Camera Hacker

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HD Camera firmware hacks?

Is anyone familiar with the Panasonic HDC–SDx series (HDC-SD1, HDC-SD3, HDC-SD9, etc.)? I own the SD1 and love it. (and yeah I know there is also a love affair with the canons right now) CCD's are great for low light use and I'm not sure CMOS is quite up to task yet but it's certainly cheaper. Artistically I also seem to like the “look” of CCD's; seems to have a more “professional” appearance. The SD1 is one of the last 3 CCD HD “prosumer” cams.

Anyway I'm looking to for a few things:

24 or 25p recording (rather than 29.97 framerate)

Stereo (or 5.1) PCM recording (24 bit?) rather than the standard AC3 codec. It DOES do PCM via the mic input but NOT built in mics.

It stops recording after about 4gb of data has been reached and you have to his record again; it does warn you of this but it's ANNOYING. I guess because 8 or 16gb cards were uncommon at the time.

13mbps MAX ACVHD (h.264) bitrate; I would love for this to be higher or even uncompressed or Huffyuv codec recording(!). I'm kind of interested in if it uses a hard coded codec chip or a more generic processor (not likely). It's probably something like a Fuji MB86H51 chip or one of the many single chip h.264 cpus�. I suppose it could even be a Panasonic chip.

Lower resolution recording such as 720p; 4:3 aspect rather than “just” 16:9.

Reassignable buttons?

I'm sure I could think of other things but this is the wish list roughly in order. I LOVE this camera and I'm really looking to push it to its limits for more “professional” use. It's an absolute STEAL for the price and I'm just not liking the newer cams even in the 700-1k+ price range. I know this is a stretch but hey that's why people hack this stuff right? Has anyone even torn something like this apart before? Might a newer firmware from a different model be slightly compatible or offer clues?

Many advance thank yous even if it's just speculatory.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 10:38:37 +0000

It stop after 4 GB most likely because of a limitation with the maximum file size of any particular operating system. For example, FAT32 has a 4 GB limitation.

Although there is a 4 GB limit, it is easy enough for the original programmer to stop at 4 GB, then start again with a new file.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 30 Mar 2009 17:06:44 +0000

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