GH2 shows its potential again (+ new refurbished Oly cameras)


Christmas Shootout: Part 1 from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

As you know Canon created a lot of buzz around the new C300 video camera. It’s a super technological and expensive DSLR styled toy made for professionals. The video on top shows a test made by Philip Bloom. Our friend Andrew Reid form EosHD (Click here) made one of those comparisons that will make us m43 owners again feel proud of Panasonic :) Andrew “proves” how the hacked “GH2 really is insane for resolution and the cleanness with which it downscales that 18MP CMOS to 1080p. The codec shows very little sign of AVCHD compression, well on par with the C300′s codec.” Of course we are comparing apple of oranges but damn, the GH2 costs fifteen times less than the Canon! Can’t wait to see what the GH3 can do… ;)

P.S.: Letsgodigital (Click here) tested the Olympus E-PL3 and the camera scores a rating of 85 points out of 100. And here is the new list of refurbished Olympus cameras. Reminder, these cameras can be bought by Europeans only! I already bought five cameras in one month for my family and friends:
Black Olympus E-PL1 double lens kit White Olympus E-PL2 with 14-42mm lens Black Olympus E-PL1 with 14-150mm lens Black Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42mm lens Black Olympus E-PL2 double lens kit Black Olympus E-PL2 double lens kit Silver Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42mm lens Silver Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42mm lens Silver Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42mm lens Silver Olympus E-PL2 with 14-42mm lens Black Olympus E-PL1 double lens kit White Olympus E-PL2 with 14-42mm lens Silver Olympus E-PL1 double lens kit Black Olympus E-PL2 double lens kit Brown Olympus E-Pm1 with 14-42mm lens Black Olympus E-PL1 double lens kit White Olympus E-PL2 with 14-42mm lens White Olympus E-P1 with 14-42mm lens

  • Yeah it takes the hard work of hackers and enthusiasts to make Panasonic cameras do what they should out of the box. Goes to show how good their cameras are and how disconnected Panasonic is from their user base.

    • I think that is kind of unfair to say. They made a great product give ’em credit for that and give credit to the community for taking that product and make it better.

      • Yes Panasonic made a good product but I don’t know if I’d call it great and great is not good enough if Panasonic wants to compete with Canon or Nikon or even Olympus. The cameras that come out now from Panasonic and Olympus have to be simply amazing for the system to survive in the long term.

        Right now Nikon 1 series (and I’m not a fan of the 1 series) can output raw files on par with the m43 system cameras then on other end you got APS sensor cameras of Sony and soon to be Fuji which is what Panasonic and Olympus really need to go after. They will never catch Canon which was already the industry leader before the happy accident that was the 5DMKII.

        If Olympus and Panasonic takes some good risks like high bit rate video, excellent built in EVF better raw file noise and dynamic range they can really gain some market share.

        But when Panasonic creates a camera that is as good as the GH2 and one that is loved to the point of people hacking it to make it perform better Pana and Oly need to take notice.

        It only takes one ground breaking camera from Panasonic or Olympus to gain some major momentum. Even if they come out with a pro camera body at $2000 and get some buzz online it will build value in all their other cameras and thus will sell more products because of the perceived value the flagship camera creates in users minds.

        Nikon and Canon have been doing this for years. They don’t make the big profits off of their pro cameras but it gives every user the ability to grow with the system.

        This year will be a “make or break” year for the entire m43 system. Either Olympus and Panasonic are going to come out with cameras that get new users (and hopefully those switching from other systems) into the m43 ecosystem or Sony, Fuji, Nikon and possibly Canon mirror less cameras will gain yet more market share.

    • G_C

      it’s unfortunately “natural” for all manufacturers to slightly cripple all of their products, this allows them to make small slight upgrades when they make newer models so they continually have a new model to sell onto.

      it’s not so much how disconnected panasonic is from it’s user base, it’s purely marketing strategies. every manufacturer does this and all it does is drive consumerism, creating more landfill as people continually upgrade all for the sake of more money.

    • mpgxsvcd

      The unhacked camera has the same resolvable resolution as the hacked one.

      • @ mpgxsvcd:

        Unhacked GH2 & hacked GH2 record essentially the same resolvable resolution, until camera/subject moves. Some users claim more shadow detail, etc., using certain hack settings, but I’m not convinced (yet). YMMV.

        When there’s motion, the hacked GH2 easily wins against a stock GH2. A hacked GH2 with even slightly increased recording bit-rate (e.g.: 32 megabits/sec or 44 mbs, etc.) records noticeably less motion-induced compression artifacts which would blur the detail.

        Of course, there’s a point at which using higher & higher bit-rate settings are a trade-off. In all cases, faster SDHC cards must be used. Most hacked settings don’t “span” and limit max. record time. In some cases the fastest & most expensive cards available must be used.

        I really appreciate that I can operate my GH2 reliably at around 44-66 mbs and get great results for little additional “cost”.


  • come on pana

    but the question is it is the fw 1.1 or the first one ??

    • CobyD

      Bloom tested a high-bitrate hacked version, so it goes without saying that it was not the 1.1 firmware (since no hack was available for that as of Xmas 2011).

    • 1.0
      Because the 1.1 is not hacked yet….

  • Steve

    its potential (not his)

  • Steve

    GH2 shows ITS potential AGAIN

  • Mice

    First time I’ve ever actually heard him talk… bit unnerving really.

  • st3v4nt

    It’s just showing how good 16MP Panasonic sensor really are and how bad Panasonic in making engine and firmware….thus we know why Panasonic don’t want that sensor being used by Olympus…but crippling the engine and firmware is a common practice among camera maker…that’s why most of them never allow user tinkering with their firmware …I just hope there are more people like Vitaly (if I’m not mistaken) who have quite knowledge and guts to hack the firmware in his expensive camera…..:-) If only he have time to do the same with Olympus firmware….

    • MikeH

      Lotsa unfounded whining here about Panny software…

      Panasonic isn’t going to release firmware with such a high bitrate that it fails to record or just stops recording video on class 10 cards because it would be a public relations disaster. They likely go through extensive testing with much lower class cards to find what rates are ‘safe’ for what they believe will be used in it the most and settle with that rate.

      Let’s give them credit for regularly updating their firmware and adding a lot of functionality in the latest release for the GH2. Not to mention anyone that ‘needs’ the hacked version can still do so, Panasonic hasn’t prevented this with their latest firmware. Just roll back to the hacked version and there you go.

      As other posters post, the resolution is the same regardless of firmware or hacked and the GH2 takes excellent video out of the box. Spend more time actually taking pics and videos and less complaining about what should or could be and you may have a happier year. :)

  • Give Panasonic a break, the GH2 is a massive performer even with the normal software. Cinema looks at this quality with amazing lens choices and a lightweight, small form factor makes for very flexible working unheard of only a few years ago. The AGAF101 is only about £3700 so compared to many others out there especially the C300 from Canon I think the Panny guys are doing OK, have we forgotten the clean HDMI?
    Like everyone I want a Phantom for a fiver but these guys have to be commercial. Maybe a 4K from Panasonic next?

    • wonderer

      I’m on the other side, photographer not really video professional. So much happening in m43 world, that is ‘safe’ to invest to its lenses. No matter how much they cost.

      I do not own GH2, but once GH3 comes in I might buy old GH2 very cheaply and reuse all ‘old’ lenses for great video for virtualy nothing. No other system is offering this, as Sony NEX5 showed with the video test – amazing lens and poor quality. Samsung NX? Amazing lenses and and mobile phone quality. Now there aren’t any good native lenses so m43 is again a big winner.

      Portable, cheap & delivering great result. For professionals – well if you’re getting paid for it I don’t mind, buy 10 RED cameras…

      m43 system is amazing and great new video lenses are just coming…

  • pob

    It’s amazing to see how crappy AF100 sample looks.

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