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To Authors: I suggest not to make one huge page, but to split it in parts and provide illustrations (step by step guides, pictures and videos, you can embed any vimeo or youtube videos) Just remember to use gh2-hack namespace (all your pages must have gh2-hack:: before them and have /faqs/gh2-hack/my-super-page URL)

GH2 Hacking FAQ

Where can I learn more and get help?
What is PTool, and what does hacking do? What firmware versions can I hack?
What PTool settings can I apply to a GH2 firmware image?
  • AVCHD encoding bit rates, GOP lengths, quantizer settings, and many more video encoding parameters
  • “Maximum ISO limit removal” allows manual ISO selection of up to 12,800
  • “All interface languages” lets you select any language via the camera's menu
  • “30 min limit removal” lets you record longer than 30 minutes on European camera bodies
  • “PAL↔NTSC Menu” lets you shoot in 25/50 fps, or 30/60 fps for 1080i, 720p, and HBR modes by changing the Setup/Video Out camera menu to PAL or NTSC. After changing the camera's menu, power cycle the camera and format your memory card.
  • MJPEG resolution settings
  • Audio encoding bit rate
  • Microphone gain settings
Known issues and bugs
  • When recording video, the LCD may display “Auto” for ISO, instead of the actual ISO setting. This is just cosmetic. Your actual ISO setting is being used.
  • Videos recorded with some high bit rate settings don't play back in the camera. In some cases, turning the camera off and back on after a playback error will resolve the problem.
  • If anything unexplained happens after flashing, try resetting all of the camera's settings and parameters. (Menu, Setup, Reset)
  • Using 64 GB SDXC cards, sometimes when you begin recording video the camera refuses and displays a “file number limit exceeded” error message. The problem is fixed by reformatting the card, and avoided by recording a short clip after spanning and before turning the camera off.
  • A dark horizontal band in your footage can be the consequence of using ISO 1250 or higher and a shutter speed of 1/50 or faster: discussion
  • Diagonal “rain” artifacts in decoded footage are caused by some (buggy or strict?) decoders: discussion
Misc. stuff
  • It is recommended that you format your memory card in the camera before recording video, especially if you have deleted any files from the memory card, or if you are using high bit rate PTool settings. Formatting reduces the chances of a memory card write error.
  • Occasional formatting with the SD Card Association Formatter utility is recommended, to increase card performance and reduce the likelihood of write errors and spanning failures. Use the full erase or full overwrite option. discussion
What memory card should I use?
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC 95 MB/s, 32 GB
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC 95 MB/s, 64 GB
  • The above cards have proven to be reliable, consistent from card to card, and fast enough for even the most extreme high bit rate PTool settings. Other cards will work at lower bit rates, but they will hardly be worth your trouble to figure that out. Please just buy one of the above SanDisk cards. Most PTool settings are designed for the above cards. discussion
  • 64 GB SDXC cards are subject to an occasional “file number limit exceeded” error. Please see the Known Issues section.
  • The Extreme Pro 95 MB/sec 64 GB SDXC card allows spanning in 24p mode at the highest possible bit rates, whereas the 32 GB Extreme Pro 95 MB/s and other “Extreme” cards do not. At somewhat lower bit rates, all SanDisk Extreme and Extreme Pro cards will span in all modes. discussion
  • Buy from a SanDisk Authorized Reseller. Fake memory cards are extremely common on eBay, and even on Amazon it's hard to be sure you're getting what's advertised.
  • The SanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB 95 MB/sec SHDC card is faster than SanDisk “Extreme” cards, but not as fast as the Extreme Pro 64 GB 95 MB/s SDXC card. (with respect to spanning and write errors)
  • SanDisk Extreme HD video 30 MB/s cards are recommended cards, but they have been discontinued and are becoming hard to find.
  • SanDisk “Extreme HD Video” or just “Extreme” 45 MB/s cards have replaced the “Extreme HD video 30 MB/s” cards. Early indications are that the new 45 MB/s cards perform similarly to the old recommended 30 MB/s cards in the GH2.
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro 45 MB/sec cards are not recommended. SanDisk Ultra cards are not recommended.
How do I use PTool? How do I flash my camera?
  • Please see the PTool FAQ.
  • A few users have reported that new camera bodies wouldn't accept a hacked firmware image. This problem was solved by increasing the “Version increment” PTool parameter.
  • Usually, it works to flash firmware images in any order: you can go between hacked and unhacked, v1.0e and v1.1.
  • If you wish to restore the original Panasonic firmware and the camera won't accept the stock .bin file, just use PTool to create a firmware file with only the default check boxes selected. (see the PTool FAQ for more details)
Where can I download settings for PTool?
  • Top hack settings. Start with these. Settings are described in the first post of each topic.
  • Settings vault (older settings, mostly)
  • Some settings have been proven reliable, whereas others are experimental and require testing. You can report the results of your testing to the settings developers in the discussion topics.
  • Older settings like CBrandin 44M & 66M, Aquamotion v1, and Reaquainted are designed for the v1.0e firmware image, but they should work the same with the v1.1 firmware image, delivering the same quality and stability for all modes except HBR.
Intra-frame video compression
  • Most video compression is inter-frame: it exploits similarities between frames so as to achieve better compression efficiency. Intra-frame compression doesn't: it's less efficient, but has more consistent performance, especially for high noise and high motion video. Setting the GOP length to 1 frame means using intra-frame compression.
FAQ Regarding Settings

Question: I want to try a different matrix on such and such a setting?

Answer: Easy, follow these simple steps:-


  1. Copy the two settings you want to interchange matrices from and to into a fresh ptools folder together with a copy of the firmware v1.11 bin file and ptools itself. Now open the Setting (from A to J buttons) that you want to copy a matrix TO.
  2. Click down into ptools until you reach the section under 'Patches for Testers/AVCHD Movie Mode/Scaling Tables'
  3. Under 'Scaling Tables' patches uncheck all scaling i, p, b matrix tables you want to change.
  4. Now save this edited setting to a a blank (red coloured) Settings Button labelled A to J at bottom of ptools. (to save: Shift+ click one of these buttons). Notice saving opens up a dialog allowing you to give your setting a name and details (so call it 'no matrix 'setting' or whatever).
  5. Now open up the setting you want to copy the matrix FROM. Notice the scaler tables numbers and that they are ticked for this setting. Now immediately click on the slot you saved your 'no matrix setting' the one without matrices checked!).
  6. Yes, the scaling tables are unchecked, but if you now checkbox (tick the boxes!) them notice you now have the previously loaded scaling tables patch settings in your 'no matrix' labelled setting, this is because ptools still shows the previous setting loaded in the patch if the newly loaded setting patches are left unchecked.
  7. You can now resave to a new slot or overwrite your 'no matrix' slot and call it a new name like 'Setting X with Setting Y's Matrix' (e.g. 'Pictoris with Dark Matter v3 Matrix') Viola!!!!


Substituting a different set of Scaling Tables into a functioning patch is very likely to produce an unstable patch. While the risk of permanently damaging the camera is probably small, no one can really guarantee how the camera will respond to experimental settings that haven't been thoroughly tested before. Those who choose to experiment with alterations of this type should be aware that you are venturing into potentially hazardous territory on your own. - LPowell

gh2-hack/gh2-hack-faq.txt · Last modified: 2013/04/07 20:46 by balazer