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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Nikon DSLR Video
Robert Boag, Student/Intern, Photo Editor
Harrisonburg | VA | US | Posted: 1:24 AM on 11.30.11
->> I was looking for some advice about nikon's line of DSLR's that shoot video. I am not on a D3S budget and I am wondering what camera's people would recommend for someone trying to get their feet wet in the video world. I had heard rumors nikon might be releasing a D700 type camera soon with video but haven't heard any solid evidence. Would love some feedback/ideas.

Thanks
Robert
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Saquan Stimpson, Photographer, Assistant
Newark | DE | USA | Posted: 1:36 AM on 11.30.11
->> I have a friend who raves about the Nikon D300S.

http://shop.nikonusa.com/store/nikonusa/en_US/pd/ThemeID.18145600/productID...
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 1:39 AM on 11.30.11
->> I wrote a piece for the newsletter here earlier this year and have shot with both the D300s and now the D7000 and have shot most all my videos with the latter.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/2521

http://www.youtube.com/user/photographNic?feature=mhee
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 6:22 AM on 11.30.11
->> D7000 better at video than D300s. And just about everything else for that matter other than shooting speed (and that's close).
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Jon Wright, Photographer
Wayzata | MN | USA | Posted: 7:16 AM on 11.30.11
->> I am shooting video with my D7000 and I am happy with it. My only real issues are with the audio pin not fitting well because of body design and the fact that I can't monitor the sound with headphones.
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Ben Hasty, Photographer
Reading | PA | | Posted: 9:58 AM on 11.30.11
->> I've also shot video with the D300s and the D7000. As Chuck said the D7000 is much better for video.

Something I've found useful is that I can pull a frame grab from the high res video of the D7000 that is usable in the print edition of the paper. It's not as good as a still from the camera, but if I need to decide between shooting stills or shooting video it's nice to know that in a pinch I can pull a frame grab.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 11:05 AM on 11.30.11
->> Just bought myself a D7000 to use exclusively for shooting video. So far I love that camera!

-The image quality (both video and still) is fabulous. At high ISO/low light the quality is still very, very good.
-It has a much longer clip limit than the D3s (and D300s); 5 minutes vs. 20 minutes.
-The ability to go between 1080 and 720 formats was important to me because there are times when I would use two-camera set ups (the D3s is 720).
-And the camera actually auto-focuses in LiveView (video capture) mode.
(It's not fast, but does actually work. I've used the AF in some run & gun shooting situations and it worked reasonably well. Would I shoot action sports in LiveView? No but at least the D7000 has an AF function unlike most DSLRs).

And note: No DSLR has the ability to monitor the actual audio the camera is capturing --- no headphone jack. (But check back in a month or two.)

For the price and features, the D7000 is a real gem.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 11:10 AM on 11.30.11
->> And yes, I would be pretty confident that any (new) DSLR from Nikon (or Canon) will have video capture capabilities.
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Robert Boag, Student/Intern, Photo Editor
Harrisonburg | VA | US | Posted: 11:21 AM on 11.30.11
->> Thanks for all the feedback. So I have read a few threads/posts on the subject but what video accessories for the D7000 have people found the most useful? I think I might be looking to grab that camera here in the near future.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 11:54 AM on 11.30.11
->> The list of accessories for DSLR video-shooting is endless.

Check the Sports Shooter Newsletter for the "Pimp My Rig" series for a good start.

But the basics (in my opinion):
- LCD viewfinder (Zacuto is what I have)
- Microphones
*shotgun (Rode VideoMic is the popular choice)
*wireless lav mic kit (Sony, Sennheiser on the high-end; Azden on the low-end)
- Digital audio recorder (use it to run your mics through to monitor your audio and also give you a backup audio file (Zoom and Tascam are the popular choices).
- A nice headphone (something that folds up so is a bit more portable is nice; or a really good set of earbuds that isolate the sound is another possibility. (There are tons of choices and obviously a wide range of pricing. Sony is the usual choice in headphone and I like the Sure earbuds)
- Good tripod with fluid head

I would say those are the "basics". You certainly can spend a heck of a lot more money ... like on a rail/focus/shoulder rig system.

If you can get to a good pro video and audio store, I'd take a look at the gear before deciding to buy. Like I said, there are so many things you COULD buy it would be good to see first hand.
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 12:38 PM on 11.30.11
->> I had a chance to play with a D7000 (rented it) to see how it worked for video. Lots of potential but also lots of minuses.

Unlike Bert, I thought the auto focus wasn't very good (if I'm not mistaken, it's contrast based, so it hunts in and out to try to find focus). You can also spend a lot more for accessories to make it work for video than the cost of the actual camera.

I'm waiting to see what Nikon comes out with next before making the leap to a new DSLR for video purposes. In the meantime, I'm hoping a dedicated camcorder will fill the void.
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Joshua Brown, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 1:21 PM on 11.30.11
->> These guys shoot Canon, but outside of the camera body, here are some of the other things (audio, support, lighting) you might want to budget to pick up eventually.

http://stillmotionblog.com/2011/11/28/what-do-with-a-20k-startup-investment.../
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Peter Huoppi, Photographer
New London | CT | USA | Posted: 1:45 PM on 11.30.11
->> I'm loving my D7000, but the two biggest challenges I've found are the lack of audio monitoring and the inability to adjust aperture when in live view. I'm thinking about getting some used prime lenses with old-style aperture ring so it can be adjusted without switching out of live view.

Here's a short film I shot with the D7000 for a film competition:
http://vimeo.com/29991931
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 2:12 PM on 11.30.11
->> Similar to Peter, I like the ability to use the older Nikkor lenses, which are still really nice glass.

I think, despite Canon having better quality video in their cameras, Nikon has a super nice ability to use their entire range of older lenses on the new bodies, which is really cool, especially with the much longer focus pulls, because they were meant to be manually focused.
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Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 2:17 PM on 11.30.11
->> I have the D7000 and the video is nice, but the audio and aperture problems mentioned above are problematic (read: headache).

The biggest problem I've had is I was expecting it would be sealed better, like the D300, which was rather bulletproof. I've already had it in the shop for water damage after shooting a football game in the rain. I kept it as dry as possible, but it still fried.

Also, the D7000's buffer fills quickly. You only get 6 or 7 raw frames before it fills. That's incredibly annoying, especially with sports. Sure, you can shoot jpegs, but with wildlife, I really like to shoot raw.

The pluses? Very nice color and ISO 800 files are quite good.
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Andi Stempniak, Photographer
Eau Claire | WI | USA | Posted: 3:02 PM on 11.30.11
->> Hey Ben do you have any samples of images you have pulled from a video?
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Dirk Weaver, Photographer, Assistant
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 8:30 PM on 11.30.11
->> This is all good feedback on the D7000. Is anyone shooting sports with the D7000? If so, what are your thoughts?
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Paul W Gillespie, Photographer
Annapolis | MD | USA | Posted: 11:18 PM on 12.01.11
->> I like our new D7000's at our paper, but I am having a real tough time editing the video due to the h.264 format, our editing software and my lack of knowledge. We have been using Edius 4 but that will not edit the files well without converting them to something else. We just got Adobe Premiere 5.5, but can't use it until we install a Windows 7 64 bit OS. So we are using the Premiere CS4 that was included with CS 5.5. We are PC based so FCP is not an option. What are you guys converting the .MOV/h.264 files to AVI, WMV, Quicktime for editing? I think our new CS5.5 will edit the new files, but until then I am looking for adivce. What is your D7000 workflow?
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Rodrigo Pena, Photographer
Beaumont | CA | USA | Posted: 3:36 AM on 12.02.11
->> I like the video D7000 produces. Great high ISO performance in low light. I use Final Cut Express HD 3.5 on my laptop and the render times are a bit slow, but not terrible.

Has anyone else done this: press the record button and think you're recording but it doesn't record. I know, the window has a recording icon and I should look at that icon each and every time, but sometimes there is no time to look at the icon especially when I'm shooting over my head. I've had problems thinking I've shot 5 minutes of video when in reality, I haven't shot a thing. If there were a headphones connection, that might solve that problem by hearing a ping every time the record button is hit like on some Sony video cameras.

I have shot stills but not video in regard to sports with the D7000 and it does OK. Keep in mind that I shoot with Nikon D3 cameras and I'm spoiled in that regard. When using the same lens like a 70-200mm with both my D3 and the D7000, I get more usable frames with the D3. That's a no-brainer, but I was bummed that the D7000's AF is not so good. Too many frames where the subject was just out of focus. The 6 fps is actually decent, but in my humble opinion the AF can't keep up with it. I compare the AF to the Canon 30D that I used to own, very similar.
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Andrew Malana, Photographer
San Diego/Tokyo | CA | USA | Posted: 6:55 AM on 12.02.11
->> Paul...

At times I shoot video with a Nikon D7000 and like everyone here, the files look great. To answer your workflow question, though I use FCP 6, yes...6.0.6...Maybe you can try what I typically do in a nutshell:

I import all my movie files, typically about 10, if I shoot a lot of clips...into MPEG Streamclip. I then encode all into one file, Apple Pro Res, quicktime. If at the end of a shoot, I shoot like 100 clips...I will have 10 transcoded clips, all quicktime with the Apple Pro Res codec. I import all into FCP and away I go editing.

I have found that by transcoding all my D7000 movie files into Apple Pro Res, editing and the final encode makes it much faster than editing in H.264.

With your NLE App, perhaps you can experiment by transcoding into another codec. H.264 is a viewing codec...not really an editing codec.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 11:51 AM on 12.02.11
->> Paul,

I'm using Premiere Elements 7, and it converts the videos very quickly once you add them to a project. It relies on QuickTime for Windows to do this and is designed to make use of it.

QuickTime Pro, the standalone version, is only $30. That should allow you to convert.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/D3381Z/A

Chuck
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Ben Hasty, Photographer
Reading | PA | | Posted: 9:56 PM on 12.07.11
->> Hi Andi,

I'm sorry that it took so long, but here are two frame grabs from D7000 video.

http://tinyurl.com/7cnb76e

http://tinyurl.com/6vwdn25

As I mentioned, it's not as good as shooting a still photo with the camera. But it works in a pinch. For what it's worth, both of these ran in the paper, the first one was a section front photo.

I've also shot a lot of sports with the D7000. I've never shot with a D3 or D700, but it does handle better than the D300s.
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Paul W Gillespie, Photographer
Annapolis | MD | USA | Posted: 11:08 PM on 12.07.11
->> I've started to convert the video files to a windows WMV format that both our ediitng programs seems to read. It takes some time converting the files. It is a learning process of seeing what works.
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Thread Title: Nikon DSLR Video
Thread Started By: Robert Boag
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