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Old September 14th, 2008, 07:07 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
However, I suspect we are going to have to wait for the next generation of cameras to have sonme useful features - ext. Mic socket (mini jack would be OK)), continuous .
Nikon already has a USB jack. Some firmware changes would allow for USB microphones, though I'd prefer a stereo XLR->USB interface.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 07:12 PM   #257
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Very impressive indeed. Some details would be helpful.
- You were manual focusing the Voigtlander 58mm f1.4
Have you shot footage that you like with another lens set in autofocus?
- Does the D90 have image stabilization? Was that used?
- I wonder if a steadycam would have helped at all?
The D90 doesn't have built-in image stabilization. There is some hope of VR lenses providing this function, but from the footage I've seen, VR stabilization seems jumpy.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 09:55 PM   #258
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From the footage and framegrabs I've seen so far I think the following is obviously the downsides of the camera as a camcorder:

1. No manual exposure control
2. Focusing is manual only and it forces you to rely on the live view with no effective focusing aids to focus. Luckily the video output is a low bit rate M-JEG at 720p. If it were recorded at any high enough data rate using superior codecs such as Mpeg-2 or H.264 at 1080i/p, miss-focusing will be more obvious and will happen very frequently with just slow moving subjects.
3. Nikon's VR in the lenses is optimized for still photography and it already showed its weaknesses in the clips posted on the dpreview.com site. Whether Nikon may or can later on tweak the firmware in either the lenses or the camera to correct this, I'm not sure.

There might be something else if you look for but the camera is a good hybrid considering the cost and it's limited potential applications.

Wacharapong
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Old September 15th, 2008, 02:44 AM   #259
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2. Focusing is manual only and it forces you to rely on the live view with no effective focusing aids to focus. Luckily the video output is a low bit rate M-JEG at 720p. If it were recorded at any high enough data rate using superior codecs such as Mpeg-2 or H.264 at 1080i/p, miss-focusing will be more obvious and will happen very frequently with just slow moving subjects.
This is similar to the camcorder world, so we can't expect much. I've had a very difficult time confirming focus on Sony Z1/EX1 HDV camcorders even with the zoom-in and peaking focusing aids. All of these cameras will need significantly larger screens, so the HDMI will have to drive an 11+" external HD display. Cumbersome, but necessary.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 07:47 AM   #260
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We all want shallow depth of field yet at the same time we want perfect auto focus.
I think its great because i get to strap on an old style lens and manually focus the way I learned all those years ago.
Its revolved back to being a skill again, for the moment.
Im off to the opticians.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 07:55 AM   #261
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what sequence settings are people using in FCP to edit the footage?
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Old September 15th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by Ger Griffin View Post
We all want shallow depth of field yet at the same time we want perfect auto focus.
I think its great because i get to strap on an old style lens and manually focus the way I learned all those years ago.
Its revolved back to being a skill again, for the moment.
Im off to the opticians.

You have a good point, but then we could take it one step further and go back to the darkroom. Technonolgy has moved on and we have come to expect a certain amount of automation. From my point of view I thgink I could live with the lack of autofocus, but I doubt if a sports or wildlife photographer would share the same opinion.

I am still waiting for my D90, hope to have it by the end of the week. Can anyone tell me how fast can you switch between normal focusing mode and Live View ready to shoot video, or better still can the custom Function be set up so it switches instantly?

Did your D90 turn up today Philip?
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Old September 15th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #263
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yes it arrived today. Done a little bit of shooting...god it's hard work! No replacement for a video camera but I will report back on how sharp the image is
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Old September 15th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #264
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I usually become sceptical when things sound too good to be true, rarely do they meet expectations. I am not that cynical, just seen too many claims from over enthusiastic users and manufacturers.

Would be interested to hear about your findings Philip - maybe I shouldn't put off buying the EX3 after all.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #265
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I usually become sceptical when things sound too good to be true, rarely do they meet expectations. I am not that cynical, just seen too many claims from over enthusiastic users and manufacturers.

Would be interested to hear about your findings Philip - maybe I shouldn't put off buying the EX3 after all.
It's no video camera replacement at all. The rolling shutter is atrocious and the limitations are many, but treat it right and you can get nice pics out it. Very compressed though.

Take a look here for a short overvew and a video of some shots I did.

Philip Bloom Blog Archive Nikon D90
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Old September 15th, 2008, 05:09 PM   #266
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Wow Phil. I see what you mean about the footage and compression. It was most noticeable on your bridge shot (the bottom of the archway is stair stepping). Any chance you've verified that the HDMI output is live output without overlay? Could the rolling shutter be bypassed by recording into an Intensity Pro / Flash recorder? Aside from the lack of manual control, are all these problems based on the D90's D-Video codec?

Thanks,
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Old September 15th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
I usually become sceptical when things sound too good to be true, rarely do they meet expectations. I am not that cynical, just seen too many claims from over enthusiastic users and manufacturers.

Would be interested to hear about your findings Philip - maybe I shouldn't put off buying the EX3 after all.
I'll be honest, I was literally about to order two D90s until I heard about the ISO, shutter speed issues. I didn't expect the mjpeg to be equivalent to my current HD100 output but after all the work we've done with big cameras with the Mini35 and Letus attached, the D90's promise was/is really attractive for any number of reasons.

But (and it is, of course, qualified but at this stage) the new Panasonic mini 4/3 DSLR format looks like it COULD be what I really hoped the D90 was when I first learned of it. The new G1 has, in theory, already solved the biggest short coming for me and the soon to be released version with HD movie and a dedicated 4/3 lens able to grab focus on the fly seems that it could resolve the others

Here are the three big disappointments with the D90 for me in order of importance:

No shooting through a VF.
No ability to compose and expose your exact shot and then start filming.
No ability to use SLR quality AF to regularly refocus HD shooting.

If it had everything else going for it, I'd live with composing and shooting with the 3" screen hand held. It's a wash with any tripod or jib shots...they're going to feed out to a monitor anyway.

But the idea, as both a photographer and film maker, to merge the best of both worlds meant looking through my viewfinder, getting my composition, exposure using Nikon's AF to lock my shot and then hitting record.

With an image stabilized lens, I could see shooting this camera photographer style easily. What a light, comfortable, unobtrusive way to film that would be. But it's a no-go with any future DSLR offerings because of the optical shutter. SAme thing with any AF use...the optical system makes it a no-go ever.

The shutter, ISO...even the mjpeg issues I would expect Nikon to address in firmware updates. Or to specifically retain for an updated D3 or dedicated bigger $ offering. But they will still never allow for VF shooting, AF refocus or any of the really tantalizing possibilities (like sophisticated subject tracking) that the new mini 4/3 all digital standard is introducing to photography and HD.

Panasonic just introduced the "mini" 4/3 system themselves that removes the prism and optical path of sll DSLRs. In addition to allowing for much slimmer bodies and smaller lenses, they developed a new EFV with and effective 1.4 million dot resolution that is supposed to rival the best optical VFs with the ability to do unheard of things in the eye piece in terms of control.

The new contrast detection system that they also had to develop for the all digital platform, allows for some amazing features. For one thing, because it's completely digital, the auto focus will work in movie mode (I've never used auto focus for any motion shooting but given the critical focus needed for HD, the ability to use DSLR quality AF to re-focus as needed would be killer.) It also has tantalizing possibilities with an assignable subject tracking, face recognition and a bunch of other things specific to the new contrast AF system.


And how about the ability to see DOF and shutter speed effects in your hi res VF before shooting - these features are also already in the new G1.

If panasonic is able to move all of these things to the new HD version of the G1 it could be the dream 1st generation cross over camera. But the direct EVF movie shooting and focus on the fly already promised for the HD version makes it a totally next level tool vs the D90.

So I'll probably get a D90 and get the Panasonic when it comes out supposedly 1st quarter.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 05:51 PM   #268
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Hey Phillip

I'm just watching your D90 piece. Not surprisingly it's the best focused, composed and exposed footage I've seen. Given the restrictions and newness, it still looks reasonably similar to some of the great work I've seen of yours.

How did you adapt to the Live View shooting and the new 3" screen...did you try anything hand held?

Did you get the body only or with the 18-105mm?

I'm getting one this week as a new DSLR anyway, but you've encouraged me as far as it's possibilities given it's limitations...does that make sense?.

Jim
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Old September 16th, 2008, 12:12 AM   #269
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I'm just watching your D90 piece. Not surprisingly it's the best focused, composed and exposed footage I've seen. Given the restrictions and newness, it still looks reasonably similar to some of the great work I've seen of yours.

How did you adapt to the Live View shooting and the new 3" screen...did you try anything hand held?

Did you get the body only or with the 18-105mm?

I'm getting one this week as a new DSLR anyway, but you've encouraged me as far as it's possibilities given it's limitations...does that make sense?.

Jim
As a new DSLR it's great as a replacement for a video camera it s not! Am sure I can get better now I know how to lock exposure and will take a better tripod with me next time!

I got the kit as the body only was out of stock.

handheld i didnt try, the screen was ok, i zoomed in a lot to check focus. Overall its just about usable for focus
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Old September 16th, 2008, 12:14 AM   #270
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Wow Phil. I see what you mean about the footage and compression. It was most noticeable on your bridge shot (the bottom of the archway is stair stepping). Any chance you've verified that the HDMI output is live output without overlay? Could the rolling shutter be bypassed by recording into an Intensity Pro / Flash recorder? Aside from the lack of manual control, are all these problems based on the D90's D-Video codec?

Thanks,
-C
Yep, its a very low bit rate. So this is probably the main culprit, there are a lot of video artifacts
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