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My Crashes and Lockups
  • Gentlemen (and what Ladies there might be!):

    Comes my voice in the wilderness - well not entirely, but almost, based upon MOST of the posts I've spent dozens and dozens of hours reading!. What wilderness? Well, there have been so many plaudits evidently so justifiably warranted for the many successful hacks. And here I come, after having mainly experienced one failure after another, even with some of the best that our heroes (including Mr. Driftwood!) have devised for the awesome GH2.

    And after lurking here for better than five months, and having been humbled beyond recompense with one failure after another, I have decided to throw caution, and myself to the winds, and make an appeal for some learned and experienced insights from the best (or even the worst!) of you, about the error of my ways.

    In a nutshell, as the title of this indicates, I have faced total unreliability with many of the highly touted hacks - most that I have attempted result in anywhere from a few seconds or a few minutes of shooting, to an immediate crash - some of these just inexplicably and abruptly end, with the possibility of an immediate restart. Others crash the camera, total lockup, and even the on and off functionality can only be restored by removal and reinsertion of the battery.

    Before I go further with some specific details, I appeal for some possibly useful response, not just for myself, but also MANY others who have had the same dreadful experience as I - and who have either been totally ignored with NO response, or who have been given very short shrift!

    Now to the heart of the issue, with some hard, cold facts: 1) I have a GH2, purchased last November, which without hacks, (and a few hacks!) operates with total reliability. 2) The camera is fitted with either the 14-140 Panasonic Lens or the 45-174 Power Zoom Panasonic. 3) Various Azden wireless receivers/mics, camera mounted shotgun mikes and other accessories are used. 4) As advised here, again and again, the data cards I use in the GH2 are ONLY SanDisc Extreme Pro 95 MB/s, 64 GB. 5) Standard Panasonic Batteries are used, fully charged at the beginning of each hack load or shoot. 6) Established procedures for hacking are carefully and methodically followed in all recent tests, without exception. 7) And finally, AND THIS MAY BE THE PROBLEM, I shoot ONLY in Creative Movie - Manual Movie Mode, Smooth ("S" set to "-1", and all others to "0"), AVCHD (1080i), FSH - I say this may be the problem, since many, if not the most of the rest of you are evidently endeared to, and shoot primarily in AVCHD (720p) SH - and I have a strong, though entirely unsubstantiated notion that many of our talented hackers direct their primary design and testing with a focus upon 720p, for the "filmic" look?

    I have been shooting in interlaced 60i since 1990. And then mini DV came along, and I shot in that with the Sony FX-1, among others, at the highest possible resolution possible, 1080i (60i), and then for several years used the Sony EX-1, full 1080i/1920, and was thrilled with it, EXCEPT for the blasted interline twitter and other artifacts, particularly when shot in HD and down rezzed to SD DVDs. Such issues were finally and beautifully resolved with the NanoFlash ingesting data at over 100 MBps - this is my main camera today, producing awesome, highly detailed, artifact free results, with exceptional low light performance. BUT, at its best, the GH2 (except with very low light and some lens anomalies) produces equally comparable results.

    Here are the hacks that have passed EVERY "torture" test I've thrown at them (including very fine detail movement, exceptionally quick pans, etc.): - Flowmotion v1.1 - Sanity 5 - Driftwoot Cluster v1 (w Orion -AVC Intra Adapted - Matrox VBR) - Cbrandon 66 AQ20 - Panasonic v11 (Original, Second Program!)

    Marginally Performing Hack (Marginal Only in regard to probable crash with high detail/movement): - Driftwood Sedna Q20:

    Result in Totally Unacceptable Performance, Either with some or NO movement and/or Fine Detail:: - Driftwood Mysterion Standard - Very Frequent Crash - Driftwood Mysterion Burst - Crash - Driftwood Quantum x.v4b Orion - Intra Matrix - Crash Constantly - Driftwood Quantum x.v4 Orion CBR - Crash Constantly - Ralph B Sanity 4.1 NTSC - Total Freeze - Vanilla - Total Freeze

    Sooooooooo, there you have it! As noted, the only Driftwood patch that fully passed was the relatively low data rate, 15 GOP. If you have read this far, I appreciate and thank you for your persistance and curiousity. And I would be most grateful for any insights that any of you might have!

    Finally, before I go, I have two comments. First, at one point, prior to the only shoot with which I have used this camera, I spent some considerable time in testing several hacks, and settled on one which seemed to pass all tests and also provide superb results. BUT when push came to shove in an overseas assignment, and the only hack I had was this one, installed in the camera (no, I do not now remenber which one it was!), in shooting 1080i, it crashed or froze constantly. Having nothing else at my disposal, I shot in 720p FH, without any issues - I have not had the heart to ingest it into my newly installed Adobe CS6. Second, I intend to continue to shoot in 1080x1920 60i (or 30p, when and if reliably available.

    Davidz, aka J. William Urschel

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