Personal View site logo
Cinema gear deals, direct from factories - Gear deals and Gear deals section. Also check Cameras, lenses, software, gear deals.
You support is vital for us. To keep this place ad free and independent, select one of the options below.
Donations are going to community support costs, hosting, etc. Your support allows to improve and expand this site.
Exactly what are GH2 hacks?
  • I've been practicing with my GH2 for some weeks now, this is my first serious camera. I've always filmed with a Gopro but i never had money for a serious camera, after asking in many forums i decided to buy an used GH2, and people suggested me to hack it.

    Now i feel like i want to hack it, but i have no idea what it is, how it works or what are the differences between all the hacks around here. There are a lot and i have no idea what changes between them. I've been following this guide: http://www.movingpicturetv.com/gh2-hack/ and even if it is idiot proof i still have some questions!

    It asks me to download the original firmware and links directly to a download. I'm worried it might be dated? The guide is 3 years old.

    It tells me to choose the patch i want, and links the "most popular one": http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/1375/ptool-v3.63d-topic/p1?Sort=newest[2]

    Isn't it outdated, too? I mean, i know nothing about different patches and i don't know which one i should choose, can someone help me? How am i supposed to choose the one i want if i don't even know the peculiarities?

    At some point is asks me to "Format an SD card in your GH2." . How am i supposed to format it in my GH2...? The only way i'd do this is by formatting the card on my PC and then inserting it on the camera.

    I have so many doubts.

  • 7 Replies sorted by
  • @Fieel Take a look at the FAQs on this site. It explains how to do everything. The basic premise of "hacking" the camera is to change the way it works so there is less compression of the image and it looks much nicer. There are many different "hacks/settings/patches" that people have created that do this differently. Some of the differences are in how much the compression is reduced, as well as other characteristics of the image. You can look on this site for descriptions of different hack settings and also view peoples test footage to see the differences. Trying the different hack settings is free and is the best way to find what you like best. Many people like the "Moon" settings, with Moon T5 & Moon T7 being favorites among many. Others like Moon T8. I like Intravenous v2. There are many to try.

    Note: The different hack settings have different bitrates. The higher the bitrate, the less compression. But the higher bitrate hack settings sometimes require you to use a more expensive SD card that is able to handle this higher bitrate without shutting off the recording. That said, there are many great hack settings that create great images that can be used with moderately priced SD cards. Although higher bitrate helps create a nicer and less compressed image, bitrate is not the sole determinant of image quality. The higher bitrate also creates files that are bigger.

    If you're willing to spend $75 (available at B&H) you can get the Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB 95 MB/s card and that will work flawlessly with almost all hack settings - it is the gold standard. It's what I use and have had very few errors. Good luck and have fun. Once you read FAQs you'll learn it all fairly quickly - it's worth doing.

  • Bravo Matt!! Many people around the site dont waste time triying to explain to the newbees. thank you so much!

  • @Grimor I got a lot of help when I started, and I know the initial learning curve can be a bit tough. Hopefully it helps.

  • Thank you guys! I've been looking for infos until someone on reddit suggested me to sign up and ask here, it paid off. At the moment i have a 45Mb/s SD card (Sandisk Ultra 64gb) but as soon as i get a faster one i'll consider hacks! At the moment i'm trying to understand the basic recording modes of the GH2. I don't want to harm my camera :(

  • That card should allow you to use many hack settings easily. If you use a card that doesn't work with a particular hack, the camera isn't harmed, it just won't work with that hack. You can then put on a lower bitrate hack, or put back the original firmware and all will be fine.

    Regarding harming your camera, read the FAQs because that discusses the only real risks which DO include bricking your camera if you use a non-Panasonic battery when hacking, or using a battery that isn't fully charged, as well as a few other things you need to be aware of to safely hack. The FAQs are really the bible for this stuff, and in this case I say go with God.

  • Great explanation by Matt...I agree, bravo. @Fieel, I'd strongly recommend you use the camera unhacked until your comfortable with it. Then start with something like Sanity X. Much of the difference in the settings shows up in post, so take it slow.

  • Don't overlook http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/5385/gh2-high-quality-gop3-settings-series-2-an-valkyrie-golgop3-13-gop3zilla-duke-natural-#Item_660

    A fabulous 3GOP patch designed for the PAL 25fps world. I use it exclusively. High image quality, low noise and spans until the battery dies!