Phil Peel

Film, video, photography, sound and story

GH2 hack testing – initial report and how to test

Posted by Phil On July - 7 - 2011


GH2 hack testing

Donate to Vitaliy Kiselev here
Pick up a GH2 body on eBay here

Thanks to a leaked firmware update and Vitaliy Kiselev we now have a GH2 hack to experiment with. It’s very early days so don’t expect anything drastic yet. The AVCHD encoder is very different to the GH1, so a lot of testing needs to be done before the right parameters and patches are discovered that improve image quality and functionality.

Some of the stuff is however IS working out of the box:

  • 1440×1080 @ 4:3 MJPEG patch is good for 2x anamorphic shooting. It produces true cinemascope 2.35:1, rather than the extremely wide 3.55:1 we get from normal 16:9 1080p
  • Language patch works (minus Chinese characters)
  • PAL / NTSC switch in the menu works (although 24p mode remains 24p for now)
  • 30min clip length limit removed (for European PAL cameras)

1080/25p and 1080/60p patches are included but hang the camera – extensive testing to find the right settings is required. There’s also patches for audio bitrates, AGC and 720/25p though I haven’t had time to try these yet.

How to test

Read Vitaliy’s instructions here and then download Stream Parser, the leaked V1.0E firmware and PTools 3.60d. You’ll need Windows for this. Mac users can use virtualisation software like Wine Bottler or VMWare.

It is important that the community does it’s bit to help Vitaliy and contribute constructively and scientifically to the forum at It’s best to keep questions and emotions out of the research threads so that it does not distract Vitaliy and testing efforts. By all means ask questions and seek help but do so in the right places.

Here is a good early example of some patch testing – experiment in a systematic way, one setting at a time and report the effect it has on the camera.

It is best not to change too much at once because then you don’t know which settings is responsible for the effect you see on the camera. If the camera hangs, or if it suddenly outputs amazing high bitrate video, you won’t know what the key setting change was that caused it. You must build up slowly to combining settings. Most of the exciting things will result from a combination of settings but it really helps to first discover what each one does independently.

All in all these are exciting times for GH2 owners.






Programmer Vitaliy Kiselev recently got ahold of a leaked firmware update for the Panasonic GH2 and has now hacked it successfully. This could lead to new features, as we saw last time around with the GH1 hack. While this brand new GH2 firmware hack is very much in beta, features that are at least working partially include the 30 minute clip length limit being removed (for PAL versions), a PAL / NTSC menu function, new audio bitrates, AGC selection, 720/25p, 1080/25p, and 1080/60p (the latter two currently freeze the camera). If you’re feeling adventurous or want to help with the further development of the hack, here are the installation instructions for PC users (Mac users are instructed to use this):

  1. Place and inside one folder
  2. Extract both archives and delete zip files
  3. Now you must have two files – ptool3.exe and GH1___132.BIN
  4. Run ptool3.exe, check help hints or FAQ and manual threads

Donations to Vitaly can be made here. This firmware is very much in development; stay tuned as new features are added and it becomes more stable.

Link: PTools + GH2 Firmware, Instructions





Phil Peel

Posted by Phil On January - 30 - 2011


Welcome to my blog. I'm an award winning director/producer who also lights, writes and teaches.   + live multicamera directing.

In a previous existence, I was a BBC TV director, then Course Leader BA Film Production at AUB, I've  produced, directed or shot over 50 shorts and the films have screened at festivals worldwide.   I completed  a MA Screenwriting  at Bournemouth Uni. and was selected for EIFF Talent Lab 2013.

I've written a load of  shorts and a number of feature screenplays including Phoebe Langtry, a period drama about the woman, who in 1813, built the only surviving working windmill in Hampshire; Best Of Intentions, a World War II romantic action movie and Jack’s Back, a supernatural suspense horror about the return of Jack the Ripper during a theatre performance. (Currently optioned for 2016 production.)

Currently got three shorts out on the festival circuit, am editing another 20 min short filmed in Toronto in July and developing a couple of micro budget features, based on locations and facilities I have access to.

Here's some links to my  Directing, Lighting & Camerawork , ProducingWriting, Corporate, Live Multicamera Directing, Music Videos

I'm on or give me a ring on 07973 753 777

LINK to some of my credits and films

My  drama showreel is here –   ( I really MUST update it.)

So here's some more recent stuff.  I can't show you any of my recent corporate work unfortunately. It's confidential.

Director/Producer/Camera/Editor & Music  for "Liaison"  Official Selection for 2015 Toronto ReelheART International FilmFestival

Director/Producer/Camera/Editor of "Love" (2013) (short) awarded "Best Film" at Southampton Film Week;  Guerilla Film Award & Winning Film team Production Award. 50Kisses Premiere;  Official selection for Edinburgh Short Film Festival  ; Official selection New York Bootleg Film Festival.  also screened at Rhode Island International Film Festival and London Independent Film Festival

"This is a devastatingly brilliant piece of storytelling, masterfully handled, and the feedback from the Bootleg team was unanimous – audiences need to see this film. "


Writer/producer/director, DP  & editor.  Comedy short John Lennon's Turd. (2013)  . Award for "Best Short Film"  Toronto ReelheART International Film Festival, Selected for Glastonbury Festival Short Film Festival 2015

"I really like it. It’s got a lovely, funny but downbeat tone and atmosphere. Good script, very well directed, with great performances. Excellent."

Paul Bassett Davies    – Creative Director at London Comedy Writers Festival

Writer :  Thriller feature script "Jack's Back"   optioned for 2015 production by Our Lot Studios.

Writer : WWII Romantic Action Feature Screenplay  "Best of Intentions " Top 3 Finalist Toronto ReelheART  International Film Festival 2015.

Director of Photography 'Don't' (2013) (short) Official Selection of New York City International Film Festival

Producer and Director of Photography of:

–   Buon Giorno Sayonara (2010) (short). (exec. prod.) 33 International Film Festivals including "Best Comedy Award" Hyart Film Festival in Wyoming. Nominated for  three awards : Best International/Foreign Language Film, Best Direction (Karen Hope) , and Best Performance (Thomas Kadman) at Thurrock International Film Festival.  Awards for Best International Film, Best Director and Best In Show.
–   Bull amongst the Feathers (2008) (short) Rome International Film Festival
–   Legs 11. (2009) (short) Toronto & Florida International Film Festival
–   Shadows (2009) (short) Dubai International Film Festival, Mumbai International Film Festival

–  Zombie Radio (2010) Boston Sci-Fi Festival

–   In My Shoes (2010) (short) Fastnet Film Festival


I’ve just discovered a whole stack of live multicamera recordings of concerts that I directed, that Gareth Henderson put up online.
great to see them again.

SSPS Vocal Coach -Gareth Henderson who has worked with chart topping dance legend, Yazz (The Only Way Is Up), Artful Dodger/Craig David producer Mark Hill and leads from major West End shows

Here’s another

Concerts at Salisbury City Hall

AfroDisiac Showcase ’08