D850 Video Questions

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by joseph_smith|3, May 12, 2020.

  1. I have just started to take movies of birds at my feeders with my Nikon D850. My purpose is to get some short videos to email to friends. My test videos were taken at the default setting and the file size was huge and I could not send it. What settings do you recommend to produce smaller file sizes? Are Mp4 videos smaller than MOV videos?

    This is my first attempt at taking videos on any Nikon body. I have a D800e and D 810 and D500 too.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Even low-quality video files are huge. Sending them as a e-mail attachment is not practical unless it is super short.

    I typically shoot 4K video only, and my rule of thumb is 1G per minute. You can upload to YouTube, perhaps at lower quality. FaceBook is another possibility. Set the appropriate privacy setting so that only your intended audience can watch. Otherwise, there are large-file transfer services such as DropBox, etc. etc.
    mag_miksch likes this.
  3. Joseph - what other software do you have available? Capturing at a reasonable quality from the camera and then transcoding to a specified frame rate, bit rate and resolution would let you tune things. More modern codecs also compress better (h.265 can fit the same quality in less space than h.264, for example).
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Just as an example, I have posted before (to the Nature Forum) this link to FaceBook about a whale watching video I captured in Baja California, Mexico earlier this year:

    The original 4k, 20-second MP4 video clip is about 320M, captured with a Z6. I uploaded that to FaceBook, which automatically compresses it to various quality. The playback quality will depend on the bandwidth of your device. For example, if you watch it without WiFi on a mobile phone, you will probably get a very low-quality version. At home with broadband, you will see a higher quality video.
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  5. Thanks for the responses. My ISP limits my file sizes to 25MB when a file is attached to an email. It looks like I will have to use Google Drive or something like that. The four videos I took last night were all short, all xxx.MOV, and range in file size from 39.4 Mb for an 8 sec video and 223 MB for a 43 sec video. I believe the movie setting was at 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps, the default.
  6. I've been shooting videos with my Z6 and have learned a lot about size, as my target audience (people at work) has to deal with them via email or team sites. My upload speed is quite slow, so even if they have fast service, I can't spend forever getting them uploaded. What I use is a free video editor called Openshot. It seems to digest anything given to it, videos, stills etc, and will export them using a bunch of different schemes. What I found was using H265 is way better than H264, both for size and quality, but some people will need to upgrade their player to have the right codec. I think MS brings up a window to do it for 99 cents, but there are free ones. Or, just download the free VLC media player and Bob's your uncle. In Openshot you can set low, medium or high quality, but low is too low for me. You can also set the video and audio bit rates separately under the "advanced" tab. Or, strip out the audio entirely. The last thing I did had a voiceover and was just under a minute long and of OK quality. It was a 3 meg file. If I had done a medium quality H264 version, it probably would have been 10 meg. Just fiddle the settings to get quality you can live with, and a file size that's not crazy. (Note- if you go crazy with high quality, the H265 encoding process can take near-to-forever with a fast machine. Probably the age of the universe with a slow one. Moderate quality is fairly fast.)
  7. I had a little rummage in Thom's D850 manual (since Nikon don't seem to have made this obvious). It appears that Nikon uses h.264, and uses B frames to improve compression quality (which not all implementations do). Some older Nikon bodies recorded video as motion JPEG (all the frames recorded separately), which is slightly nicer for editing but does mean that the compression is significantly lower. It does look like the MP4/MOV format thing is only a wrapper and doesn't affect the encoded size, although I've not confirmed that. Normal vs high quality and resolution significantly affect bit rate. That's the only degree of control over bit rate, though - bear in mind that if you import the file to a computer, a program such as those mentioned by Conrad or (for those of us with Adobe CC anyway for Photoshop) Premiere Pro lets you tweak things more finely to balance size against quality; as with a JPEG, video lets you choose how much image quality to throw away in order to make the file small.

    Email is a very inefficient way to distribute large files. The email standard has to work with plain text and pass through all kinds of potentially ancient computers; binary attachments typically (unless things have changed since my day) get encoded with base64 encoding, which makes them bigger by 4/3 in order to guarantee that only "safe" characters are used. You're also putting a multi-megabyte file in everyone's inbox, and people often have relatively strict email folder limits (my former employers gave us 1GB each for all our email unless we archived; online free email has historically been much more restrictive than even that, because someone somewhere had to buy a hard disk to put all the email on). Beyond that, it's common for email systems to limit the file size quite strictly - 25MB is pretty generous, and you may find that some people can't receive an email larger than 10MB, for example; by default, I believe my home email server is set up not to let me send more than 5MB per email. I've had issues where the only official way to get things in and out of work was via email (the email server was used to track the transmission of any sensitive files), and the moment I put a video in a PowerPoint slide, doing anything like this with it was incredibly tedious. On the other hand, I've seen people try to upload video-heavy slide decks at a conference which were multiple GB in size; I've usually done my best to balance compression in the belief that someone will eventually want to download them. Also bear in mind that if you're emailing multiple recipients, something somewhere is replicating that data to send it; if that's happening inside your house, you'll be uploading all that data multiple times. Not everyone has a fast connection and an unlimited usage cap... Finally, never underestimate someone else's ability to reply-all and keep the attachments, so they get sent repeatedly, especially if there might be a bounce from a typo.

    TL;DR: friends don't send friends video in email attachments. Social media or a video streaming platform like YouTube which offers adaptive bit rates, or at least Google Drive/DropBox, are much more appropriate. :)

    Having said all that, I very rarely touch video. So good luck!
  8. When I wish to send large files, I use this free service

    LINK WeTransfer

    So far, I have encountered no problems. However, it is a free, public service. Use some discretion in the content you send - nothing you would not want made public i.e. nothing you would not post on photo.net.
  9. I use WeTransfer quite a lot for non-private stuff.

    The free service has an up to 2GB limit...per upload/download.

    That should be enough for most people's usage, except sending raw 14bit vid!

    And make sure it's not on an account with pay-4-data, 2GB a pop is gonna be expensive if used a-lot.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.

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