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Old March 25th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #1
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Nikon D3: The poor man's Red One?

I was wondering whether it would be possible capture the live view of the Nikon D3 via HDMI.

The D3 is a full frame 35mm SLR camera (that is, has a CMOS sensor which is considerably larger than the one inside the Red One camera), has live view (the mirror flips up and you see "live" what the sensor is capturing), and HDMI 1920x1080 output.

The setup could look like this:
Nikon D3 ---> Blackmagic Intensity ---> Magma ExpressBox ---> MacBook Pro ---> Firewire800 2.5" External HDD (optional)

In theory you could capture full 10bit HD using the ProRes422 codec.

Another setup could use a PC with the Backmagic Intensity, or, in the future, just this: http://www.cineform.com/products/CineFormRecorder.htm

The camera does shoot up to 9fps or 11fps, not enough, but what about the live view output? Anybody knows whether the D3's live output is (or could be tweaked to be) 24 or 25 fps? Or is it just something like 15fps (oh, so near yet so far!). And can the shooting information be somehow turned off?

This, or something similar, could really be a fantastic capturing solution. Imagine: full 35mm frame (no adapter!), perfect bokeh, normal 35mm Nikon SLR lenses, full 10 Bit 4:2:2 HD with just a mild ProRes or Cineform compression (no Mpeg2!), and the sensor itself has resolution to spare, fantastic lowlight capabilities and probably also great latitude! And the price would be somewhat under that of a Sony EX1 with a decent 35mm adapter and a couple of SxS cards...

Hope something like this will be available soon!

Here are some links:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d3.htm
http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikond3/page9.asp
http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/
http://www.magma.com/products/pciexpress/index.html

Greetings,

Atilio.

Last edited by Atilio Menendez; March 25th, 2008 at 11:42 AM.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 02:50 PM   #2
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I may not have access to a D3 but I've got a D300 handy. Looking at the video out, not the HDMI sadly, no HDMI cable yet, the idea is sound. However, there are two marker bars in the middle of the screen, to help framing I guess. I looked through the manual to find a way to turn them off. Unfortunately, the pictures in the manual didn't help as they showed small squares in tripod mode instead of the two markers in handheld mode. Not much of a solution to that problem. Autofocus may have something to do with the markers, I didn't try a manual lense on it so I don't know if that would remove them or not.

Also, I read in the manual that the camera will turn itself off before overheating. Yes, "overheating". So, because of that, filming will be restricted to short bursts and not long periods of shooting. It said the camera will rapidly wear down overall as well. One other thing I noticed, if you've seen that test footage with wobbly shaky cam stuff from the RED due to the use of a CMOS sensor, the D300 has it in spades, making for strictly tripod or slow dolly work. Lastly, you also have to deal with cropping the camera information off of the bottom of the screen or putting a matte over it. The position of the camera information with HDMI output could be different though.

It's a neat idea, I admit, and the quality of video, even on SD output, is REALLY nice, but even if there is a way around the markers, unless you want to go through a $1,800 (D300) or $5,000 (D3) camera or two during the course of a film shoot, you may as well go with an HV30 or RED.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #3
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Ok, it doesn't have a 35mm full frame cmos, but for $999 you can get a Casio Exilim EX-F1 and shoot 1080p@60fps, plus lower resolutions at 300fps and 600fps (and even 1200fps in tiny resolution). It does have a HDMI out specifically made for video (so no frame bars) and as it's a photo camera, you're recording real progresive.

Cons: Don't know if you can set fps at FullHD to shoot at let's say 24 or 25fps, as I said the full 6,6mp sensor is 1/1,8" so even if you could record at full res, it wouldn't give you a nice filmic DOF and it also records video in H264 MOV, so even if it looks good, it's heavily compressed.

But hey, it's 1080p@60fps with options for 300, 600 and 1200fps for $999. Maybe you can add a DIY 35mm adaptor and shoot beautiful superslowmo clips.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #4
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Interesting replies! Thanks!

Jack, I hadn't thought about overheating. That can certainly be an issue with CMOS sensors. The D3 has a sensor area which is about 10 times larger than the area of the three 1/2" Sony EX1 sensors combined (yes they are that small!). And I have read that the EX1 can get pretty hot.

Jose, yes, the Exilim EX-F1 could be quite neat IF, as you say, one could set it to 24p or 25p. Using the HDMI one could avoid the heavy compression and the option of shooting super slow motion is great, even if it is at lower resolutions. The camera is not available yet, right?
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Old March 25th, 2008, 08:51 PM   #5
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It will be by the end of the month in Japan. I guess a few months later for the rest of the world.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 03:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose A. Garcia View Post
Ok, it doesn't have a 35mm full frame cmos, but for $999 you can get a Casio Exilim EX-F1 and shoot 1080p@60fps, plus lower resolutions at 300fps and 600fps (and even 1200fps in tiny resolution). It does have a HDMI out specifically made for video (so no frame bars) and as it's a photo camera, you're recording real progresive.
I have been working on an HDMI capture system capable of 1080p60 acquisition into the CineForm codec, principally for use in the video games business.

That being the case this camera looks intriguing. However, a closer look at the spec hints heavily that its 1920x1080 support is actually 1080i, not 1080p.

First, check this out:

http://www.exilim.com/intl/ex_f1/features3.html

Notice that its 1080/60 support is referred to in terms of fields, not frames.

Secondly check out the specs page:

http://www.exilim.com/intl/ex_f1/spec.html

Once again 1080 mode refers to fields whereas the lower modes are referred to as frames.

Finally I doubt the HDMI spec will allow you to capture anything at a frame rate higher than 60fps.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 08:26 AM   #7
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I went into my local camera shop to have a play around with a D300 plugged into an panasonic HDTV. Unfortunatley while the output is 1080i50 (here in PAL land at least) the fps looked to be about 5. Rolling shutter on the other hand didn't seem to be any worse than on a consumer CMOS video camera (in line with the HV20). I didn't have long to play around with the camera however so its possible you can make the live view smoother (on the camera's viewfinder the fps looked considerably higher).
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Old May 9th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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which mode is was iN?

hi
the Nikon D300 has 2 modes to live view
one is when mirror is not up and the other is up
which from the youtube view shows quite smooth

anyone can confirm this??
if it's at 1280x720P and 24fpx thats very good

or anyone knows anout BM intensity can capture??
soem site also talk about it
http://www.cinematography.com/forum2...howtopic=27537

http://www.cinematography.com/forum2...opic=27555&hl=

JY
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Old May 9th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #9
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Sorry, man, got an HDMI cable, a good Monster Cable 1000 model one. The D300 live view fps are really slow on 1080i. 720p and 480p modes weren't much help. The 480p mode looked pixelated and messed up. Everything would have to be in 2.35:1, or cropped further than that, as well. Image was really nice though, shame it didn't at least do 30fps if not 24fps.

Looks like we'll have to wait another generation or two.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #10
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The new Sony A700:

• HDMI Out: HDMI type C minijack; 1920 x1080i 59.94/50 Hz, 1280 x 720p 59.94/50Hz, 720 x 480p 59.94 Hz, 720 x 576p 50 Hz

It can even switch between PAL and NTSC framerates. We still have to see if it does liveview.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 10:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose A. Garcia View Post
The new Sony A700:

• HDMI Out: HDMI type C minijack; 1920 x1080i 59.94/50 Hz, 1280 x 720p 59.94/50Hz, 720 x 480p 59.94 Hz, 720 x 576p 50 Hz

It can even switch between PAL and NTSC framerates. We still have to see if it does liveview.
From:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/SonyDSLRA700/

"Interestingly the one thing the A700 doesn't have is any form of live view"
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Old May 10th, 2008, 12:44 AM   #12
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which live mode ur set?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Felis View Post
Sorry, man, got an HDMI cable, a good Monster Cable 1000 model one. The D300 live view fps are really slow on 1080i. 720p and 480p modes weren't much help. The 480p mode looked pixelated and messed up. Everything would have to be in 2.35:1, or cropped further than that, as well. Image was really nice though, shame it didn't at least do 30fps if not 24fps.

Looks like we'll have to wait another generation or two.
Hi there
live view have 2 mode, handheld and tripod
seems handheld is hopeless like 2or 4FPS
but from the youtube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6koBzNqbaC8
seems smooth like 15fps??

can u confirm that??

thanks
JY
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Old May 24th, 2008, 09:40 AM   #13
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look at this page please

http://www.rytterfalk.com/2008/03/07...-for-download/
go there
left hand recent articles and look
what the DP1 can do ..........
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