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Live View Limitations, Aperture Adjustment, Preview Accuracy


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cwb1014 Registered since 05th May 2013
Wed 08-May-13 07:58 PM

I'm a new D600 user and a new Nikonian member. I've read many comments around the internet, including some here, about the limitations of live view (LV) in the camera. Of special interest to me has been 1) the inability to change the aperture in Video LV and 2) the accuracy/inaccuracy of the image preview displayed on the LV screen relative to what the camera will actually be capturing on its sensor.

On the first point, if anyone knows a workaround for this, I'd really appreciate knowing it.

On the second point, I came across what seems to be a pretty well informed discussion of it in a thread in the D600 Club at Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/groups/d600club/discuss/72157631670298314) and I'd be really interested in the thoughts of folks here on this topic, especially as it occurs to me that members here may generally be more experienced and expert in the use of the camera (no offense to the Flickr folks intended; I could be entirely mistaken here). Any clarifications, confirmations, corrections, or expansions of what's said in the Flickr thread would be most welcome. I'm really trying to master the use of LV on the camera and fully understand what can and can't be done while working in both Photo LV and Video LV.

For folks who don't want to read the whole thread, the following (in colored fonts) are the two posts I found most helpful. Naturally, I hope some of this information will be useful to other D600 users here and look forward to any feedback anyone may be able to offer by way of clarifying these issues generally. With many thanks in advance for any help anyone may be able to offer, here are the posts...

1) In Live View Photo mode, the screen does not show the effects of the chosen exposure, except for exposure compensation to some extent. It is not what-you-see-is-what-you-get.

Changing the aperture doesn't show a preview of the change of depth of field. Pressing Depth of Field Preview has no effect on LV Photo mode. Changing the shutter speed doesn't show a preview of the blur. Changing the ISO doesn't show a preview of the noise. Even in manual exposure mode, changing the aperture / ISO / shutter speed will not change the preview on the LV Photo mode (but there is an electronic light meter indicator). Exposure compensation adjustments can be seen on the Live View Photo mode within a range of +/- 3EV but in dim conditions (e.g. at night), I can only see changes within a range of -3EV to +1EV. If you apply exposure comp outside that range there is no change in the brightness of the screen.

Unlike in Live View Photo mode, the display in Live View Movie mode is of course what-you-see-is-what-you-get (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, fps). Exposure compensation changes are visible on the screen within +/- 3EV (but in dim ambient conditions, it is -3EV to +1EV).


2) There are two different live-views on the D600 -- each with different rules. Each one needs its own explanation


1. Photo live view allows you to change aperture, ISO, and shutter speed while live-view is activated.
2. However, as you change these settings, they won't be reflected on the LCD display
3. The Live-view display chooses its own settings and basically zeros out the meter so that everything is "properly" exposed according to the camera's best guesses.
4. If you're in aperture priority, your still frames will exactly match up with the LCD display. If you're in manual mode, your still frame might look quite different from the LCD display.

Exposure Compensation Work-Around:
I devised a little trick that might help. It's imperfect but it might be an okay solution for some. Say you are in manual mode with photo-live view enabled. You've chosen an aperture, shutter speed, and ISO -- and the meter tells you you are exactly 1 stop underexposed.

The LCD display will look 1 stop brighter than your chosen settings. If you change exposure compensation to -1.0, the LCD display will become one stop darker -- and you can get an accurate preview of your still-frame. Try it. It works. It's just annoying.


I'm going to say this up front: its clear that movie live view was NOT designed for taking still frames.

To best explain this, I need to give you guys a fake scenario.
It's Saturday and you are taking pictures at a birthday party. The night before, you were shooting some home videos with your D600 in a dark environment.

When you were shooting those videos on the previous night, you set your camera to movie mode and chose the settings 1/60, F2.8, ISO 6000. ("Settings A"). After this, you don't touch movie mode again.

Now at the daytime birthday party, you are trying to take a photo of the cake. You set your camera at 1/100, F4 ISO 100 ("Settings B").

Before you take the shot, you decide to go into Movie Live View to preview your exposure. Here's what happens:

1. Movie-Live-View imports your aperture from Settings B. You can not change your aperture while you are in Movie Live View.
2. Movie-Live-View imports your shutter speed and ISO from Settings A.
3. The LCD will display an exposure of 1/60, F4, ISO 6000. A bizarre hodgepodge of Settings A and B.
4. You are allowed to change ISO and shutter speed while in movie-live-view. The LCD display will update in real-time while you lower your ISO or change your shutter speed.
5. Say you cycle through until you find a good exposure for the cake. It turns out the correct exposure was 1/30, F4, ISO 800. ("Settings C")
6. If you press the shutter down, the camera will take a still. You'd think it would use Settings C. But it won't. It'll use Settings B! The "still-frames" portion of the camera doesn't care that you made all sorts of changes in movie-live-view. As far as it is concerned, you're still at 1/100, F4, ISO 100!
7. If you want to take a still frame using Settings C, you'll have to exit movie-live-view change the settings manually...then fire the shot.

If that's confusing, its because movie-live-view is confusing.

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