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Panasonic Releases AF100 Firmware Update, GH1 Hacker Deems it 'Definitely' Hackable

01.24.11 @ 9:12AM Tags : , , ,

Panasonic has released their first firmware update for the AF100, and while it’s a minor one (fixing some SD card errors), the availability of such a file means that it can be dissected… and possibly hacked. Back in September when previewing the AF100 I asked, “who’s to say that an enterprising hacker won’t find a way to raise the bitrate of the AF100 in-camera, without requiring an external recorder?” Now the programmer behind the original GH1 hack is looking to do just that, deeming the AF100 firmware “definitely” hackable.

Vitaliy Kiselev programmed the unofficial firmware that allowed the GH1 to attain much higher bitrate recording than Panasonic originally allowed, so he has plenty of credibility (unlike, say, those guys claiming to allow 4K on Canon DSLRs). The AF100′s 24mbit AVCHD codec is very efficient, but for a $5,000 camcorder one would certainly be justified in asking for higher bitrate options. Vitaliy says upgrading to 4:2:2 encoding is probably impossible, but if he can up the bitrate of the camera’s native recording significantly, it would allow shooters to film at much higher quality without needing an expensive (and often bulky) external recorder. He’s already released a firmware decomposer (.zip file link), so time will tell what features (other than the expected bump in bitrate) he’s able to “upgrade.”

For anyone who’s shot with an AF100, how did you find the default AVCHD codec?

Panasonic AF100 Firmware Update
DVXUser thread on the potential hack

[via EOSHD]


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  • I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the AVCHD files recorded by the AF100. In terms of noise and clarity, they compare very favorably to 5D files.

    In fact, my primary complaint is that I have to transcode the AF100 files to use them in Final Cut Pro. After dealing with transcoding 5D clips for so long, I was excited about editing native files. Which I could do, if I switched to Premiere. Sigh.

  • Alex,

    You should try out Premiere then. Is there a reason your locked to FCP?

  • @Alex, I really recommend making the switch to premiere. With the integration capabilities to the other Adobe programs i find myself wondering why ALL Final Cut users dont just pitch their licenses. I feel like im taking a leap back to the early days of NLE when i click on that old Final Cut icon.

  • Lukas Stein on 04.11.11 @ 11:30AM

    You are lucky. Most AF 100 buyers have only trouble with the noise picture the camera makes.
    We have two AF101s (UK & GER friends together) and find no way to use this cam properly. There is no real dark/black and any cheap eos 550 makes a better pictures than this strange AF 101 product.
    We start now an argument with the company about this case = no clean picture starting at ISO 200 (=0dB) even in normal daylight situations. Why? Because this looks more like a serial problem/fault concerning all the AF 100/101/105. Regards, Lukas