Discussion in 'Nikon' started by brandon_andreadakis, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Hello,
    I just sold my D90 for a D7000 as I was extremely excited about autofocus video amongst other things. I also broke down and got the new 18-200 VRII with the camera. I love the camera itself, but when I went to test out the video, I became extremely disheartened. The manual recommends full-time autofocus (wide) while in live view for video. I tried this. Autofocus works intermittently at best, and when it does work, it hunts back and forth a few times before settling on focus. Sometimes it settles out of focus. Regardless, the focus noise (audio) in the video is absolutely terrible. Thinking it was the lens, I switched lenses to my 12-24. It seems a little better, but then again I was not forcing it to focus at such extremes with this lens. What's the deal? Is it a problem with the camera or mine specifically? I know all of you hardcore video guys are going to be like "learn to manual focus, etc..." but that is not the point. I was hoping that I could replace this as the family camcorder as well with a little rig. I'm not going to expect everyone in my family to learn how to pull focus with a follow focus rig when a little $50 camcorder does a better job at focusing than my new D7000. I am extremely disappointed. Nikon should have put out a warning or something. I guess I should have tested it in the store, but I never expected such poor quality from Nikon.
    The noise when the 18-200 VRII is autofocusing is something like a quiet machine gun burst if that gives you an idea of what I am talking about. I will post a video if it would help.
  2. On the AF-Noise : Any device wil relay all noises it , or its user makes to the audio channal when using a builtin microphone, so i'd suggest using an 'external micriphone' for a cleaner sound with your video's. ( nikon also , among others , suply a dedicated microphone for that..).
    This noise is'nt there on most (cheaper) video cams, because they are genarally "fix Focus" i.e. small sensor and small aperture, everything always in focus ( if youre not to critical about "In Focus " that is), where;as a DSLR uses a motor to set focu at a certain distance, and changes this ( i.e. the motor needs to work) when focus change is needed. So setting AF on AND seting continues focus on will resut in the motor to start and stop everytime focus needs adjusting.
    A camera like a Nikon D7000 is not a replacement for a dedicated video cam, since it will allow also only short movies to be recorded, i think, so for "family video's its much better to stick to a dedicated video cam, which is a lot lighter too ....
    I'm sure others here will be able to supply you with "best settings" to minimize noise and optimal focussing, but i guess that at lest a separate microphone should help you with the nois issue a lot...
  3. Use manual focus and manually focus before you start shooting and stop down the lens so you have wide DOF. The D7000 is a DSLR that records video, not a camcorder.
  4. The fast phase detect AF can't work because the mirror is up in video mode. Nikon's contrast based AF system is very slow. If you think your D7000 has slow contrast AF then you should check out my D90... It's a complete joke. Also the video back then was just one big jellovision mess if you had a moving subject or moved the camera.
    You've determined what I've been saying for years. If you're willing to shoot Hollywood style with the camera on a tripod, an external mic, and a dedicated focus puller then you can get great results with a DSLR. If you're trying to replace your camcorder using it in AF mode handheld then you probably won't be happy with the results.
    As for warnings, well there are tons of reviews saying how slow the AF is, how it makes noise, and lots of comments like mine saying DSLR video is either a waste of time or not there yet. Others may disagree.
  5. I was hoping that I could replace this as the family camcorder...​
    It won't. No DSLR will. So sorry that you needed to learn it this way.
    You can get rid of that noise with an external microphone btw... but then it wouldn't be a "simple camcorder" solution either.
    I'm keeping my camcorder.
  6. As has already been mentioned in this thread, and in many many threads before this one, a D7000 or any other DSLR with Video will never replace a basic family camcorder.
    If you couldn't be bothered to search this site, (or the rest of the internet for that matter), before buying, then you did yourself a disservice.
    If you look at it on the bright side, you now have Nikon's newest DSLR technology and a great all-around use lens. You should be future-proofed for the next 4-5 years, (or longer since I used a D70s for six years before upgrading), when it comes to your camera.

  7. Nikon (and Canon) marketing departments are doing a great job making people replace their "$50 camcorders" by $1500 cameras. Do not belive all advertisement to be true - or even better do not belive any advertisement - your life will be much easier.
  8. DSLR video requires proper technique and in some cases specialized accessories. Put the camera on a tripod, turn off AF, and manually focus the lens. I'm betting that the results will improve immediately.
  9. FWIW...I just upgraded from a D90 to D7000 a few weeks ago. I found the same issue until I did some research and found this link no doubt, there was an immediate improvement. I'm not, however, ready to chuck my Sony camcorder. Using a monopod, and following these steps was huge help for me. BTW... (Elliot ~2 weeks ago I posted about the smashed SD card and was in the works for the D7000 upgrade, you were spot-on... I indeed love the D7000 over the 90. As a backup to my D3 it's a killer. The squished SD card was not salvageable).
  10. I do not understand why people buy DSLRs to shoot videos, it's like buying hay to feed birds...
  11. Pascal, dSLR video can do things no camcorder can; the reverse is also true, so best think of the two as complementary tools for serious videographers rather than being mutually exclusive.
    If you can't find a use for dSLR video then the feature will certainly be useless to you, but that doesn't mean the feature is useless.
  12. Pascal, camcorder lenses are typically totally different in the image they render (very wide DOF) compared to DSLR lens which offer a more cinematic looking image (narrow DOF) depending on the lens you use. For a casual shooter looking to take family home videos, current DSLRs are no match for camcorders.
    Greg, glad you are happy with the D7000 - sorry you could not recover your images.
  13. Television and film production companies use DSLRs for video frequently. The small size of the DSLR allows it to be maneuvered in places where a larger professional video camera or film movie camera would be too bulky or conspicuous.
  14. "it's like buying hay to feed birds..."​
    It's more like buying millet to feed birds who prefer sunflower seeds. They may not have any use for the millet, but other birds will.
  15. I have a D7000 and love it for what I bought it for.. A still Camera.. I got it to be a Still image camera and as far as I am concerned I never use the video. If I ever (which is never) decide to shoot video I'll buy a video camera. I wish we could get that through Nikon,s thick skull. I trade that video portion of my D7000 for the return of the AF Button or an extra battery. (of course that is just my very humble opinion) YIKES!!!
  16. I would consider a dSLR video feature a freebie bonus that cost Nikon little to put in and customers paid no extra for - the essential elements are there to make it video capable with just a few firmware enhancements.
    It's a bit like stills-capable camcorders except arguably more useful.
  17. As others have said, a
    DSLR isn't a replacement for a camcorder. Camcorders are designed to easily produce video with little in camera control of the results in terms of DOF, etc.
    If you want decent audio you need to use an external mike and also consider using something like a
    digital audio recorder like the Zoom.
    If you want to produce independent films the DLSR is a great tool. If you want to create fusion
    products it's a wonderful tool.

    However, it's a totally
    different animal than a camcorder.
  18. As mentioned before, the AF noise from DSLRs (and Canon and Sonys do it too, though not as much in the NEX models) is because the motor, which is a moving part, is physically connected to the microphone. It's the exact same as holding a cordless drill up against the back of a vocal mic.
    An external mic, especially with a shock mount, will fix that problem.
  19. 1) Video mode of N. D7000 is more advanced and requires knowledge how to use your work tool properly.
    2) You can minimize sound with external mic which is located NOT next to lens.
    3) If you want to shoot moving shots you will need some kind of steadycam. Very light, versatile ir steadycam merlin. You can start with that and later move on to more complicated rigs. Lens choice is vital for movies. It's hard to hold focus on moving subjects so wider lenses will make your job a lot easier.
    4) Buy ND filters. If you want to shoot good quality videos in bright sunlight you will need them because in video mode it's recommended to use 1/50th of shutter speed for fluid motion. And i suppose that in a lot of cases you may want to keep you "f" numbers low. So there is no way how you can do that in bright sun without ND filters.
    "Nikon D7000" ( you can replace text with any modern DSLR with video feature ) is great tool but only if you know how to use it and you will need a lot of additional gear. And in the end that gear will cost you a lot times more than your nikon. That is the sad truth..
  20. as far as I am concerned I never use the video. If I ever (which is never) decide to shoot video I'll buy a video camera. I wish we could get that through Nikon,s thick skull.
    Get used to it. The future of DSLRs includes video. Period. Enough people want it that the camera makers are wise to include it. Also, because I had video built-in to my still camera, I have an awesome little 1-minute clip of my son riding his bike for the very first time. I'm glad I had my D90 and not my old D50 when I was photographing that.
  21. I have been interested in the concept of video in a still camera. I sort of evaluated my experience with the Nex-5 camera by renting it a couple of different of times. One of those times was a family vacation in Mexico this past spring. If you want to know my experience, take a look on my blog
    I normally shoot portraits and wedding using a D700 and I was reasonably impressed with the Nex-5 performance. The blog may take a while to load.
  22. As has already been mentioned in this thread, and in many many threads before this one, a D7000 or any other DSLR with Video will never replace a basic family camcorder.​
    Never say never in the world of electronics. Sony's a33 and a55 actually do a quite decent job at autofocusing during video, though they also are hampered by AF drive noise, which is pretty loud with all but the most expensive sony lenses. Technically they are not DSLRs of course (no optical viewfinder etc) but as camcorder/still camera crossover technology they're not a bad start at all. Future Sony pellicle bodies and silent drive lenses may well bring further improvements & could well cause the other brands to start releasing similar or alternative phase-detect capable video solutions in DSLR-like bodies.
  23. Unfortunately, implementing phase detect AF in a DSLR for video using a pellicle mirror goes beyond the threshold of causing damage to the camera's still capability. Nikon can't really go there, at least not with all of their lineup. I suspect contrast detect AF, which is used successfully in other cameras such as the Panasonics, will be developed further and eventually provide satisfactory for video AF. As of now, if you have a large sensor and shallow depth of field I think it's better to get a big screen and use manual focus.
  24. It's not a question of asking it to do what it says it won't. I'm asking it to do what is says it can. For example, the "full-time" autofocus in live-view periodically decides that it just want to stop.
  25. While many here said that you still need a camcorder, I threw my camcorder out of the window when I got the D90 and never look back. In many ways, the video in the D7000 is better than the D90; however, you need to know why your camcorder works "better" so you can get the D7000 to work the same way.
    First in terms of AF speed, the typical camcorder works better because it uses a very small sensor/short-focal length lens. Because the focal length of these lenses are so short, they have plenty of DOF. As a result the AF in the camcorder does not need to work very hard to focus. What you gain with a much much larger sensor in the D7000 are the abilities to play with shallow DOF to give you the movie-look and to shoot at very low light with low noise. Some tricks can overcome the issue of slow AF in the D7000. First, avoid tracking objects or zooming during filming. Contant zooming and AF are typical of home videos while the pro shoot videos in segments. Second, use a wider lens and small aperture to give you enough DOF so if you object moves back and forth a little, it will still be in focus. You can AF, lock, shoot. AF again, lock, shoot, etc, you then assemble these into a continuous video with some sound track (which also takes care of the problems of ambient noise) to unify all the pieces. Footages within a segment that is out of focus can be trimmed off. Use face-detection in live view, if your subjects are people. In my Panasonic GH1 camera, this works wonders to track my toddler running wildly.
    Having said this, within Nikon's line-up, the video in the D7000 is really more geared toward the pro which may be one reason why this camera is compatible with many Nikon MF lenses for metering. As I said, the pro MF any way, and they shoot in segment. It is more important for them to use a wide selection of lenses to give them fish eye, super wide, and shallow DOFs all from app. $1000 camera. The D5100 may be more geared toward the typical consumers as its swing out screen is very useful for tracking (the pro will most likely use tripod or other support and not move around so much). If you want to look into other brands for a "hybrid"camera, the Panasonic GH2 is an outstanding candidate, and it comes with several lenses that have "silent" AF. The D7k is a more capable "camera" though.
  26. Get a real video camera. It will be cheaper and better than any stills camera could ever do video. You need the right tools for the job.
    Getting a dslr for video is like arriving at the F1 with a VW Beetle.
  27. As much as people have sat here knocking video from a DSLR, I have had nothing but success. The key, as others note, is knowing the system and how to maximize the good and minimize the bad. Manually focusing + short clips means both my home videos and payed work turn out crisp and clean.
    Yes, a video cam can be easier to use. But to get a cam that adds interchangeable lenses and all the rest, I am looking at more than I can afford.
    DSLR video plain and simple, works. Does it 100% work the way everyone wants it to? No. But it does work.
  28. 1. i cringe at the thought of buying a camera with a built-in video function.
    2. however, if a camera does come bundled with it, it should strictly be used in situations such as "what the fish! i forgot my camcorder!!"
  29. I actually quite like the video on the D7000. The Nikons aren't nearly as smooth to my eyes as the Canon or Sony cameras in the same price ranges, but then again Nikon doesn't have much experience making camcorders.
    That said ... even though the quality may well be as good as a pro camcorder someday (and some DSLRs already are), the fundamental differences in operation mean that it can never be a replacement for the family Handycam. At the very least the larger sensor produces mugh larger and harder-to-work-with files, and the shape and weight distribution of the cameras, while optimal for still shots, are not ideal for hand-holding a camera steady for several minutes at a time.
    But if you're looking for something professional that will be used on a tripod or with a video rig anyway ... well, there's a darn good reason that so many people are buying 5DIIs for video. Not only are the video files just as good as the comparatively priced pro Canon camcorders (and better in low light!), but it also happens to be a pretty decent still camera too.
  30. The larger sensor doesn't make files any larger than any other 1080p cam. That is more down to the implementation of the codecs/compression/framerate and all that jazz. You are capturing all of the same pixel dimensions as any other cam.
  31. Zach, I've never been a video guy, so I couldn't tell you WHY the files are larger ... I just assumed. Thanks for correcting me.
    I do know that there are cameras out there (and nothing in the price range we're dicussing) that are 1080p but record additional pixels. I believe the Red cameras are like this. 1080p is a measurement of how many lines of resolution, and is separate (but related) to pixel count, just as light rays and photons are separate but related. Some of these several-thousand dollar cameras may record (the math is probably wrong - again, not a video guy) 5 megapixel video, and every other pixel line is used to map it out to 1080p. This is done so that if 'high definition' becomes 'higher definition', the files can be remastered to take advantage of the new higher-resolution standard.
    But apparently this is not the way that DSLRs work.
  32. What you are talking about are other formats beyond 1080p such as 2k or 4k. Currently video formats beyond standard definition are discussed in the terms of their vertical resolution (i.e. 1080p is 1080 lines and 4k is about 4,000 lines). 4k is already a high definition format and I believe some digital cinema projectors are running it (needs some fact checking).
    Beyond that, RED and other really high-end digital cams use either a RAW type of capture, or a completely lossless 4:4:4 capture. But then we are talking 40k+ easy for one of these cams.
    Framerates is an annoying issue with so many theories/standards out there. 23.9FPS has long been the cinematic standard, 25FPS for PAL and 29.97FPS for NTSC. Now James Cameron is pushing for 48FPS for cinema and I know a lot of people who do purely digital distribution are shooting at a true 24FPS.
  33. Zach - it's my understanding that George Lucas had a camera made specially for him by RED which has a sensor that is about as large a piece of 4x5 film, and records significantly more data than can be currently displayed. Do you know anything about this?
    Also, what do I make of the Sony video cameras that claim 3 or 4 megapixel video? HD is 1080p, or something like 2.3 megapixels; does this mean that the video is actually 2K and the codec maps it out to be 1080, or that the video is downsampled to 1080 on saving the file? In order words, is there any way for a camera that cannot shoot raw video files to be remastered into something higher than 1080?
    Sorry to randomly pick your brain like this, but I've had a much larger interest in video since they started putting it on DSLRs that I wanted to buy anyway.
  34. Never heard the Lucas one before. As far as I know, the biggest sensor RED has/will work on is something in the range of 645 (6cmx4.5cm).
    Which Sony cams are you talking about? Is 1080 the highest res it will put out, or will it put out 2k, 3k or more?
    As far as going from one resolution to another, any video can be up sample (may be a better term for this than what I just used), and just like increasing resolution for print with photos, this may or may not look good. And just like any can go up, any video can also go down.
    If a sesnor is capturing more resolution than it needs, there are a couple of ways of trimming it down. You can just straight up make the sensor only use the correct pixels for what you are capturing, down sample it to the required resolution, or remove lines vertically and horizontally to get what you are after. By my understanding, this last one is how VDSLRs work. Although you may want to fact check that statement to be sure.
    I don't know all the cams all that well, just how to shoot what I need and edit it. I am not an expert in the area of video, I know enough to produce small promotional videos. I could not shoot a sitcom or work in broadcast if you asked me to.
  35. I don't remember the models offhand, but several consumer camcorders claim to have a 3.3 megapixel video sensor, but are rated at 1080p. Based on your description, I would guess that the sensors are using every line for stills, and 'turning off' every third line for video.
    Obviously I'll need to do a lot more research and testing if I want to really get into it, but this at least sets me on the right path. Thank you, Sir.
  36. So I got an account specifically to comment on this thread. I understand your frustraition but have to say that i have been using the D7000 for the past two months for all my HD filming needs and find that it is beyond exceptional. If you want to use auto focus all the time then you should get a Camcorder ...... this is not suppose to be a camera with superior video live auto focus??? Learn to use manual focus as you should be shooting your Photos with manual focus as well. I can understand your frustration but you have to understand that this camera shoots superior video for what your paying. Like the others said, if you don't like the sound of the motor, buy an external mic, if you don't like how it auto focus's then learn how to manual focus (because it looks fantastic) and altogether .... try the camera before you buy it. Love mine and couldn't have made a better choice.

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