My son just bought the D5200, and I have been very impressed with its video capability, but it seems to me to be limited by the DX category of lenses. I've used the AF-S Nikkor 35 mm 1.8 on a couple of shoots, and this is the lens a lot of people rave about. It's excellent in low light and indoor light situations, but outside in the sun, it seems to lack color vibrancy--at least for video. I have a documentary project coming up, and I'm wondering if I can just find a lens that might up the game on the D5200, or if I should plunge into the Panasonic GH4 game everyone's raving about. I've been researching this for a few days, and I'm starting to go in circles. So on this site, I'd especially like to hear of lens options, and success stories folks have with the D5200 in video situations, such as docs and weddings and the like.
>...D5200...its video capability, but it seems to me to be limited by >the DX category of lenses.
The D5200 is not limited to just DX lenses. The D5200 fully supports All Nikon AF-S type lenses including DX and non-DX (FX) lenses.
I've used the AF-S Nikkor 35 mm >1.8 on a couple of shoots, and this is the lens a lot of >people rave about. It's excellent in low light and indoor >light situations, but outside in the sun, it seems to lack >color vibrancy--at least for video.
Are you using a lens hood? Bright light hitting the front element of the lens at sharp angles can reduce contrast. It is also possible that the video may be a little overexposed.
Yup, lense hood for sure on any wide angle outside - always would be the operative word. D5200 is a great camera for video. The 50mm f/1.4 FX is nice but when you see the price you might not think so. The Nikon FX 50mm f/1.8 FX is also the ONLY other really nice (very nice) CHEAP prime lens. Get both they are nice side by side in the bag. After that the 50mm f/1.4 is better still and a little more than twice the price. After that it hurts.
The real problem is video lenses are trapped to the shutter speed and frame rate so the REALLY good lenses sell for more than you imagine. The better ones might be $80K.
Work with what you have and you can still deliver good video. If you understand what you are shooting and what gear you have it can still look great!
So bottom line the 35mm f/1.8 is a great lense and the better stuff costs a whale of a lot more but get the 50mm f/1.8 too. Lens hood outside - always! In the studio you can take your shoes off if you like.
These are great comments, thanks. I was getting a sense that the eternal longing for better video was leading me toward mortgaging my house. So I went the other way. I bought an old Nikkor AF 28-80 G, and a 50 mm E series, old slr lenses that folks rave about. I won't be able to use any of the auto features, or even the light meter, but I shoot all manual anyway, and live view should help me with settings. Plus, with the 50 at least, I'll have an aperture ring, so I'll be able to control that while shooting. I also had great luck color correcting the wedding footage that looked so clinical. So your post affirms pretty much where I'd found myself: work with what you have, and remember, the most important element is the story.
Most pro video is shot manually any way. Auto follow focus really isn't fully cooked. It will be the last in great focus systems.
A variable ND filter is worth the effort as you can't change aperture in live view and the shutter speed is boxed in. A shift in light level can be adjusted on the fly and not look totally out to lunch. Pro cameras usually have one built in. They do have zebra stripes so it is easier for them but you could get the hang of it.
Better audio is also a way to bring your quality up a lot. People don't forgive audio as much as video. An external Mic at a minimum or an external recorder and use the built in for sync. Even a cheaper shot gun is going to do way better than the tiny built it mics.
First, a better lens won't prevent overexposure which sounds like the root cause of the washed out video. I would recommend always using your lens hood to help prevent flare and ghosting.
Your 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX is optically excellent. Assuming you are happy with a focal length of 35mm. The 35mm f/1.8G AF-S is a little better and sharper in the corners but you would have to pixel peep to see the difference. The 35mm f/1.4G AF-S is 2/3rds of a stop faster, has a Nano Crystal Coating (more resistant to flare and ghosting), is significantly better optically and an order of magnitude more expensive. Again you would have to look very close to see the difference in IQ.
Wed 25-Jun-14 01:27 PM | edited Thu 26-Jun-14 12:25 AM by PBlais
The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 (see review on the Nikonian home screen). Can be had used under $700 (nearly new) should you need wider than 35mm. It's heavy but DX and partial to video and good sharpness across the range of both aperture and focal length. The Sigma web page has video shot with it. You can focus at any time too. In any case the 35mm f/1.8 is so light, small, and so good you won't find anything like that without more money and weight other than the 50mm FX f/1.8.
You can use older Nikon manual lenses but you'll be doing it all manual including light meter. An old school analog light meter works pretty well. Manual aperture would then be an option in live view.
Since you can't change aperture from Live view adding a variable ND filter can help you stop down in bright light manually since the shutter speed boxes you in from a lot of ways. get a good one though. A 52mm or 58mm isn't that bad. A 77mm is! Get a size or two bigger then buy step up rings (they are cheap).
The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 would be tops on my list if I did not have D5300 and lots of Nikkors. I use the 17-35, 28-70, and 70-200 VRI for Video but my favorite all around lens is the 28-300. Low light is not my major concern as the D5300 does 1080 P60 Video really well at AutoISO 12,800.
Don't even think about the GH4. Mine has caused me much grief because I've lost my NAS and have lots of Nikon stuff. The Videos are not just better but much easier. AFF actually works. Unattended, unlimited Videos are attainable. I can leave the camera on a TriPod for over two hours and be in the action. The tracking is also very good. At a recent Grand Prix Equestrian Event I only lost focus once (momentarily) in 30 rides on a huge course. Video does top out at ISO 6400 so even with a Lumix 12-35 & 35-100 at f/2.8 I have trouble with really low light like in a dense forest.
Hey, thanks for your post. Maybe I'm not hearing you right, but it seems like you're saying two different things about the GH4. One about grief, and one about all the great things it can do. Since I do primarily video, it's those focus features, long record, and HEADPHONE JACK that appeal to me so much.
Meanwhile I plug along with the D5200 which I sometimes wish could do more, and at other time, I am astounded by.
>Hey, thanks for your post. Maybe I'm not hearing you right,but it seems like you're saying two different things about the GH4. One about grief, and one about all the great things it can do. Since I do primarily video, it's those focus features, long record, and HEADPHONE JACK that appeal to me so much. >Meanwhile I plug along with the D5200 which I sometimes wish it could do more, and at other time, I am astounded. > >Thanks, > >Doug
The Grief has to do with long time use of Nikon products that I am so heavily invested in. A simple firmware upgrade would solve the 4GB recording limit by linking continuous segments. And the AFF focus speeed and acuracy on the V1 is astounding. So, I will hold on to my best Nikkors and hope for the future from Nikon.
But, if you do not have much Nikon stuff, I would get the GH4 now. Less than a D5300 and external recorder, it is a real bargain for what you get, which is astounding Video with nothing but a TriPod, SD card, and lens
I see. That makes sense. I'm not too deep in. Just the D5200 and a few DX lenses. I'm at the point where it looks like I'm about to start a big project, and will be investing in some equipment. You've given me some food for thought. Thanks!
Interesting hearing Roger's experience, I have profited from his video advice in the past.
Also, you may not be aware but the D5200/5300 are two of the best video shooters in the Nikon lineup, better than the full frame Nikons by an large (i'm generalizing but yes I believe the high-end testers have found this, except for maybe low light where FX will be an advantage of course).
I mean to give my V3 a decent video workout on my upcoming vacation. The Nikon 1 series also does decent AF-F and the Nikon 1 series reads the entire sensor in forming the HD frame, which can be a definite advantage over line-skipping to form the HD image, and you can use DX and FX lenses on the Nikon 1's also.
Anyhow for a lens for the D5200 you might consider a 70-200 f/4 Nikkor for working at longer distances. And as mentioned something that records the sound close to the person speaking (wireless mic or a Zoom HN-4 or newer model sound recording device).
Personally on DSLRs I use what I call the RRRoger method of focussing prior to the video clip using AF-S and then leaving it in fixed focus for the clip or if subject is moving, judiciously and not often re-half-pressing to re-establish a focus.
Nice post. I appreciate it. I am very impressed with the D5200 the more I use it. Since my original post I went retro and ordered some old E series lenses from the slr days. Some footage I shot this weekend with the old 50mm lens is just outstanding (cost on ebay: $60). Thanks for your tips on focusing, too. My 50-something eyes just aren't that reliable, even with a field moniter. I'll play around with your technique. Have a great day!