GS100K - English version at DVinfo.net

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Old August 15th, 2003, 05:57 PM   #1
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GS100K - English version

I'm buying my first cam soon, after several weeks of research and reading the tips on this board. Thanks to all the posts for educating and enlightening me.

I've homed in on GS100K of pany, but am put off by the 'Japanese Only' menus. I know some great guys here have made available the translated cheat sheets.
I'm looking for assistance from anyone who understands the technical electronics/ software stuff inside the cam who can provide us and advise us on how to perhaps replace a ROM/ EPROM chip inside the camera (that can be programmed and loaded with the English Menus).

Maybe this can benefit a whole lot of us.
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Old August 16th, 2003, 03:24 AM   #2
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I'm not sure this is possible. Hopefully no one will attempt to use babblefish attempting this. :)
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Old August 16th, 2003, 10:23 AM   #3
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I did a fair bit of fiddling around with electronics & chips in my school days, but that was more than a decade ago. Its an idea worth exploring though.
We need to seek the help of a good programmer who'd like to take up the challenge. My guess someone who understands hexadecimal code or a suitable compiler, or something at the inner system level.

What we need to figure out is:
1. Are the entire functional programs of the cam on a single ROM chip. (ROM is different from the microprocessor that does the grunt work). maybe today's technology has both integrated into one chip.

If yes, we need to isolate the code thats responsible for the language, and replace it with the code that does the english language displays. This code can even be borrowed from the 953 because I guess its ony the language thats different (the menu structure and commands being the same between the two).

If no, then it may be easier to simply replace the gs100 ROM with a 953 spare.
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 03:29 AM   #4
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Hey Amit, sounds correct, hacking the EPROM, but at risk of frying your expensive toy.
There are rumoers there will be US and European versions of GS100K in about a half years or probably slightly more, so then the English menu will be available and as my quite educated in video cams fried said (and I tend to believe him) it will not be a whole issue to reprogram the EPROM at official panasonic facility.

However there might be a trap hidden here:
usually outside-Japan models are feature-stippped down to certain degree - wich means the native english menus may not contain all the features of your Japanese GS100K or even worse be totally different.

Alex
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 02:09 PM   #5
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Hi Alex,

yeah. Maybe we need a friend at a pana facility. But I guess there are many many clever people out there who can do the job as well. Obviously, we must try to 'de-risk' frying the cam.

In fact, this can become a good business opportunity - to offer translation services that can be 'plugged in' to customize your cam.
Anyways, I couldnt wait for half a year, and thats why I opted to manage with the cheat sheet instead. Sooner or later someone is bound to do it.

thoughts/ suggestions are welcome.
-Amit
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 02:23 PM   #6
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Sounds fair.
As a hardware engineer working in digital video semiconductor industry (main processors for digital still cameras and systems) I know there must be a provision for future firmware upgrades, fixes. I guess there might be a dedicated plug somewhere inside the camera aimed to burn new firmware, but we would need to undesratdn how to down load the firmware safely and then to decode it (locating the menue coding sections and hacking the content). Then will need to figure a burning procedure.
best would be getting hooked with some "spy" from Panasonic service facility for MX500/953 schematic ...

I doubt it would be feasable though...

Alex
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 07:18 PM   #7
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about this 'upgrade provisioning' - I guess thats how they upgraded from MX5000 to gs100k - from what I understand (I may be wrong), the cam is the same, and its only some 'pixel interpolation' software or something like that thats been added to the cam to enhance its low light capability. Everything else is the same I guess?

So basically, there's enough space in there to load some more softwares. At a concept level, this leads me to another idea that instead of replacing anthing, its likely that we can just load/ burn the new code in, and set 'language' the pointer to read from there, instead of the old code.

cheers,
-Amit

ps: keep the ideas flowing. maybe some good guy at pana labs will see this and help us out.
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 08:20 PM   #8
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Pany improved the lens to low-dispersion type.

The engine is improved (and proven to work..IMO). Could be the same physical chip and circuitry. but I don't think it was simply a firmware upgrade.


"I doubt it would be feasible though..."

Halleluiah brother
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 10:47 PM   #9
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I dont think GS100, not only firm ware upgrade!

To name a few...

bigger mx5000 size to smaller cute size

Better NEW OIS, that means OPTICS replacement

Crystal Engine Software

New LEICA DICOMAR lens

Better OPTICS overall

better write speed to card.

hot shoe

better 16:9, wide and procinema, that means more pixels than mx5000.

Over all design...


IMOHHHHHHH, NOT THE JUST FIRMWARE UPGRADE!!!
GIVE SOME RESPECT TO PANA...
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 11:09 PM   #10
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If you guys want an English version of the GS100, all you'd have to do is wait, and wait, to see if Pana USA will bring it into the USA - June/July of 2004. But whatever you do, don't hold your breath. It's bad for your health. Besides, I don't want to have to shoot another funeral. :)
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 03:42 AM   #11
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Do not forget thet once it will hit US market - forget about some neat features and qualities. Will be stripped down model comparative to original GS100K.

So, I think even though having enough patience waiting about half year or more (life is short, isn't it ?), no chance you would be getting exactly the same GS100K but in English.

Alex
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 04:36 AM   #12
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There's always a PAL version that comes out sooner than a possible US release. However, to make the most of this, you'll have to move to PALsville. ;)
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 04:49 AM   #13
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Frank, I live in PALsville. (I'm in Israel) :-)
But then again, even Paan's PAL models are often somewhat limited comparative to heir original Japanese siblings, though to somewhat lesser extent then these intended for US market.
Lets do not forget that PAl models are considerably more expensive then NTSC that also counts.
To face it, right now would I figure new MX350 (PAL) for competitive price to GS100K I would choose the MX350. Recently figured one new available in one of big Moscow-based shops, but still too expensive for me (1600 US$).
(BTW, you may be suprised as I was once figuring the pricing for PAL video equipment to be much more reasonable in Moscow then anywhere in Europe, also PAL models available in Moscow (official imprort) are more feature-rich then these improtde to lareg part of Western Europe (suc as many of Panasonic and other brand models improted to France and also perhaps UK have blocked DV in, while teh same models intended for Russian market do not have such restrictions).

Alex
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 05:00 AM   #14
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Thanks Alex for that info---I didn't know that. My wife just had some friends visiting from Israel. I took plenty of good pics of them and their 4 children. One of their young girls, 12 years of age, kept making crazy faces for her poses. The parents where actually wanting to buy a PAL cam here in Vancouver, but the cams were still a bit too pricey for their liking. (They live in Jerusalem---moved to Israel from Iran.)
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 05:06 AM   #15
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From Iran ? Well, your wife likes eastern appeal :-)
Yuo know, Israel is quite a ressemblence to US in terms of people population - most of them are old or new immigrants (just like US).

I figured the best place to purchase PAL cam (including pro models) is Moscow. Best prices and several quite reputable shops (available online, but selling by mail within their country only, though deal with personal delivery options from another contries).


Alex
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