Post
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  58. Once you have the hack installed on camera, how do you get rid of it and go back to original preset shooting?

    1. Post

      Same as hacking but don’t load any patches. Only have version # checked when you make the new firmware.

  59. Pingback: Panasonic GH2 : Everything you need to know - OSGFilms | OSGFilms

  60. As a cameraman, I bought this camera for the video qualities and capabilities, and I LOVE IT!! I have an earlier Panasonic camera that has worked well for me, but my question is; once I hack it, will that effect the image quality on the photography end? I’m really loving the images quality. . .

    1. Post

      I am glad you are enjoying the video capabilities i love the Gh2 As well =), The hack only improves video performance with zero improvements to the photos modes or side effects for that matter.

  61. I am very disappointed in the GH2, my footage looked a lot better noise was not noticeable, before I hacked it, I also shot it on green screen which was horrible,
    I read several articles,forums,blogs,youtube,,tested several hacks
    I’m using 14-140 lens and canon 1.8 50mm lens I used a lot of light for the 14-140 Please help!!!

    1. what setting to use while shooting on green
    2. what is the best patch for low iso for noise
    3. How to import AVCHD in Final Cut Pro
    4. what setting to use import and export AVCHD in Adobe Premiere Pro

    here is my footage I imported to Adobe Premiere Pro and then exported out from Final Cut Pro.

    1. Post

      I edit in Premiere pro CS6 / AE CS6 Entirely so i don’t have any of those issues. I’m not sure what to tell you about the final cut performance or usability with AVCHD let alone hacked to Intra-AVCHD. I have had nothing but a wonderful experience with premiere cs6 especially with a good Nivida card accelerating premiere’s power thanks to cuda super powering the mercury engine. My experience has been great. I wouldn’t know how to solve the issues final cut has with AVCHD because i don’t use it.

      What patch did you use with the slow lens? what was the iso setting? you cant expect feedback without giving me that information. I dont mind the noise, the improved detail is well worth it but if anything because the noise is so much cleaner, sharper etc. Its much easier to clean up in post with a Denoiser. In my case Red Giant Denoiser II, And still keep the benefits of the detail the hack offers. I use Sedna A right now and i rarely even denoise it, my clients like how it looks. Then again i try to stick to lower isos and keep the noise down but i have gone as high as 1200 with Senda and still had positive feedback being asked to do little if any noise reduction. Im definitively not saying you should push iso too much though. Especially with a slow lens since you are forced to use higher iso or more light to compensate. I try to use fastest lens i can get, keep nicer bokeh etc I do recommend the 20mm 1.7 by the way.

      For green screen i would use smooth profile everything -2 but noise reduction at 0 with Sedna A patch. You could try contrast at 0 as well as it may give better results but its nothing drastic.

  62. I have a Mac book pro 17’inch 10.6.8, Processor 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB Memory I bought it March 2008. I used Adobe Premiere CS5 import video, I know it’s time to buy a new Mac computer.

    Patch I used Flow Motion 100Mb, and Driftwood Quantum 9b

    iso setting can only go to 160 on my camera, and that’s what I use at all times now.

    I still have a lot to learn about working this camera since Coming from camcorder to this, I’m on a tight budget I assume I could pick up the camera and just start shooting away.

    Can this camera be used for professional jobs like Commercial, Music Video, Short film?

    I’m also considering buying the Black Magic Camera next month, any thought on that camera.

    Thanks for responding this really means a lot to me

    1. Post

      I am very excited to rent the black magic cinema camera! i don’t think i will buy it straight off. Too many compromises but i am so excited abut the resolution and raw capture considering the price range. It may push the market into new pro cameras with flat profiles becoming common in the price range. That would be awesome.

      If you want to buy another mac for using premiere or cs6 you are going to miss out on the great power of mercury engine because apple no longer ships with CUDA processor nvidia cards they only offer ati now!! I think mainly because you would see how powerful cs6 is and why so many people switched over. I build my own workstations and they are windows 7 based. always with the latest tech on the market =) , far more powerful than mac and much cheaper!

      What do you mean iso setting can only go to 160 on your camera? you are shooting manual right? you sound like you are stuck at 160. this cant possibly be true without something being wrong.

  63. Yea I am stuck, I’m shooting in manual mode It doesn’t offer me anything lower than 160 I just tried it again

    1. Post

      160 is the lowest you can go, you are not STUCK i thought you meant you cant get higher. The patch unlocks iso so that you can go ridiculously high. You don’t even find film slower than 100 why would digital? That’s really slow or low as it is lol. I though you meant higher!! Its almost like saying “my car wont go slower than 1 mile an hour. i’m stuck.” why would you need it to?

      You could close up your lens and go lowest iso if you REALLY don’t want to see anything. There is always going higher on the shutter too if you want even less light. Not even the sunniest condition could i imagine wanting that little light though lol. lowest iso plus slow lens is pretty low light enough to shoot just shy of pointing it at the sun! we hacked the iso get MORE light more sensitivity into it not less! It was never a problem to get less light in the camera. Just Close up the lens and use a high shutter while lowest iso. see nothing at all. What we hacked it for was when there is no light and even with the lens all the way open low light performance was so so. we need clean HIGH iso not low, low we got covered.

    1. Post

      Are you on the mode of the dial that has picture of a cinema camera and the letter M side by side? did you select 24p CINEMA from the first menu in that dial? . . .

  64. Pingback: My run/gun GH2 docu filmmaking kit in explicit detail - RUN gun SHOOTRUN gun SHOOT

  65. Hello , You are doing fantastic job right here. So, can you please suggest me that the hacked version of GF3 available of not… as says it is available… please suggest as I have to decide to buy the camera , GH2 is bit out of my budget.
    Thanks a ton for any suggestion.

  66. Pingback: The Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu - Premiere Pro CS6 | GH2 | Ryan G Schultz

  67. Hi,
    i know it sounds a little stupid but… i waited for an year to try this hack.
    I wanted to test the camera for its original potential… when i felt ready for the big step… i found that i can’t copy the hacked firmware on my SDHC card. Not even the original one.
    I tried on different cards, and it seems i’m not allowed to copy the patch on them.
    I’m trying to do this through the camera connected via USB.
    I’m on a macbook (but i also tried on a windows laptop), and when i connect the gh2 it shows me the “mass storage” icon, but when i drag the patch it shows me the symbol of “no write permission”.
    Can you give me some hints?

    Thank you very much.


  68. Ok,
    found the solution:
    must be copied on a card reader.
    I had to buy one because my macbook pro card reader is broken.
    I just wonder why is not specifically said that copying through the camera connection is not possible.
    Thank you very much and sorry for this question. Let’s hack and see what happen 🙂
    And thank you very much for all the infos you are giving us with your website. It’s a very detailed and massive job.

    Best regards,


    1. Post

      You’re welcome and just fyi i have copied it over both ways and didn’t have an issue. Glad to see its working now. enjoy!

  69. hey there,
    downloaded your hack pack and
    i just hacked my gh2 for the first time with seaquake,
    pretty sure i did it right, with a 32gb card i’m getting about
    25 minutes. the only thing that concerns me is that the file sizes
    don’t seem to be much bigger than my old files from when it wasn’t hacked.
    i clicked version increment but didn’t set it to anything above 1.
    i was wondering if i have to do this.

    1. Post

      On a 32gig card Stock Firmware gives you 3hrs. Hacked with the one of the driftwood sednas, mysteron etc about 20 something minutes. I would say you are hacked successfully based on your current run time. If you had not used the right version increment then you just wouldn’t be able to install period. Clearly you have so you are set! I am not sure why you think its not hacked its a variable bit rate maybe its the scene is light on the details?

  70. Pingback: How do I "hack" my Panasonic GH2? | HDSLR 101

  71. I’m using the GH2 primarily for technical still photography (in support of conservation of art work), and I’m hoping for a solution that would allow tethered manual control of the GH2 camera from a laptop, including manual focus, f-stop, shutter speed, and shutter release. My understanding is that the GH2 doesn’t allow tethered control of these functions; it only allows the upload of images through a wire or card reader (a wireless card is out there, too). I realize this isn’t the purpose of your GH2 hack, but I’m hoping you might be able to make a suggestion. I just started reading your blog and it’s very interesting what you can do to stretch the camera’s performance in video and low light. Thanks in advance if you’re able to respond, and best regards if not.

  72. Pingback: The Panasonic GH3 vs the GH2 - OSGFilms | OSGFilms

  73. Pingback: The Panasonic GH3 - OSGFilms | OSGFilms

  74. After the HacK Panasonic GH2:

    motion recording was canceled due the lamentation of the writing speed of the car in the settings 24P Cinema . Rec quality 24H with 25 p and higher.
    Its stops recording also Manual Movie Mode.

    My card is a Sony 32 Gb 94 mb/s (SD HCI 1-10)

    1. Post

      Which patch did you use? That happens when the card cannot keep up with the patch. Seems odd for a 94 mb/s card though. I have never tested that sony card so i cant be sure its not the card.

      1. Hello,

        I have used the Driftwood Patches, recording with cinema 24 in 24L no problem, and 24H stops recording after a few seconds (no crash its stops recording).

        Is the the Sony SD-Card (32GB 10 94mb/s the real card for the G2.
        The higher the speed of the card, it is better for video recording.
        Or that’s not all for SD cards.
        I can buy a new SD card (Sandisk 32MB 45MB / s), is that the solution?
        I do not know. You???

        And when I do a slow pan from trippot to 24MB/s, the movie stutters is that normal.

        1. Post

          G2 is a Different camera.
          There is no such the thing as “the real card” for any camera either.
          Please read my guide for selecting an SD card. Sandisk has had very good performance for me even with the highest patches like mysteron and sedna. Look at the cards i mentioned above in this article as well as my guide book. Sandisk has good performance for but its not “the REAL card” or anything like that, just of the best MANY cards that work well for this. Sandisk one of the best and my personal favorite.

          Your image stutters? this could be MANY things like the shutters speed you are using for example. You could also mean the natural motion stutter of 24p for that matter. It is hard for me to determine the cause of this stutter with out sending me some test footage. Post it and link me and i can better help you determine if its normal.

  75. Hi, just trying to hack my camera, I got SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB 95MB/s card, formatted in camera (exFat, FAT32 is unsupported), loaded hacked firmware there and camera doesn’t recognize fw is there…. So I had to use 8GB SD card, and everything is working like charm.

    1. Post

      Glad to hear it is working! What do you mean unsupported? as long as the camera formats the card and not on the pc for example. It should be fine to do anything you need on the Gh2 like reading ptool or anything else off of the card.

  76. Hi,
    I’ve just bought a GH2 with 14-140 mm lens and 2 SD cards – Sandisk Extreme 32GB & a Sandisk Extreme Pro 32GB with the intention of hacking. I am a newbie and have been reading up about hacking. Before I begin I must say I have upgraded the camera firmware from Panasonic to 1.1. Please recommend hacks for a beginner.
    Before I begin hacking I want to ask is this how do I know which patch I need. Will I have to upgrade hack firmware each time I want to try a different hack? How do I select the patches on the camera after they have been loaded onto the SD card?
    How long does a standard battery 1200mah last with a particular hack.
    Is the quality difference after the hack be visible on playback on the cameras LCD?
    LookIng to your replies.

    1. Post

      Hi Avetis, i want to help answer your questions but all you did was troll me. You should read the very short tutorial and watch the video above FIRST, because then after just a couple minutes of your own time all of these questions would be answered. Don’t be lazy!! Why ignore the answers then ask me in a comment? This is exactly what at troll would do. Ask every single question we answer in the video and tutorial, ON PURPOSE just to waste someones time. I am sorry but it’s not particularly amusing.

      —The only thing not already answered explicitly is the following :
      The hack will not eat battery noticeably faster than if you didn’t hack it.

      —“Is the quality difference after the hack be visible on playback on the cameras LCD?”
      No, The Quality difference is not obvious right away on the small lcd screen, for the reason that’s its a small lcd screen… Could you tell 1080p apart from 720p on a 3 inch screen? same logic. While it is very noticeable in post, nothing is very noticeable on a tiny screen like that. You could be watching SD vs HD and still not notice THAT even.

      —Which patch do i recommend to start for a newbie?
      The one i included in the hack pack.

      Before you ask me this : how long can i record with the patches? Those listed right here: at least for the ones in the patch pack.

  77. Greetings Orlando,

    In the earliest days of the purchase of my Gh2, I found you here and immediately embarked on finding and modifying the Pentax 6mm lens as per your post: “Panasonic GH2 + Pentax 6mm f1.2 lens.” Miraculously I got it to work after some hairy fidgeting. What a great lens and such great instructions from you. Thank you.

    Now I’m embarking on “the hack.” I’ve been reading everything I can about it here, and on “Personal View.” When you have a moment I just have one question, can you recommend the best hack for documentary work? I see that Driftwood has one on “Personal View,” but maybe its because I was reading everything between 3am and 5:30am this morning, but I can’t seem to tell what is the latest most secure version of his “doc hack.”

    If you don’t know, not a problem, I’ll figure it out. Thanks for all of your excellent information and generosity and the video is a great help too.

    Happy New Year,
    José Angel Santana

    (Really “liked” your FB page too 🙂

    1. I’m sorry, I might have been more specific. The hack that might be most suitable for shooting wide angle with the panasonic 14mm pancake lens and also with ETC activated. Thank you. – José

      1. Post

        Welcome back and thank you for your compliments! I am happy i was able to help.

        For shooting documentary work i would not choose one specific hack / patch these days. When i shot “#whilewewatch” ( I used an early patch i believe it was the version of spanmybitchup called “driftwood GOP1 AQ2 SpanMyBitchUp” or one the V2 version of spanmybitchup. I chose it because it was stable and considering its a movie shot on the run, stable was most important since you don’t get a second chance to make the shot. Since its likely never to hang up you can trust it, recommend it too, which is why its the hack pack default patch. But it’s not my favorite to shoot docs or narrative with.

        Lately i have been using – Driftwood Cluster v7 ‘Apocalyspe Now’ – 6 GOP Nebula ‘444 for everything, all my work. I have settled on it for good. This i find has a nice look and overall detail is brilliant. Since i constantly switch between prime lenses constantly, both modern sharp and softer vintage glass, the balanced matrix aimed at both soft and sharp glass is a nice touch. The simulated 444 color is also nice, your color would be a little better with it. Over all this is what i recommend for just about anything. Its supposed to be stable and not cause write errors but you do need a solid quality card for it. Worth it, check out one of the recommendations above, i use it with the 64gig sandisk myself. I have also done good green screen work with it, i think this patch is very flexible and wonderful quality. Driftwood Rocked it.

        1. After you have applied the Apocalypse Now hack, are you using any special image settings with that on the GH2? E.g. the smooth preset or other ones? Please fill me in here, as I applied the hack, but unsure of which color profile I should choose to work with it.

          1. Post

            Other than smooth color profile with -2 everything? no. The idea isnt to add features to the firmware but instead increase the bit rate. The new bit rate and encoder is not a new feature in the menu, it will already be built into the avchd codec so no new items will be view-able. But you know its working because of the increased quality in post production plus larger files sizes in general. The same “best practices” will still apply to achieve the best image or with the best dynamic range.. that has not changed.

  78. Thanks for the tutorial. I was able to install the hack, but every time I turn the camera on it asks if I’d like to update the camera again? Once the hack is in place can I assume that I do not need to update it again every time I restart the camera? Should I reformat the card once the hack is complete so the .BIN is no longer on the card?

    1. Post

      Once you install it you are done. Its no different thatn if you downloaded official firmware. You don’t keep it on the card once its installed. You should seriously be formating before a shoot, fragmentation will occur and slow things down if you delete specific files rather than dump the card entirely when its full and format to start fresh.

      1. Thanks the advice! There is some footage that I am trying to retrieve from a card that isn’t reading on my computer or the camera anymore. It read fine after the interviews and then again later once I turned that camera back on, but there is nothing there now. Any thoughts? Can you recommend a place that recovers files from SD cards?

  79. I have the j set hack but when I go to record it tells me that it has cancelled the recording due to insufficient write speed on the card. However, I’m using a 16gb 90mb/s class 10 Panasonic card. Any help?

  80. Hi, I have a panasonic gh2. I updated from for firmware v.1.1. But I’m like to hack this item for Drifwood Quantom? Is it possible or not? How I can find this software?

    1. Post

      ? its right on the page? click download watch the video, why comment and ignore the app and instructions? I already included 1.1 in it by the way.

  81. hey there. amazing site, thank you! i applied the hack…is there an easy way to tell on the gh2 to confirm? e/thing seemed to go smoothly, but i just wondered..thanks.

    1. Post
  82. Pingback: How do I "hack" my Panasonic GH2? | answers @ planet5D

  83. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger
    if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

    1. Post
    1. Post
  84. Pingback: Tips For Taking Photos Of Trees | Digital SLR Camea Site

  85. I have a Mac and am looking into purchasing a this camera (given the hack works). I heard the Mac users need to use a program that is compatible with exe files and such? Where might I go and what canI use to avoid any complications with being a Mac user using this guid to hack the camera?

    Also, I have VMware Fusion on my Mac to use windows, however I am uncertain if this will help with the possible complications of compatibility.


    1. Post
    1. Post

      IF you are referring to the overall blur to the motion… Well the obvious error would the wrong shutter speed! Using 30 adds extra motion blur to all your videos. You should be using twice the frame rate ALWAYS, the 180 degree rule can at times be ignored if that is a look you want but for the regular film look, double your frame rate. So for 24 frames a second your shutter has to be 48! The GH2 only has 1/50, but thats’ still pretty close. At 30p, it would be 1/60 sec., at 60p its 1/120 and so on…

      This is the look we come to expect from cinema, and the look we are used to from decades of movies following this basic rule and thus not looking video-ish in the process like your footage. A higher shutter will make images more stutter-ish or jerky but much sharper at the same time as there would be less and less motion blur the higher a shutter you use. Footage with a really high shutter could be slow down and not have any blur! The Same principle applies to regular one frame photography, high shutter speed stops motion, really low shutter and you get blurry images from just your hand shaking a little. Of course a low shutter has it uses but we are not getting into that right now. This principle translates a bit differently when it comes to film but a similar effect does occur comparing low shutter to higher shutter speeds. Stop using a low shutter if you don’t want odd looking motion. Follow the 180 degree rule, its not the most basic rule of film for no reason. At 24 frames a second you need to use a shutter of 1/50 on your GH2. Higher could work if that’s something you are into but its not the proper film look.

      Your homework. Shoot the same clip at correct vs higher shutter speeds and compare. USE 24 frames a second in all of them. First your 1/30. Next the correct shutter of 1/50, then go even higher, 120, and lastly one much too high of your choosing. Compare the effects on your footage. You will see what i am talking about here. Pull a still frame from all of them. You will notice everything quite clearly at this point. Remember to keep your pans controlled, ie the same for all of the examples so as not to effect the look with yet another variable.

      Hope this helped, also are some videos teaching you all about this with examples in case you’re too lazy to do your homework! | Very simple video comparison of shutters speeds effecting footage | Correct use of low shutter for blurring things effectively (for photography)
      *** | The best one for last! A Full lesson on how shutter speeds effect footage with many examples and video comparisons featuring a full explanation on everything i covered above, but with lots examples. This with be the video i would make to answer your question but i’m far too busy for that right now. ENJOY!

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  91. I do agree with aall of the ideas you have presented on your post.
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    Still, the posts are very short for beginners. May just you please prolong them a little from next time?

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