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    GH2 hack a placebo?
    #1
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    This video here - shot in parallel with two GH2s, one hacked, one unhacked - really makes you whether the increased bitrate hacks make any real difference to video quality at all: https://vimeo.com/45973318


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    #2
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    I just watched that. I was pretty surprised with how minimal the differences were, even in the blow up crops. The vimeo source file is pretty compressed though. 16mbps. Which may be smearing out a lot of the differences from the higher bitrate. I asked the OP if he could host a better source file, Avid DNXHD or Pro Res, somewheres. I'd really like to see it.

    I'd also be curious to see a heavy color grade comparison.


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    #3
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    LPowell provides lots of screen-shot samples comparing the stock GH2 image versus a "hacked" GH2 image. The difference is quite significant.

    Water Flow Test : Stock Firmware vs Hacked Firmware

    NOTE: You can also download the original .MTS files to compare in your NLE from LPowell's Vimeo channel.
    Last edited by TheDingo; 07-18-2012 at 12:47 PM.
    Cameras : Panasonic GH3 with Grip, Panasonic GH2, Panasonic HMC-150
    OIS Zoom : Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8, Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8


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    #4
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    Thanks Dingo, you took the words out of my mouth. While it's not hard to find scenes where the unhacked GH2 holds up well, in demanding situations the limitations of the stock firmware can become painfully visible. Here's a dvxuser link to my comparison videos:

    http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?283724-GH2-100Mbps-Flow-Motion-v2-Patch-Banding-amp-Blocking-Be-Gone!


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    #5
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    I'm sure there are certain things you can shoot that the hack won't make a whole lot of difference with generally speaking.

    But it's funny the video purports that there's no difference. I can easily see the compression in the comparison vs the actual detail with the hack.


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    #6
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    Just freeze frame the zoomed in flag shot. Its pretty obvious theres a difference


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    #7
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    As a unhacked GH2 owner...I tend to stay away from the "dark side" simply because I don't see the point. Yes there are some macroblocks in unhacked, yes the flag is tearing up and smudging up with that 600% crop zoom....but I have never encountered (yet) a job where the footage must be cropped at 500%.

    It's not worth it in my opinion.

    I know it's been played out to say this but - I'll try to learn how to shoot, how to cut, how to color correct and how to make a good story in 24 frames per second. Macroblocks will never hold me back, no matter how huge they are on stock GH2.


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    #8
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    It's been compressed for vimeo. Granted, that may be the end delivery for many of us anyway.

    But what happens when you color grade it? I'm sure the hacked footage will respond much better to level adjustments and such.


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    #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Tom- View Post
    As a unhacked GH2 owner...I tend to stay away from the "dark side" simply because I don't see the point. Yes there are some macroblocks in unhacked, yes the flag is tearing up and smudging up with that 600% crop zoom....but I have never encountered (yet) a job where the footage must be cropped at 500%.

    It's not worth it in my opinion.

    I know it's been played out to say this but - I'll try to learn how to shoot, how to cut, how to color correct and how to make a good story in 24 frames per second. Macroblocks will never hold me back, no matter how huge they are on stock GH2.
    What isn't worth it? I have yet to hear of anyone having any camera failures while using the latest patches for the latest hack. It isn't any more risky to use the time tested patches than using stock.


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    #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarijedi View Post
    ...It isn't any more risky to use the time tested patches than using stock.
    Actually, my tests indicate that it's quite risky to use an unhacked GH2 for any shot that may overtax its restricted bitrate. With stock firmware, the GH2 may plunge into a low-quality Fallback Mode in situations where it cannot handle the amount of image detail required. The hazard is that when the unhacked GH2 fails, it does so surreptitiously without alerting you to the fact that it recorded degraded, low-quality footage.

    At present, the only way to confirm that your unhacked GH2 footage has been recorded at the intended quality level is to examine it with H.264 technical analysis tools. Even if I had the time to do this, it would be an impractical burden to scan all of my footage for recording flaws. Of all the benefits that a well-tested patch provides, the assurance that your completed takes are recorded reliably at the highest practical levels of quality is one of most crucial.


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