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Exploring Nikon D5200 HDMI output - review update

Andrew Reid

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It's uncompressed 4-2-2 guys.


I'm finally getting it to work with the Blackmagic HyperDeck Shuttle and it grades amazingly. Noise grain is finer, there's obviously far less compression going on via HDMI. There's also about a stop more dynamic range and a more gentle roll off to the highlights. Amazing stuff.


If you get this camera, I recommend you shoot via an external recorder.


Now here's the proof... (blown up 200% in PS)...




More detail too - look at the thread on the outer ring of the Iscorama... Thread lines visible in the ProRes and smudged in the H.264 internal recording at 24Mbit.

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There's a further twist to this...


The first few frames of the D5200's H.264 files are very slightly muddier than the rest of the clip! So weird.


What you see above is one of the first few frames and I have only just realised this bug. But the HDMI is still giving me a better image for grading work and is uncompressed.


More to come on this...

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This is looking great! Can't wait to see more.


@Andrew: Also, if you find the time/possibilities, I'd like to learn more about shooting with an external recorder. Never done this before. What are the options, prices, drawbacks etc. What would you suggest for a budget shooter in combination with the D5200?


The BlackMagic Shuttle seems to be the cheapest option. I really like the Atomos Ninja 2 with built in monitor, but it's pricey... It would be nice if there was something in between with monitoring options.

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Hum, not sure about being 4-2-2. Looked at the UV channels but there is not much color details in there besides chroma noise.


If you had the possibility to shot something like a red diagonal line it would be nice.


Look at the blockiness of the detail of the object behind the lens in the one shot and then the relative smoothness of the detail in the other.

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This is amazing news! Thanks for posting this. I am a Nikon D800 & Ninja 2 user and this now allows me to record amazing quality to an even more affordable solution. Some posts reference the Ninja 2, I can tell you that from my experience the recording quality is top notch in 422 10 bit and it records to cheap hard disks & SSD's, the other recorders don;t record to hard disk, very cheap running costs. For those new to recorders, the Ninja 2 also has video monitoring functions - Focus assist, Zebra, false colour etc. I use it to play back to a large monitor and cut edit on the day of the shoot, I use FCPX. I really want to test this camera, my D800 was 3000 USD and this is 800 USD!


Jump on the DSLR band wagon for 800USD and get 20K camera quality!


Woohoo :)

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Look at the blockiness of the detail of the object behind the lens in the one shot and then the relative smoothness of the detail in the other.

Smoothness in the bottom image ? What is see is an just an awful lot of noise reduction.


On an image like that, you don't/can't really see the advantage of 4:2:2 over 4:2:0 or 4:1:1.


4:2:2 is not about detail in luminosity, but in chroma. As there is not much chroma information in this image, there is almost no chroma contrast/details/sharpness. We can't say for sure that it is 4:2:2.


The compression artefacts are 4:2:2 but just hoping that the camera is not wrapping 4:2:0 information in a 4:2:2 format.

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My D5200 was delivered today and I wanted to start some greenscreen (chroma key) testing with my Ninja2 to verify 4:2:2 at HDMI out.


But I ran in some issues (have to admit, I'm new to Nikon)

I'm in PAL-Country and set video-mode to 1080p25 and HDMI out to auto.

No matter what settings i choose, the HDMI out always seems to be 1080i59.94


In Ninja2  I can select:

- 1080i59.94

- 1080p29.97

- 1080p23.98 (3:2 pulldown)

BUT if I select 1080p23.98 theres no possibility to record or monitor.


According to Atomos in a PAL country the HDMI out should be 1080i50 and with a 2:2 pulldown I should be able to record 25p. Did not work for me. So the HDMI out does not seem to react on changing PAL/NTSC.


If you like, I will report a comparison (chroma key) between internal recording and HDMI out (ProRes 422 HQ)...


Anybody successfully recorded 25p on Ninja2?

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Yes I confirm: when setting HDMI to 1080p instead of auto I get 29.97 frames even though the camera is set to PAL/25p.


Now I've figured out: when in NTSC and HDMI is set to 1080i or auto -> HDMI signal is 1080i59.94

Then I set Ninja2 to 3:2 pulldown (23.98 frames), first of all I can't record or monitor. Then i go to menu from liveview to change record setting to 24p or 30p (does not matter) and leave menu again. Then Ninja2 successfully set up 3:2 pulldown and I can record 23.98 frames.


But no chance to set HDMI out to 60i (for 30p) or 50i (for 25p). So HDMI out doesn't care about PAL setting...



I think the original Ninja (Ninja1) is not capable of that 3:2 pulldown. According to that Atomos doc:


only Ninja2 and Samurai can manage 3:2 pulldown resulting in recording 1080p23.98 on HDMI out of D5200

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"The sensor size is approximately Super 35mm due to it being an APS-C camera with 1.5x crop"

Well Andrew. You KNOW how I like the sound of that ;) , since I'm a Super35mm evangelist.
The small battery is of no consequence if there's an adapter or DC POWER in plug for third party LiPo batteries to plug in.
The frame rates are a bit of a mess and no slo mo gives the GH3 an edge there (Grrrr).
I'm proud that Nikon has made this breakthrough. So it looks like small form-factor video has now truley added Nikon as a force to be rekoned with.
 If they can bridge the features gap with the GH3 and resolve some of the bugs...
we shall see what NAB reveals

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Look at the blockiness of the detail of the object behind the lens in the one shot and then the relative smoothness of the detail in the other.


Erm. That's just because those images have been zoomed in 200% with pixel resizing. So they are actually blocky in both images, only the other one is so full of noise that it looks smoother.


Confirming an ACTUAL 4:2:2 colorspace requires a bit more. It actually requires a scene with colors, preferably saturated reds or blues and then analyzing just those chroma channels. People seem to be mistaking a good looking uncompressed image with 4:2:2. 4:2:2 can actually be quite hard to spot from 4:2:0 without hard contrasty lines with saturated colors. 

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