GH2 and Tascam DR-70D

Revisiting the GH2 Hack in 2015

I wrote my post entitled How to Hack the GH2 nearly four years ago. I just hacked my GH2 again, and I’m happy to report that everything still works just fine. It’s August 2015, and the GH2 hack lives on! If you have one of these cameras and you’re considering hacking it, I recommend doing so. Why not? You can make it shoot better looking video for free. That’s a win.

The last time I hacked my GH2 was in March of 2013. I wrote about this experience in my Revisiting the GH2 Hack post. Later, in June of 2013, I decided to go back to the original GH2 firmware, just for the heck of it. I wrote about this experience as well in my How to Unhack the GH2 post. If you want to unhack a GH2, just follow the instructions in that post.

A couple of weeks ago I was shooting some video with my unhacked GH2, and I wasn’t loving the images I was getting. I realized that I was ready to hack again. I want a better picture. This was one thing I could do to get there.

Tip #1 for hacking the GH2 in 2015

Spend some time at personalview.com before you do anything. Fix yourself a glass of wine, sit in a quiet area for an hour or two and just take it all in.

Click around. Read some posts. Browse through the hacks. Read lots of incredibly technical sounding things that likely won’t make any sense to you. Scratch your chin with your thumb and index finger, and nod slightly as you read. This will help to make it feel like some of the technical gibberish means something.

The hacks worth checking out at Personal View can be found in the Top Settings section. I interpreted this to mean that these patches have been selected and put there because they are deemed to be the best hacks. The latest hack to be added to this list is from March of 2015, which shows that the GH2 community is alive and well, even though the camera was discontinued in March of 2013.

Tip #2 for hacking the GH2 in 2015

After you’ve spent some time visiting the Personal View website, wait a day or two before you do the hack. Why? I don’t know. That’s what I chose to do, and it just felt right. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with technical information. Spreading it out over a couple of days lets you ease back into it. Or, forget this tip. Just do it now and get it over with.

Tip #3 for hacking the GH2 in 2015

The instructions that I wrote in my How to Hack the GH2 post still work perfectly. I did notice a couple of little quirks this time, which mostly stem from the fact that the computer I’m using now is new, and it didn’t have Wine or Wine Bottler loaded on it, so I truly had to start from scratch.

The only change I encountered was that when I downloaded and unzipped Wine and Wine Bottler on my computer, I needed to launch the programs before they would work. In the instructions on my How to Hack post, I don’t mention this. I needed to download the programs, unzip them, move them into my Applications folder (I use a Mac), and then I needed to launch both of them one time in order to get them to work.

And that’s pretty much it. Besides that, everything was groovy.

So, what hack did I decide to use?

After spending some time on Personal View and reading some posts, I decided to try out the Sanity X patch. One of the reasons I chose Sanity X is that my SD cards are kind of old (they are SanDisk Extreme 30MB/s cards), and some users had reported that this hack works with these cards. Sanity X is also supposed to be a really good hack. I’ll try to update this post after I’ve used it for a while and share my opinion.

GH2, GoPro HERO4 Black, Canon 7D Mark II

In closing, I’m happy to say that the GH2 is still kicking butt in 2015. I’ve recently acquired a pair of GoPro HERO4 Black action cameras, and a Canon 7D Mark II, so I have my share of up-to-date cameras to shoot with. But there’s something I still love about the GH2 and these underground hacks. It’s super nerdy, but it’s cool. You bond with your GH2 when you undergo this process. It’s a special thing, and thankfully, it’s still a thing.

Purchase links:

Panasonic GH2 - Amazon USA, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr
Canon 7D Mark II - Amazon USA, B&H Photo, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr

Published by

Sam

Writer, musician, photo taker and video maker. When not writing somewhat longish articles for this blog, I write incredibly short things on Twitter: @SamMallery

14 thoughts on “Revisiting the GH2 Hack in 2015”

  1. So true. i have a gh3 and two gh2s i use for weddings. There is still something magical when i look at a hacked gh2. The gh2 has a more filmic look compared to my gh3.

  2. The GH2 holds up excellently. I am going to write about the difference between the two at some point, but, so far it’s been hard for me to strike an objective balance between them.

    The reason is that I’ve been using the two cameras differently. I use the GH2 like a cinema camera. I only focus manually, I take my time with setting up shots, etc.

    The auto-focus on the 7DmkII works impressively well, which has caused me to be a bit more lazy when I shoot with it. I usually leave the auto-focus on, and concentrate my energy and attention on other things.

    Ultimately, the footage I shoot manually focused on my hacked GH2 looks better than the stuff I shoot with my 7DmkII, but, it’s because I am not as experienced with the 7D, and I am not using the full potential of the camera.

    But yeah, I really love the GH2. After all of these years, I still want a second body. I just know the camera so well. I’m fast on it. And it delivers the goods.

  3. Hi. Been thinking in buying my first camera for video lately. Can’t afford the GH4, so I’ve been following the GH3. It wasn’t until now that I’ve heard about the GH2 hacks.

    Whatever camera I buy will be a second hand, but now I don’t really know which one should it be. Would you go for the GH3, or for a (much cheaper) GH2?

    Thank you very much

  4. I have a Mac. When I try to save from the Personal-View website it saves as a png file. I have Winebottler/Wine, but I’m unable to see the hacks when I open ptools. Any suggestions?

  5. Hi Tom. Did you do everything in step 5?

    “In order to download these patches, you need to register as a user at personal-view.com and log in. Once you’ve done that, click on one of the icons of the piece of paper with a folded corner. This makes a patch download…”

  6. So I’m thinking of picking up a GH2 to get used to Panasonic menu’s before leaping into a GH4 plus experiment with some of the “hacks” available. I have used Canon’s DSLR’s for the past 6 years and a variety of video cams. What I’ve seen of the GH series I’ve liked but it didn’t make sense to jump ship. Any thoughts? Figured for a couple hundred I could try a GH2 out
    before putting a couple full GH4 rigs together.

  7. Seems like a sensible move. The menu system of the GH2 is pretty different from Canon DSLRs (I have a 7D mkII). I don’t have a GH4, so I’m not an expert on its similarities to the GH2. But, the super cheap price of the GH2 makes it a sensible buy for anyone who wants to capture amazing looking video.

  8. Sam: Thanks for the quick response, especially on a Saturday.
    I’ll let you know how I make out. Hope you enjoy your 7d MK11.
    Different beast, different look. Because I light just about everything I shoot and it has to be done in camera, no time for grading, I’ve learned to light for the limitations or the blessings of those DSLR’s. But that can be said for any camera.

    cheers

    Ed

  9. I’ve got 2 Gh2’s that are hacked. One works flawlessly the other has issues spanning (multiple 4GB files). I’ve tried to load a new firmware hack all day and can not find anything that works. When I go to install I simply get a “No Valid Picture” error, I’ve tried 10 cards of different brands, sizes, ages, colors, smells, you get the point.

    I’ve offset version increment between 1 and 1111111111 and still can not get either camera to recognize the firmware on the card.

    Any thoughts or ideas?

  10. Hi ,I hacked my gh2 yesterday,thnx for your instructions the high bitrate really makes a big difference,smoother video,thnx so much!!
    regards Hugo (from Holland)

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