Tools have become available to reverse engineer the Panasonic GH1’s firmware and to create custom camera features, much like the Magic Lantern hack for the 5D Mark II.
Website Pentax Hack has an engineer working to decode the GH1’s LSI chip, which forms the basis of the Venus Engine HD that powers the camera’s video mode.
In addition to a daily blog on the hacker’s progress, documents that have been obtained from Panasonic detail the architecture used in the GH1, the Panasonic AM32-4 MN103 processor. The GH2 is expected to use the faster AM32-5 which you can see on a roadmap inside this document on page 1.
Obviously the process is highly technical, but hopefully the availability of these tools and documents will further motivate the hacking community to create custom firmware for the GH1 and other Panasonic cameras, and since the GH2 will use a similar chip and operating system, even newer custom firmware for future cameras should be quicker to develop.
I will be watching the project carefully and bringing you any news on major developments.
Below is a screen shot featuring a small snippet of the firmware’s assembly code, featuring the frame rates – notice availability of both 50p and 60p no matter if the model is PAL / NTSC. 720p 24p is also a possibility. Another part of the code details bit rates, all of which you can edit. 720p 24p at 28Mbps would look amazing. (Thanks ‘tester13’)
Interesting footnote: according to the Panasonic brochure, you can run Windows Vista on your Panasonic GH1’s processor. The in-camera firmware is based on a custom Panasonic implementation of Red Hat Linux. Personally I’d rather have Mac OS X on the GH2. What do you think? :rolleyes: