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Nikon Photo for HD Video
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Old January 30th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #1
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NIKON D3S with Merlin Steadicam

I've been itching to see how it copes with a steadicam and although not ideal because it is Sam's first time using one, it at least shows the potential of the using the NIKON D3s DSLR combined with a simple steadicam for smoother handheld footage. The latter part of the clip where he walks through the house is the most interesting of how the Nikon DSLR copes on a steadicam.

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Old January 31st, 2010, 09:22 AM   #2
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Does the lens have VR active? (It doesn't look like a VR lens) Also is there a video showing how to correct the auto/focus and zoom - I'm assuming it negates the steady cam if you touch the lens?
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Old January 31st, 2010, 12:33 PM   #3
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I think it is a prime 50mm or 35mm lens. Even if a VR zoom Nikkor were used the VR should be switched off when on a steadicam, and yes, holding the lens or camera body, or trying to zoom during operation would prevent the steadicam from working properly.

The D3s and other Nikons do allow remote AF via infared or radio devices for stills so possibly could be used during video, but the best results would be to bayonet on a prime wideangle such as a 24mm, 20mm or 15mm lens, switch the camera to Manual and then set your required aperture & shutter speed plus focus point prior to pressing the video start button.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 03:59 PM   #4
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hmmm.... I am considering buying the D3s or ... the Letus Ultimate. I am really torn between the two. I have a D3 and really like it as a photocamera. I like the fact that I could be travelling without the need for a carnet and excess luggage fees. And I love the DOF, which I always hated in video.
But:
What kept me from going for a VideoDSLR are rolling shutters, lack of manual controls among other issues.
I have been a Nikon user since my first F2 and really like the handling of the cameras, so - don't ask me how I like Canon - I simply don't know anything about them and I am too lazy to rethink my photo camera handling... I already have enough problems with the digital back for the Hasselblad as it is not a square format anymore... Anyway -

Back to the issue at hand. I was using a Sachtler steady system similar to the Merlin when I was shooting with a PD150, which seems an eternity ago. It works great and the quality is perfect. However, to use the system properly and be able to work low shots without always having to keep the camera positioned to see the built in viewfinder you need an external monitor, which works as a counterweight on the sachtler system, mounted at the bottom of the arm.

With DSLRs there seems to be a problem though.
D3s monitor out - Nikon D3s forum on Vimeo

I don't think it has anything to do with slow cards or something like but simply that it is too much processing for the poor little photo camera...

so maybe - I should wait? or maybe get the Letus or maybe...

Oh - by the way I edited the launch videos for the D90 ( YouTube - abaku's Channel ) and D300s (
).
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Old February 1st, 2010, 04:36 PM   #5
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Nice edit Oliver! Pretty impressive display of the 300s.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 04:46 PM   #6
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Thank you Ryan

and sorry to everyone - I didn't realize that DVInfo would embed the video (takes up a lot of space...) didn't mean that to happen.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 10:23 PM   #7
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Oliver. I think Nikon are working on the external monitor connection problem, so hopefully there will be a cure available soon.

By the way, I agree that you did a great job on the D300s edit - I've always liked that clip from day one.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 03:10 PM   #8
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This short movie by Gero Breloer is quite good considering that it was his first ever try at doing a video instead of just stills. More interesting is that it shows what the D3s camera is capable of producing, even in inexperienced hands.


Note that the very first few short clips in the sea were made using the D300s, and all the rest of video was using the D3s.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #9
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Is it true is coming out a new Full HD nikon?The new opposite at the 5d?
Awesome videos above
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Old February 12th, 2010, 06:57 PM   #10
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Yes, the new D900 and later D4 will both have full HD. I'm hoping the Nikon updates are not too far away from launch dates.
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