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Hack Improves Panasonic GH2's Night Vision, Raising ISO from 3,200 to 12,800

11.9.11 @ 8:24PM Tags : , , , , , , ,

The Panasonic GH2 keeps getting better and better thanks to hacker Vitaliy Kiselev. Recently he enabled a extremely high bitrate, and now he’s bumped the ISO during video mode from 3,200 all the way up to 12,800. While the GH2 had high ISO modes available previously, they were only possible with a Panasonic lens in Shutter Priority mode. Now anyone using hacked firmware can crank up the ISO. Here are some video tests of the GH2 at 12,800 ISO:

EOSHD’s Andrew Reid shot the following video at ISO 12,800 using the new hacked firmware:

While there is no noise reduction or grading in this clip, it is in black and white, which is less useful for seeing what kind of color noise is present at such a high ISO rating. So here are a couple color tests (disclaimers apply, as usual, about watching highly compressed web video):


Are these images noisy? Of course. Could they be cleaned up into usable shots with something like Neat Video? Sure. They look remarkably good, considering these images are coming off a sub-$1000 hybrid camera, and that the human eye has been estimated as the equivalent of 15,000 ISO. Note, of course, that our eyes are completely different than cameras, so no true comparison is possible — but the days of needing a raft of lights just to get an exposure are drawing to a close. Hit the link below to download the latest GH2 hack, which removes the ISO limitation.

Link: PTool v3.63d released

[via EOSHD]

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Description image 27 COMMENTS

  • dang. that’s serious low light. a few more years….

  • Koo,
    I commend you for still posting articles from EOSHD given the recent drama dealing from Reid’s article with the Red. I would not have been so kind, or at least it would have taken me a long time to be civil.
    Bravo.

  • feature scripts by Koo = 1 + more?

    scripts by dude using a panasonic camera running a site called EOS HD = 0?

  • This, combined with that other GH2 hack, leads me to wonder:

    (a) why is Panasonic making cameras that are way more powerful when hacked?

    and

    (b) how long is it before we discover that the GH2 can also make you breakfast and warm up your car in the morning during the winter with the proper hacks :)

  • GH1- TO ISO3200?

  • Seriously thinking about switching from canon to panasonic now…. and yes it is dumb that hacks make the camera more powerful but I must commend Panasonic for making a camera so easily(?) hackable. Can you imagine if the 5d could be hacked to provide clean hdmi out? It’s just one red dot that needs to be removed!

    Also a Panasonic product developer (Mr Uetmasu) said “They are aware of the work the “hackers” are doing and are impressed with their work, but that they (Panasonic) need to test everything / confirm there are no problems before rolling out updates.”

    So there you have it, legal and stability issues has kept Panasonic from beefing up their own cameras up but leaving the option open for hackers gives us the best of both worlds I guess.

    We all take a risk with every hack, not everyone is comfortable with that but getting ahead does require risks :)

    • I did the same thing 2 weeks ago. I was a big Canon fanboy, but I’ve got to say – as soon as I got a hang of shooting with the GH2, my Canon and lenses went right up on Ebay.

      You will NOT regret moving to Panny, if you primarily do video.

    • The 5D IS hack’able to provide clean HDMI out. Magic Lantern has been doing it for awhile now.
      I use the Atomos Ninja as a result. Look it up.

  • I own a 7d and until i read this post i was thinking about getting a 60d as a b camera (i hear the magic lantern firmware does wonders for that camera) now im thinking about a GH2, the only thing that kinda bothers me are the lenses… the 3 lenses i own are canon ef but then again i can always start looking for nikon glass. What do you guys think?

  • RevBenjamin on 11.10.11 @ 9:27AM

    Craaaazy. I love my GH2 more every day. If you’re a filmmaker, you owe it to yourself to own this camera. Adaptable to any lens. Stock bitrates = no clip limits. ETC mode. A great autofocus. And obviously, all the incredible hacks out there.

    Semi related: From my experience, the 170mbs hack is overkill, you can do just as much with the 65mb low gop hack, even as far as what you see on the big screen via bluray.

  • At this rate Panasonic might as well make an open architecture for their firmware, so people can freely hack it or make apps for it lol.

    the GH3 is going to have to come hard to compete with these hacks.

  • Andrew Jakobs on 11.10.11 @ 3:14PM

    Yeah, I also think Panasonic should open up their hardware or at least document it so ‘hackers’ can much more easily change stuff without having to resort to trial and error to see what a function does.

  • Izhar Ashdot on 11.10.11 @ 3:44PM

    My own 12800 test:

    http://vimeo.com/31878148

  • Inspired by this I hacked my GH2 last night! Incredible low light performance. Here’s what I shot if you’re interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GX1AsavTaA&feature=channel_video_title

  • Exemple of the INCREDIBLE GH2 :

    http://vimeo.com/30104797

  • Earnestreply on 03.17.14 @ 3:16AM

    Is there one place/website/board that sums up all the final gh2 hacks? Is ptools different from driftwood? Do they work together? I just got my first gh2.

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