Vitaliy Kiselev updates on GH2 ‘project Stalin’

Above Vitaliy appears on Spanish RTVE TV on ‘planned obsolesce’ built into consumer electronics. (Second man in, via a video link)

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Russian programmer Vitaliy Kiselev has updated us via his own website on Project Lenin and Project Stalin. He has now achieved the required funding for Project Lenin, this involves un-hackable GH1 to be sent and decoded via a hardware dump of the firmware chips. The encryption unlocking methods will then be applied to Project Stalin in the hope the GH2’s firmware can also be opened up in a similar way.

Project Lenin will allow current un-hackable GH1s turn be turned into GH13s and according to Vitaliy 25p is a top priority for Project Stalin when or if the GH2 hack becomes doable.

Also since the sensor outputs at 60p, and the LSI only processes half the data – I would think the hack could enable 1080/60p recording, if the LSI does not overheat. The main reason the Creative Movie Mode and HDMI output on the GH2 runs at 60i instead of 60p in 1080p mode is because 1080/60p is not yet part of the AVCHD spec. Since the GH2 has a very powerful processor capable of processing 4MP stills at 40fps I think it can handle 1080/60p.

Another thing I’d like to see from the hack is an improved HDMI output – no gamma shift when you hit record, a higher bitrate and improved colour space like 4-2-2.

The GH2 will be mega at higher bit rates since it already does a very good job of the hard low level stuff like image scaling from the 18MP sensor.

Free the ideas

Vitaliy has been involved in an interview along with other names in the mirrorless world, like photography Thom Hogan. You can read it here.

Vitaliy: “From my point of view all patent and copyright system needs to rebuild from scratch. Right now it mostly prevents proper economic development.”

He’s right – I think certain Japanese and US patents should never have been granted, I think it is anticompetitive and hands the advantages to the established electronics giants. It is a political land grab by the US and Japan on ideas which should be universally shared. How will a new British or Chinese camera company even begin to compete with Canon’s million patents, not to mention Kodak’s, Apple’s and Sony’s? Here’s an example how it hurts filmmakers already – the Kowa anamorphic lenses doesn’t have a single focussing system simply because Isco patented it for themselves, despite it being a fundamentally basic feature of a lens design. Then, suddenly Isco stopped making the Iscorama despite holding the keys to the de-facto anamorphic focussing mechanism.

When asked if Canon will continue to move in small steps like the changes from the 550D to 600D…

Thom Hogan: “Yes. They’re programmed to move that way.”

Vitaliy: “I do not agree. I think that we’ll see big things from Canon.”

Future of DSLR mics

Also interesting to see that Vitaliy has spotted the future of directional mics, which he believes will be implemented in consumer hardware within 2 years. The method (presented at NAB) allows for ultra high directional recording. For the technically minded click here to read more