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Panasonic GH2 records for 7 hours straight!

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Jason Jenkins
Panasonic GH2 records for 7 hours straight!
on Oct 29, 2011 at 6:06:22 pm

I just did a record-time test with my GH2 and a 32GB Sandisk Extreme. Normally, while shooting 1080p at 25mb/s, you'd get 3hrs 3m from a 32GB card... but I was shooting a locked off shot in a very dark studio, so the variable bit rate dropped way down and I ended up with a 6hr 55m 21s take! Pretty impressive. And the camera was just slightly warm to the touch.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Colin McQuillan
Re: Panasonic GH2 records for 7 hours straight!
on Oct 29, 2011 at 6:21:31 pm

Crazy! External power? How does the video look?

Colin McQuillan
Vancouver, B.C.


"Live, love, laugh and be happy."


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Panasonic GH2 records for 7 hours straight!
on Oct 29, 2011 at 6:59:24 pm

[Colin McQuillan] "Crazy! External power? How does the video look?"

The first time I tried it on battery and it died after an hour and half with lcd screen on. Then I hooked up the AC adapter. I didn't really examine the footage outside the camera, but it looked fine.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Panasonic GH2 records for 7 hours straight!
on Oct 29, 2011 at 6:22:18 pm

At the other extreme, some of the high bit-rate GOP-1 hack settings for the GH2 result in maximum bits per frame. Close to the opposite of VBR.

The result can be a noticeable improvement in the video quality, especially in high-motion scenes. But of course using these relatively data-rates -- some of the GOP-1 & GOP-3 settings developed by "driftwood" & others run @ >150 megabits/sec. -- consuming SDHC card storage much more quickly than does a stock GH2. For info, see this and previous segments of this l-o-n-g thread:
http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/1301/official-low-gop-topic-s...

The great thing is that since the GH2 hack is easy & quick to install & modify settings, it let's you pick & choose quality levels to suit particular projects, scenes and budgets. Within certain limits, you can use the GH2's standard video record quality menu to switch among very high or "normal" data-rate settings on the fly. It's nice to have options.

There's much more info about Vitaliy Kiselev's GH2 firmware hack here:
http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/666/ptool-v3.62d-topic

---

http://www.peterdv.com


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Panasonic GH2 records for 7 hours straight!
on Oct 29, 2011 at 6:56:57 pm

Peter,

In your experience, how has stability been with the hacks?

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Panasonic GH2 records for 7 hours straight!
on Oct 29, 2011 at 8:17:47 pm

My experience using Vitaliy's GH2 firmware hack has been, on balance, quite positive.

I say on balance, because by their nature, installing and using a firmware hack with any device (GH2, iPhone, car computer, etc.) includes a bit of a learning curve, a few quirks, and hopefully some benefits which make it all worthwhile.

The particular 66mbs settings I'm currently running occasionally cause my GH2 to report it can't playback a particular clip in-camera, but simply turning off/on the cam allows the clips to play in-camera, meaning I occasionally experience a delay of a few seconds to play some clips. No biggie.

I'm a Mac user, so to run Vitaliy's Windows-only "ptool3.exe" executable I had to figure out how to install a free 3rd party Windows emulator (Winebottler). That wasn't overly difficult, but it's a detail which can trip-up some users.

FCP 7 edits my hacked GH2 footage flawlessly. I often use the free VLC software as a convenient way to review the camera-original AVCHD ".MTS" files before editing, and there are times when the Mac version of VLC chokes on these relatively high data-rate files. This is a VLC issue, not really an issue with the hack, but just a heads-up.

As for using the hack itself, Vitaliy includes brief but very helpful tooltip pop-up text describing each feature in his software, including suggested conservative values for each of the many settings.

I recommend using conservative settings at first, both as a way to get familiar with the hack, and also as a way to see the advantages/disadvantages of the more extreme settings as one goes along.

In brief, Vitaliy's PTool utility software is used to modify a copy of Panasonic's stock GH2 firmware file on their computer. Then the user installs the resulting modified firmware file into their GH2 camera the same as they would a factory firmware update. The whole process takes just a few minutes.

A nice feature of the hack is that end users can develop .ini (text) settings files for use with PTool. Some users, such as Chris Brandin, "driftwood" and others have gotten quite expert at developing these settings "recipes", producing settings which yield impressive results in real-world shooting. A quite-supportive community has grown-up around Vitaliy's hacks for the GH1 & GH2.

The advantages, disadvantages, benefits, and quirks of various hack settings (and combinations of settings) have been discussed in great detail on Vitaliy's personal-view.com website. I recommend going there for details, but if after reading what folks have to say there, feel free to ask specific questions here on the Cow, too.

Cheers.

---

http://www.peterdv.com


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