Hacked GH1 (GH17) Video Tutorial

The GH1 hacked camera created quite a buzz, but fell off when newer units were shipped with 'unhackable' firmware. Shortly after, the GH2 was released. Not long ago an announcement was made about hacking those 'unhackable' GH1 cameras. This puts the GH1 back in the spotlight as a very inexpensive quality interchangeable lens video and photography camera, cheaper than some point and shoots. There was an earlier article posted on here, and many opted to go for the GH1 route. If you haven't already, Vimeo member Michael Eggert walks you through a how-to mod your GH1 cameras in this two part video tutorial.


If you're still thinking about the discontinued GH1 cameras as a backup a few bodies still remain, your best bet is to check out the auctions. They're disappearing elsewhere.

find-price-button Search for Panasonic Lumix GH1 Micro Four Thirds

12 thoughts on “Hacked GH1 (GH17) Video Tutorial

  1. Thanks Joe,

    Just to clarify, I think the 30 minute record limit was for non NTSC cameras, such as PAL. Since they have to pay a different tax if the camera is classified as a video camera, hence the 30 minute recording limitation. For NTSC cameras, there never was such a limit.

    Michael "Pixelphile" Eggert

  2. joe

    @Pixelphile, The Gh17 hack takes out the 30 min record limit 🙂 there are different hacks some with faster mbps than others and some more stable than others...read carefully when you choose your hack settings its a give and take so some of the hacks that yield high bit rates will stop or maybe crash after a few mins. shooting highly detailed things like grass while on a tripod will cause the camera to stop recording, I had that problem shooting the other day in the park it kept turning off.

  3. joe

    @simon, The GH2 is better in low light than the GH1, the GH1 has banding issues in high iso beyond iso 640, The GH2 can go significantly beyond that but not as good as the canon 5d in low light.
    The GH2 also can monitor out via the hdmi port while shooting, the GH1 wont monitor out when you hit Record but you can preview and review, just can monitor when your shooting. The GH2 has a crop mode 1:1 that the Gh1 doesn't have. I love my GH1 and for the price i been recommending it to my budgeted friends, my next camera will be the GH2.

  4. Autofocus will only work with the native 4/3 lenses. But luckily there are some really nice wide angle lenses available. The Panasonic 20mm f1.7, and the Olympus 17mm f2.8 come to mind. Keep in mind that if you are going that wide, autofocus doesn't really matter. Once you get a basic focus, and stop down a couple of stops, most of your scene will be in focus anyways. That's why wide angle lenses rule on a glidecam. I have an old Vivitar (made by Tokina) 17mm, f3.5 which is great for tracking shots. It's a little slow, but outdoors it's a champ. And it only costs around $100 bucks.

    I have never run into a recording limit while shooting AVCHD. You can go until you fill up your card. With MJPEG HD, with the 4:2:2 hack, it limits out at 3 minutes 49 seconds. Which is still more than enough for green screen work.


    Michael "Pixelphile" Eggert

  5. simon

    thanks for the responses
    sounds to me the main and really big advantage of getting the gh1 is Price! Unless the gh2 will be the main bread and butter which might warrant for the better performance and the bigger investment

    what I didn't clarify was that to me the gh1 is not a Canon replacement but rather an enhancement to situations where the 5D might not be the best choice

    for example:
    my number one reason to get the gh1:

    1:Autofocus(especially for some glidecam situations)
    2: Lenses

    after that maybe small form built in viewfinder if I remember correctly no recording limit

  6. PixCanFly

    All DSLR ergonomic is bad for video, whether it's a Canon, Nikon or Panasonic. I sold my 5D for 2 GH2 🙂

  7. simon

    can you tell me in a nutshell or point me in a direction.
    With or without the hack what are the benefits of the gh2 versus the now dirt cheap gh1 assuming its not my main camera for video (own the 5d 7d and t3i)

  8. JAckson Miller

    The ergonomics and buttons really really sucked on this camera. At least for me. I had two and ended up selling them to go back to canon.

  9. Matt

    Man, a decade ago I knew imaging was going to eventually be cheap and awesome...but I never thought it would get here so fast.

    $400 for a camera that creates motion pictures at this level and quality? Stunning.

    Seriously. Four. Hundred. Dollars. If you live in MI you can collect enough used bottles and cans to scrounge up $400 bucks.

    The tools are now just a commodity, everyone so inclined can get their hands on equipment that can create pro results.

    It's the film making skill service that is the product, not the gear.

  10. Jeremy

    If I didn't already have a T2i, I would jump on that B&H body in a second....such a sick deal once you install the hack! Not to mention that my local camera shop has a plethora of dirt-cheap FD lenses.

Comments are closed.