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Old January 21st, 2009, 07:28 AM   #16
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Allen, Texas U.S.A
Posts: 1,117

I sincerely appreciate your gesture of your words. We'll leave that now and move forward. In the meantime I will ask my brother permission to post his clips as it will surely inspire those who use this DSLR in the appropriate thread.

I agree with your points on the filmic look of the footage under proper conditions and I, together with a lot of people, look forward to next incarnation of the nikon dslr.

All the best,

Ted Ramasola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 21st, 2009, 11:09 AM   #17
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,645
I saw some of the Vimeo clips and it was very interesting to say the least.

First of all, the compression issues seem to be very dependent on the scene. I saw a number of clips in HD which had very minor compression issues. One shot that was aimed towards the sun had that posterized look. In fact the manual warns against shooting into the sun in movie mode. The manual is very perfunctory regarding the movie mode.

The rolling shutter/distortion is more of an issue as there are a number of clips where you can see this especially with rough hand-held shots. It's a very strange effect as the image clearly bends to the motion. interestingly, some horizontal panning shots don't show this effect and a shot out the window of a train doesn't have the effect on the moving background. One hand held clip only has the effect when the camera goes in a diagonal direction but goes away when panning slowly. Perhaps someone could explain why this happens.

Shutter speed is another issue. Many shots seem to have a shutter speed faster than 1/48th. Is the shutter speed controllable via the camera menu or is it locked in movie mode?

A lot of the images posted were excellent looking. You could shoot with this camera and use a Zoom recorder for sound and do a very decent looking production as long as there's no fast action or hand-held shots and you don't need dynamic control of the lens (zoom, focus). For that a regular HD camera is better. I am still considering the D90 for recreational shooting between high quality stills and HD video.
William Hohauser - New York City
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Old January 21st, 2009, 06:27 PM   #18
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 28
Unfortunately shutter speed is not controllable in movie mode (firmware update PLEASE!!). However some have posted that using the EV exposure control one can keep the shutter slower by using a + value (+.3 to +2). I haven't seen anyone officially do shutter speed tests to see if this works.

Your observations on skew and jello are correct in my experience. Sideways tilting of the camera is the worst (and this is exactly what steadicam systems most try to prevent). Pans on tripods work well, and horizontally moving objects aren't a problem unless they move very quickly. I have used a poor man's steadicam--a collapsed monopod--to take shots while moving around to good effect. Handheld shots will look terrible.

This is not a 'run and gun' camera--it takes planning, experience, and some sort of stabilization to produce the best images it is capable of.

Clearly separate audio recording is a must (Zoom H2 and H4 are both popular units). I am so used to doing this already with my HDV camera that I don't view this as a problem--but again it works against the casual and the run and gun shooter.

Using custom exposure curves, bringing up the darker pixels and reducing the bright pixel intensities can pack a lot more data into the frame. This requires undoing in post by crushing the blacks and raising the highlights to restore contrast. Again, this is not a soccer mom's camera for video, but a tool for the more expert user.

I recommend the following discussion group if you haven't already discovered it--
Nikon D90 - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking

Hope this helps a little.
Robert Altman is offline   Reply

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