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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
4K and AVCHD on a Micro Four Thirds system camera with interchangeable lenses.


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Old May 27th, 2012, 12:26 PM   #1
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Removing a hack

I have decided that the "Vanilla" hack was not working for me as all the 60p shooting modes seem to now run at the same 35mbs bit rate and while 44mbs 24p makes nice images, I also need to return to some lower bandwidth file rates for extended performance recording in 60p. Last night the camera stopped recording and shutdown last night while I left it unattended during a performance where I was running the AV system. This occurred during the usual 4.29GB file break. Since I have recorded hour long performances in a single take with the camera before the hack, I know it can do it.

The camera does not recognize the December Panasonic firmware update anymore although I can reload the hack for whatever good that will do me. I experimented with changing the creation date of the Panasonic update but that didn't do any good. Any clues on how to load an older firmware version?
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Old May 27th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #2
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Re: Removing a hack

I haven't had good luck sampling any of those hacks, FWIW.

To revert to "stock" firmware, go through the hack process - Open PTOOL, load the original firmware, increase the version #, and then save it without making any other changes. You'll essentially be "hacking" it with the original, unmodified firmware (aside from version info).
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Old May 27th, 2012, 05:23 PM   #3
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Re: Removing a hack

If ou can reload the hack, you can reload the OEM firmware. That's what Kevin is saying BTW.

Bring everything up like you were going to load the hack...just don't select any of the buttons, then save it by adding one "Example GH_13 would be saved as GH_14" and then update the firmware in the camera.

All done!
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Old May 27th, 2012, 07:24 PM   #4
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Re: Removing a hack

Thanks,everyone, I was wondering if Ptools could be used. Reverting tonight!
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Old May 28th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #5
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Re: Removing a hack

Ptools did the job and the camera is back to official 1.1 firmware and I can cover the theatrical production tonight without any worries (hopefully). I am sorry to lose the 44 24P of the hack. It made some nice images in low light with handheld footage (the still frames were noticeably cleaner than the 24H setting) but I hardly need that these days.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #6
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Re: Removing a hack

The hacks aren't magic William. They do improve the IQ some out of the camera, but the stock firmware is pretty good. The advantage of the hacks is in post or shadow detailing, high iso,, etc.

There isn't much reason to use one if you're not willing or able to do post work.

That said, if you decide to try again, try Sanity 5. Low bit rate, very much improved everything and stable as the OEM Firmware.
You'll get almost as much recording time with it as you will stock settings.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 05:50 PM   #7
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Re: Removing a hack

Actually that is the very reason I experimented with that hack. I was using the GH2 as an unmanned second camera for documentary sit-down interviews (the main camera was a JVC HM750 shooting 24p XDCam) and the editors rejected the footage due to compression artifacts. These were very small in most shots but very noticeable in a shot with lots of dark variable colored shadows in the background. If I was the editor, the footage would not have been all rejected and I have used the GH2 for broadcast work already so I know that the stock setting will work. Unfortunately I had the camera in 24L but my later experiments showed very little difference between 24L 17MBs and 24H 24MBs when shooting darker areas. So I researched hacks and thought that the Vanilla hack was a reasonable compromise, not magic, just an option for picky clients. Unfortunately, that hack was only good for high quality 24p but that's not the only format I have to use the camera for. Disabling my 720p options was not good and they don't tell you that's what it does.

Panasonic clearly has reasons that they don't enable higher bandwidth recording on the GH2; unreliable recording media, heat issues, greed, etc. but the camera is clearly capable of better recording than they let it do.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 07:29 AM   #8
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Re: Removing a hack

FlowMotion works well with inexpensive Transcend cards, kicks up bit rate in H settings, and does 60i and 720p well. 24L is a VBR setting for long record times. Chopping together a volunteer stage play shoot with one multi spanned clip well over an hour long.

Unfortunately 60i and 720p are virtually useless without such a hack.
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