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Insights & Thoughts

To Hack or Not To Hack, That is the DSLR Video Question

By Anthony Thurston on September 25th 2013

It is no secret that DSLRs have become formidable tools for recording video as much as they are for taking still images. But normal production features and settings on today’s DSLR leave a lot to be desired (for some cameras more than others), which has lead to the development of DSLR firmware hacks to bring wanted and needed features to these powerful video recording machines.

The downside to these firmware hacks are that you run the risk of ruining your camera, and in many cases the manufacturer would not cover issues caused by firmware hacks under warranty – meaning you could be left with a huge bill to fix a bricked camera, or even just having to buy a new camera out of pocket. So what exactly are the differences between a hacked and non-hacked DSLR, and is it worth the risk to hack your DSLR? Well that depends on the camera model and the hack, but many people swear by the hacks that they use.

The Panasonic GH2 Hacked vs UnHacked

The guys over at Indy Mogul recently released a video in which they compared the differences between a hacked GH2 running the Flow Motion hack, and a stock GH2 as you would find it off the store shelves or out of the box.

Indy-News-GH2-Hacks-Linked-Comp-28-(0-00-00-00) Sequence 01.Still003

If you ask me based on the results from these frame grabs below the Hacked GH2 is better than the stock GH2, but just ever so slightly. I can tell the difference between the two, but just barely. Now lets take a look at the video comparison (starts at 1:10).

Based on the results, while the FlowMotion Hacked GH2 does offer a slightly better quality, I feel like the stock GH2’s video is just as good for most uses. Its when features that you need are not available from the camera that I feel like the hacks really become a need.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you a risk taker a hack all your dslrs for video, or are you the cautious type that sticks with stock implementations? What are your thoughts on the results above with the GH2, did you find the hacked footage to be better enough to make the hack worth it? Let us know your thoughts in a comment below.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

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