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. Continue reading Revisiting the GH2 Hack in 2015

Youth is Restored to My 2011 Camera: Hands-on Review of the Eye-Fi Mobi

If you were instructed to visit an electronics store and purchase a smartphone that didn’t have the ability to shoot HD video, you would have a tough time. This feature was only found on select high-end phones a few years ago, but now it’s nearly universal. The same rule now applies to digital cameras and built-in Wi-Fi. If you’re a manufacturer and you’re releasing a new camera in 2014 that doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi, you’re taking a big risk.

Continue reading Youth is Restored to My 2011 Camera: Hands-on Review of the Eye-Fi Mobi

How to Unhack the GH2

I first hacked my Panasonic GH2 in the Fall of 2011, and until recently, it’s remained that way. I would sometimes consider putting the original firmware back on it, but I never committed to the idea. Recently, a patch gave me a little trouble, so I decided to hack my camera back to its original state, just for the sake of starting fresh. Before I transplanted my camera’s brain, I needed to make 100% certain I wasn’t going to screw it up.

Continue reading How to Unhack the GH2

Obituary for the GH2

Panasonic recently discontinued the Lumix DMC-GH2, a tiny, unassuming interchangeable lens camera that produced such remarkable images that it directly challenged some of the finest cameras ever made, and sometimes won.

The most defining moment for the GH2 occurred during Zacuto’s annual camera performance competition, called the Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012. When the participants blindly reviewed the footage from the tests, and were tasked with choosing their favorites, acclaimed film director Francis Ford Coppola picked a hacked GH2 over several high-end cinema cameras that were, to say the least, drastically more expensive. Continue reading Obituary for the GH2

Revisiting the GH2 Hack

The unauthorized and unoffificial firmware hack of the Panasonic GH2 was one of the main motivating factors that led to me buying the camera. In case you’re not familiar, the hack fully exploits the GH2’s video capabilities, improving image quality, and making various custom modifications possible. It had yet to be successfully implemented when I first purchased the camera, however, there was so much momentum behind the movement that it seemed inevitable. When the code was finally cracked, I dove right into it.

Continue reading Revisiting the GH2 Hack

The Transformative Quality of Shooting Manual

Just as the holiday season was kicking into overdrive, something really great happened: my iPhone ran out of storage space. No longer could I whip out my phone and take impulsive snapshots. Suddenly, when I needed to take a picture, I needed to grab my real camera.

When I first got the Lumix GH2 in early 2011, I put a lot of effort into digging into its menus, trying to learn as much about the camera as possible. It was the first advanced shooter I’d ever owned, and I was eager to leverage its power to my advantage. In particular, I focused attention on learning how to shoot in Manual mode. Continue reading The Transformative Quality of Shooting Manual

An EZ Guide to Hacking the Panasonic GH2

How-to hack the GH2Here’s a common conundrum: someone wants to hack their Panasonic GH2, but they can’t find a guide with easy-to-understand instructions. I was in this boat the first couple of times I hacked my GH2, so I decided to create this guide and share it with you.

Hacking your camera is scary, because you can potentially damage it if you do it wrong. But, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll screw it up. When the camera is actively updating its firmware, you just have to be careful not to touch it. This “danger zone” only lasts a couple of minutes. You must not press any buttons or turn off the camera while the firmware is being loaded. This “scariness” isn’t exclusive to the hack. The same danger exists when you’re updating firmware from Panasonic themselves. Keeping your GH2 safe is drop dead simple.

This entire process is odd at first, but once you do it a couple times, it seems really basic. It’s kind of like using Paypal. The first time you try to use Paypal, it’s a hassle. You have to get used to an unfamiliar user interface, you have to enter in a bunch of information, and so on. But once you’re set up and make a few transactions, everything flows along nicely. While we’re on the topic, please use Paypal to donate a little money over at personal-view.com. It helps support the folks that made the hack.

Hacked Panasonic GH2

I did my best to write the following instructions as clearly and comprehensively as possible. However, I’m not a technological maniac. Continue reading An EZ Guide to Hacking the Panasonic GH2

The Great On-Camera Mic Shootout 2011

GH2 with Ambient TinyMicJust in in time for 2012… The Great On-Camera Microphone Shootout 2011 is here! I just tested out seven different on-camera microphones, many of which are new models that came out in 2011. The video I made will give you an idea of what these mics sound like, but I urge you to read this entire article. I explain the fine details of each mic, highlighting their pros and cons. Continue reading The Great On-Camera Mic Shootout 2011

My First Week with the Panasonic GH2

Panasonic GH2 with 20mm f/1.7 lensAfter a long and truly painful wait to receive my first “HDSLR” camera, my Panasonic Lumix GH2 finally arrived. I had waited for several months to order it from a specific retailer, and once my pre-order was placed, the GH2 was on backorder for six more weeks. But last Friday, like a waking dream, it arrived at my doorstep.

As you can see in the thumbnail photo above, I also bought the Lumix 20mm pancake lens. The two make a powerful combination. With the pancake, the GH2 is almost as small as a corpulent point & shoot camera, but it does a whole lot more than even the finest point & shoot cameras on the market. The GH2 has a monster micro four thirds sensor, the lens mount can be adapted to pretty much any lens on the planet, and its HD video quality is currently considered the best you can get (that’s right, it’s even better than the mammoth 5D mk II).

Continue reading My First Week with the Panasonic GH2

No GH2? Whatev! Make a Sound Slideshow with Images!

I just got back from a short vacation in Paris, and I had a really nice time eating amazing cheeses, breads and cream (with extra cheese). Seriously. I love that country. If there are any French people reading this blog, I’m honored to have you. Anyhow, I was hoping to purchase a Panasonic GH2 to take photographs of Paris, but I was unable to get my hands on one. I decided I was putting too much emphasis on equipment. I liked the idea of shooting HD video in the city of light, but really I just wanted to make something. So I brought my old point and shoot (a Canon SD1000) and my Edirol R-09HR audio recorder. In the end I’m glad I focused on recording sound.

It gets said a lot, but I’ll say it again. Don’t let gear get in the way! In the end, your tools are a distraction. They’re an obstacle. It doesn’t matter if you have a truck load of equipment or no gear at all. Either way, equipment is your biggest obstacle. Continue reading No GH2? Whatev! Make a Sound Slideshow with Images!