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Author Topic: Nikon D90  (Read 52561 times)
Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2008, 12:46:08 PM »
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You're right that for  the $1000 there's probably not much that will get you what you need other than the Nikon.

Small chip cameras are, however, usually easier to focus as with the focal lengths used,  DOF tends to be deep. I'd expect that the Nikon route to be tricky to focus unless you stop down, but also the downsampling to 720p should  help though.

You can work with stills lenses on RED, and I'm sure you can get follow focuses that really help make focusing with them much easier.

I always think that for learning, the cheapest camera that offers the controls you need (ie manual controls, not auto-everything) is the best way to go, because by the time you get to wanting something "proper", it'll be a lot cheaper....

Graeme
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jimk
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« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2008, 03:21:18 PM »
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let me add my 2 cents in

for starters its a good real good still camera that can get you nice "vacation" family video happenings .. the d90 most likely wont be replaceing a real honest video cam although with a larger chip and real lenses its up to your imagination how far you can take this camera

bottom line i may like and buy a d90 for other reasons but i wot be shooting any wedding or bar mitsvah videos with it


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I know you are biased but also knowledgable

The question $1000 on this or $1000 on a video camera will not include red or scarlett so there is no bias

In fact you should be steering me towards the nikon and keeping my initial investment $ down and glass $ in nikkors - which of course fit RED

A red is not out of the question for me - as a video newb that may sound stupid but I have used enough video to know

- that I need a decent wide which with a decent camera cost a lot almost as much as a simple red rig

- small chip cameras look crumby and are hard to focus

both pushes me towards just getting the Red and sticking with the nikkor lenses rather than getting a $10k vid rig

There are other factors; resale value, possible rental income, and obselecense of low res stock footage

My most likely route is to go D90, learn, be annoyed, then go Red and nikkors

Are people working with Red and nikkors or is the focus travel all wrong ?

If you had a $6000 NikkoRed camera with a decent chip size I would just get that

D4X-Af-60fps is what you need to worry about ! ?

So $1000 on D90 or a handycam

S
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craigwashburn
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« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2008, 07:33:29 PM »
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let me add my 2 cents in

for starters its a good real good still camera that can get you nice "vacation" family video happenings .. the d90 most likely wont be replaceing a real honest video cam although with a larger chip and real lenses its up to your imagination how far you can take this camera

bottom line i may like and buy a d90 for other reasons but i wot be shooting any wedding or bar mitsvah videos with it
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I agree with this.  In many ways, its a solution looking for some problems to fix.  Certainly there are some people who will benefit from it, but not to a huge extent...

Serious videographers and filmmakers are not going to start ditching their equipment for this - too many compromises in the entire system.  From the camera itself, but also the lenses, lack of accessories etc  

I think calling it "game changing" and other cliches of the season are a little exaggerated.
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jimk
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« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2008, 04:56:35 PM »
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i see it as a nice family camera to take on vacation and maybe act as a backup still camera to my d300 (even tho it uses a different memory card)

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I agree with this.  In many ways, its a solution looking for some problems to fix.  Certainly there are some people who will benefit from it, but not to a huge extent...

Serious videographers and filmmakers are not going to start ditching their equipment for this - too many compromises in the entire system.  From the camera itself, but also the lenses, lack of accessories etc 

I think calling it "game changing" and other cliches of the season are a little exaggerated.
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glennchan
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« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2008, 07:36:12 PM »
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Graeme,
thanks for the link.  I definitely have to agree that the skew is way too much.

As far as the D90 goes, I would rate the image quality as lower than the Canon HV20 (which is under a grand now).  (The HV20 is a HDV camera... 1440x1080, can record 24p but with pulldown)

A great example of HV20 footage:

http://prolost.blogspot.com/2008/06/go-naked.html

The video folks happen to be big on things like 35mm DOF adapters since they give the DOF of 35mm film (I believe this is less than the DOF of 35mm still photography... because 35mm doesn't actually refer to 35mm as measured by a ruler).  Those adapters definitely add an interesting aesthetic to the look of a film... but heck, you don't even need them as the clip above shows.

2- But anyways, where I think the interesting stuff is at is when you can shoot your film (or video) and be able to pull high quality stills out of it.

If you want to shoot cheap video and stills, you can do that now.  It's being able to shoot video and pull stills out of that, I think, is what will be interesting.
Shooting stills and pulling video out of that would be cool but... not possible.  (Or rather, it might be the same thing?)

Anyways, I'm rambling on here.
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craigwashburn
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« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2008, 09:18:40 AM »
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The video folks happen to be big on things like 35mm DOF adapters since they give the DOF of 35mm film (I believe this is less than the DOF of 35mm still photography... because 35mm doesn't actually refer to 35mm as measured by a ruler).  Those adapters definitely add an interesting aesthetic to the look of a film... but heck, you don't even need them as the clip above shows.

2- But anyways, where I think the interesting stuff is at is when you can shoot your film (or video) and be able to pull high quality stills out of it.

If you want to shoot cheap video and stills, you can do that now.  It's being able to shoot video and pull stills out of that, I think, is what will be interesting.
Shooting stills and pulling video out of that would be cool but... not possible.  (Or rather, it might be the same thing?)

Anyways, I'm rambling on here.
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You can shoot video and pull stills out of it, the problem is those frames are usually shot at the 1/30th of a second and with imperfect focus (especially if its a scene with motion).   Video works because the moving frames allow us to look past that each frame is slightly blurry or has inexact focus because it all blends together as a whole.

This is why every film made has a stills photographer on set standing next to the camera for making those crisp marketing shots.

The alternative is to shoot everything at a high frame rate... but this becomes senselessly expensive to post produce...

I think the most interesting thing about the D90 is that its an inexpensive APS-C sized video sensor.  You'll be sure to see it (or some variation) in less costly actual video cameras with lenses designed to take advantage of the shallow DOF possible and also have all the other features a good video lens needs.
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glennchan
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« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2008, 10:54:21 AM »
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If video has inexact focus you can notice it.  (Though people will still use those shots in theatres.)

On Hollywood productions, there's a focus puller whose job it is to handle focus (and some other camera department duties).

Shooting everything at a higher frame rate wouldn't affect focus.  Perhaps you're talking about motion blur???
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craigwashburn
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« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2008, 03:27:40 PM »
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If video has inexact focus you can notice it.  (Though people will still use those shots in theatres.)

On Hollywood productions, there's a focus puller whose job it is to handle focus (and some other camera department duties).

Shooting everything at a higher frame rate wouldn't affect focus.  Perhaps you're talking about motion blur???
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You misunderstand... and didn't really read my post I guess.  Or maybe I wasn't clear. So I will repeat. There are 2 big problems with taking stills from videos.

FOCUS: On a frame to frame basis, any scene with some tracking motion going on is going to have several frames (or perhaps most) somewhat out of focus as the focus puller makes his adjustments, even though as a whole the key part of the scene appears in focus.  Sum of the parts.  Our brain ignores these spurious defects because there is movement going on and completes the image mentally.  Persistence of vision etc

But if you pull one of those frames out and turn it into a still photograph - then we notice it, just like we notice problems with focus and blur in any other still.  It's distracting.  It's unusable for anything beyond documentary purposes.

It's simple to see this, just go do a frame grab on a movie scene involving tracking.  And of course, the higher the resolution of the frame, the worse it appears.


SHUTTER:  Most scenes are shot around 1/24th to 1/30th of a second per frame.  Different effects and situations might have faster speeds, but its still really quite slow, compared to what stills photographers trying to capture motion are used to.

Therefore, there is motion blur in each frame.  Again, our persistence of vision puts them all together so it appears alright.  But again, if you pull out a still - your main actor is going to have a mushy face or something else.


Like I said, this is why movies have a stills photographer on the crew   I don't see that changing any time soon.
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2008, 05:33:41 PM »
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Like I said, this is why movies have a stills photographer on the crew   I don't see that changing any time soon.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=219870\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Yep and he could be shooting movies...
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Christopher Sanderson
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glennchan
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« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2008, 10:55:45 PM »
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Craig... I don't see how a still camera would do any better.  It has the same "problems".  Which aren't really problems because you can pick and choose what shots you want.  Suppose that if the subject moves, you can never nail focus.
Then you couldn't get usable shots from a video or still camera.

And on still shots, both video and still cameras would have little problem nailing focus.

And if you can nail focus on moving subjects, then that's a bonus.  Focus pulling, for the most part, does work.  Every movie has shots where the subject is moving.

2- You can pick and shoot which frames you want... there is little point in choosing frames where the focus is off.

3- You can pick stills from shots where the subject isn't moving.

Now it's entirely possible that the subject is always moving, in which case the video camera might have shot with a slow-ish shutter speed and there will be motion blur (video cameras are capable of high shutter speeds but let's suppose a slower shutter speed was used).  Whereas a still camera would've shot that subject with a very high shutter speed.
In that situation then the still camera might be better.

But you're making mountains out of molehills.
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BJL
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« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2008, 04:50:10 PM »
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Craig... I don't see how a still camera would do any better. It has the same "problems".
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A still camera, at least a DSLR, has neither of the problems that Craig mentions.

Focus
Still camera focus in an individual frame can be better because (predictive) phase detection AF can be used before each frame --- not so with movie cameras AFAIK.

Motion Blur
Still camera motion blur can be far less because exposure times can be far less than those of movie cameras, where exposure times are roughly the same as the frame rate (that is, the shutter is open for a large proportion of the 1/24th to 1/30th second time step between frames). Correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that with the "scanning" approach of video, the shutter is essentially always open with lines of pixels being read in rotation.


High res. video camera frame grabs might be quite good for stationary or slow moving subjects.
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2008, 07:48:52 PM »
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With video you also also have very high shutter speeds if you wish to stop motion and extract still frames. Video can also use auto-focus, which in such cameras runs continuously - the higher the fps, the faster the auto-focus runs.

Graeme
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smthopr
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« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2008, 12:08:56 PM »
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And there's still the problem of doing good tracking focus.  Still camera lenses aren't made for motion in mind so there's the problem of 'focus breathing' where the image size changes slightly while adjusting focus - sort of like zooming in and out slightly.  Not a problem when you're taking a single frame, but a bizarre and unnatural effect when seen in motion.  35mm Cine lenses have complicated (and expensive) internal optic mechanisms to eliminate this.

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35mm movie lenses can "breathe" also.  This is quite common in older zoom lenses and even some new ones.  If a subject is in motion, the effect is difficult to detect.  When focus is racked from one subject to another, it's quite obvious.

I don't think you'll see much focus "breathing" if you use prime lenses on your still camera.

As a focusing aid in a dslr that shoots movies, one should be able to see the distance scale in the viewfinder to give the operator a fighting chance at focus.
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Bruce Alan Greene
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« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2008, 12:16:35 PM »
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http://eyevio.jp/movie/159289 shows this quite clearly.

Graeme
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The "skew" in this clip makes the camera really unusable as a motion picture camera.

That said, I was shooting with a Red One last week and saw some "skew" issues as the camera moved sideways by vertical set elements.  I thought the camera was not level at first, but the leaning stopped when the camera stopped.  It's not nearly as bad as the u-tube clip though.

I do have a question for Graeme though:  Is the skew I observed enhanced by viewing through a downconverter?  I was using a Steadicam and operating by viewing in standard definition through a down converter.
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Bruce Alan Greene
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2008, 12:22:26 PM »
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You may, under certain circumstances see a little skew. However, with the latest builds it has been further reduced. I don't think downconverting makes it any worse or any better.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2008, 07:40:47 PM »
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The "skew" evident in this clip is objectionable mainly because of the inept hand-holding of the operator.  Only very fast-moving action would exhibit this amount of vertical skew in normal use.

IMHO, the D90 will be able to provide some very nice looking video indeed, given careful, competent users.

I think we're seeing just the very beginning of this new capability.  If only Nikon had included intervalometer and slow shutter functions, and true 720X1920 24P,  this new function would be really fun to use.
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smthopr
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« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2008, 11:30:02 PM »
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You may, under certain circumstances see a little skew. However, with the latest builds it has been further reduced. I don't think downconverting makes it any worse or any better.
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Thanks Graeme.

The camera I was using was build #16.  Is that the latest build?

If so, is there anything that can be done to make the shutter rolling a little faster? The skew was obvious enough to be a little awkward. (The DP thought I was off level:) ).  I ask because I'm considering buying one of your cameras and just want to know what I'm getting into.

Sorry if this is a little off topic for LL...
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Bruce Alan Greene
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« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2008, 11:32:39 PM »
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The "skew" evident in this clip is objectionable mainly because of the inept hand-holding of the operator.  Only very fast-moving action would exhibit this amount of vertical skew in normal use.

IMHO, the D90 will be able to provide some very nice looking video indeed, given careful, competent users.

I think we're seeing just the very beginning of this new capability.  If only Nikon had included intervalometer and slow shutter functions, and true 720X1920 24P,  this new function would be really fun to use.
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Peter,

I viewed the clip and cannot agree that it was due to inept hand-holding.  It was pretty extreme, sorry to disagree.
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Bruce Alan Greene
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« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2008, 02:26:43 PM »
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How does the D90 cut down from its still resolution of 4288x2848 to its video resolution of 1280 x 720?
Same question for the 5DMkII.

Is it sub-sampling (using about every fourth row and column of pixels, discarding the rest), or binning on the fly? Or something else?


My guess is that it is sub-sampling, so as far as low light sensitivity, the D90 behaves like a 720p HD camera with the same 5.5 micron pixel size as the D90. That would correspond to a roughly 7x4mm sensor, as for about 1/3" sensor format and using only about 8% of the sensors's total area.

If the 5DII sub-samples too, its 1920x1080 video resolution with 6.4 micron pixels matches a roughly 12.3x7mm videocam sensor (a bit bigger then 2/3" format) for light gathering ability, using a bit under 10% off the sensor's total area.
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2008, 02:35:37 PM »
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If someone could point the camera at a zone plate, that might give us some solid information to go on...

Graeme
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