Video: Tsawout Spit – Gh2 Test (driftwood 176mb gop1 hack) from mark wyatt on Vimeo.
There seems to be no day without any surprises with the Panasonic GH2. The latest hot-shit is a hack to get 176Mbps AVCHD Intra up and running on the camera. Right now there's no possibility to record in 25p but there are attempts by vitaly and others, so let's see what the future holds.
What is AVCHD Intra?
"AVCHD Intra is usually recorded to extremely expensive P2 cards on high end cameras and here it is on a consumer camera with an SD card. [...] This is a codec that uses i-frames only unlike consumer AVCHD. Every frame from the sensor is stored. Standard AVCHD is a Long-GOP compression format and works by estimating and guessing at frames in-between ‘real’ images but Intra doesn’t. [...] AVCHD Intra is very good for heavy colour grading, fast action, hand held footage and green screen VFX work. You certainly get a better result from AVCHD Intra on the GH2 than by outputting from any DSLR’s HDMI feed to a external recorder as well." (via eosHD)
How does it compare?
eosHD has a comparison on AVCHD intra 100Mbps vs 24Mbit AVCHD.
And if that's not enough: there is even a 244Mbps AVCHD Intra Hack, as outlined by Driftwood: "It's stable and with good lighting conditions can look amazing."
eosHD recommends: "AVCHD Intra at such high bitrates can be tricky to edit so I recommend transcoding it to ProRes 4-4-4 first."
The Panasonic GH2 turns out to be the currently best Video-DSLr out there, although it is not even a DSLR. The micro-four thirds sensor is much smaller than a full-frame sensor, but the video footage that this great camera produces is far superior to those from lets say the Canon EOS 5D MKII - no moires, no aliasing and a much better video codec: AVCHD. Besides the obvious facts, the GH2 gets hacked extensively: Vitaliy Kiselev first hacked the GH1 and after that the Panasonic GH2.
With the PTOOL firmware manipulation tool, you can get the following improvements, among many others:
- Change Video Bitrates
- Improved GOP patches.
- Improved MJPEG size patches.
- change the 30min recording restriction
- lots of other changes
Patching the firware was possible, after a GH2 Firmware update leaked.
Here is a short overview on what to do in 10 steps:
1) Get a Patch from the extensive patch repository.
2) Load the GH2 1.0E firmware
3) Check all necessary patches, Version increment must be always checked.
4) Save firmware. Just change last digit to any number you want. (e.g. GH2__V11.bin)
5) Copy firmware to root of SD card. Fully charge you battery. Do not even attempt to use AC coupler!
6) Power off your camera if it was on.
7) Power on camera. After this press (not hold) green play button.
8) You'll see hourglass and prompt to update.
9) Press down arrow and after this Menu/set.
10) Wait until upgrade will be completed.
Nikon Rumors is reporting a 36mp D800 coming in the next 30-60 days at a 99% probability. As Canonrumors pointed out, this can be a great thing for Canon users: New full frame sensor cameras, as well as a 5D MKIII or a 6D could be possible. Well, we are desperately waiting, currently equipped with two Panasonic GH2 Cameras that are hacked to the extreme. See an example Video on Vimeo (66Mbps Hack). If there is no alternative coming out soon, lots of people will stick to their GH2s, as they are currently the best there is, especially when using the Atomos Ninja (see a great Example on the Atomos Ninja with the Panasonic GH2).
[UPDATE] Nikonrumors posted More Nikon D800 bits and pieces: 100% Viewfinder coverage, improved AF with face recognition, SD+CF dual memory card slots as well as a USB 3.0 possibility. The question remains, why not CFAST? On another post, the ISO range is said to be 100 – 6400, ISO LO @ 50 and ISO HI-2 @ 25600. We can only wait and see...