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Two years worth of hacked Panasonic GH2 shooting - my conclusions...
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  • On another note, I just got the Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 lens and so far I'm loving it. It's definitely a lot punchier in the contrast and very sharp. Having a stabilizer is nice also. I'm loving the wider angle too - it's a very versatile zoom range. I may retire the Tamron 17-50mm if all goes well. I'll post some video once edited.

  • @AlanEHoward with Sanity, the times I've had crashes due to ISO was when I was using ridiculously high ISO levels - higher than I'd ever use normally. I wanted it to be super grainy. There was also an intense amount of camera movement - actor running with the camera.

    Regarding Flowmotion, on a 32GB card I get around 50-60 mins worth of recording time. The longest I've recorded in a single take is maybe 20 mins so I don't know about the 29 59 limit. I've been using Flowmotion more lately and am always impressed with the clarity in the shadows - much less mud than stock firmware.

    Regarding the metabones speed booster. My mate uses it on his AF100 / Black Magic and loves it. Old lenses than weren't particularly sharp are now much better to work with.

  • Great post cblock ... thanks .... I guess I'm asking what every newbie asks, but I'm after a rock solid hack that gives me more than 29min 59 sec recording limit (may just be UK version that does that) gives the best possible low light recording, as little grain as poss in high ISO's (sanity 5 problem?) , with a lot of latitude to grade in post... sounds like Flowmotion from your piece ?? any ideas on much much I'd fit on a 16 Gb card ?? Also wondered if you'd tried the Mitakon Lens booster vs Metabones Speedbooster ?? Cheers again Alan

  • Thanks cblok for a most useful post... as a GH2 owner who uses a video camera for video, I have been interested in the GH2 as a lighter, smaller alternative/addition... and being a newbie, this post gave me a lot of useful stuff to get started with. THANK YOU!

  • @nobbystylus or @DrDave I've never experienced digital rain, however I use FCP 7. Have there been any occurrences of it with FCP?


  • @nobbystylus, thanks, but I'm going to change the camera instead of the patch :)

    I need the spanning for my work, and Flowmotion spans really well--I have no problem using Cineform to fix the rain problem.

  • @DrDave The "digital rain" is Flowmotion and Adobe Suite specific (something to do with the H264 decoder). Change to Moon T7 and the rain goes away (and doesn't come back another day...)

  • Hi all,

    On a slightly different note. I've recently upgraded my Nikon E-Series 50mm f1/.8 to Voigtlander's new 42.5mm f/0.95 lens.

    The difference is quite noticeable - brighter, sharper and I also like the focal length - 85mm on full frame - it makes for a very nice portrait size.

    It's solidly built and also has a great little feature where you can make the aperture ring click-less. Sweet!

    Would recommend it.

    If anyone is in Sydney, George's Cameras on George St has them - they seem quite hard to find.


  • My conclusion is that I am ready for a new camera, without the shivering shadows, digital rain (not the cams fault, maybe) weird colors and stairstepping. But I have enjoyed the ride, and it was a fun cam that took sharp vid.

  • Someone asked me how to patch BOTH Sanity & Pasadena so I thought I'd post this:

    • Put the original firmware, ptool exe, Sanity ini & Pasadena ini in the same folder - make sure both ini files are labelled differently (eg: seta.ini & setb.ini)
    • Run PTool
    • Load original firmware
    • Click the corresponding green circle with a letter in it to load Sanity. Sanity is now loaded.
    • Hold 'Alt' then click the corresponding green circle with a letter in it to MERGE Pasadena.
    • Save Firmware
    • Load firmware onto a blank SD card that has been formatted using the GH2
    • Boot up your GH2 with fresh battery and the SD card with the firmware on it
    • Go into playback mode and agree to 'Version Up'.


  • @bananarama - If you're having stability issues, it's much more likely a problem with the video stream rather than audio stream. Disabling audio will probably not give you any more stability.

    @jfro - thanks for the insight.

  • And the GH4K or whatever it's going to be called is done, well, sorta done :)

  • cblok

    My experiences are pretty much exactly as you stated, I just probably don't shoot as much.

    For paying gigs, I use sanity and sometimes flowmotion. Just started using the new sanity and no issues so far.

    I play around with high bitrate hacks, and some are beautiful, but could pretty much throw most of them on my old steadicam and romp through the woods and get them to fail. Later ones seem to be more stable, but I'm happy with sanity and flow motion.

    I have gh3, and still like the gh2 hacks better and use my 2 gh2's more often.

    I'm guessing at this point, we are never seeing a gh3 hack since I've never seen anything about it and the gh3 is ending it's life cycle in the next 3-6 months.

  • Hi !

    thanks for this topic !

    Do you or any knows if, as I don't use audio at all, I do music videos only, I can disable totaly the audio or reduce the stream to 1 on the camera or by modifying the hack by editing them ?

    this should help stability a little

    thx !

  • Thanks @Ralph_B I'll test out Sanity X over Jan 2014.

    @IronFilm - I also use the Lumix 14mm f/2.5 but mainly for street photography and travel as it's so small, sharp and fast to focus. A lot of my shooting doesn't require very wide angles unless I'm shooting landscapes.

  • Interesting conclusions, thanks for sharing them.

    I've never had any problems with Sedna, CM Night, or Moon T7 (hands down the best image I've ever seen come off my GH2) -- in 24p, HBR, 60p, ETC or non-ETC. That's because I use a Sandisk 64GB 95mb/s. Expensive card, but so worth it.

    Sanity 5 is still my go-to for extended recording times, though.

  • I'm surprised you never shot any winder than 18mm

  • The high bitrate of Sanity X only applies to 24H. HBR, 720p and 1080i are unchanged from Sanity 5.1.

    Sanity X's bitrate varies considerably depending on the complexity of the scene. I personally have seen it range from 50M to 96M. I suppose an average might be in the upper 60M's, but it all depends on what you're shooting.

    The nice thing about Sanity X is that Sanity 5.1 is available by setting the shooting mode to 24L. So, you can use whichever one is appropriate to your needs.

    I'm pretty excited about Sanity X. The picture quality is spectacular.

  • Thanks @Ralph_B

    With Sanity X, in HBR, how do the file sizes compare with Sanity 5 (or 5.1)? I shoot a lot of footage and keep it all on hard drives so space saving is important.

  • @cblok

    Glad you're enjoying Sanity. In case you're not aware, things have moved on a bit since version 5. Sanity 5.1 fixed a rare stability problem. And the latest version, Sanity X, introduces high bitrate, approaching 100M for complex scenes. Sanity X also retains Sanity 5.1 in the 24L position.

    In my expereience, ETC has been 100% reliable, even at extreme ISO's. I'm sorry to hear you had some problems with it. One thing you might try is either a 64GB Sandisk Extreme Pro 95M card or a 64GB Sandisk Extreme 80M card. So far, these cards appear to be bullet proof.

  • @cblok Christiaan, this is a great post, giving excellent real-world experience. Much appreciated!

  • what a versatile camera!!! great job!

  • @cblok Films look great.

  • I should also mention, I'm not having a go at Driftwood or any other developers. You guys are all doing great work developing this area. Thanks for your efforts!