DSLR Video Help

Discussion in 'Video' started by richard_trister, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. I'm a photographer experimenting with video on my Nikon 750 DSLR.
    I'm learning about it, but I am still confused. Ok, I'm shooting 25p at 1/50th second f8 iso 500, lens the best 24-70 f2.8, crystal sharp for stills. Manual focus, focus locked at three metres away, on widest setting 24mm, aperture of f8 should give enough depth of field to give a sharpish overall image. Camera on manfrotto video head - Locked off.
    I have an HD TV and what I am seeing on my 21" imac playing back the .mov file is nothing special at all. It's like the best super 8, or the worst 16mm film I used to use and nothing like HD broadcasts on my TV, not even half as good.
    ok there is no sunshine to bring out the colours, it's a dull day so no contrast to give a sharp look but it still looks mediocre and nothing like broadcast HD shot on a similarly dull day.
    I cannot spend another week researching all of this on the net. It's giving me a headache. I do not think going to an atomos from the camera is going to dramatically improve the images.
    Shots of people walking towards camera, the people look jerky. Rolling shutter is one thing when you do a fast pan, but you want to see motion depicted naturally, Put it to 60p at 1/125 second and the jerkiness is reduced, but then it has a very video, non film-like look.

    Has anyone actually made a 'film' on a D750? I don't think people are, as on the net it is all marketing, 22 bit or 24 bit, full 10 codec or bit rate this or that, nonsense ! There is no website that shows any proper short dramas or documentaries shot on this camera that I can find???

    If anyone has any experience in all of this I would appreciate some help?
  2. I know nothing about the D750, so I can't give specifics, but I do have some questions...
    Are you viewing the files as captured, or have you re-compressed them?
    Can you plug your camera directly into a TV and view the footage there?
    I never trust what I see on a computer. Too many variables like boggy processor, drive lag, image re-sampling and refresh rates... To me, playback on the computer is for reference only during editing until you have a final dump that has been properly compressed for the task at hand. I know what I got when I shot it, so I don't use the computer's representation to determine image quality of raw footage. At a minimum, use a real TV as a secondary monitor so that the scan rate of the footage (mind your 'p's and 'i's) matches what the display is trying to show you.
    Can you change the shutter speed but keep the frame rate at 25p? A slower shutter will give more motion blur and should reduce the jerkiness. Obviously there's a trade-off there that may require some experimenting, but in finding the balance of natural motion between too digital and too blurry, I wouldn't change from 25p if what you are looking for is a more film-like look.
  3. What is your JPEG sharpness setting in the camera? Are you sharpening the image in the editor?
  4. Hello! First post here; just joined a moment ago. I've shot a fair amount (many hours actually) of video on a D7000, somewhat similar to your D750. This is what I would suggest: Set shutter speed to 1/30, start with the lowest F-stop you can, and start with your ISO as low as possible. In direct sunlight, this may be tough and you might consider using an ND filter. Go to "live view" and see what you're getting for brightness. Half-press the shutter button and see if the picture brightens substantially as it tries to find focus (yes you're in AF while you're doing this). This temporary level of brightness is now your target for bringing up your ISO a step at a time to get the "brightness" of the video close to where it should be. When you get to the point where the brightness is pretty much the same or just a skosh darker, when you half-press the shutter release, you're close enough for rock'n roll. Now set your focus back to manual, and use the + button while in live view to zoom in (it's actually cropping in) on your subject and make sure it's razor sharp, then use the - button to crop back out and set your frame.
    Now the BIG SECRET (well, not secret to Kirk Darling, apparently): Go into your favored Picture Control setting (I like portrait or standard) and set your sharpness AS LOW AS IT CAN GO. Trust me, the picture will still be plenty sharp. This takes away the electronic edge from the image, and is a huge improvement. Try this and I think you'll find that ANY increase in sharpness from the bottom setting is a step away from good looking footage. After that, I'd also take the contrast down one box, but again, this is all based on my experience with the D7000.
    Beyond that, take it out and test. Lots and lots of testing with increasing/decreasing the rest of the settings in Picture Control, and see how you like the results. And as Matthew McManamey mentioned above, make sure you're looking at your images on a good HD TV, as well as a computer monitor.
    Also, back off your subject, and then zoom in for composition, as much as possible to allow for a nicely soft background. You want your focal plane on your subject, and everything else should be soft. This is huge part of the "film look". And if you really want your footage to pop, you're going to have light it... That part of film making hasn't changed.
  5. I had he same frustrations trying to shoot video with my Canon 5D Mark II. I have come to the conslusion that although DSRL's under the right circumstances can shoot excellent video, it is not worth the effort to get there. I also use Canon's 24-70 F2.8L and a 85 1.2L and although when they do focus it is beautiful getting a good focus of non planned scenes is rare.
    So, I just broke down and purchased a video camera. The Sony FDR-AX100 the Sony FDR-AX33 has the BOSS system is cheaper and can broadcast over wi-fi. I have found I can create great videos with a lot less work. Now, my main camera is my video camera and I just use the DSLR if I want to zoom or have a special high quality scene that is short and does have a lot of movement due to poor focusing.
    Suggestion use Nikon for photography and special B-roll scenes get a video camera for everything else.

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