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Author Topic: Whither (Wither?) Nikon?  (Read 16289 times)
RFPhotography
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« on: January 01, 2011, 01:09:28 PM »
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How come there's not a lot of talk about video with Nikon DSLRs?  Canon gets a lot of praise and scorn.  There's a ton of video to be seen that was made with Canon VDSLRs.  An episode of a major Hollywood TV series was shot with one. 

The new Panasonic GH2 is getting terrific reviews. 

What about Nikon?  They were the first to put video in a DSLR.  It wasn't great, but the tech has to start somewhere.  They lagged behind Canon a bit in terms of HD vs. full HD until recently.  Is that why they've not got much discussion?  Is the quality of video off of Nikon sensors markedly different (worse) than Canon? 

So, whither Nikon?  Or when it comes to video is it wither Nikon (i.e., Nikon withers relative to the competition)?
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 01:22:35 PM »
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As a starting point, look at the history of video overall for the various companies. Canon & Panasonic (along with Sony) have a storied and lengthy history in video from which they can draw. Nikon, not so much.
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Christopher Sanderson
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2011, 06:35:30 AM »
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Yes, I'm aware of that, Chris.  I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting with that statement though.  Are you suggesting that because Nikon doesn't have the history with video the quality of video they're offering in their cameras isn't as good?  Or are you suggesting that because there isn't a history people aren't using Nikon because they just don't think of Nikon wrt video?  Or is it something else?
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2011, 10:02:38 AM »
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My thought was simply that with large video R&D, the companies other than Nikon have much more experience to draw on - thus their products will likely be better overall in the video area
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2011, 10:33:15 AM »
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OK, thanks for clarifying.  It does make sense that could be the issue.
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langier
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2011, 05:47:09 PM »
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Take a look here.

My colleague Jim Sugar has taken the D3s and with a great DP, audio guy, and editing put together a great little film called Swimming in a Dream.

The dolly shots were with a borrowed skateboard. Underwater with my EwaMarine housing.

100% Nikon glass and digital. It *can* be done and done well!

http://vimeo.com/12799238

Nikon may be late but is still in the race, IMO.
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Larry Angier
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fredjeang
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2011, 06:33:45 PM »
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I concur with Chris Sanderson's post above. It's not that you can't do good work with the Nikon, I actually saw a website of a guy who shooted spectacular movies with the D3 that I can't find any more because I forgot to put it in favorites. If talent is there you will just do fine.
But Canon has done better the homeworks in movie capabilities than Nikon. It's not a suggestion but a matter of fact. Just look at the specs and compare.
But again, there is no rule. I've done some footages that I just liked more with an aps Pentax than with the 5D2, (specially when it comes to textile renders) but in operation, the Canon is above Nikon and Pentax for sure. Even the new D7000 is short. Now you also have those micro 4/3 who are pushing really hard in video with very capable cameras. They even have a 3D lens gadgetery. The path is drawed.
I think Nikon needs to take the train right now.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 06:40:26 PM by fredjeang » Logged
RFPhotography
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2011, 06:59:24 AM »
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Even the new D7000 is short.

How?  Expand, please.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011, 09:13:19 AM »
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How?  Expand, please.
It seems that Nikon, and if someone would confirm or not this information is welcome, has not licenced the algorythms employed in the d7000 for pro use, wich means that you can not shoot commercial movie with it or at your own risk. I'm not 100% sure of this info.

codec is:  MPEG-4 AVC, H.264
1920x1080p at 24 fps
1280x720p at 24/30 fps (NTSC), 24/25 fps (PAL)

Aperture is not adjustable during recording but pre-fixed, you have to exit first for changing.

Compared to the 7D
same codec
1920x1080 at 30/24 fps (NTSC), 25/24 fps (PAL)
1280x720 at 60 fps (NTSC), 50 fps (PAL)

In M mode you can adjust aperture, speed and isos in the shooting

Compared to the Pana GH2
Codec is AVCHD :

1920 x 1080p at 24fps
1920 x 1080i at 60fps
1280 x 720p at 60fps  

or you can choose the Motion JPEG codec
1280 x 720 at 30fps

Full control during shooting


« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 09:19:39 AM by fredjeang » Logged
jeremypayne
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2011, 09:21:12 AM »
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It seems that Nikon, and if someone would confirm or not this information is welcome, has not licenced the algorythms employed in the d7000 for pro use, wich means that you can not shoot commercial movie with it or at your own risk. I'm not 100% sure of this info.

NOT TRUE.

Anyone who uses the H.264 codec for commercial use has to pay a royalty ... you don't get a free pass for buying a Canon 7D.

A payment isn't necessary from Nikon to the holders of the H.264 patents ... the payments go from the content producer to the h.264 consortium.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 09:27:24 AM by Jeremy Payne » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2011, 11:34:52 AM »
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NOT TRUE.

Anyone who uses the H.264 codec for commercial use has to pay a royalty ... you don't get a free pass for buying a Canon 7D.

A payment isn't necessary from Nikon to the holders of the H.264 patents ... the payments go from the content producer to the h.264 consortium.

Agreed: Here is a link to an article written last spring that covers a lot of the "licensing" related issues;
 http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20000101-264.html?tag=mncol
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2011, 01:45:18 PM »
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The whole story is borderline absurd.

How is the owner of a website selling videos going to pay his/her 2$/20$/200$ - where does one get the forms/send the money?
And come to think of it, if the video is split into several pieces, are the 2 cents due for the work as a whole or for each file?

Ah, the wonders of the 21st century....
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2011, 01:49:41 PM »
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The whole story is borderline absurd.

How is the owner of a website selling videos going to pay his/her 2$/20$/200$ - where does one get the forms/send the money?
And come to think of it, if the video is split into several pieces, are the 2 cents due for the work as a whole or for each file?

Ah, the wonders of the 21st century....

http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/AgreementExpress.aspx
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2011, 09:43:29 PM »
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Thanks for the link. So basically, no royalties due for pieces that are less than 12 minutes if sold individually and no royalties under 100.000 users for subscription services.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2011, 02:13:24 PM »
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Thanks for the link. So basically, no royalties due for pieces that are less than 12 minutes if sold individually and no royalties under 100.000 users for subscription services.


And the maximum royalty in the case of individual titles/disks longer than 12 minutes is $.02 per title/disk.  And, the royalty is only paid by the end distributor, not an intermediary.  So if a photographer licenses stock video clips longer than 12 minutes on a title by title basis, that photographer still pays no royalty.  The licensee pays the royalty (assuming they maintain the MP4 codec for final use and don't edit it to under 12 minutes). 

Nikon, Canon, Apple, Adobe, etc. would pay a royalty to encode/decode in the MP4 codec. 

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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2011, 09:04:54 AM »
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Back to nikon

Nikon currently miss 25FPS which is critical in the UK/PAL land

I reckon apart from this the D7000 is up there with the canons

Has some control over audio over the 7d

----

Worth thinking about nikon (stills) history..

late with AF (1980s)
late with breaking the 4mp barrier (1990s)
late with FF (2000s)

now  late with 'motion'

People have been debating switching to canon for reasons of one of the above critical ommissions for litterally decades

Thing is nikon always fire back with a killer device like the D3 which is IMO the best stills camera there is (mine is heading towards 200k frames without a service)

I have high hopes for the D4 or suchlike as a contender for being a good VDSLR

====

As for nikons lack of experience with video I dont buy that one

If they could get a D3  chip to fire at 25FPS in S35 crop mode they would have a video camer that competes on a global scale for quality

doing that doesnt seem to require any knowlege of video just a contunuation of upping frame rates and buffer sizes as thery have been doing for years

S



« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 09:11:19 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2011, 11:57:10 PM »
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I'd expect this to be a big year for Nikon, one way or another.  They are due to introduce the D4 late in the year, if history is any guide.  And I'd expect them to address the question of a D700 successor and a 5DII competitor this year as well.

But I think one major technological development looms in the digital video realm: video derived from full-frame captures, downsampled in real time, instead of decimation.  The first manufacturer to achieve it will gain a significant edge in image quality. 
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2011, 10:17:02 AM »
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The in-camera processing power for that would have to be pretty stout, Luke.  You think anyone will be able to pull it off?

Will the quality of video processed in that way really make a big difference?  When you consider that Hollywood is already using VDSLRs for mainstream production, does the quality need to be improved significantly?  And there really isn't a need in video for the same quality as in a still image due to the moving nature of video and the fact that with current TVs we're spreading 1280 or 1920 pixels over screens that are significantly larger than our computer screens; many of which now have HD resolution.  Arguably, quality is already on par with broadcast quality cameras (not cinema cameras). 
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LKaven
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« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2011, 09:56:06 PM »
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The in-camera processing power for that would have to be pretty stout, Luke.  You think anyone will be able to pull it off?

Will the quality of video processed in that way really make a big difference?  When you consider that Hollywood is already using VDSLRs for mainstream production, does the quality need to be improved significantly?  And there really isn't a need in video for the same quality as in a still image due to the moving nature of video and the fact that with current TVs we're spreading 1280 or 1920 pixels over screens that are significantly larger than our computer screens; many of which now have HD resolution.  Arguably, quality is already on par with broadcast quality cameras (not cinema cameras). 
The central R&D in the digital imaging industry is going into the still camera, which embodies the generalized digital imaging pipeline.  As you increase the speed and bandwidth of this pipeline, you increase the capability for video.  The video market inherits this research, first as the daemon spawn of the still camera.  But since it comes virtually for free, few are complaining. 

Inevitably, still camera capture rates will approach 30 FPS at full resolution.  And if you think about it, without the mechanicals (shutter, mirror box, and auto diaphragm) as the rate-limiting steps, that goal is not so far off.  It's not that stills shooter demand it, it is that there is pressure on the industry to deliver video breakthroughs.  But the still camera manufacturers will likely be the first to bring it to the mass manufacturing level.   

[Aside, wouldn't you or I like to have an autobracketing step completed in 1/30th sec (1/60, 1/250, 1/1000th let's say), all told?]

Yes, I think it will make a big difference.  14 bits of RAW capture, no decimation artifacts, improved high ISO noise from downsampling.  Add a full frame chip.  You can see how good these time-lapse movies are.  Imagine in your video if every frame was as eye popping as your best still in every sense of the word.

I think that an entire generation of art students, film/video departments, and young video professionals would run headlong for it the minute it becomes available.  Every one of them could have the capability of producing real archival video of more than cinematic super-35 quality.  Never mind for the moment that they need rigging, lighting, lenses, monitors, editors, grips, sound recording, mixing, and everything else.  It is just being able to take down the images with a good lens that holds the magic, and the rest they will deal with later.

And that will do until 4k becomes mainstream...this might take a while.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2011, 06:57:22 AM »
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Yes, a complete bracket that quickly would be nice.  Grin

If we're talking full sensor capture then we're already talking 4K, right?  The 20+ MP sensors out there now get there.  Maybe not quite depending on the different aspect ratios (I'd have to do the math), but pretty close.  Certainly the RED One version of 4K is possible.  I think RAW has the bigger upside potential over in camera downsampling.  Not sure what would be more easily implemented - increasing the processing power in the camera to downsize at the speed required or increasing the speed of data transfer to the memory card.  But RAW at full resolution opens up many creative opportunties for post production as well, one would think.

Fair point on the timelapse comparison. 
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