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Will Nikon ever introduce their own LOG profile?


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With the whole hype with Sony's A7S II, it is natural that many people would be starting to learn video, which is probably a good thing since the price of video equipment can only become more competitive from here. I was wondering if Nikon would ever venture into the video world aggressively. Panasonic introduced it's GH4 a couple years back and my did that shake the world of videography. The A7S came and once again, even pure photographers like me have found myself discussing video with other pure photographers, more specifically, about the awesome new A7S and more recently, the A7S II. Nikon has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to video, even though the 1080p60, 8-bit, 25mbps, H.264 D810 is holds it's own really well, spec-wise, it leaves much to be desired. What I am curious to see is if Nikon is interested in this arms race of sorts, because still photography has always been what Nikon has shot for (no pun intended). It's dynamic range for still images surpasses the Arri Alexa, which to me is the pinnacle of imaging technology. Although I'm not really sure if DXOMARK figures are to be trusted, but the D810 produces more than 14 stops of dynamic range for still images. I guess the real question is, will Nikon introduce more features to it's camera lineup in terms of video? or is video on a Nikon camera just a nice-to-have?

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Nikon already beats the A7s in dynamic range with its flat profile. Its imo pretty even with the Blackmagics at 13stops.

For me LOG would be nice but not at all needed unless it also meant higher bitrate. What they are doing with their bitrate today is simply mind blowing to me. I cant believe the quality/mbit compared to other brands.

Thats why I hope they dont go down the 100mbps 4K road. Imo its no good. For 4k it needs to be minimum 300mbps to become worth it for me. I rather shoot high quality HD than brittle 4k. 

So Nikon, if your reading, you have something good cooking here. Dont get cought up in the Panasony race. Play it cool. Focus on your great DR and implement things like peaking and false color. 4K can wait and 100mbit isnt worth it. Might as well upscale the HD and save the space. Your ace in the sleeve is your color.

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I'm sorry if I come off as a little naive, but I don't get it. The D810 beats the A7SII in dynamic range for video? I mean for stills the D810 has a dynamic range of more than 14 stops, that's all too familiar for me, but I'm assuming they have not been able to implement this into video as efficiently as Sony has done with the A7SII and SLOG3. Also the D810 shoots in H.264, which the last time I checked, was a pretty inefficient codec as compared to the XAVC/XAVC-S or AVCHD. The D810's video bitrate is also around 40 mbps? I don't know how much it matters in terms of video, but the Sony seems to be able to shoot in 50mbps (100mbps in 4K) bit rates and the GH4 is capable of 100-200mbps. So the Nikon has a picture profile better than SLOG3? Enlighten me because I'm pretty new to video thanks. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

The D810 beats the A7Sin dynamic range for video?

 pretty inefficient codec as compared to the XAVC/XAVC-S or AVCHD. So the Nikon has a picture profile better than SLOG3? Enlighten me because I'm pretty new to video thanks. 

First question yes. The D810 has slightly more dynamic range/latitude than the A7s. I haven't used the A7sII yet. 

Second question yes. Nikon Flat is better than S-Log2 on the a7s. It retains similar (or higher) dynamic range yet is easier to de-Log and most importantly has a gorgeous colour science that pops up when you de-Log the curve. S-Log2 on the a7s, god much worse. 

I've used both these cameras extensively and now they're gone but I know them very very well. To give a general impression: 

A7s has these compared to the D810 when you use both 

-EVF (biggest plus)

-Titable LCD 

-Focus peaking 

-Ability for focus magnification whilst recording 

-E-mount adaptability to manual/vintage and Canon lenses

 

The D810 has over the a7s 

 

-The much more comfortable body 

-Nikon Flat profile 

-Longer battery life 

-Significantly superior focus magnification 

-Dual card slots

-VR works with Nikon lenses 

-All the stills photography benefits of course. 

Still haven't spoken on Image quality. Image quality is so many factors that we can't just say this one is better period. We can divide it since these cameras have IQ advantages both ways. 

Dynamic Range: Slightly higher on D810 (both great)

Resolution: Higher on a7s (it's sharper, full 1080p, d810 is a bit softer) 

Lowlight performance: Better on a7s, much better. The D750 is the one that's closer to the a7s in video lowlight but still isn't as good. 

Noise pattern: Finer and more filmic on the D810 

Highlight rolloff/rendition: Better on the D810

Colour performance: Much better on D810 

Digital Artefacts: No aliasing/moire on either, but much better rolling shutter on the D810 

 

I think that cover it. The secret weapon of the a7s is the resolution and lowlight performance coupled with the EVF and peaking and 4K HDMI signal. While the D810 secret weapon is colour rendition and complete do-it-all nature. 

 

Answering the title question: Nikon designed a perfect Log curve for 8bit in their DSLRs now (D810, D750, D5500, D4s) and they don't need a new one. When they introduce 10bit/12bit then they will need to design a more aggressive Log Gamma as S-Log2 and C-Log2. 

 

S-Log2 was designed for 10/12bit and was put in the 8bit a7s as is. Too aggressive on the a7s but good on their higher end 10bit cameras (F5/FS7/F55/F65)

C-Log was designed for 8bit, and when Canon went 10/12 bit they made C-Log2 (C300II) 

 

A new Log curve is not what I want from Nikon next. I want focus peaking, rotating LCD, higher resolution (Full C100/a7s 1080p or just 4K). 

 

 

 

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Nikon's flat profile isn't as flat as sony slog or blackmagic prores but it is almost as flat as canon clog. It would be awesome if Nikon made a more video orientated camera

True, but it contains a wider Dynamic Range than 12stop C-Log and is equal in DR to BMCC so making it flater isn't really needed and would risk its quality since its only 8-bit and cant be graded as much.

A new Log curve is not what I want from Nikon next. I want focus peaking, rotating LCD, higher resolution (Full C100/a7s 1080p or just 4K). 

Glad Im not the only one :) 

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Thats why I hope they dont go down the 100mbps 4K road. Imo its no good. For 4k it needs to be minimum 300mbps to become worth it for me. I rather shoot high quality HD than brittle 4k. 

So Nikon, if your reading, you have something good cooking here. Dont get cought up in the Panasony race. Play it cool. Focus on your great DR and implement things like peaking and false color. 4K can wait and 100mbit isnt worth it. Might as well upscale the HD and save the space. Your ace in the sleeve is your color.

The early rumours of Nikon D5 suggest that it will feature 4k. I find that very plausible, since Nikon introduces new image processors in their high-end cameras first, and then update cameras down the line with the newer image processors a while later. That's been their process for quite a while, and I think they will stick to the same method.

The current imaging processors on Nikon cameras aren't capable of handling 4k. Considering how long time passes between the high end cameras like D3 and D4, I think it's very likely that the next imaging processor for the D5 will be capable of 4k - if Nikon wants 4k capable cameras in the upcoming 3-4 years - and I think they don't want to leave that out.

That's what I think can be predicted considering Nikon's development process. I find it likely that D5 is the first camera to feature 4k, unless they develop some more video specific model, in the same range as D750 / D810.

I'd personally like to see peaking as well, and if they bring in a processor that's capable of 4k - I'd love to see some 1080p high frame rate modes!

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Thanks for everyone's replies, I am genuinely surprised that the D810's flat profile is already that capable because the information I read online points the other way. I always thought the Nikon flat profile has only around 10 stops of dynamic range and the SLOG3 has close to 14, but I may be wrong on that front. 8-bit video is a bummer, the antiquated H.264 codec is even more of a bummer. I wonder why Nikon doesn't develop their own codec or at least use Sony's AVCHD or XAVC since they are more efficient. I know these are codecs built on the compatibility of H.264 but I still think that other codecs are much better. Also, 10-bit video at a higher bit rate to match the GH4 might be a nice touch in the future. The GH4 pumps out 200mbps in 1080p mode and the Nikon does around 40mbps, or 50 I can't be sure. I don't care for 4K since it has been out for a while now and none of the people I know actually have 4K devices at home. I don't shoot for Hollywood or major adverts so 4K is still a very niche feature. 

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Who cares about Nikon Log when you have AWESOME - high DR - easy grading Nikon Flat? 
What is this mania with Log nowadays? What counts is not the name of the thing, what counts is a nicely gradable profile decently flat that retains DR. 

Who cares if the name is log, HDR, flat, superfustia or mustafa? 
Lol, seriously... 

Nikon D810/D750 are absolutely awesome camera, years ahead of Canon ones. Reason why I chose A7RII over those is:
4K
high bitrates
Tilt screen (not on D810)
EVF
Nice video functions such as focus peaking, .. ..
IBIS

The day Nikon release a FF camera with 4K, I throw the A7R II out of the window ^^. 
Except if Canon really impresses us with an amazing 4K 5DIV with great codecs, DUAL PIXEL AF, Canon Log, ... I really want them to do that but I feel the worst... 

I had the Nikon D5500 and honestly it is a pleasure to grade. Low bitrates for wide detailed shots is a deal breaker, lack of details compared to 4K too. It just does not cut it. 
But they are close. 
Nikon, give us a D850 with 4K, tilt touch screen (not gonna happen lol), good S35 4K mode, 42mpx BSI sensor, "nikon boosted" DR (compared to Sony for the same sensor) and same Flat profile and color like D810. And that would be a dream camera. Don't even care about IBIS thanks to news good lenses like the Tamron 35mm 1.8.

 

 

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People using the D750: Do you find it difficult to focus with no peaking and no magnification during recording? What's the highest ISO you'd consider usable? And how much "style" can you apply in grading before things get unnatural? 

The Nikons seem like pretty ideal cameras for me if only they had a more adaptable mount. Besides Leica R, there's nothing I can put on them that focuses the right way. 

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People using the D750: Do you find it difficult to focus with no peaking and no magnification during recording? What's the highest ISO you'd consider usable? And how much "style" can you apply in grading before things get unnatural? 

The Nikons seem like pretty ideal cameras for me if only they had a more adaptable mount. Besides Leica R, there's nothing I can put on them that focuses the right way. 

Both yes and no. When I started in the TV-bizz peaking didn't exist. But I got by. I didn't have peaking on my t3i nor my GH3 but still was ok.
I tend to use the focus magnification before a shot and then go by feel.  On some of my lenses I get a pretty good muscle memory, specially with short focus throws.
But sure, peaking would be a nice addition in next gen or with firmware.

I use ISO4000 without thinking. 6800 might not look as good as on my XC10 but I haven't tested it properly yet (I'm in the middle of a move so I don't shoot at all right now). Will do a lowlight test soon.

It grades more than I would have expected from an 8-Bit camera. I suggest downloading a clip and testing, imo it is nicer in Resolve than in Premiere.

Regarding the mount there is not much to say. Not many lenses goes on Nikon. But that's also why I bought one. Almost every time I have bought a nice modern lens I have later on regretting not buying it in a Nikon mount. Essentially I bought a D750 to force my self to build a nice set of Nikon lenses that can go on anything with cheap adapters, cheaper speedboosters and so on.

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Though I own just the cheap D3300 (for occasional stills for the homepage of my restaurant), I can confirm the part with the better colors. Or, on the contrary, the very poor colors of the A7s. And I second your statement on the Nikon lenses and the cheap speedboosters. Not because they are cheap but because I don't like camera aperture control at all. Not more comfortable (for me, that is) if it works in the first place. A no-go if it doesn't like with cheaper speedboosters that don't allow firmware updates. 

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If you're going to go DSLR, you probably need to get something external for focus, unless you go mirrorless with a peaking VF, etc. Supposedly the NX1 has a really nice EVF.

For Nikon and Canon, I've relied on loupes and small monitors for years now. Too many times the focus looks crisp on the LCD but soft on a desktop monitor. My strategies:

I keep a pair of reading glasses (magnifiers) in my pocket. That alone is a big boost in dealing with an LCD and they're a few bucks at any drug store. they're in all my camera bags. Really handy when you have to tighten some tiny screw or something, too.

Even a cheap loupe helps. Find one that doesn't block controls, can come off easily when you want, etc. I've never had focus issues with a loupe, even though you're really seeing the screen pixels. Since the T2i I've managed good focus with only a loupe. I prefer a loop to an articulating screen in fact and never owned a DSLR with a movable screen.

I usually use a 5" Marshall HDMI on set - they go for as low as $200 used. If it's a planned, locked-down shot, I use the DSLR monitor for framing and the Marshall at 1:1 pixels with peaking. You'll get good focus that way and still be able to watch framing and color. Really necessary for a lot of specialty shots, like straight overheads, floor level looking up, etc. AND I CAN TUNE THE MONITOR WITH ANY SOURCE OF BARS… it's more accurate than the camera screen by far.

In studio settings, I often use a powered HDMI splitter and stick a 20"+ HDTV on a rolling stand, too. Generally for clients, makeup, crew, etc. Only expense was a VESA mount and a $10 splitter (and a soft case for the TV which cost more than the TV, but that's not absolutely necessary). I use the TV in my edit bay so it was already purchased.

I got one of those chinese HDMI viewfinders for like $270?? Really, really greatness for out in the sun, esp. with a crane or oddball rig or positioning.

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  • 2 years later...
On 11/1/2015 at 9:55 AM, wolf33d said:

Who cares about Nikon Log when you have AWESOME - high DR - easy grading Nikon Flat? 
What is this mania with Log nowadays? What counts is not the name of the thing, what counts is a nicely gradable profile decently flat that retains DR. 

Who cares if the name is log, HDR, flat, superfustia or mustafa? 
Lol, seriously... 

Nikon D810/D750 are absolutely awesome camera, years ahead of Canon ones. Reason why I chose A7RII over those is:
4K
high bitrates
Tilt screen (not on D810)
EVF
Nice video functions such as focus peaking, .. ..
IBIS

The day Nikon release a FF camera with 4K, I throw the A7R II out of the window ^^. 
Except if Canon really impresses us with an amazing 4K 5DIV with great codecs, DUAL PIXEL AF, Canon Log, ... I really want them to do that but I feel the worst... 

I had the Nikon D5500 and honestly it is a pleasure to grade. Low bitrates for wide detailed shots is a deal breaker, lack of details compared to 4K too. It just does not cut it. 
But they are close. 
Nikon, give us a D850 with 4K, tilt touch screen (not gonna happen lol), good S35 4K mode, 42mpx BSI sensor, "nikon boosted" DR (compared to Sony for the same sensor) and same Flat profile and color like D810. And that would be a dream camera. Don't even care about IBIS thanks to news good lenses like the Tamron 35mm 1.8.

Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but here we are in 2017-8, and they Nikon built the D850 with all of these features, and then some.  Funny!

I wonder if he threw his A7RII out the window.  :grin:

 

 

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Wow I was such a good predictor lol. I threw away the A7RII a long time ago indeed. 

Unfortunately i forgot to mention at that time importance of AF and that is the miss of D850. Also I turned a lot more into Long multi day trekking in the mountain and the 1kg D850 does not help. 

So I will see Nikon FF mirorless this year. 

And A7SIII, GH5s....

in 2015 I had a dream: have a camera that is as good as D810 in Photo, and as good as it gets in video. Nobody seems to want to do that (best video stuff are GH series, A7S series and they really lack in landscape photography) so I accepted the idea of having two different bodies.

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On 11/2/2015 at 6:55 AM, wolf33d said:

Who cares about Nikon Log when you have AWESOME - high DR - easy grading Nikon Flat? 
What is this mania with Log nowadays? What counts is not the name of the thing, what counts is a nicely gradable profile decently flat that retains DR. 

Who cares if the name is log, HDR, flat, superfustia or mustafa? 
Lol, seriously... 

Nikon D810/D750 are absolutely awesome camera, years ahead of Canon ones. Reason why I chose A7RII over those is:
4K
high bitrates
Tilt screen (not on D810)
EVF
Nice video functions such as focus peaking, .. ..
IBIS

The day Nikon release a FF camera with 4K, I throw the A7R II out of the window ^^. 
Except if Canon really impresses us with an amazing 4K 5DIV with great codecs, DUAL PIXEL AF, Canon Log, ... I really want them to do that but I feel the worst... 

I had the Nikon D5500 and honestly it is a pleasure to grade. Low bitrates for wide detailed shots is a deal breaker, lack of details compared to 4K too. It just does not cut it. 
But they are close. 
Nikon, give us a D850 with 4K, tilt touch screen (not gonna happen lol), good S35 4K mode, 42mpx BSI sensor, "nikon boosted" DR (compared to Sony for the same sensor) and same Flat profile and color like D810. And that would be a dream camera. Don't even care about IBIS thanks to news good lenses like the Tamron 35mm 1.8.

 

"Not going to happen"???

IT HAPPENED!! :-D

The Nikon D850 came out, with a tilt touch screen. 

On 1/1/2018 at 6:51 PM, Michael1 said:

Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but here we are in 2017-8, and they Nikon built the D850 with all of these features, and then some.  Funny!


Shows people can never really be happy :-( 

8 hours ago, wolf33d said:

in 2015 I had a dream: have a camera that is as good as D810 in Photo, and as good as it gets in video.

By 2015 standards the D850 is "as good as it gets" for video!

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