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Beginners: Basic hacks questions
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  • @jvalal Here is what all of the modes using the AVCHD codec mean. Note that the NTSC numbers are rounded to the nearest frame (e.g. 60P) or field (60i). Note that a field is only half a frame, but that is a whole other topic you can find information on elsewhere.

    • 24H: 1920x1080, 24 fps, higher bitrate.
    • 24L: 1920x1080, 24 fps, lower bitrate.
    • HBR: 1920x1080, 25 fps (PAL) or 30 fps (NTSC).
    • FSH: 1920x1080, 50 fields, not frames (PAL) or 60 fields (NTSC), higher bitrate.
    • FH: 1920x1080, 50 fields, not frames (PAL) or 60 fields (NTSC), lower bitrate.
    • SH: 1280x720, 50 fps (PAL) or 60 fsp (NTSC), higher bitrate.
    • H: 1280x720, 50 fps (PAL) or 60 fsp (NTSC), lower bitrate.

    You can also use "24H" or "24L" in the "Variable Movie Mode" (VMM). VMM shoots 1920x1080 footage at different frame rates without sound, then plays it back at 24 fps. The % indicated is how fast (or slow) the footage plays back vs the rate at which it happened. For example:

    • 80%: Shoots 30 fps, then plays it back slowed down to 80% of the original speed. 30X0.80 = 24.
    • 300%: Shoots 8 fps, then plays it back sped up to 300% of the original speed. 8X3.00 = 24.

    Now that you know what all the rates are, here is the most important part to remember. Camera is setup to be able to handle the most detail when shooting 24 frames per second. When Driftwood makes patches, his first priority is the performance in 24H mode - he does not really test 24L.

    So if you are shooting Driftwood and want to get the very best image quality, then use 24H.

    You can also see what modes do and do not span for certain memory cards using different settings. I just started testing it last night, so it is very incomplete, but it makes a decent starting point.

    That chart may also help @bmcent1 to find settings that work in the preferred shooting modes. @Bmcent1 The 24H modes will always have the best image quality, whether they are in VMM or not.

    @jvalal As far as "M" in "Exposure Mode", yes that gives you full manual control in "Movie M" mode. If you use that, what you see before you start shooting and what you see when you are shooting should be closer. There are other configuration options that make a difference, but I won't get into those here. Good luck!

  • @DeShonDixon

    Without systematic testing, it's impossible to know which profile is best for any given condition or any desired final result.

    The most common approach among users here, if you want the most gradeable image -- as opposed to something you don't intend to post-process -- is to use Smooth or Standard, and set everything to -2. The GH2 does a lot of in-camera processing which you can't defeat, so it's unlikely that -2 settings are going to remove too much information from the image. "Smooth" is said to have slightly more dynamic range than "Standard". Other people here have made arguments for Nostalgia and Vibrant. You may need to experiment, with your own workflow.

  • @thepalalias ok, learning more. Where do I set 24H? I see in the camera mode (Manual movie, HBR, Cinema, and then Variable). When I go into variable mode I only see % 80,160...

  • @jvalal Select "Cinema" and then exit the menu. At center of top of the screen, you will now see either "24L" or "24H". If you see "24L" push the "Q.Menu" button and use the arrows to navigate to it. Then select "24H" instead and push the menu set button.

  • @thepalalias yep. Man so many hidden features.

  • Getting ready to shoot a music video this weekend, and getting confused about workflow.

    I'm using AE to key and composite, then outputting for youtube... but not quite clear as to what file formats are acceptable going into AE, or which patches alter the output format. Lots of discussion about the bitrate, etc... but what about the compression format? Is there a path of least resistance here that makes for easy editing with minimal conversion, etc?

    Looking to pair that with a very stable, but good looking 1080p 30fps patch... in the under 100mbps range. Not quite sure if I should just do that with 24mbps from 1.1 firmware, or go with something else to bump it to double the birate or so...

    ... but more than that, I'm a bit confused as to whether I will be, or should be, changing the output file type by changing the patch.

  • @thepalalias I get confused on the Driftwood posts. For ex. Orion Darkmatter patch states"...Details: Featuring the new 'Dark Matter' matrix set (three version variations) based on current Orion Matrix with hi/lo freq adjustments. Plus 720p on 9/6 GOP..."

    Does this mean it only shoots 720P? Looking at other patches they also say 720P, yet I thought I was capturing at 1080p? Confused.

  • @jvalal The posts discuss all the modes those settings shoot. All the Driftwood settings can shoot 1080p at 24fps well - there are no exceptions to that so far. In the descriptions he also talks about how the settings are configured for other modes - that is what you were reading.

    The descriptions can get very technical - don`t spend too much effort trying to understand them until you learn more about what all the terms mean. In the Driftwood thread, I mentioned some of the differences between them (in the thread we started out in).

    Mysteron and Sedna are the best options if your main concern is image quality with an intra setting, given your card.

  • @jrd Thanks I played around with my GH2 a little and im pretty sure I got the hang of things now! :D

  • @thepalalias ok, but how do I get the settings in my cam to 1080p vs. 720? Assuming this is another simple setting I'm overlooking.

  • These aren't hidden features. They're well documented in your GH2 manual. Also, read the FAQs.

  • @jvalal Balazer is right about those being good place to go for the answers to your questions. But I'll answer this last one before you get started. :) The short answer is, I already told you how to do it. But in case it was unclear, I'll try explaining it a different way.

    All modes (HBR, Cinema, and Variable Movie Mode) shoot 1080P, except for "Manual" (the one on the far left).

    Here are the ones you can select in manual (at least the ones that shoot in AVCHD).

    • FSH: 1920x1080, 50 fields, not frames (PAL) or 60 fields (NTSC), higher bitrate.
    • FH: 1920x1080, 50 fields, not frames (PAL) or 60 fields (NTSC), lower bitrate.
    • SH: 1280x720, 50 fps (PAL) or 60 fsp (NTSC), higher bitrate.
    • H: 1280x720, 50 fps (PAL) or 60 fsp (NTSC), lower bitrate.

    So basically, SH and H mode are the only modes that shoot 1280X720. You can select them in "Video M" mode or you can hit the circle (like you were originally doing before we started talking about all of this).

    Anyway, best of luck with the manual and GH2-usage. I think you'll find the answer to most of the rest of your early questions there, but feel free to ask more later once you get past what those can answer for you.

  • Well, I've read the manual, and quite a few posts here and elsewhere, but it's quite a lot of information, and though the answers may well be out there, they can still get lost at times... for me anyway.

    I've read that the GH2 can't really do 1080 30p... that it's always 1080i, but then can be fixed to be 1080p in post.... then I've read that it CAN do 1080p at 30fps with the new firmware... then I've read that it still isn't true progressive, and still needs to be fixed in post. It's hard to tell sometimes whether the posts and responses are accurate or outdated.

    Basically, just wondering if there's a specific stable hack that not only makes sure it's true progressive, but makes the post process easier in general by outputting a format that's easy to import and work with in AE. For instance, is AVCHD really what I want in this scenario, or something else?

    I don't know much about the compression codecs... just enough to understand that I'd prefer something that doesn't need to be converted/decoded in order to be imported and edited. I know how to use AE, but I've never used the various compression codecs before.

    Also, doing greenscreen work, so wanting to make sure that of all the things that could be squashed in the name of bitrate, that color info is the least harmed.

  • @gregsage

    Watch these two videos. Try clicking on the watch on youtube button to see the descriptions with all of the links.

    The short answer is that version 1.1 firmware enables 1080p @ 30 FPS with the HBR mode. If your editing software treats it as true progressive 1080p @ 30 FPS then it won't need any further processing.

    Try the "No adverse Affects" settings as a perfectly stable place to start.

    Version 1.1 changes

    "No adverse Affects" settings

  • @gregsage, I'm just getting started with this camera too and the manual isn't laid out the clearest. Add all the jargon of the settings (aka hacks) and it is a lot to digest in the beginning. But, keep reading and it starts to come into focus.

    Regarding your questions: "Basically, just wondering if there's a specific stable hack that not only makes sure it's true progressive, but makes the post process easier in general by outputting a format that's easy to import and work with in AE. For instance, is AVCHD really what I want in this scenario, or something else?"

    Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any of these settings/hacks changes the record modes (24 Cinema, Variable Movie Mode, HBR, SH, etc.) of the camera in terms of output fps rate or progressive/interlaced output, nor do they change output file formats. They only optimize the way the AVCHD codec that's built into the camera encodes the raw video by improving the tables it uses and bit rate settings.

    @Vitaliy_Kiselev 's tool has allowed removing some limits that were in the stock firmware such as ISO limited to 3200, allowing an NTSC/PAL switch, and enabling more languages but I believe all of these things were in the original firmware but locked out or set as toggles and ptool has allowed enabling them.

    The are switching bits around within the existing firmware in places they can improve the camera but I don't think they can write brand new software and compile that into a firmware the camera can use. It's amazing what they're able to do by splicing parameters into the stock firmware.

  • ok, thx

    I had watched the videos before... really just unclear about exactly what was being changed by the patches... and whether they're still all same encoding, true progressive, etc. There seems to be some conflicting info out there about the progressive scan part anyway.

    OK, so looks like I just need to settle on what sort of stability/bitrate compromise I'm comfortable with (sanity, no adverse, flowmotion, etc)

    Since I don't care about audio, but do care quite a bit about color info for greenscreening, am still a bit unsure as to whether a particular hack might have it's bitrate geared a bit more toward my needs than another.

    Rest of project (titling, backgrounds, 3d animations, intro, outro, etc) is already composited in 1080p 30fps, so I might as well get the footage shot that way.

  • @gregsage, if you don't care about sound and you want 30fps, try VMM 80% mode. It is 30fps played back at 24fps, you can easily speed it up by 25% to get back to 30fps in AE in post. I found it to be identical in quality with 24H (aka 1080p/24) in one test I did. In theory I think 24p should still do better but VMM 80% is your best 30 fps option. Try Sanity 4.1 or Sanity 5 or No Adverse Affects for good all around hacks. I started with those to get used to my camera. Then experiment with another patch if you find a particular need.

  • Simple question I guess anyway to find out what hack I have on my GH2? Did the hack back in December I believe and don't remember which one it was.

  • Well, I was thinking Sanity 5, except for all the warnings about it not spanning in HBR.

    I've got a 95mbps 64GB card, though, so not sure if that makes a difference.

    Looking into NAE... Taking up a lot of people's time on this shoot, so trying to make sure no snafus waste that time.

  • Is there anyway to review 60p in camera? And is it better to shoot in mpjeg or avchd?

  • Greetings, I’m about to make a short film with the Panasonic GH2. I would like to know wich is the best hack up to date. I'm working with: SeaQuake - 24H - Sandisk 64GB Extreme Pro SDXC 95MB/s. ¿Is It there a higher hack version or am I good to go? Thanks

  • OK, got Sanity 5 loaded. Will test today to see about spanning on 95 mbps 64GB card. If not, I'll try the no adverse, and test it's spanning.

    I've seen a few comments here and there about people saying they never record video by pressing the red button, but not quite clear as to whether it's just preference or if there's a reason having to do with hacks or otherwise. Anyone know why I should or should not do it that way?

  • @gregsage

    I always use the red button. I don't want the camera to refocus when I start a video. If you use the shutter button it will do that. If you use the red button it will not.

  • ah. good point.

    Sanity seems to be spanning just fine for me, but a bit confused about something. Rec Mode menu only gives motion jpeg, avchd 720p and avchd 1080i as options.

    Been running through all the menus, and I'm just not sure how to be sure I'm running a proper 1080p 30fps since the menu settings don't really match what I'm reading online in terms of what the patch can do.

    That's in M mode anyway. Do I have to be in movie mode for the hack settings to be applicable? Just set to HBR and know that HBR is now 1080p 30fps since the firmware is changed?

  • Whether hacked or just running stock firmware, you need to be in creative movie mode and select HBR to get 1080p/30.

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