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MJPEG FPS setting for Timelapse on GH2
  • Hi, I'm the author of GH13Timelapser - a tool to process timelapse video made using the mjpeg video mode on the GH13.

    It works by taking footage from a GH13 with the mjpeg frame rate changed to 2fps using ptool - it can stream copy the frames out and reassemble them losslessly - but more interestingly has interval/shutter settings that will blend frames together to simulate a longer interval/shutter as required. The frame blending has the added benefit of reducing low-light noise significantly.

    I put together a demo here:

    Here's the tool GH13Timelapser:

    I've had a few people contact me about using GH13Timelapser with a hacked GH2 but from what I can tell, the MJPEG fps setting hasn't been implemented in GH2 ptool - probably because it was deemed as not being useful (it has no purpose other than timelapse from what I can tell)

    Is there any way to add MJPEG x/fps support for the GH2?
  • 128 Replies sorted by
  • @GH13Timelapser


    I'll try to add this setting to future versions of PTool.
  • Vitaliy,

    Thanks, I for one would be interested in using the 2 fps hack.
  • @GH13Timelapser I ran into your site last month and followed you tip. What I like about the 2fps MJPEG timelapse is that it can capture fast moving subjects. i.e. I'm close to subjects. And many times it's not appropriate to take thousands of photos. e.g. restaurants and malls. Definitely reduced the size of MJPEG files. I looked for Xfps option for MJPEG in GH2 PTools, but it was missing. I'm glad Vitaliy will add it.
  • @GH13Timelapser
    I've skimmed over posts of yours in this forum and others, but never really analyzed what you were doing until now. I'm really impressed with the quality of the timelapses you are achieving. Sorry it took me so long to see the light :)

    Adding this in the next PTool version would be great!
  • I was just thinking. If Vitaliy add support for DMC-FT3/TS3 someday like he has suggested he might, this technic would not only give me something I am missing from my GoPro, but also making it far better than the GoPro with frame blending.

    DMC-FT3/TS3 please :)
  • @GH13Timelapser This is fantastic! Can't wait. Was just about to buy an intervelometer but I'll wait now...
  • is this new feature available on the latest ptool yet for the gh2?
  • >is this new feature available on the latest ptool yet for the gh2?

    Hope to add this to the next release.
  • Any updates on this? Do we know when to expect this feature?
  • This looks REALLY nice!

    I definitely want this feature so I can use your program. Thanks!
  • I cant wait for the next release Vitaliy
  • This could be easily implemented on the GH2 under the frame rate settings where we can put in our own variable.
  • This is very useful feature to capture timelapse on close subjects. It adds nice motion blur. Prolly ND filter required.
  • I am also very interested, plan to shoot some timelapse in the city during chrismas time.
    @driftwood: Did you mean this is already possible with current ptools, or that it should be easy to implement in next version?
  • @Meierhans It is possible on the GH1 [and GF1 I think?] because ptools allows the user to change the MJPEG fps setting from 30 to 2. It is not possible to make this change on the GH2 because ptool does not have this setting for GH2 firmware. Vitaliy has indicated that this should appear in a future release.

    [ps: I think you can set your shutter to 1/2 second under MJPEG mode without the firmware hack but the camera still records at 30fps. Quality and maximum record time will be lower and file size will be huge because of so many wasted frames. The footage won't work correctly in GH13Timelapser because it expects 2fps footage]
  • Vitaliy now ported this feature to GH2 as well with the upcoming p-tool 3.63 release. Thank you Vitaliy!
  • PTool 3.63d supports this feature on GH2. Woohoo!!!

    One caveat. There's no this option for GH2: MJPEG Movie Mode | MJPEG Size Adjustments | 720p30 -> 1080p30

    Try MJPEG Movie Mode | MJPEG Size Adjustments | 720p30 width to 1920, 720p30 height to 1080.

    Hopefully Panasonic doesn't get rid of MJPEG encoding option.
  • Did a quick test with the GH2 at 2fps. great little program

  • Because of the longer shutter speed, it can be used in low light indoor.
  • I also tested it and it works great with 2 fps. The only problem I ran into was the bitrate of just ~8 MBit/s.
  • @LPowell do you have any suggestion for a proper MJPEG setting at 2fps. In my opinion you are one of the best experts...

  • @tida The biggest determining factor is the maximum length you wish to record. You want to set the quality as high as you can without cutting short whatever timelapse you intend on shooting. Unless MJPEG quality on the GH2 works different from the GH1, this information from the About page on should apply: [Also interested in hearing any comments LPowell might have]

    MJPEG quality settings are a tradeoff between image quality and recording duration. Setting E1 Table: 4 makes a big difference. My understanding is that the E1 Quality/Table setting is used initially and E2/E3/E4 are a fallback if the camera can’t keep up. As we’re only recording at 2fps this is unlikely to be a problem, but I recommend using settings that descend down from your E1 quality setting. E1 Quality: 400 will give you super-high quality jpegs, but only about twenty minutes of recording time at 1080p.

    E1 Quality 160 looks just fine to me, especially when frames are blended together and will give you a recording time of just under an hour. If you’re happy with 720p you’ll get closer to two hours.

    MJPEG Movie Mode | MJPEG Compression | E1 Quality: 160
    E1 Table: 4
    E2 Quality: 140
    E2 Table: 4
    E3 Quality: 120
    E3 Table: 4
    E4 Quality: 100
    E4 Table: 4

    I leave ” MJPEG Color” as the standard 4:2:0 which leads to smaller file sizes and thus longer shooting time. If you use frame blending, I believe you’ll get the benefit of averaged colour/luminosity for each pixel and GH13 Timelapser will output in 4:2:2 to take advantage of this (please let me know if I’m mistaken and there is no benefit.) When shooting your timelapse, you’ll want to always set your shutter to 1/2 second if you intend to use frame blending. 1/2 second blended frames will have smoother motion – shorter shutter speeds will introduce ghosting to fast moving objects.
  • @GH13Timelapser thanks for your prompt reply. As I understand suggested settings for GH2 are equal to GH1 settings. I'm just starting to play with your tool - it's ingenious.
  • @plasmasmp:
    Great footage! How long did it take you to shoot? which iso? :)
  • Why don't you do raw timelaps with an external timer? The quality you will get there is far more mindfucking blowjob than with the hack..