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What am I doing wrong?!?!

Joshua Csehak

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Boy, this stuff sure is confusing. I got Andrew's guide, and I've combed through all the threads here, but I'm still muddled on some things. So much so that I broke it out into groups:

The patch:

I loaded (at least, I think I did) the RoadRunner patch on my GH2 (I have a 95 MB/sec SanDisk Extreme Pro card, so I figured it'd be good). The menus are now in all languages, so I think it worked. Except the footage is really small. Like, 137 MB for a 1 minute file. And Premiere says the average data rate is 2.3 MB/sec, which is 18.4 mbps. In addition, 24H and 24L look the same to me, and are about the same file size. I don't know what I did wrong! It looks great, mind you, miles ahead of the canons, but I still feel like I messed something up. I tried to revert back to the old 1.11 firmware, but the camera wouldn't recognize it (though it still lets me load new hacked firmwares).

The camera:

- What's up with the red record button, and the silver shutter button. They both seem to do the same thing. But I read somewhere that the red one only does 24L. Does that make any sense? I can't tell myself, b/c 24H and 24L look the same to me.
- Manual movie mode / High Bit Rate / 24P Cinema -- what's the difference? Which one should I be using? Does the hack affect all of them?
- i.dynamic -- does this do anything in movie mode? I can't see that it does.
- i.resolution -- ibid

The footage:

Okay, this is the bit that's really killing me. It seems to play back smoothly in the camera, but when I watch it on the computer, it's stuttery. Not bad, but just enough to drive me crazy. I'm guessing it's a playback issue. But holy cow, workflow with AVCHD is a nightmare! With the DSLR, I used to transcode to ProRes with Mpeg Streamclip, and drop it into FCP 7 and everything worked fine. With .mts files, the only transcode apps I've had any success with are both problematic. If I use Media Converter, it appears to work fine at first, but if I play the .mov in QT Player 10, when I step through the frames with the right arrow key, every 4th press doesn't go to the next frame. And if I play it in QT player 7, I get weird blocky artifacts sometimes, and if I step through it, after going forward a few frames, it'll jump BACKWARDS a frame. So much for that. If I use Adobe Media Encoder CS5 and transcode to ProRes, everything appears magically delicious when I watch it in QT Player 10, but when I bring it into FCP 7 to edit, the audio is misaligned! Aargh! So I've been just editing the files in Premiere directly. The only problem is it's still a bit choppy during playback, though it seems to be fine when I export the final product. And the other only problem is, I'm not a huge fan of editing in Premiere. Speaking of which, when I make a new sequence in Premiere, no matter how I set it, the footage looks scrambled and corrupted. But if I duplicate a working sequence and drag new .mts files onto it, it looks fine. Obviously, I created the working sequence at some point, but I have NO idea how, and I can't for the life of me recreate it!

Does anyone have a workflow that they're really happy with that they'd like to share? Or insight into what's wrong with mine?

All in all, even with all the confusion, the GH2 is still quite an amazing upgrade from the Canon DSLRs. I regret nothing ;)

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There's a lot of variables, too many to list actually.
So i'll just briefly tell you how I shoot hacked 24p footage:

24p is only available in Cinema Mode (HBR is 25p, Manual is for 720 etc).
If i shoot indoors I use i.dynamic. It provides more detail in darker areas but eats more battery.
I push the red record button always.
Take note of the 160/320/640 ISO bugs.
I transcode to ProRes using 5DtoRGB. It will also give you an accurate reading on the bit rate of each MTS file so you can tell If the hack worked.

From then on it's up to how you compress/export your video.

Other notes:
It seems you have to first revert to original 1.0 software before switching 1.1 patches?
Watching raw footage on computer has always been choppy for me. There's something called MTS Viewer on Mac that's good.
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Joshua,can you tell us about your mac specs?

I use intra esting from Andrew with sandisk class 10 30 mbits.
First I copy the footage through media converter to see, selected and make footage 's offline. I don't preserve the original mts, but for very important work I keep a copy of mts folder.

Then I use compressor to convert to prores 422 for FCP's edition. In compressor you got the advantage to make in outs selections points of each clip. Also you can use Q master configurations to make compresor faster .

Then I edit with the prores footage.
I have a macbook middle 2010 with 8 gb and there's no problem to see the footage in fcp7 or quicktime. To see the footage after media converter I like to use VLC.
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Sorry Ed, I pointed smite by error. I didn't know what's smite or karma means on the blog...I don't know how to revert it and of course I don't have no intension to create problem on your karma... I like very much your work with lomo!

My english is terrible and hope you all wil be patience with me.
Thanks for all te help between us.
My best wishes for all the community and special to Andrew's work.

Joshua, I know you got the amazing 95 mbits card(I thing there's no other better). But take a look to intra-esting and make some proof. The intra esting is 88 mbits ( intra frame like roadrunner) and the look is really great with no much effort to gh2 and computer's cpu.
1 minute means something like 700 mb with intra esting.
At least you will know this patch that's fantastic.

When you have the ptools aplication, are you sure to click the button below to charge the patch?
On my first time it happend to me. I didn't click the button and no patch went to charge the parameters. Then I uploaded the firmware with no hackers parameters just the standards. The 132 mb per minutes you said, looks like a standard no hacker record quality.
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Ah well, retype, summarize:

5DtoRGB is awesome! Thanks Ed!

160/320/640 ISO bugs? I've been shooting on those only. Should I not?

Thanks for the compressor link Francisco! It's so slow -- i'll definitely try that.

I've got a mid-2010 (I think) mac pro with 2x2.26 ghz quad-core procs, 24 gigs ram, and ati radeon hd 4870 graphics card. So that shouldn't be the issue...

Update: So, using the exact same method, I think I was able to install the intra esting hack. 5DtoRGB says the bit rate is at 54 or so (though the hack is supposed to be 88, right?), and the file size is about 400mb/minute. I can't tell much of a difference, though I just did one quick and dirty test.
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HI, I am new to the forum, I also hacked my GH2 with the intra esting patch. Everything seem to work well, except that once I finish recording, if I want to see the clip in the camera, I heat play and it wont let me. It appears in the screen "this video file can not be played" I turn off and on the camera and I can see it. Anybody know why?
Also I am editing on Premiere CS4 pro, the hacked footage to my eyes looks far better than the original factory settings  footage but I am wondering if the hack fully worked, my files are also very small, other features of the hack work well (like ISO). Any suggestion???
Thank you for any help anyone can give me.
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