March 29, 2013

Panasonic Releases New GH3 Firmware V1.1, Will We See a Hack Soon?

The Panasonic GH3, if you've been looking to buy one, has been out of stock many places pretty consistently. While it began shipping in November of last year, there have been quite a few shortages over the past few months -- not too dissimilar from the launch of the GH2. That hasn't stopped Panasonic from improving the product, however, as they've just released a new firmware update, version 1.1. Check out the details below.

Here is the list of updates in the new firmware:

  • Connecting to PC via Wi-Fi by inputting the computer name (the NetBIOS name for Apple Mac computers) is enabled.
  • 1920 x 1080, 60p (NTSC) / 50p (PAL), 28Mbps mode is added in the video recording option of [MP4].
  • Speed of AF, consecutive shooting performance of AFC is enhanced in use with H-PS14042 and H-PS45175.
  • The monitor continues to display images during HDMI output even while [Auto LVF / Monitor OFF] is set.
  • Instability of shutter interval during interval shooting is improved.
  • When [Shutter AF] is OFF, operation is changed not to enlarge the image while using [Pinpoint AF] when even if shutter button is half-pressed.
  • Performance of image signal processing is enhanced during video file playback.

So obviously this isn't a huge update for most people, but it does add some key improvements related to the HDMI functionality, and a new 28mbps MP4 mode -- which already existed in other file formats in the camera. The big question for people will be whether this means we are any closer to a hack on the camera. Vitaliy Kiselev, who developed the original hacks for both the GH1 and GH2 (with plenty of additions from other people along the way like Nick Driftwood), mentioned in the forum that he has a camera on the way but has not yet begun hacking -- which means we are probably some time away from a firmware hack.

To download the update, head on over to the Panasonic download site.

For those with GH3 cameras, what would you like to see in a firmware hack? Are you happy with the quality already?

Links:

[via 4/3 Rumors]

Your Comment

36 Comments

The sensor is capable of 120fps at 720, so this is certainly something I'd like to see implemented.
The GH3 also has an electronic shutter, much like the Nikon J series that captured the famous 1 second intervals of raw "video." There may be a way to increase DR with an electronic shutter burst of raw photos.

As far as image quality goes, I'd like to see custom gamma curves, as the GH3 produces really harsh shadow falloff. I'd also really like to move from 8 bit, to at least 10bit color space. I may have just been soaking in too much BMCC footage, but my skin tones are reliably looking like plastic.

March 29, 2013

0
Reply
Joseph

I think the quality is fine - I would just like to see features similar to Magic Lantern such as:

Focus Peaking
Zebras
(seriously you design a camera for video and leave these out???)
magic zoom
enable ntsc on pal and pal on ntsc
enable continuous record - the pal version apparently stops after around 30 minutes recording while the NTSC does not.
(seriously can we start a campaign to DESTROY whatever fucking legislation exists that makes so many companies release inferior products for the PAL market?)

Yeah...thats all for now ;-)

March 29, 2013

0
Reply
Peter

The 30min Limit on PAL models is based on "import taxes" of the european union. Every device with recording time over 30min will be taxed as "video recorder / Video recording device" and will be charges higher taxes. Panasonic and other companies introduced the 30min limit to not pay the higher taxes.

March 30, 2013

0
Reply
Richard

Do they restrict PAL to 30min for all markets or just Europe? There is an awful lot of PAL countries outside Europe.

April 23, 2013

0
Reply
CupOfTea

show me a petition and ill sign!

March 30, 2013

0
Reply
Chris Lambert

I used the hacked gh2 for a couple years.
I was in the middle of a job shooting a high profile concert.
During the finale of the show all this confetti shot up from the middle of the stage. There was just too much for the camera to handle and my gh2 froze during the climax of the show.

The hack was great for 99% of the time that I used it. But after that moment, i decided to not use the hack anymore in situations that cannot be repeated.

The gh3 seems to be pretty good unhacked from what i hear. Im a bmc user now so I dont think ill be using the gh3. But there is my warning for people hacking their cameras.
take care

March 29, 2013

1
Reply
cee

"The hack was great for 99% of the time that I used it. But after that moment, i decided to not use the hack anymore in situations that cannot be repeated." Absolutely. For my personal camera, it's what I have my eye on to replace the GH1 I have at home, and one of the biggest reasons is so I can have GH2 quality without an unstable hack. The GH1 does a great job with a hack, but it scares me to death, and I've had this exact situation happen (except instead of confetti, it was a 100 foot array of LED lights blinking different colors rapidly in the middle of an event shoot).

The GH3 isn't the camera I'm fighting for at work, but for a small, inexpensive personal camera, it's hard to beat.

March 29, 2013

1
Reply
David S.

this is why you do the lpowell reliability hack and not driftwood. I've filmed 20 minutes straight finely detailed blades of grass, never had a failure with the gh2.

lpowell is ~100mbps consistently, GOP, but not that bad, and in my opinion still outperforms the 5d and other cameras way beyond its pricerange.

March 29, 2013

0
Reply
dv

I was using lpowell's reliability on the shoot that everything kept crashing. It's a hack; not a stable firmware from Panasonic.

March 30, 2013

0
Reply
David S.

I shot a TV show for Cartoon Network and we tested every hack under the sun. They all have their threshold and I wouldn't stake pro work on them. The 176 hacks would fail under cold weather constantly while the lower bit rates would brick on trees and action.

April 14, 2013

0
Reply

It's the best camera under the BMCC, no question.

And apart from a minor gripe with disappearing info on the display, I don't see the need for any sort of a hack.

March 29, 2013

1
Reply
Swested

I've had this camera for a couple of months, using the Voightlander 25mm, SLR 35mm T1.4, Panny's 12-45 and 45-100 stills/video, plus a Helios 55 f2.0 and 135mm Sankyo f2.0 for interesting video looks. I wouldn't use a hack primarily because of potential reliability issues which are a no no in a pro environment and also the existing IQ with its all round capability is really quite something - it provides much to play with and I'm nowhere near discovering the potential. You need fast glass though.

March 29, 2013

1
Reply

This would be even better if B&H had them in stock so I could buy one. :)

March 29, 2013

0
Reply
hgrave23

Try checking out adorama. I bought mine there about 2 weeks ago and it shipped out the next day

April 1, 2013

0
Reply
kdgmr

I was able to order one from Samy's and they had it out to me in less than a week.

April 6, 2013

-1
Reply

First two comments. I would love a hack. Maybe even 72Mb/s All-I 60p.

March 29, 2013

1
Reply
wgtwo

The GH3 is already a great camera !
The only thing I wish is the removal of the stupid 30' limit !
With anyothet hack I would be scared to get a frozen cam at the worst moment.

JM

March 30, 2013

0
Reply
Jm

Im not sure where your getting your information from, but you can record longer then 30 min. Use a bigger card and shoot in avchd 30p or 24p. I have not tried all-I but I have shot a 90 min presentation with absolutley zero lag or buffer or failure.

October 7, 2013

0
Reply
Sal

4:2:2 out! (but I know it can't happen lol) Other than that yeah what everyone else said, Magic Lantern stuff and higher/ constant bit rates but the GH3 is already a great camera and considering its price point the best choice for video today.

March 31, 2013

0
Reply
P337

has anybody put PL glass on this yet?

March 31, 2013

-1
Reply
john jeffreys

FYI: the Australian PAL version of the camera doesn't have a 30 min record limit

April 4, 2013

1
Reply

Took the camera for a spin today for the first time. Shooting a food market in Brooklyn. Used Lumix 12-35 and 35-100 2.8. Attached Tiffen Variable ND with a hot mirror filter on top of that. Then used a Hema 3 stage rubber Lens shade. The Tiffen Variable ND being 67mm on the outside thread allows for a bigger diameter than the lenses 58mm for additional filter (hot mirror) and lens shade. This avoids vignetting on the 12-35.

The viewfinder is much better for focus than the LCD. That said, they both suck - but not in the way a 5D's viewing system does. They tend to show images far more contrasty than you get back on your computer. The lack of detail makes critical focus a pain in the ass. I was hoping not to have to buy a small monitor (DP4) for this rig but aside from hobbyist work, anything for a client or your own more serious project, critical focus with this camera is not convenient while rolling. It NEEDS FOCUS PEAKING already !

If a focus peaking hack or firmware update doesn't happen, my Gh3 is for sale. I bought it mainly for the size, portability and picture, But if I have to slap a monitor on it, that really compromises what makes it special.

So here's my list for hacks or firmware requests:

- Make it so the rear dial can control iris. The top dial clicks which picks up on the mic.
- Focus Peaking in Red
- Make Tele Conversion activated by a user button while shooting. Having to stop camera and go into menu for this is beyond stupid. If there's a way please tell me.
- Log Setting in the Color Choices.

April 14, 2013

1
Reply

Focus peaking, zebras, 422, increased dynamic range to compete with blackmagic cc.
Live video control by wifi not how it is now.

April 15, 2013

0
Reply
Dyl

4k-8k video hack , 30p-60p
4:2:2 or 4:4:4
High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) recording
higher profile recoding, more proffessional(Hi10P/Hi422P/Hi444PP)
120 or 240 fps
1080p 60fps or fps at 72mb/s all I
high bitrates , all i , more fps
focus peaking
zebras
can be pal or ntsc
no record time limit ,30min
raw video CinemaDNG RAW / ProRes
faster burst rate , 12 raw picture 16MPx per second , for 7 whole seconds
iso 100-12,800(50, 204,800 expanded)
shutter speed of 1/8000
12-16 bit raw
more dynamic range, 16.5+ stops
other stuff BMCC & sony A99 , nikon D4 , red epic dragon ,can do that GH3 can't yet , that's possible without changeing the hardware
faster firmware , more efficient , takes less battery, more reliable
option to make the evf and touchscreen on without the eyes near the evf

April 25, 2013

0
Reply
me

Interested to see what a potential GH3 hack can do for Audio.

I'm on the verge of buying a 2nd hand GH2, but would prefer to buy a GH3 if hacks are coming.

Does anyone have any good comparison videos of a hacked GH2 vs an unhacked GH3? I would assume, if the GH2 was hacked @ around 70mbps, the unhacked GH3 would edge it out slightly?

April 25, 2013

-1
Reply
Tyrannosaur

EDIT:

The GH2 is pretty damn cinematic in the right hands, doesl the GH3 match?

April 25, 2013

-1
Reply
Tyrannosaur

I have just bought my 1st 4/3 and Panasonic camera. I continue to hear about hacks of the GH2. Could someone explain? I know about hacks in the derogatory sense, i.e. viruses, etc. But I'm sure that is not what is meant here. Help me to understand.

April 28, 2013

0
Reply

Every camera has a firmware. You can think of it as the operating system of the camera. Windows is the operating system for PC. Mountain Lion is the current operating system for Macbooks. iPhones have the iOS firmware; Samsung phones have Android as their operating system. Canon, Panasonic and Sony cameras all have distinct firmware.

People have figured out ways to modify the GH2 firmware in such a way that they can add their own features or get rid of limitations for the GH2. For example, users have come up with features like changing the bitrate up to 100 mbps (essentially increasing the amount of detail that the GH2 is capable of recording), changing the ISO limit, remove the 30 minute recording limit for PAL users etc. With dozens of different hacks, users can also customize the look and feel of the camera picture in ways they couldn't before. Just like people have developed custom firmware for the Canon DSLRs, people have also developed firmware hacks for the GH2.

May 6, 2013

-2
Reply
George

I had a 5D3 and the GH3 for several months so I could compare them side by side (I wanted to make a decision based on what I saw for myself rather than the opinions of others on forums etc).

For *me personally* (underlined and in bold) I found the GH3 not to be good enough in low light and ran into quite a lot of moire / aliasing issues (especially with the 12-35 f2.8 X lens).

If a hack could in anyway lessen those problems then it would make me consider the camera again. I just find digital artifacts ugly and uncinematic and would rather have a softer image (across the whole screen) than lead the viewers eye away from the action / intended focal point.

I'd still be slightly hesitant due to the physical handling / ergonomics not feeling professional (especially when trying to use the camera at night eg. for time lapses & long exposures) but it is a nice camera and the crop mode is awesome to have.

I've never had problems with the GH2 hack failing, but since so many others have I think (whilst it's unpopular to say so) I think the 5D3 + ML is the best option for my own personal price range & requirements right now.

May 2, 2013

-1
Reply
Domonic

Got the GH3 about 3 months ago to use it together with my good 'old' Canon XH-A1 camcorder. Now I can do both 'run and gun' shooting and make more cinematic shots when needed. Filmed at least ten hours in total with it. What I really miss on the GH3, compared to any camcorder I used, is;

-screen info that stays on the lcd screen continuously. I want to be able to look at the audio level meters and other settings all the time, without pushing a button. It's stupid that the info disappears without me wanting it...
I find myself pushing the display button all the time and this should really be improved with the next firmware update. It is very frustrating...

-Focus peaking or whatever assistance to make it easier to focus manually. It is possible to use the screen or viewfinder but not with complete confidence. I'm about to get an external monitor but prefer to keep the set small. Also I really miss a distance scale with meters. Now it shows some clumsy bar with only an infinity and macro/ flower symbol...

-To be able to adjust the recording sound volume while recording would be nice, but I do appreciate the level meters on screen, the 3,5 mm mic input and headphone connection. Built in mic amplifier also is of decent quality, but headphone output has a lot of hiss. With good external microphones I do get excellent results.

-Zebra would be nice but I can do without and hey, you can't have it all for this money...

The quality of the image is quite fine, don't need any hack for image quality (moire sometimes visible but a hack is not going to change that), just for improvements in practical use. I prefer normal firmware updates from Panasonic though, so lets hope for the best. By the way, the GH3 is a very fast, lightweight and good quality photocamera! Almost a shame to use it for video only...

May 6, 2013

-1
Reply
Bas

Nobody speaks about the fact that the information disappear after 10 seconds??? I don't understand that. Especially when you are with a rig and you want to know if you are not too exposed. I need my hand to make the focus and/or play with a ND vario filter...

May 29, 2013

0
Reply
mm34

Everyone who wants 720p 120fps, switch between NTSC 60fps and PAL 50 fps and/or no record limit for the PAL version should contact the international support:
http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMC-GH3KBODY?support

I think this is the best way to make clear what the customer wants.

June 26, 2013

0
Reply

I forgot to say that there will come a new version next month:
http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/info/update_gh3.html

Sad.. no fps changes by now in the list.

June 26, 2013

0
Reply

I am still waiting for a focus peaking. It so important!
Any hack on the gh3 so far?

June 28, 2013

0
Reply
Sotiris

There is a thread on this topic over at Vitaliy Kiselev's website:

personal-view.com/talks/discussion/6718/development-status-topic#Item_8

also:

personal-view.com/talks/discussion/5344/official-panasonic-gh3-topic-series-3/p1

July 8, 2013

1
Reply

Focus peaking the only thing i am asking for. Come on Panasonic!

August 10, 2013

1
Reply