Panasonic GH2 Hacked Further, Now Records to Advanced 176Mbit Codec
The Panasonic GH2, arguably the most aliasing-free, highest-resolution hybrid camera out there (pictured here with the $500 ReWo GH2 cage), natively records to a 24Mbit Long GOP codec. “Long GOP” means that redundant information is retained across moving frames, which is a very efficient way of compressing video, but can also leave behind compression artifacts. In addition to the original hacked firmware by Vitaliy Kiselev, a new hacker named Driftwood has managed to drastically increase the bitrate of the GH2, in addition to switching the codec to a 176Mbit intraframe codec, which could offer even better image quality with less artifacting.
The codec works in 1080p/24p/4:2:0, and will require a high-speed SD card (such as this 32 GB Class 10 model, which should hold about 30 minutes of 176Mbit footage). When you stop and think about it, it’s pretty crazy that the GH2‘s processor is able to record and play back this codec (in fact, your computer might not even be able to play back the codec without transcoding to something like ProRes first). It goes to show what the next generation of HDSLRs will be capable of — but whether or not manufacturers decide to push the envelope and include this kind of codec in a factory model remains to be seen. Note that the difference between a 24Mbit interframe and 176Mbit intraframe codec will be hard to see on web video, since we’re watching an even more highly-compressed final version. However, everyone who has tested it has noted the quality is higher when seen prior to web compression. Here are a couple of clips for the hell of it…
Hit the following link for the new codec. You will need PTools, (Mac users may also need WineBottler), and there are also a number of other hacked codecs available. Also, GH2 shooters should check out Noah Kadner’s GH2 Guidebook (DISCLOSURE: Call Box is an advertiser on NFS). Please correct me if I got something wrong here, I own a Canon 5D Mark II and not a GH2…
- The Panasonic GH2's Firmware Has Been Hacked; New Features on the Way
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