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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
  • Using old versions of PTool, when recording video, the LCD will display “Auto” for ISO, no matter 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 the camera. (Menu, Setup, Reset)
  • There are sporadic reports of a “file number limit exceeded” error message when attempting to record with 64-GB SDXC cards. Details are sketchy, but it looks like the problem is fixed by reformatting the card, and avoided by recording a short clip after spanning and before turning the camera off. We need more information about this problem.
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.
What memory card should I use?
  • SanDisk Extreme HD Video SDHC 30 MB/s, 16 GB
  • SanDisk Extreme HD Video SDHC 30 MB/s, 32 GB
  • 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
  • The SanDisk Extreme HD video 30 MB/s cards are apparently being discontinued and replaced with “Extreme HD Video” or just “Extreme” 45 MB/s cards. Early indications are that the new 45 MB/s cards are at least as good as the old 30 MB/s cards in the GH2. 45 MB/s Extreme cards are not to be confused with the old 45 MB/s “Extreme Pro” cards, which are not recommended.
  • The 95 MB/sec 64 GB SDXC card allows spanning at the highest possible bit rates, whereas the other Extreme cards do not. At somewhat lower bit rates, all of the SanDisk Extreme cards will span. discussion
  • 64 GB SDXC cards are subject to an occasional “file limit exceeded” error. Please see the Known Issues section.
  • The SanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB 95 MB/sec SHDC card is faster than the Extreme HD Video cards, but not as fast as the 64 GB 95 MB/s SDXC card.
  • 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.
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro 45 MB/sec 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. Otherwise, it works to flash firmware images in any order: you can go between hacked and unhacked, v1.0e and v1.1.
Where can I download settings for PTool?
  • Popular tried & tested settings can generally be found in the settings vault.
  • Beta settings are new, unproven settings that require testing. They are found in personal-view discussion threads, where you can also report the results of your testing to the settings developers.
What settings should I use in PTool for the v1.1 firmware?
  • Older settings like CBrandin 44M & 66M, Aquamotion v1, and Reaquainted should work the same with the v1.1 firmware image and the v1.0e firmware image, delivering the same quality and stability for all modes except HBR. See descriptions below.
  • New settings are being developed and need testing. Visit the discussion forums to find settings from driftwood, bkmcwd, balazer, lpowell, and others.
What settings should I use in PTool for the v1.0e firmware?
  • What follows are merely suggestions of settings that have proven to be reliable and give good or excellent video quality. The state of settings is evolving, and there is not consensus around which settings are best for any particular purpose. If you are interested in eeking out the last bit of video quality, try some beta settings from the forums, and give feedback to their developers.
  • Higher-than-stock quality 1080/24p, 720p, and 1080i: Cbrandin 44M: 24H=44 Mbps, 24L=32 Mbps w/ spanning, FSH/SH=32 Mbps, FH/H=24 Mbps
  • Very high quality Intra 1080/24p and 1080/30p (VMM 80% mode), supports ETC and spanning: Driftwood Aquamotion v1: 24H and 24L=88 Mbps, 720/60p=60 Mbps, 720/50p=66 Mbps (effective bit rates, due to frame limits). Spans with all SanDisk Extreme cards. Or use a successor, Aquamotion v2
  • Highest possible quality Intra 1080/24p: Driftwood Reaquainted: 24H and 24L=146 Mbps (effective bit rate, due to frame limit). Works with all SanDisk Extreme cards, but spans only with the 64 GB 95 MB/s cards. Or use a successor, Aquarius, Aquarius v2, Seaquake, Quantum (beta)
Driftwood intra-frame encoder PTool settings

in order of development. Only the most important releases are shown here.

effective bit rate (24H and 24L) 66 Mbps 88 Mbps 146 Mbps
SD cards most class 10 SanDisk Extreme SanDisk Extreme
spans spans spans w/ 64-GB 95 MB/s only
vmm80% 30p yes yes no
ETC yes yes maybe
simplest & most reliable Aquamotion v1 Reaquainted
higher bit rate 720p Aquarius v2
new encoder settings SpanMyBitchUp Aquamotion v2 Seaquake
AQ=4; 24L=100 Mbps
encoder settings mostly changed back
much higher bit rate 720p
anamorphic MJPEG with new encoder settings
Quantum (betas)
PTool settings bit rates & compression ratios
24H 24L 720/60p SH 720/60p H 720/50p SH 720/50p H
Driftwood Reaquainted 146 Mbps (1:4) 146 Mbps (1:4) 50 Mbps (1:13) 35 Mbps (1:19) 50 Mbps (1:11) 35 Mbps (1:16)
Driftwood Aquamotion v1 87 Mbps (1:7) 87 Mbps (1:7) 60 Mbps (1:11) 60 Mbps (1:11) 66 Mbps (1:8) 66 Mbps (1:8)
Driftwood Quantum beta 5 146 Mbps (1:4) 100 Mbps (1:6) 89 Mbps (1:7) 89 Mbps (1:7) 79 Mbps (1:7) 79 Mbps (1:7)
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!!!!
gh2-hack/gh2-hack-faq.1334306864.txt.gz · Last modified: 2012/04/13 08:47 by balazer