With hacked firmware, is the Panasonic GH1 better than the Canon T2i?
Short answer: no. Long answer: the GH1 is now a viable tool for filmmaking, whereas before I didn't view it as such. So, what is this hacked firmware? As I mention on the new Choosing a DSLR page of the DSLR Guide, the Panasonic GH1 recently got its own Magic Lantern-eque hacked firmware. As spotted at EOS HD, this firmware enables two very important features for filmmakers:
The first is a true 24p frame rate; originally the GH1 recorded 24p as 60i and the resulting footage
needed to be deinterlaced required pulldown removal. The second feature the firmware enables is a much higher MJPEG bitrate -- the original bitrate of 17Mbit has been bumped up to 50Mbit somewhat unreliably, and 32Mbit more reliably. It's not a simple numbers game -- the 50Mbit MJPEG codec on the GH1 does not mean it's "better" than the T2i's comparably more efficient h.264 codec -- but this firmware is a game-changer for using the GH1 on serious video projects. While there are reportedly issues with the increased datarates, if Tester13 can come up with a stable version, the GH1 becomes a unique filmmaking tool, as it's the only DSLR on the block to offer somewhat viable autofocus -- not to mention its articulating LCD screen (seen below), which allows for a variety of shooting angles nigh impossible with other DSLRs. Beginners GH1 Custom Firmware Guide »