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Old May 12th, 2011, 07:18 PM   #16
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Re: D5100 or 550D

In the spirit of a fiar and balanced discussion and full disclosure, I'll say that bit-rate is not the sole determining factor of video quality. The way the codec is implemented (eg: the number of I, P & B frames) and the quality of the encoding hardware will have just as much impact on the final quality as the bitrate will.

Considering their lower bit-rates, the Nikon camers obviously have a better implementation of the H.264 codec, as thier compression is certainly comparable to the Canon's despite the bitrate differences. Thier bit-rate is in fact very close to the 24mb/s AVCHD which is recorded by several professional camcorders such as the HMC150 and the NX5 - and nobody would argue that the image from those cameras is damaged by a low bit-rate.

One plus, the lower bit-rate of the Nikon's means you can record continuously for about 20 minutes before you hit the 4GB recording limit, as opposed to about 12 minutes with the Canon's.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 10:11 PM   #17
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Thank John...that makes it more confusing then. Can't find any reliable tests on the video, and the 5100 is slightly cheaper here than the 550D.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 01:24 AM   #18
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Re: D5100 or 550D

As John says, Bit rates shouldn't be the deciding factor, unless you intend to shoot for a TV broadcast by the BBC (50mbs minimum required). An efficient codec and good quality optics are probably more important.

As for the 12 or 20 minute limitation, that shouldn't pose any problem, unless of course you need to shoot an entire wedding ceremony, concert or play production. Generally most shots that are used on screen only last for a matter of seconds, usually between 2 and 10 seconds, any longer and the viewers attention drifts. It's surprising how fast we lose visual interest in what we are looking at. Of course there are always exceptions.

Maybe you should also consider the price of extra add on's like lenses, power drives etc.I have no doubt that you will be pleased with which ever camera you choose.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #19
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Re: D5100 or 550D

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Thank John...that makes it more confusing then.
Sorry, I didn't mean to make it any harder for you!

I'll make it simple for you then: Get the 550D.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 07:46 AM   #20
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Buying the 550D tomorrow.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 06:37 AM   #21
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Bought it!
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Old June 26th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #22
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Re: D5100 or 550D

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How so? It uses the same sensor and compression as the D7000 so should provide a very similar picture. However, you don't have the manual control of the D7000 (which itself still requires a work-around), let alone 50p/60p and Magic Lantern.

It's like two steps forward, one step backwards for Nikon. The D7000 was their first real HD-DSLR competitor and now they've gone and removed what little ground they gained. Even if the picture is somehow miraculously much improved over the D7000, the lack of manual control alone is enough to put it out of contention.
I'm very interested in the 5100 and very new to dslr filming but what lack of controles would that be.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #23
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Re: D5100 or 550D

The D5100 only offers aperture priority, and you have to set the aperture before you enter Live View/video mode. Once you are recording, you have no control over the image exposure. The only thing you can do is use AE lock to stop it from auto-adjusting.

Don't get a D5100 if you plan on using it for video. Either get a Canon (I've seen the t2i brand new for under $600) or if you absolutely must have a Nikon, then get a D7000.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 02:25 AM   #24
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Re: D5100 or 550D

It seems to me that a screw on variable ND filter (which is a good idea anyway) would give you plenty of control over exposure.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 06:40 AM   #25
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Yes, but that still gives you zero control over the shutterspeed and ISO. Want to decrease noise? Or shoot with a 180 degree shutter? Well you can't.

The 550D is $200 cheaper at (with the current rebate) than the D5100. If you are primarily buying for video, then there is absolutely nothing that the Nikon offers that is better than the Canon. The Canon hands down beats it for video, and is 20% cheaper. Plus, it can even use all your Nikon lenses via an apadtor.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 07:55 AM   #26
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Can't you just fix your shutterspeed at 1/60th of a second for 30p or something close to that?
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Old June 28th, 2011, 11:42 AM   #27
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Re: D5100 or 550D

DSLR filmmaking is tough, and without the right accessories DSLRs are a real pain and drag to shoot with. The D5100 is theoretically similar to the 550D, but is practically much harder to control and use in the real world, as far as video is concerned.

There is no doubt that as far as video goes, Nikon isn't even in the game yet.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 02:33 PM   #28
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Re: D5100 or 550D

Well i have several good Nikon lenses and i do want to get into some video shooting.
I dont want to sell the lenses and i do not think its a good idea to mount them on a Canon, is it?
So all in all the 7000 is better then the 5100 for video.

Edit: the 7000 is not an option it does not do 1920x1080 in 25p.

Last edited by Ann Bens; June 28th, 2011 at 04:16 PM.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #29
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Re: D5100 or 550D

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Can't you just fix your shutterspeed at 1/60th of a second for 30p or something close to that?
No. You have absolutely no control over shutterspeed. Any adjustments you apply to shutterspeed in Live View mode or before entering Live View mode will be ignored once you start recording video. Same with ISO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Bens View Post
Well i have several good Nikon lenses and i do want to get into some video shooting.
I dont want to sell the lenses and i do not think its a good idea to mount them on a Canon, is it?
So all in all the 7000 is better then the 5100 for video.

Edit: the 7000 is not an option it does not do 1920x1080 in 25p.
What Nikon Lenses do you have? Any Nikon lens can be used on an EOS body with the use of an adaptor ($20 each). These adaptors will give you no AF or auto-aperture, but you can't use these (effectively) in video mode anyway.

If you have Nikon G lenses with no aperture ring, you can get a special adaptor ring which has a lever which operates the aperture tab on the lens. So you can actually have more control over the video image if you use Nikon lenses on a Canon body than on a Nikon body.

Do you plan on syncronising the video from your DSLR with video from any other sources? Eg from another camcorder? If not, it does not matter that you shoot 24p instead of 25p with the D7000. You can just confrom the frame rate to 25p either before or after editing. It is imperceptible - this is the same method used to play films (24p) on PAL televisions. The only problem with this is if you have to mix with footage shot with a multicam setup at 25p - because then they would get out of sync with each other.

In my opinion the D5100 is a non-contender video-wise. The D7000 has some limitations that mean it is not on the same level as the Canons for video, but at least it actually has manual exposure.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 12:54 AM   #30
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Re: D5100 or 550D

"No. You have absolutely no control over shutterspeed. Any adjustments you apply to shutterspeed in Live View mode or before entering Live View mode will be ignored once you start recording video. Same with ISO."

Not sure which Nikon you're using but on the D7000 you can control both shutter speed ans ISO from Live View.

The advantage of the D7000 is that you can use most of the older Nikon style lenses as there is a small lug on the lens mount which links to the aperture ring on Ai lenses. The D5100 uses the G mount aperture control.

Canon does have an advantage by being able to shoot at 35mbs, whereas the Nikon uses 25mbs - I can't see a great deal of difference in the actual footage, but some will argue that there is a visible difference.

Both the Canon and Nikon will produce good video footage, you will not be disappointed with either. Having said that, they both have shortcomings when compared to a dedicated video camcorder.
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