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Old January 18th, 2013, 04:51 PM   #1
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Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot. There will also be 2 Canon 60D's, Canon T2i and a GoPro Hero rolling as well.

My first live, long form event with my new Nikons. Thought I would share a few of my settings and setup. I'll follow-up with an update. This will be a 90 minute live recording. Each Nikon only has 3 batteries, this should get me through the event. (fingers crossed)

Nikon D800 Setup: (roving shoot following the action)
Tamron 70-200mm SP 2.8
Transcend 32GB CF cards
External Sony CLM-55 Monitor via HDMI

Nikon D600 Setup: (wide establishing shot)
Tamron 24-70mm SP 2.8
SanDisk Extreme III 32GB Cards
External Super Directional Mic by JVC

Audio Recording:
Tascam DR-40 (4 Channel Rec Mode)
2 - Channels from the Soundboard
2 - Ambient Channels of the crowd


A few settings in the camera setup:

- Manual White Balance 2700K with +1 Magenta (This seems to add a touch of red to match the Canon's)

- Menu setting: HDMI/Advance/Output display size to 100% for the monitor. This is not the default.

- Format Selected 1080p30 (this was to match the GoPro) normally shoot 24p for DVD and Web.

- Menu - CSM #C4 Live View to No Limit. Default is 10 minutes.

- Audio levels will be auto. This is for syncing only since we have the Tascam.

Since both cameras have 20 minute record limits. I'll be stopping the cameras in a staggered mode around 17 minutes and restarting the record. The Canon cameras have 12 minutes record limits and the GoPro will be stopped and started every 20 +/- minutes in case the internal battery ends short.

This will also my first big project in FCPx using Nikon video clips, multi-cam and syncing options.

I'll follow-up with details on how everything worked out and to share my experiences.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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Follow-up: Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

So everything went great for the Nikon's and the show. The 20 minute record times for the Nikon's shined, my friend using the Canon 60D's (12 minute record times) seem to really admire that. Battery life was excellent. But I did generate one user error. When changing the battery on the Nikon D800, I forgot to turn-off the camera and released the battery. This caused the mirror to lockup and "err" after replacing the battery. This disabled "live view" temporarily. As a quick troubleshooting measure, I tried to take a photo which cleared the error, releasing the mirror and "live view" worked again. Just FYI to anyone who may need to swap batteries quickly and forgets like I did.

We were able to catch the sound check a few hours before the event. I set the cameras audio from "auto" to manual. The D600 had an external stereo mic with a level set at 5. The D800 used the onboard mic and the level was set to 3. The audio sounds great on both cameras and the Tascam DR-40 captured our master audio (auto level mode).

The D800 had a Sony CLM-55 monitor which I ended up not using. This was because I had to set the tripod to its full height to clear the crowd. The on camera LCD was level with my eye so I just used that. During the sound check I did a few test shoots and checked focus. Everything looked sharp, the 3.2 inch screen looked sharp and felt comfortable (former EX1 owner).

The D800 had the 70-200mm and was the roving, tight shot. The D600 had the establishing shot with the 24-70mm. Looking at the footage today. Aliasing is present in the wide shot from the D600. D800 wasn't as bad but I'm guessing since it was tighter and depth of field had something to do with that.

Our settings across all DSLR cameras:

White Balance 2700 +1 Magenta on the Nikons (Looked prefect for concert lighting)
White Balance 2600 for the Canon's
Profile scenes were set to Neutral.
1080p30 - Shutter 60 - Aperture f/4 - ISO 1250

Noise is slightly present but very acceptable at ISO 1250 for the Nikons. The 60D's had a little more noise but acceptable. Also anyone looking to use a GoPro Hero 2 should know in a concert event it will look terrible. I knew this was not an ideal situation for the GoPro but since I had it why not try and use it.

A 70-200mm on our crop sensor (1.6x200 = 320mm) Canon 60D gave the perfect tight shot (40 feet from stage center). The D800 full frame with a 70-200mm gave pleasing shot but not as tight as I wanted. A 300mm lens would have been better so I'll be looking out for one in the near future.

Also its good to be there for the sound check. I highly recommend it, we didn't really plan on it at first. We decided to go early to shoot exteriors of the bill board and ran into the stage manager who told us. This allowed us to test our settings and set things to manual which I prefer. Auto anything can give varying and undesirable results.

Below are two stills from the sound check and of the cameras. The next few days I'll start editing and I'll follow-up with how things look and act in FCPx.
Attached Thumbnails
Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot-sound-check.jpg   Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot-nikon-d800-d600.jpg  

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Old January 20th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #3
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Re: Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

Hey Buddy,

thank you for posting this! It has been very informative for all the nikon guys out there!
Very curious to see the final result!
Question/favour: where can i see your d600 videos? Very curious about the suggestions about the lenses

many thanks
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Old January 21st, 2013, 02:45 PM   #4
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Re: Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

Here are both a Nikon D600 and D800 video sample. Originals are available via download on the vimeo page. This was a quick clip that was recorded before the performance started. These have been uploaded straight from the SDHC card used and not trimmed or manipulated in any way.

Nikon D600 Raw Video Sample


Nikon D800 Raw Video Sample


Thanks
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Old January 21st, 2013, 03:46 PM   #5
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Re: Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

Hi Jeff

It looks good, can i ask why you have gone to the dslrs as i see you were a ex1 user
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Old January 21st, 2013, 04:25 PM   #6
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Reasons Nikon D800 and D600 upgrade

A few things that were deciding factors over Canon DSLR's and my aging Sony EX1. I loved the Sony EX1 but I was getting more requests for the "DSLR Look" than the ultra clean video look of the EX1. Since I've merged my gear from Sony and Canon, thought I should adopt one system, that being Nikon.

My highlight list for Nikon DLSR's:

Clean HDMI Out for Secondary Recorders
Headphone Jack
Microphone Input
Internal Time-lapse Modes
Audio meters on screen while recording
Screen Protectors (silly but they are standard issue with Nikon)

Aside from the 20 minute record limitation, I can match a lot of functions of my Sony EX1. Since I'm able to pickup a D600 Kit for less than 2k and having recently sold my EX1. This gave some extra capital for lenses and other gear that needed to be upgraded. One of which was Philip Bloom slider by Kessler. My 3 year old Glidetrack was still working fine but I needed something longer.

Things I miss about my EX1. XDCam EX codec, its clean and relatively small file size. The f/1.5 throughout zoom lens, along with interval rec paired with slow shutter.

Most of it is to be desired by the user. At the end of the day, I just liked the change and the system Nikon offered. At this point I'm only 4 weeks in on the switch and I'm still learning the system. I did a lot of research before flipping the switch, so I'm hoping for little or no surprises.

Having a small form factor, changeable, all in one DSLR system. I'm hoping to be able to move quickly, maintain high quality and have low impact on space. Yet, there's enough room to grow and push the limits.

Hope I've answered some of your questions.

Thanks
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 01:56 AM   #7
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Re: Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

Thanks Jeff

thats good info, i use the Sony 320 for my work and have just bought into the Sony Alpha Dslr (57) its not as good as the 320 but it gives me more porabilaty, I carried the 320 and tripod around 2 miles in the snow the other day got some great shots but it was hard work carrying that combo, So i thought that the Alpha setup might work for me
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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Re: Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

Jeff can i ask you a silly question?
How do you white belance the different cameras? Do you shoot in superflat (tassin flat) andd cc in post or do you a proper WB? If so how do yu WB the DSLR?
With the EX1 is easy, just push the botton WB with the cam in front of a white paper...

Many thanks and i liked the look you gave at the concert
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 11:34 AM   #9
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Manual WB on the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

On the Nikon D800/D600 I set the "K" Kelvin manually on each. I know Tungsten is 3200k and Daylight is 5500k. So I usually go there as a starting point and then dial it in to what looks good to my eye with the available lighting.

I've been exploring shooting flat with AlvaroYus Curve, Flaat Profile and Tassin Flat. But I would reserve these features for short films or projects that allow more time for color correction.

The larger event projects such as concerts, I shoot "neutral" profile. Gives a pretty clean and balanced color representation. In post, I can add a touch color or saturation but the working image is pretty close. Usually there more concerned with the overall cut and less on the tweaking the colors.

Also this maybe a preference of mine. But the Nikons seem a touch green to me so I add +1 on Magenta in the profile. This also seems to matchup with Canon DSLR's a little better.

This spring I plan on using a "flat profile" for a short film. I'll be experimenting soon and can post some results on my findings later on.

Thanks
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Old January 28th, 2013, 08:35 PM   #10
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Editing the Nikon D800 and D600 Concert Footage

So far, so good. The Nikon footage in FCPx came in seamless. What didn't work seamless was the audio syncing. I knew it was a little more complex than an interview, which up to this point is the only thing that I have synced in FCPx. Multiclip is more complex, especially with DSLR's. So I turned to Pluraleyes 3 which is the latest version.

Having used version 1 and 2 for FCP7. I knew the possibilities but didn't know how it would work with FCPx. Pluraleyes 3 now has its own app for organizing media and syncing. Its very much looks like an editing program in itself. Once organized by camera shots, I then laid all the shots out in there respective timelines.

On the top you just click "Synchronization". The screen started moving clips around and yellows arrows popped up relaying that it was a syncing point and began matching all the clips. It was very fun to watch and happened very fast.

At the end it gave me the choice to export to FCPx, which then launched and created a new event. The only thing remained was to make a new project (timeline) and drop the multiclip in. Open > Multiple Angles via the viewer and your off and running. I'll check back once I'm further along.


FCPX INs and OUTs - Multicam Part ONE (Good reference video for FCPx Multicam)

Attached Thumbnails
Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot-fcpx_multiclip.jpg   Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot-pluraleyes3.jpg  

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Last edited by Jeff Zimmerman; January 29th, 2013 at 02:52 PM.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 10:03 AM   #11
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Sample cut of the Nikon D800, D600 with Canons.

Here's a nice test. Below is the first song of the concert shoot intercut with Nikon and Canon footage. Can you see a difference between the two? Think it looks great overall, however the Canon shooter actually said the Nikon footage looked sharper on the edit system. So far I'll admit its looking good. Ideally I would have had a few more angles to work with but overall pleased with what I'm seeing so far.

The only thing that I just recently caught and it took me 4 weeks to find out. The lack of an Exposure Meter while shooting in live view. Granted if it took me 4 weeks to miss it, so how much did I really use it? But just the other day I was doing a studio shoot and wanted to check the exposure when I discovered it missing. I can get the Histogram on screen, so I have something to reference. Just wanted to add that to those who may count on it.

Artist: Rob Drabkin's first song from Bluebird Theater, Denver, Colorado.

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Old February 6th, 2013, 05:06 PM   #12
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Re: Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

Thanks for this post Jeff. It was helpful to me as I am filming similar venues and am considering the D600. My question is this.
Was it a pain to stop the camera every 17 minutes? How did you deal with this specifically
Did you make your stops in between song sets, or how did you deal with the gaps?
I'm filming dance concerts and am worried about switching from my EX1 to DSLR for this purpose. They have about a 5-7 second curtain closed time about every 5 minutes, is this enough to have the camera think about itself and then start filming again?
What made you choose the Tamron 70-200mm SP 2.8

Last edited by Samuel Jackson Smith; February 6th, 2013 at 05:41 PM. Reason: reread post
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Old February 7th, 2013, 10:37 AM   #13
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Shooting the gap with Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

Hello Samuel. During live events I'm using multiple cameras so I have some overlap. However to answer your questions the D600 and D800 do cycle pretty quick between clips. You shouldn't have a problem restarting in just a few short seconds. I would encourage using class 10 SD cards to make sure there quick and ready for the task.

The Tamron SP 70-200mm was chosen because of performance and price. This was also the case for the Tamron SP 24-70mm. For the price and the quality they rival most offerings from Nikon. I looked over numerous reviews and at different focal lengths and apertures the Tamron's held there ground or did better then Nikon glass. The Tamron's don't have the same build or weather proofing the Nikons have but they do create a great image.

As I'm writing this I just shot a network promo on the Nikon D800 with this glass. The producer just called me to let me know how thrilled he was about the footage. They asked how I made it so sharp and loved the depth of field. Truly a compliment. Just makes me want to push further. I'll try and get permission to post the spot. Thanks
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Old February 7th, 2013, 01:08 PM   #14
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Re: Setting Up the Nikon D800 and D600 for a Concert Shoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Zimmerman View Post

As I'm writing this I just shot a network promo on the Nikon D800 with this glass. The producer just called me to let me know how thrilled he was about the footage. They asked how I made it so sharp and loved the depth of field. Truly a compliment. Just makes me want to push further. I'll try and get permission to post the spot. Thanks
Thank you for your quick reply Jeff. I'm excited your getting great results! This is great to hear. I was looking at buying this setup
Nikon D600 Full Frame DSLR Camera 2 Lens Bundle
But a friend who shoots stills for the University of Utah said in his opinion the larger lens in the package felt cheap . I only have the budget for one lens, and I want to make the right choice. I have a bunch of old skool lenses without zoom for my letus I bought for my EX1, but need the zoom for the concerts, as they stick me in undesirable locations from time to time.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 11:22 AM   #15
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D600 Kit Setup

Nice starter kit. However If you buy just the D600 with a 24-85mm you should have some money left over. The Tamron 70-200mm SP f/2.8 can be found on my auction sites or your local craigslist. I recently just found one for around $600.

Also just an update. I sold my D600 and have gone exclusively D800. Currently I'm building up a rig which will include an EVF and Matte Box.

So far everyone I've shot footage for with the Nikon have been very pleased.

Thanks!
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