Panasonic GH2 Overview

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For videography, the GH2 is the most balanced compromise between price, size,  performance, and adaptability. The Vitaly Hack (see below) allows 100+ mbs. See the overview and user edited video footage below. VISIT

GH2 Skate – An Overview of GH2 and Micro 4/3 format

About the hack

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AVCHD Editors

Color Correction, Grading and NLE Related
How to get the best footage from your GH2/Digicam for grading

5dtorgb: Mac/Windows – convert AVCHD format to Prores for grading/NLE

GH2 Hack 3.2K

Mysteron (GH2 hack test)

Mysteron (GH2 hack test) from Martin Wallgren on Vimeo.

Shot with ‘Mysteron’ in the mist to see how it holds up in grading. Using the plugin ToneGrade for some of the shots. Film setting ‘Vibrant’ -2 -2 -1 -2. Average bitrate 100Mb/s. Lens: Voigtländer Nokton 25/0.95.

Music: “Prud’Hommes” by Cobra (avec logo panthère) (ère%29)

See comparison of graded footage vs original here:

Mysteron (graded vs original) from Martin Wallgren on Vimeo.

Split screen to show the original footage vs graded using FCPX color correction board and Crumplepop’s ToneGrade HDR tone mapping plugin. The footage was shot in heavy mist with the ‘Mysteron’ hack, film type ‘Vibrant’ -2 -2 -1 -2, lens Voigtländer Nokton 25/0.95 mostly at f/1.4 and 0.95 in some of the shots.

Music: “Prud’Hommes” by Cobra (avec logo panthère) (ère%29)

Credits to Nick Driftwood and Vitality Kiselev for bringing the hack development.


sunset from fantomas on Vimeo.

…short edit from walk with my girlfriend

music: Ratatat – Loud Pipes
tech: Panasonic GH2 (hacked), Driftwood Mysteron patch, 14-42 kit zoom


Milk from APieceofPaul on Vimeo.

Music: Faure – Apres un Reve

GH2 Olympus 45mm F2
Driftwood Mysteron

Mysteron Standard unGraded

GH2 Mysteron STANDARD patch IndiSlider Mini 1080p UNGRADED Test from strancali on Vimeo.

1080p Mysteron STANDARD hack straight out of camera

Camera: GH2 with Mysteron Standard hack (MyFilms1 settings with -2 -2 -2 -2, iso 400, WB indoors “bulb”)
Lens: Olympus 45mm f1.8
SD Card: Sandisk 64GB 95MB/s
Slider: IndiSlider Mini

Testing the indislider and the mysteron hack. Trying to shoot as flat as possible to grade in post.

Monday – GH2 Mysteron 142 mbs

Monday from Noe Medrano Jr. on Vimeo.

Short test of Driftwood’s “Mysteron” Burst Mode.
PP set to Standard -2×4. No color correction added.

GH2 Mysteron BURST hack – Wall-E

Wall-E’s EVE ! Panasonic Lumix GH2 Mysteron Burst Patch from Sinan Cile on Vimeo.

  • Wall-E Toy
  • Panasonic Lumix GH2 – Mysteron Burst Patch
  • 14-140 Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8
  • Canon FD 50mm F1.4 lens + M 4/3
  • Lumix 20mm 1.7 Pancake lens
  • 1 piece 1000 LED light
  • 2 pieces 500 LED light
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro SD SDHC 16GB 16G UHS-1- 95MB/s
  • Rode Directional Shotgun Microphone

Old Bike

Old Bike from Donovan Caylor on Vimeo.

GH2 Footage Selects

GH2 Mysteron Footage Selects from Michael Garber on Vimeo.

Here is a selection of footage I shot a couple weeks ago using Mysteron (not burst) for a friend’s product that she is launching. Footage holds up well, but I did have some issues with color correction, which would support others claims that Sedna is better for correcting and grading. That said, I have no real proof of any issues with the patch causing issues with CC.

Hacked GH2 Mysteron BURST Footage

Gh2 mysteron from Alessandro Fazzino on Vimeo.

Driftwood Mysteron Series ‘Burst version’ 176m
I downloaded with the consent of Donovan Caylor “Old Bike”
strong the color correction.

HACKED Mysteron BURST MODE 240 mbs

GH2 Mysteron Burst Hack 240 mbts. from Philip Coltart on Vimeo.

  • Sandisk 64GB 95MBs cards
  • Mysteron Burst hack (240 mbs, but 176 suggested for stability)
  • 160 ISO, 50fps. 9 aperture
  • White balance: more blue setting to avoid that noisy red channel
  • Clip Wrapped the MTS file, so as to maintain the high bit rate
  • Zuiko 35-100 2.0 prime
  • Driftwood

Amsterdam Shoarma – GH2 Mysteron BURST hack

Amsterdam Shoarma – GH2 Hacked – Mysteron Burst from Domenico Tribuzio – Treibholtz on Vimeo.

The following footage was taken using standard settings and lens on  a hacked GH2. Visit the link for more information or to download the original footage. The hack (which is only available on Panasonic) allows the bitrate of the footage to increase, improving quality to match cameras costing thousands more.

CUP of TEA – hacked GH2 test from ProudPixels on Vimeo.

Please download the footage for best quality + fullHD.

This is the first test of my new toy – hacked GH2. I wanted to check how the camera performs in high iso, high key situations. ISO range 640-2000, color profile Smooth -2 -2 -2 -2, iDynamic- high. Patch – EOSHD – “Intraesting” 88Mbit AVCHD from Graded in AE.

This is not a standard test – I wanted to try how the GH2 image holds some situations, like high ISO, high key, noise patterns. I used only cheap lenses – standard GH2 14-42 zoom and m42 pentacon multicoating 50mm 1.8.

The main goal was to check how the footage looks after montage, some visual manipulations and grading.

Here are my conclusions: Generaly Gh2 is great camera – even with the cheap lenses. In my opinion much better for video than canon7d and 5d mkII. Picture is sharp and has much more detail than canon dslrs. But of course its not perfect.

Panasonic 14-42mm is a terrible lens for video. Noise patterns are ugly, but pentacon looks quite nice for that price. In the same ISO the same light conditions, pentacon wins in almost everything, except the angle, of course.

I like the noise. Clean image ISO range is up to 800 (with pentacon). But with some knowlege about camera you can shoot even 1250. With low key camera performance is better than high key and ISO 800 is clean and nice.

Next step is to test my new toy with some serious lenses like zeiss ZF.

Music by: Jose Gonzalez “Teardrop”
the girl: Matylda


GH2 Resolution approaches C300 ($15,000)

Re: Try matching colors GH2 and Canon 5D
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 04:54:17 AM »

I personally don’t agree that the skin tone on the Canon (any model) is superior to the GH2.  Ten’s of thousands of people shooting GH2’s get superior skin tone. (example – he did a great job with his girlfriend even if it leans towards a baby soft pinkish hue)Remember that even with the Magic Lantern rate improvement hacks for the Canon 5D, it is capturing FAR less video information than current 88mbs-154mbs Quantum X GH2 settings.  Seeing a smoother waxy skin tone is the first sign of a cheap digital production.

A couple things to know about skin tone.  First, skin tone lives primarily in the histogram-right of the mid tones.  Poor exposure means poor skin tones.

This Adobe pdf will explain why pro’s rarely underexpose skin when shooting digital (stills or video – same rules):

Second, skin tone is comprised of nearly all the colors of the rainbow (no matter what race).  Accurate white balance is essential because we are dealing with a limited color space and do not have access to a raw video file.

Third when making global color changes in your video editor (you really shouldn’t too much – read above) work with vibrance settings before messing with saturation settings.  Vibrance leave alone skin tones and works with the least saturated colors first before messing around with the most saturated colors.

If you are finding that your GH2 is capturing “too much” detail – hair, freckles, wrinkles, etc. – use Black Pro Mist filters or my favs Schneider Hollywood Black Magic or Tiffen Glimmer Glass.

Examples:  Results will be similar with video –  (and no, this can’t be duplicated in post production)

Take care.


4 thoughts on “Panasonic GH2 Overview

  1. some GH2 tips from

    @anupamgroy If you have not committed to a camera and are still deciding what to use, then there are definitely much better cameras available for the job and not all of them will cost an arm and a leg to rent or buy. If you are already using a GH2 and trying to find out what to do to get the best shoot out of it, then here are some things I would consider.

    For green screen, set your color profile to vibrant and light the scene so that you have a sufficiently narrow dynamic range on your subject. Use ISo 200 to avoid any chance of the noise bug (or ISO 160 if you are confident you can consistently remmeber to keep track of the bug) to get a wide dynamic range with low noise (at least to the extent possible given the contraints).

    If you are shooting 1920×1080, use 24H (or 80%24H instead of HBR ) to get the best quality you can. For that type of shooting, I would rely on an intra setting from Driftwood, either Sedna or Canis Majoris (in their many variations). If you go for Sedna, I would probably use a Sedna C version as opposed to an A1 to try and get cleaner areas as opposed to more detail, but your mileage may vary.

    If you are shooting 1280×720 at 50p or 60p, there are more options to consider, and the first one I would try would be Mysteron (since it is one of the most stable Driftwood options) or Sanity 5 (since I have used various versions of Sanity to shoot more slow-motion footage than any other setting). There are many other good options, but those have a very high chance of working.

    Other people have addressed rolling shutter concerns so I will not.

    If you go looking for another camera to use for the shoot, do not look at other current DSLR options. Look at cameras that support 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 and 10-bit or higher color with lossless or visually lossless compression options (or “not visually lossless but just plain wavelet, etc.”) In some cases these things are offered through external recorders and in other cases onboard. You could also look at cameras with higher frame rate options, depending on your slow-motion needs and your budget.

    But long story short, compression artifacts or sensor noise, low color depth and insufficient chroma sampling can all create a lot of extra work during a green screen session. The GH2 is a great camera but it suffers from all of them in that context. You can still get great results from it, but it requires more work.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that if you want the highest image quality for keying in very short bursts, the 40 fps SH stills mode is still the best option on the GH2 and better than MJPEG on the GH1 that some suggested. But 40 frames is a prohibitively short burst for most applications.

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