Why hacking the GH2 does not make a better camera. HDMI recording still superior.

Posted: July 24, 2011 in colorbyjorg
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have been doing many hours of testing and measuring with the different types of recordings made with the GH2. I have one GH2 with the original firmware and one with the hacked firmware, both that can be connected to the Atomos Ninja.

I will post my findings in a number of future posts, but want to make one important fact clear.

People have asked me several times if the hacked avchd footage is better than the Ninja recorded footage, and this is my answer:

The Ninja recording still dwarfs the GH2 avchd, even the hacked version. There is a lot of  processing going on before it reaches the codec on the avchd part and the hdmi signal follows another path through the camera’s hard- and software.

I for example can understand if panasonic has digital lowpass filters installed in their 10-to-8 bit conversion, because that’s what you do when downsampling to another bitrate.

You can hack the camera’s codec, but should look further down the processing line.

It’s a bit simplistic to think that you can upgrade a camera’s quality by just raising the codec’s bitrate; you’ll need to upgrade the limiting factors along the processing line all down to the sensor.

I’m afraid that there are also hardware components involved that can’t be hacked.

More news to come…


  1. Stephane says:

    Can’t wait for your tests! Are we actually able to record in 10bits through HDMI?s

  2. Konrad Welz says:

    Hi Jorg, as a fellow GH2+Ninja owner, I’m really interested to see what you’ve discovered… in fact I’m gnawing at my desk till your next post ;0)
    All the best and keep up the good work!

  3. Konrad Welz says:

    Hi Joergen, I can’t wait for someone with real knowledge of video processing (ie: your good self) to give us a proper scientific evaluation of HDMI output from the GH2. Keep up the good work!

  4. ric marty says:

    Their is conflicting info on wether gh2 hdmi output is usable or not.

    Please someone:

    1- is out put from gh2 hdmi possible?
    2-What color space and resolution and frame rate?
    3-Does the hack improve the hdmi output?
    4- Can I use a mini matrox or motu express for hdmi capture from the gh2

  5. brunerww says:

    Thank you, Jorgen. You are probably the only person on the planet who has compared hacked AVCHD to clean HDMI out. Is there any way that you could post your results in more detail?


  6. j says:

    any results yet? this must be one hell of an project you are doing!

  7. oloho says:

    It’s been months since you made these comments and I guess many people are waiting for you to back it up. Have you made any progress? Thanks…

  8. This is an interesting post, considering that you previously said the HDMI is unusable due to the odd cadence every 7 seconds. Can you clarify?

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