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Aussie Ash

New Nikon D5300 with Expeed 4

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Hey Matt, very nice video. Deep and beautiful colors. Is it me or does the footage (especially where you're panning over the leaves) have some sort of wobbly/wavy feeling. I think its the FCPX stabilization but could you please confirm this?

Yes it's definitely FCPX stabilisation - it wasn't there in the original shot. Those shots were all handheld with non-VR primes so they had to be stabilised. This was primarily a DR test so it didn't matter to me too much.

 

I need to work on my biceps a bit ...

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For now we are just explorers who think that we have some gem or good enough camera and only these test will show if we are not just some fools because we are looking at this camera. 

 

Agreed.

 

Although I have already bought the D5300 t-shirt  ;)

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@Danyyyel, I hear ya about being frustrated regarding the lack of interest from 3rd party testers, but they're function isn't necessarily at the whim of the few of us interested in a particular camera. ;)

 

I saw enough that I was willing to take a chance and am glad I did. It's not perfect, but for the money I think it's a darn good image with lots of potential, especially in low light. 

 

Regarding the lenses, my testing has been all over the map. The 18-200 isn't horrible and I can get VERY sharp images/video with it. What I wasn't paying close enough attention to is the ISO. Detail and sharpness drop of course when you're at higher ISOs, add to that.. your shutter speed and amount of motion, etc. From what I've seen, the older Nikon glass isn't really that much sharper, they might be a little sharper but they also handle color and contrast differently as well. Overall, I like the look from the older glass but I also like to be able to shoot handheld. 

 

What I'll likely do is go back to using a tripod/monopod and my older glass. I'm mostly just trying to get a very basic kit together very quickly because I'm toying with backpack traveling in the Yucatan of Mexico in a couple weeks or so. I don't have anything in particular I'm shooting but want to try and have myself covered for a variety of shooting situations, still images, etc. without having to lug a bunch of gear and lenses with me. So... I'm in a bit of a hurry, though the hurry isn't about anything all that vital. 

 

At the end of the day, what I'll likely do is pack what I want to take, then check the weight, then decide what I really have to have and what I can get by without.

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What I'll likely do is go back to using a tripod/monopod and my older glass. ...

 

At the end of the day, what I'll likely do is pack what I want to take, then check the weight, then decide what I really have to have and what I can get by without.

Skip I'd seriously consider a Gorillapod Focus (or the SLR Zoom model if you want to keep cost down, though it isn't as steady). It's very light and can act as a both a rig and a tripod. If you don't have a small ballhead already the ballhead-x is very useful and very good quality - a bargain with the Focus.

 

I find two legs against my body and one out underneath the lens held by my left hand to be best (keeps camera steady even when changing focus/settings with right hand). Something like this: 

'>

 

The Focus is long enough to work as a shoulder rig too:

'>

 

It's pretty sturdy. An all-in-one solution!

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Skip I'd seriously consider a Gorillapod Focus (or the SLR Zoom model if you want to keep cost down, though it isn't as steady). It's very light and can act as a both a rig and a tripod. If you don't have a small ballhead already the ballhead-x is very useful and very good quality - a bargain with the Focus.

 

I find two legs against my body and one out underneath the lens held by my left hand to be best (keeps camera steady even when changing focus/settings with right hand). Something like this: 

'>

 

The Focus is long enough to work as a shoulder rig too:

'>

 

It's pretty sturdy. An all-in-one solution!

 

Wow! Hadn't ever thought of that. I already have the Gorrilla SLR with a heavy-duty Sunpack head that came bundled on it from B&H a couple years ago. That's perfect and I'd be taking that along anyway for time-lapse stuff. Thanks for the tip! :)

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The day we have something like DXOmark for video that all these nerd discussion will be resolved. Nowadays it has really become the standard at least for sensor/image performance and no need of endless discussion about which one is better etc.

 

This is the thing I have been wondered. Camera testing blogs shoots many many charts for photo but not a one for video. Is there any camera site other than slashcam.de who does some scientific study for video quality? EOSHD does some but I mean proper comparable results and common consumer cameras.

 

For me resolution is the most important factor of video. Of cource it has no use if video is othervise bad. I have GH3 and I am waiting for a hack which could make resolution a bit better. Obviously I move to 4k when it comes. Most todays cameras has so bad resolution in video that one want to watch those only at "far away sofa".

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Regarding the lenses, my testing has been all over the map. The 18-200 isn't horrible and I can get VERY sharp images/video with it. What I wasn't paying close enough attention to is the ISO. Detail and sharpness drop of course when you're at higher ISOs, add to that.. your shutter speed and amount of motion, etc. From what I've seen, the older Nikon glass isn't really that much sharper, they might be a little sharper but they also handle color and contrast differently as well. Overall, I like the look from the older glass but I also like to be able to shoot handheld. 

 

What I'll likely do is go back to using a tripod/monopod and my older glass. I'm mostly just trying to get a very basic kit together very quickly because I'm toying with backpack traveling in the Yucatan of Mexico in a couple weeks or so. I don't have anything in particular I'm shooting but want to try and have myself covered for a variety of shooting situations, still images, etc. without having to lug a bunch of gear and lenses with me. So... I'm in a bit of a hurry, though the hurry isn't about anything all that vital. 

 

At the end of the day, what I'll likely do is pack what I want to take, then check the weight, then decide what I really have to have and what I can get by without.

 

Sharpness of lenses doesn't have to do with if it's new or old. Some of the older Nikon lenses are among the sharpest Nikon has ever made, but certainly not all - it depends on lens construction entirely and hence it depends on which specific lens you get - you can't generalize.

 

Color and contrast on the other hand depends to a certain degree on age, due to the choice of coatings that were used. Most Nikon AI lenses are multicoated, but not all. Pre-AI/Non-AI lenses can have multicoating, but usually are singlecoated. All Nikon AI-S lenses and forward on are multicoated, with similar contrast and color as today's lenses. Only certain of the newest Nikon lenses have their specialized nanocoating.

 

Anyway, the 18-200 should resolve good enough for 1080p video. For high-resolution stills it won't perform as well as other lenses.

 

I've been doing that kind of backpacking around with camera too. The toughest part is to find a portable video tripod which actually can do smooth pans. Haven't found any such, but I use a really portable Velbon Ultra Maxi Mini tripod that is useful for doing fixed shots.

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Sharpness of lenses doesn't have to do with if it's new or old. Some of the older Nikon lenses are among the sharpest Nikon has ever made, but certainly not all - it depends on lens construction entirely and hence it depends on which specific lens you get - you can't generalize.

 

Color and contrast on the other hand depends to a certain degree on age, due to the choice of coatings that were used. Most Nikon AI lenses are multicoated, but not all. Pre-AI/Non-AI lenses can have multicoating, but usually are singlecoated. All Nikon AI-S lenses and forward on are multicoated, with similar contrast and color as today's lenses. Only certain of the newest Nikon lenses have their specialized nanocoating.

 

Anyway, the 18-200 should resolve good enough for 1080p video. For high-resolution stills it won't perform as well as other lenses.

 

I've been doing that kind of backpacking around with camera too. The toughest part is to find a portable video tripod which actually can do smooth pans. Haven't found any such, but I use a really portable Velbon Ultra Maxi Mini tripod that is useful for doing fixed shots.

 

I got decent results out of this lens on a D300, but I do recall having sharpness up and smart-sharpening just about everything. Half of these where shot with the 18-200 (the 16:9 images mixed in were the compact Panasonic LX3) http://www.kaleidoscopeofcolor.com/galleria/go-west-color/

 

All of these where the 18-200 on the D300 as well: http://www.kaleidoscopeofcolor.com/galleria/guatemala-2008/

 

I think for stills, I prefer my newer Nikon lenses, 35mm f1.8 50mm 1.8, the the 18-200VR for carry around. But for video, I'm liking the look and color I'm getting from an old Nikkor 135mm f2 and a 36-105mm f3.5. It must be the coating as you say, but the video clips just look more organic. The 50mm 1.8D looks very good for video on the D5300 as well.

 

Seriously considering just getting a wide cine Rokinon and the 85mm cine Rokinon. It looks like Brandon Li does nicely with that combo on the 5D3 and his previous D5200 stuff. The cost of those lenses is about all I'm willing to spend at this point though. Are there other's in that price range you'd recommend if I'm going with primes only?

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I've been doing that kind of backpacking around with camera too. The toughest part is to find a portable video tripod which actually can do smooth pans. Haven't found any such, but I use a really portable Velbon Ultra Maxi Mini tripod that is useful for doing fixed shots.

 

How about the manfrotto MVM500A fluid head monopod? Still a bit heavy, but more portable and versatile than a tripod with the same head.

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Seriously considering just getting a wide cine Rokinon and the 85mm cine Rokinon. It looks like Brandon Li does nicely with that combo on the 5D3 and his previous D5200 stuff. The cost of those lenses is about all I'm willing to spend at this point though. Are there other's in that price range you'd recommend if I'm going with primes only?

 

As I think you know Skip, I use old AI-s primes. The 85mm f2 is awesome, for example. They're generally much more compact than Rokinon (Samyang as they're known here in the UK for some reason) so perfect for taking a set traveling. They're cheaper too - average about $300 on ebay (but you have KEH in the US you lucky yankies). There aren't many decent options below 24mm though. Nikkor AF-D would be the other similar option - you'd get metering with these, as well as the aperture ring, and they're a good bit lighter than the AI-s stuff. Some can still be bought new. If you're interested in this route I'm happy to advise, as I'm very familiar with researching the range. This thread dicusses them a bit: '?do=embed' frameborder='0' data-embedContent>>

 

The brilliant thing about investing in manual nikon-mount glass is that it can be used on virtually any camera.

 

BTW it sounds like the 14mm Rokinon isn't up to scratch at all, in case you were looking at that one.

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Matt: I think I might be more interested in the Nikon route, but figured those Rokinon cine's were somehow better because they're newer and potentially tuned/coated for cine? I have nothing to base that on, but yes... I'd love to have your thoughts on this since I know we have a similar aesthetic taste and we both have the D5300. 

 

Had an 85mm f2 that I loved, but sadly sold about 5 or 6 years ago. Would've been perfect now, and as I recall, the focus was buttery smooth on it. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm always confused with all the different Nikon lens names, i.e.. AI-s AI, D, etc. Which ones do you recommend for the D5300 for me to keep a look out for? Please tell me which 2 or 3 you would take if that's all you could have.

 

I just pulled the trigger on a ticket to the Yucatan, Mexico. Leaving in 2.5weeks. Won't likely invest in lenses before I leave, but I think I can find a couple within what I have that should suffice. 

 

Regarding tripods, I just picked up this for travel: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BFDBO2E/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

It's VERY compact and seems sturdy enough. The panning isn't fluid level, but very smooth. I think because the D5300 is so light, I may be able to get fairly smooth pans with it. We'll see about that, but it'll fit inside a daypack being only 12in long collapsed, and is reasonably lightweight.

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I don't want to turn you off the Rokinon's because I've never used one and in general they seem to be very good, and fast.  I've stuck to AI-s because they are the most recent of the fully manual. superbly constructed series. AI are mostly fine too - but I wouldn't buy an earlier lens personally, mainly because of coatings.

 

After much research, this is the set I'm slowly building:

 

24mm 2.8 AI-s

28mm 2.8 AI-s

35mm f2 AF-D

50mm f1.8 AI-s (1st version: serial no's 3135197 - 3304551)
85mm f2 AI-s
105mm f2.5 AI-s
135mm f2.8 AI-s or E-series
200mm f4 AI-s

 

I believe that these lenses represent the best balance of sharpness, speed, size and cost of all Nikon's manual lenses. They also all have a 52mm filter thread, which is very handy in terms of carrying a ND filter around. I already have the 24, 35, 50 and 85, and they are all excellent. The 35mm is my 'normal' lens and has probably been on my camera the most. I just use the 18-55 kit for very wide stuff at the moment (I have my eye on the Sigma 18-35 1.8 but it's very big).

 

If I could only take three lenses in my bag and they had to be from the list above, I would probably go with the 28, 50 and 105 (these all have absolutely stellar reputations and cover a decent, if slightly long range). If I wanted to cover a wider range, the 24, 35 and 85 would probably be my choice. If you want to supplement the list with a zoom or AF prime you already own, I think you could probably choose any of them to fill the gaps you need and be happy.

 

It might be worth asking Brando Li his opinion on this, as he has used both Rokinon and AI-s glass quite a bit I believe (though I'm not sure which Nikkors).

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I didn't get the 18-55 kit lens with my D5300, though I sort of wish I had. I got it with the D5200 and didn't think it was anywhere near as bad as many on the forums made it out to be. The VR worked well and it seemed plenty sharp enough. It was also very lightweight and did an impressive macro ratio. 

 

The only kit lens offered when I bought mine was the 18-140, so I just went for body only since I already have the 18-200VR. If they bundle it after the holiday with the 18-55, and it's still inside my 45 day return period, I may swap it out for one with the short kit zoom.

 

Going to test what I have a bit more and see where I'm lacking the most. The main thing I don't like about my 18-200VR is that it's manual focus isn't very smooth.. and, it's a little heavy for walking around. 

 

Thanks for the info. I'll be looking at it more closely over the next few days and seeing what's available at KEH :)

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The cheapest and smallest of the above lenses is the 50mm. Perhaps have a look out for one of those - they go for about $150 here. They have beautiful focus action, are fast, very sharp and not too far off a 'normal'. Doesn't have to be the serial no. I suggested - they just have a wider focus ring and are sturdier, but optically I believe the pancake versions are great too.

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The cheapest and smallest of the above lenses is the 50mm. Perhaps have a look out for one of those - they go for about $150 here. They have beautiful focus action, are fast, very sharp and not too far off a 'normal'. Doesn't have to be the serial no. I suggested - they just have a wider focus ring and are sturdier, but optically I believe the pancake versions are great too.

I've already got the 50mm f1.8D. Just did some tests with the 35mm 1.8G which is also very sharp and easy to focus.

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One thing I can tell you for sure Skip: if you invest in manual glass for your D5300 - Nikkor or Rokinon - it won't be much good for stills. The lack of metering with un-chipped glass makes the OVF useless, so you're stuck with live view for stills, which is slow as hell. I didn't predict this when I bought the camera and I'm pretty gutted, particularly seeing as the camera produces such high quality stills ...

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This is the thing I have been wondered. Camera testing blogs shoots many many charts for photo but not a one for video. Is there any camera site other than slashcam.de who does some scientific study for video quality? EOSHD does some but I mean proper comparable results and common consumer cameras.

 

For me resolution is the most important factor of video. Of cource it has no use if video is othervise bad. I have GH3 and I am waiting for a hack which could make resolution a bit better. Obviously I move to 4k when it comes. Most todays cameras has so bad resolution in video that one want to watch those only at "far away sofa".

Yes unfortunately they don't do it. They just post some silly over sharpen video most of the time. For me I think that resolution is over hyped. Put a bad colour or DR video and at any resolution it will look crap. For me the cinematic look is a mix of Frame rate (24 fps), dof (super 16 minimum but cine 35 better), Dynamic range (11/12 stop at least) and Resolution .... (at least 1080P). Once you get about this mix you get an image which get near to the Cinematic look.

 

For me the big success of the dslr revolution was not just about DOF with the large sensor. What many did not realise is that the Dynamic range also had a big push compared to the typical camcorder of those days. The Canons where delivering about 10.5 to 11 stop of DR compared to general other camcorders that where in 8 stop DR at most. Most people associated the dslr look to be much closer to Cine look while the usual camcorder had better resolution than the Canon dslr which are closer to 720p. When you see peter jackson going backward in the latest hobbit film by using diffusion filter like promist to tame the resolution it tells you a lot. Now I am not saying that we should use some of those mushy Canon dslr footage, but a solid 1080p image is damn good. I have played back my d7100 images on my 50 inch plasma and it was really sharp. It did not pale to some 1080 p movies and I went to see 2k movies of very big screen and never saw a pixel. The strangest experience for me when I saw a 5d3 projected movie at a festival, the thing looked good. I don't and can't qualify why when projected the suppose not so high resolution of 1080p and 2k look so good.

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One thing I can tell you for sure Skip: if you invest in manual glass for your D5300 - Nikkor or Rokinon - it won't be much good for stills. The lack of metering with un-chipped glass makes the OVF useless, so you're stuck with live view for stills, which is slow as hell. I didn't predict this when I bought the camera and I'm pretty gutted, particularly seeing as the camera produces such high quality stills ...

 

Yes, I knew that from the D5200. That's also another reason I was hoping to make do with only the 18-200VR for travel. Great for stills, and so-so for video. I'm still in experimenting mode though. If the 18-140VR kit lens significantly outperforms the 18-200VR then that might be a good option for me during travel. While at home, I don't mind having a set of lenses for video, and another set for stills. 

 

So far, I'm thinking I'll take the 18-200VR and my manual 35-105 f3.5. That could give me a good walking around, stills lens with macro. And, a manual 35-105 f3.5 w/macro for more organic video stuff.

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Yes unfortunately they don't do it. They just post some silly over sharpen video most of the time. For me I think that resolution is over hyped. Put a bad colour or DR video and at any resolution it will look crap. For me the cinematic look is a mix of Frame rate (24 fps), dof (super 16 minimum but cine 35 better), Dynamic range (11/12 stop at least) and Resolution .... (at least 1080P). Once you get about this mix you get an image which get near to the Cinematic look.

 

For me the big success of the dslr revolution was not just about DOF with the large sensor. What many did not realise is that the Dynamic range also had a big push compared to the typical camcorder of those days. The Canons where delivering about 10.5 to 11 stop of DR compared to general other camcorders that where in 8 stop DR at most. Most people associated the dslr look to be much closer to Cine look while the usual camcorder had better resolution than the Canon dslr which are closer to 720p. When you see peter jackson going backward in the latest hobbit film by using diffusion filter like promist to tame the resolution it tells you a lot. Now I am not saying that we should use some of those mushy Canon dslr footage, but a solid 1080p image is damn good. I have played back my d7100 images on my 50 inch plasma and it was really sharp. It did not pale to some 1080 p movies and I went to see 2k movies of very big screen and never saw a pixel. The strangest experience for me when I saw a 5d3 projected movie at a festival, the thing looked good. I don't and can't qualify why when projected the suppose not so high resolution of 1080p and 2k look so good.

 

Thank you for interesting reply.

 

Would you be happy if your camera shoots 1300x800 pixel photos while dyn range and colors are perfect?

 

Is it different matter with video?  Why video could be so lowres? My camera (gh3) shoots very sharp video but when comparing it to fullHD photo, it has much lower resolution. Is it OK nowadays to hope that camera could shoot even proper fullHD? 

 

I am with you in the matter of DR. The more the better. I dont though like 24P, it is a relic of old times like cinematic color grade with yellowish highlights and green sky and brownish blacks. Shallow DOF is also relic because you cant shoot 24P other way without flickering backgrounds.

 

I would like to introduce a new term "truematic look" as an opposite thinking against "cinematic look"  :)

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First outing with my new MonoCam (Glidecam style stabiliser).

D5300 + Nikkor 24mm 2.8 AI-s, 50p conformed. 

I need a wider lens and more practice.

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