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Old January 11th, 2012, 06:42 AM   #31
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
What we want to know is:
1) Does the video output fill the 1920 x 1080 frame?
2) Is the 1920 x 1080 video clean with no line skipping?
3) Is the output available without overlays?
4) What is the bit depth?
5) What is the color space? Rec 709? x.y.Color?

Unfortunately, the word "uncompresssed" tells us nothing.
To the last sentence - exactly so. I very strongly suspect that reactions to this camera will go along with whether people see a pot as half full or half empty (ie "good" or "bad") rather than, well, 50% filled.

It already seems that the rumour mill is running away with what people want to believe - not what is actually certain. (Or likely to be technically possible.)

To take Jons point 2) above, then lets look at the history of video on DSLRs. It's my understanding that it started as a means of allowing the chip to simply generate a continuous moving image for viewfinding purposes on the LCD screen ("liveview"). As such, simplicity was first and foremost. For all sorts of reasons it was technically impossible (at the price/power consumption levels) to do a full read/deBayer of a 12/16 megapixel chip 60 times per second - and still is. It was also entirely unnecessary for the purposes of "liveview".

It was only a short step to then think "we could offer recording of the liveview in camera". A cheap added extra. At this point, the emphasis was still on simplicity, and the easiest way to do it was line-skipping - only reading one line, ignoring several etc.

I suspect the manufacturers were then surprised by just how popular the feature became, and the obvious question then was how to make it better - without too much expense. The best way I am aware of is fundamentally what Canon do with the C300 - read out direct R,G,B values from blocks of 2x2. But to do that really well means a chip of 3840x2160 - too small for serious stills use. Consequently, for 16 megapixel sensors, (12 when masked to 16:9) it's normal to only read every other block vertically AND horizontally, so only one block in four.

That then gives something in the order of 1200x675 blocks - roughly 720p resolution - which can be upconverted to 1080. The results will be good - but nowhere near as good as from the C300 or F3.

And there is also aliasing to consider. I'm pretty sure the AF101 does pretty much as described above - but with an optical low pass filter tuned to remove most of the fine detail that would cause aliasing. That's impossible with a DSLR - it would make it hopeless as a high res stills camera.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #32
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

Some more info regarding the video out, at least according to an internet Q&A:

To activate 1080p HDMI at 8bit 4-2-2 you have to remove both cards from the camera. No simultaneous recording.
Nikon say that with cards inserted “HDMI is only suitable for monitoring purposes” – so no full HD 4-2-2 for monitoring?
No focus assist when connected to an HDMI monitor
Live view has proper exposure simulation in full manual mode but switches off after 60 minutes to cool the camera.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 04:28 PM   #33
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Re: Nikon D4 - for a non DSLR shooter

It's been a while since I last dropped by here, but I have a burning question. Now that Nikon is about to, or has, introduced the D4, I am seriously thinking of getting one. The main reason I've held out this long (i.e. not buying a Canon, etc.) is because of the large collection of Nikkor lenses I have - most new and some dating back to my F2.

My burning question- since I've never shot broadcast quality HD video with an SLR, I need input from those that have gone from "standard" camcorders to DSLRs. I'm used to looking into the view finder or just looking at a monitor when shooting; I'm used to holding the camcorder in a certain way; I've come to expect a certain balance when hand-holding; I'm used to using my shoulder when shooting; I've come to expect XLR connectors for mics, and great sound mono and stereo,and the list of what I am used to goes on and on.

I like the specs of the D4, but I have a choice between this DSLR for video, or a regular digital camcorder (too many to list). Any comments, suggestions, thoughts, will be most appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 10:31 PM   #34
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

At the Nikon CES booth, I was told that the HDMI output is 720p when there is a card in either slot. Remove the cards and it delivers 1080. The spokesperson didn't say "i" or "p", and I believe that this was deliberate. I would guess that it's "p" over "i", but that can start a long discussion that has nothing to do with promoting the camera.

The menu has *many* resolution and frame rate modes, but not undercranking (22p, 20p...)

The camera can shoot timelapses and combine the frames into a video in-camera. Unfortunately, the timelapse mode does not prevent G lenses from opening and stopping down for each shot. That can cause flicker. No problem with Ai lenses.

When shooting video, you can press the shutter and it will extract one 2MP photo. I don't know about the format (JPEG?), but it would be extracted before the h.264 encoder.

When shooting with HDMI and using a G lens, you can control the aperture smoothly, without clicks. When using cards, the control will change aperture, but in fixed increments.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 10:49 PM   #35
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

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Originally Posted by Jonathan Shaw View Post
I just saw on another forum that the HDMI out is '8 bit 422 1080p24 or 29.97 but HDMI is 1080i so it's really PsF'
I'm pretty positive that HDMI is not 1080i per se and that the HDMI version matters.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 10:52 PM   #36
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
... The spokesperson didn't say "i" or "p", and I believe that this was deliberate. I would guess that it's "p" over "i", but that can start a long discussion that has nothing to do with promoting the camera. ...
Expect that you need to have a way of dealing with the pulldown in post, which can be easy or a RPITA depending on the equipment you have and what you're trying to do.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 08:43 AM   #37
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

Ozzie, I need both the stills and video in my professional work, so a DSLR is very important, such as the D4 or 5D etc., but if you only need video, then I would suggest that you look seriously at video cameras such as the Canon C300.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 09:45 AM   #38
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Re: Nikon D4 - for a non DSLR shooter

"My burning question- since I've never shot broadcast quality HD video with an SLR, I need input from those that have gone from "standard" camcorders to DSLRs."

Few thoughts -

- It likely won't be considered "broadcast quality," at least not by more stringent networks like the BBC or NatGeo as they require 50mbps or higher - something I doubt the D4 has (right now B&H's website is thin on stats). Of course, BBC has made exceptions in the past for at least 2 shows using the Canon Mark II...

- I come from a film/"real video camera" background. On the one hand, the small size and ease of use of DSLRs is incredibly freeing. Grab a small (when compared to a traditional cam anyway) camera with a nice zoom and you're out the door. Never miss a shot of a rainbow again.

Smaller cameras means smaller equipment and smaller crews, and their large sensors mean better low light sensitivity so fewer lights. Basically, your footprint shrinks by half at least.

- On the other hand, you need a tripod or "Franken-rig" to use these cameras properly. Can't really achieve usable results handheld. These are still cameras first (particularly the Canon lineup); video is either an afterthought, or a secondary function. That's changing of course, but I'd expect the D4 to remain a still camera first; video cam 2nd.

And you'll very quickly come to miss XLR ports. At least the new Nikon has a headphone jack - something somehow missing from the newly announced Canon 1Dx. Simply put, no matter good the video looks, these cameras will never be "true" video cameras.

So for me, the bottom line is that I have both styles. Sometime the small size/ease of use is king (say for recording your fav local band). But if you have Robert DeNiro on set, you'll prolly want something with a little more bells and whistles.

Last edited by John Vincent; January 12th, 2012 at 10:51 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 07:09 PM   #39
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

Being a stills based photographer, I must say, I like where technology is going today.About to phase through the last quarter of my career I have been shooting video this past year and expect to be shooting more of it as time goes on. If it wasn't for this digital explosion from film the past few years, I would probably not have gotten into motion. I got one assignment, and from there another, and so on, and now my video work is caching up with my stills . Half the fun is learning as you work. Being familiar with the ergonomics of a 35mm body it is easy to pick one up and shoot video. Yes, it does not have best technical specs of a dedicated video camera, but my work will never appear on the big screen. I've seen some incredible videos on various websites shot on canon, nikon, panasonic, right now these camera's make you shoot a certain way, but things are changing.I think it's the video based shooters that are putting the pressure on these company's to improve the video specs on their camera's cause they know what they want and expect, what do I know.
About the D4, like the specs, I presently shoot with aD3s. However, in the wings there is talk of a D800 coming. I think this camera would be better suited for me. If the video is the same, the big thing for me is that it would be a smaller and lighter camera. I once used a canon 5d mark 2 for a job and liked it very much. Much easier to use on stabilizers and rigs.I don't do sports or am in situations where I need a rapid fire camera, more megapixels, well that would give me a bigger file for stills. If the D800 doesn't pan out then I would get a D4 unless canon delivered a 5d Mark 3.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 10:27 AM   #40
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

What would keep me away from the D4 is the lack of an articulating screen. Everything else I could live with.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 02:36 AM   #41
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Re: Nikon D4 - for a non DSLR shooter

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Originally Posted by John Vincent View Post
- I come from a film/"real video camera" background
these cameras will never be "true" video cameras.
If you come from a film background then you should realize that these DSLR's are much closer to film cameras than video cameras. No audio in, every shot has to be thought through and handheld requires something of a rig.

Just like when doing s35mm.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #42
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

I see that Nikon is about to announce the D800 camera. It sports a 36 megapixel still image and (we are told) 1080P at 30 fps.

Question: It will be available with and without the anti-aliasing filter.

What does that mean for video work?
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Old January 28th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #43
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

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Originally Posted by Tom Gresham View Post
Question: It will be available with and without the anti-aliasing filter.

What does that mean for video work?
More moire, worse for video without the filter, I would guess.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #44
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

Had my hands on the D4 a couple of days ago, and my NanoFlash in my pocket, byt was not allowed to take a record:(
But it looks good:)
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Old February 8th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #45
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Re: Nikon D4 with new video features

Dear friends:
I have added my day/nighttime footage plus impressions here:



Thanks!

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