Now you can unleash GF2's full potential with Vitaliy Kiselev's firmware hack and my patch. First, follow the instructions on this page:
Then download and apply my patch (updated on 5/9/2012, please do not post the download link but this blog):
Now go shoot some video and be amazed! If you are happy with the result, don't forget to donate to VK, I did. Or watch this youtube for what to expect from your "new" gf2:
You might want to read my other GF2 blog on AWB and picture tweaks, because most of them apply to video for warm colors and good details.
More details on this patch:
This patch is inspired by two GH2 patches: LPowell's Flow Motion and Balazer's Cake.
The key features are:
- All I/P/B frames are the same quality. You know, Panasonic uses worse quality for P and B frames.
- Use GOP tables to control max average bitrate, much better than frame limit and fallback etc., for optimal quality and stability.
- GOP 6, I-B-B-P-B-B-I. I always feel 15/12 is way too long but 3 is too short and cannot take the advantage of B frames.
- Reliable 4GB file spanning - non-interrupted recording.
- Video plays fine in camera (except 720p) and on computer.
- No compatibility issues with video editing software.
[update 3/28/2012] The latest patch is setf.ini (download link above): the numbers in GOP tables are more proportional to the original. After some comparison to the 33mbps/AQ4 patch and stock, the significant differences are: my patch produces more contrast and saturated colors, more like and better than 100mbps MJPEG. The 33mbps/AQ4 patch is more like the stock: pale. Resolution is the same, all are about 800 lines. My patch also outputs constant bitrate at 44mbps (not much variation, within 41mbps to 48).
[update 4/9/2012] The new patch is seth.ini (download link above): much higher bitrate limit (128mbps vs. 99), higher actual max bitrate (46mbps vs. 44, more closer to broadcast standard 50mbps), much taller I frames (700 vs. 500), much more reliable 4GB spanning and even more stable. More samples can be found on youtube:
Note: so far all the published samples have not used this latest patch yet, but very close. They were filmed when I was modifying my patch and testing it in fields. If you are going to modify my patch, be careful, a small change may result into big differences. Basically I've done my tweaks in very detail, for example, if you change top limit from 43000 just a little bit higher to 44000, you may experience recording failure once after several days and 4GB spanning no longer be guaranteed. Another example is the "Other Modes Top/Buttom Setting", they affect 1080i and 720p too! And if you change bitrate from 128 mbps to 112 or 144, everything will be totally different: if higher, you simply waste memory card for less stability; if lower, IQ goes down.
By default, GF2 does not use B frames for 720p; so it won't play the 720p video that has B frames as done by my patch. This is the only imperfection of my patch, but a good trade-off for IQ and you can still view the thumbnail and do delete on the camera.
[update 4/12/2012] Down to 96 mbps bitrate limit without top and bottom limits. So far no failure yet and love the contrast. All modes, 1080i60, 720p60, 1080i50 and 720p50, are fully tested. Unless I'll see a failure, this is the last update for this patch.
[update 4/29/2012] In several days of shooting, I got one abnormal stop with the last patch. The error message I saw on the screen was something like "Recording stopped due to card speed...". The recorded video is still there, nothing lost. Therefore I made another more conservative patch, seta.ini. So far so good, after more than a week.
[update 5/9/2012] Revised the 96 mbps version with proper limits and GOP numbers to be more stable without losing quality. I think I have finally got everything done right. I usually use Smart Cutter 1.4.8 to cut and join my footage, then recompress it to 8 mbps in Pazera Free MOV to AVI Converter, before upload to youtube. Both of these video tools tended to crash; so I had to use VideoReDo TVSuite V4 to remux before recompressing. Now I no longer need remux.
P.S.: My G3 hack should work for GF2 and should be better IQ, more stable and reliable 4GB spanning.