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Andrew Reid

Nikon D5300 Review and why DSLRs are dead for video

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Guest 89e2bdf5797fbbdc17c2cc6da1413fa0

 

 

Aslo: many Nikons seems to produce a greenish tint, I have therefor adjusted my WB-settings just a tad towards magenta.

Yes the 5300 definitely had a green bias, but I quite like it. I certainly prefer it to the magenta bias of Canon images.

 

I'm finding I can do quite a lot of colour correction without the D5300 image breaking up (though I'm not a mega pixel peeper). All of the images in the video above were very heavily graded, including hues being shifted quite a bit.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I hope it didn't come across that I was implying Andrew is some sort of shill. Wasn't saying that at all. The point was, if I may clarify, is that I value the findings of other users who don't review all the time. Those who're looking for a camera to do the same things I want it to do and have similar criteria as me. The conversations like the ones I had back and forth with Matt before we each decided that based on our experience with the D5200, the D5300 would meet our needs. 

 

I'll add that I first got the D5200 based on what Andrew wrote about it, and the work that Brandon Li was doing with it. So, I do appreciate his opinion and weigh that with what appears to be a little different ultimate criteria, ie. final work flow, budget, and computing power/storage needed. 

 

Before I left for Mexico, I did a few tests and started playing with grading. Not completely happy with my skill level with grading, so I figured it was best to just show the flat stuff mostly untouched. The problem with shooting those extremely flat profiles... is that if you're going back and forth from video to stills, it becomes a real pain. I'll have to see if there's a way to quickly go from completely different custom setups without having to go into menus. My little Nikon compact has a plethora of customizable settings I can quickly change to with one flip of a knob. It'd be nice if I could find a way to do that with the D5300.

 

It doesn't bother me in the slightest that Andrew doesn't like the D5300 so much. What's odd is that it seems to matter to others so much. People have different needs and what they're willing to put up with to get the image they're happy with. Andrew does a good job of stating why he likes this or that and why he doesn't like something, though... it didn't really seem like a "review" that he did of the D5300. More of an opinion piece to call out just how much he doesn't care for it. So be it. I personally don't need anyone to validate my purchase. If it had not lived up to my expectations, I would have simply returned it. So far, it has surpassed my expectations and I'm looking forward to getting better with the camera and grading. So far, considering I haven't even tried grading anything from Mexico yet, and shot for a month handheld under a variety of often difficult conditions... my purchase has been self-validated to my liking. :)

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Guest 89e2bdf5797fbbdc17c2cc6da1413fa0

I'll have to see if there's a way to quickly go from completely different custom setups without having to go into menus.

The "i" button to the right of the VF brings up a quick menu in live view. Far-left bottom corner is your profiles. It's not instant but a lot quicker than going through the menu.

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The "i" button to the right of the VF brings up a quick menu in live view. Far-left bottom corner is your profiles. It's not instant but a lot quicker than going through the menu.

 

Yes, it's not that big a deal to change settings... but here's how it went for me: Out walking the street with all my settings for stills just the way I like them so that the still is nearly where I want it without having to spend a bunch of time in photoshop, etc. I don't fool with raw files like most. Only on commercial shoots do I bother with raw at all. So, I've got everything where I want it for stills, ie. iso, Aperture priority, saturation bumped a bit, contrast where I want it, etc. Then, I see something I want to get video of... have to quickly change to flat profile, switch to manual mode, forgot to set f-stop, back out of live view to set f-stop, refocus, change holding position for video shooting as opposed to still shooting, ie. up to my eye via optical finder. 

 

Hopefully, I haven't missed the shot in the process. Then boom! I see another series of stills I want to get, back out of manual live view mode, flip back to auto-focus, change my profile back, flip over to aperture priority, etc. You get the picture. Not pleasant if you're interested in shooting both stills AND video. For that kind of shooting, I'm betting that Sony RX-10 is much friendlier.

 

When I end up shooting something that's intended to be more dramatic/cinematic, I'll likely just take two cameras. One set up for how I want to shoot motion, and a second one for stills. Because I was traveling and didn't really have any specific intention for anything I shot, other than stills for print sales... I just gave up on shooting all flat and moved toward a middle of the road approach with the profile, etc. Wouldn't want to carry two kits of course, but flipping back and forth between stills and video proved to be fairly frustrating.

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Hm. Does it really matter what the profile is? I have set my camera to a relatively flat setting, and use that to shoot still too. Once it's loaded in Lightroom the photo completely changes, but I trust my Pentax enough that I have deactivated the preview after taking a photo. The screen stays off.

 

That you have to switch out of live view to adjust the f-stop seems quite annoying, but I'm quite certain it's a technical limitation. If they would fix that, the production cost per camera would rise.

 

Btw., I love what Wild Ranger has done with his camera. Watched it twice, rewinded a few times more. Is it going to be a short, or a feature film? The other videos posted here I have yet to watch, but it's clear that the D5300 can do great things.

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Hm. Does it really matter what the profile is? I have set my camera to a relatively flat setting, and use that to shoot still too. Once it's loaded in Lightroom the photo completely changes, but I trust my Pentax enough that I have deactivated the preview after taking a photo. The screen stays off.

 

That you have to switch out of live view to adjust the f-stop seems quite annoying, but I'm quite certain it's a technical limitation. If they would fix that, the production cost per camera would rise.

 

Btw., I love what Wild Ranger has done with his camera. Watched it twice, rewinded a few times more. Is it going to be a short, or a feature film? The other videos posted here I have yet to watch, but it's clear that the D5300 can do great things.

 

It does seem to matter somewhat. If you start with a high contrast, saturated, camera processed image... you don't have as much wiggle room when grading. You obviously don't have as much as with raw, but with flat you can certainly have room to play somewhat. 

 

Think I'm going to move on to figuring out how to grade and such. For me, this camera is a good tool for the money and will serve my needs for a while. When I'm ready to move on to something else, it'll still serve well as a backup still camera. 

 

Take care all, and thanks for all the great info!

 

 

Cheers :)

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I think the amazing thing is, you can get this same video quality in the D3300, which is priced at $650 complete with kit lens!  Can you imagine shooting a film with a $650 camera, and actually having it look good?

 

Michael

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@skiphunt: Oh, I was talking about the stills part. As in... you shoot video in the profile that is ideal for video, and stills you'll shoot raw anyway (I hope), so the only point where you care about the profile is when you look at the photo on the camera. As long as you have an idea of how that preview translates to the actual photo you'll get (as in is anything over- or underexposed) you'll be fine.

 

I'm still trying to figure out what profile is ideal for my camera... :-/ Normal with reduced contrast gives me ugly clipping in highlights, while muted with reduced contrast gives me massively bumped up shadows with tons of noise and banding.

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Guest 89e2bdf5797fbbdc17c2cc6da1413fa0

Very nice footage Matt. I like the sense of composition and the grading.

 

Thanks Daniel! I'm really loving the image from this camera. I'm using it way more than my G6. For me I don't care which camera is best on paper, or which has been designed best for video use. At the end of the day it's about whether you like the images you can get from it, and I REALLY like the images I'm getting from the D5300. 

 

I'm looking forward to seeing footage from the GH4 and can imagine buying one in the future. However, it can have 10X more detail, colour depth and dynamic range than the D5300 - if I don't like the image as much, I won't buy one. Art doesn't rely on statistics. David Lynch says it better (below)!

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I'm using it way more than my G6. 

 

HI Matt, so what are you quick reasons for using the Nikon?  Not trying to start anything, just curious specifics compared to G6  Thanks! 

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Guest 89e2bdf5797fbbdc17c2cc6da1413fa0

HI Matt, so what are you quick reasons for using the Nikon?  Not trying to start anything, just curious specifics compared to G6  Thanks! 

LOL, yes I've done enough flag waving for now. 

 

Like I say, it's just a personal thing really. I just like the image for aesthetic reasons - not any specific specification I can put my finger on. It has a lot to do with the low noise, good DR and Nikon colours probably. I have a Speed Booster on my G6 but I think the 5300 has more of a S35mm look to it for some reason. 

 

 

Once the sun returns to England things might change a bit. The 5300 is a much better camera for low light/indoors. I haven't done a lot of shooting in bright sunlight with the Nikon yet, but the little I have done hasn't matched my favourite shots with the G6 in good light. The colours are nice but I it can look just a little pastel-ish and soft. Sometimes I like it, sometimes it's odd. Conversely the G6 can look too harsh in good light. I'll have to wait and see ...

 

At the end of the day they are 2 great cameras and I'm looking forward to some bigger projects using both together. God knows how they'll mix - should be interesting.

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 It has a lot to do with the low noise, good DR and Nikon colours probably. I have a Speed Booster on my G6 but I think the 5300 has more of a S35mm look to it for some reason. 

 

The camera manufacturers have tried to move Heaven and Earth to get full-frame image quality out of APS-C and MFT sensors.  They haven't been able to do it.  The difference isn't just in people's "heads"  That's why Sony came out with full-frame mirrorless.  Of course, full-frame has its own drawbacks (large mirrors, lenses and the difficulty of creating a video frame from spread out pixels).  Anyway, when I compared my NIkon d600 vs a Panny G5, like you, I found the colors more real from the full-frame sensor, but "cleaner", due to the closeness of the pixels from the G5.  Of course, shallow DOF is better with larger sensors too.

 

My sense is that the more you shoot video the more you like the Panny cameras.  Taken on their own, what's not to like! :)  The more you shoot photography (stills) the more you gravitate to larger sensor cameras (like the NIkon) and RAW video, because you're trying to get video images that equal what you can get in stills.  I'm in the latter camp.  Of course, when you try to get that color fidelity you lose on other things.  

 

As you said, in really good light, the smaller sensor cameras catch up.  My guess is that in the summer you'll switch to the Panny camp.

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The camera manufacturers have tried to move Heaven and Earth to get full-frame image quality out of APS-C and MFT sensors.  They haven't been able to do it.  The difference isn't just in people's "heads"  That's why Sony came out with full-frame mirrorless.  Of course, full-frame has its own drawbacks (large mirrors, lenses and the difficulty of creating a video frame from spread out pixels).  Anyway, when I compared my NIkon d600 vs a Panny G5, like you, I found the colors more real from the full-frame sensor, but "cleaner", due to the closeness of the pixels from the G5.  Of course, shallow DOF is better with larger sensors too.

 

My sense is that the more you shoot video the more you like the Panny cameras.  Taken on their own, what's not to like! :)  The more you shoot photography (stills) the more you gravitate to larger sensor cameras (like the NIkon) and RAW video, because you're trying to get video images that equal what you can get in stills.  I'm in the latter camp.  Of course, when you try to get that color fidelity you lose on other things.  

 

As you said, in really good light, the smaller sensor cameras catch up.  My guess is that in the summer you'll switch to the Panny camp.

 

Actually, can't speak for Matt... but I doubt he's left the Panny camp at all. Before I decided on getting my D5300, he made a very good argument for the G6 speed booster combo. I almost went that route based on his points. And, for video alone... I would have possibly preferred that option. But, my needs... unlike Matt's, are heavily influenced by stills usability. So, the Nikon won for that reason in my case. 

 

That being said, with the few annoyances in handling aside... it really is capable of a nice look that more often than not... has an organic feel to it. The review of the D5300 on cinema5D is pretty much on target IMO.

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The rhetoric is strong in this thread.

 

Lots of new video-centric-photo cameras are going to hit the market in '14.  It's a shame Nikon ain't gonna play.  Andrew doesn't like their strategy.

 

In the meantime, the cam is a good fit for some.

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I understand where Andrew was coming from, although his "DSLR Dead" points probably should have been in a different blog post.  The D5300 camera is more capable than many for video.  It has a nice image.  It's just a bit clumsy for controls, and is stuck with low data rates.  Nikon and the other camera manufacturers, like many big companies, are slow respond to changing trends.  Cell phone cameras are killing the P&S market, AND the camcorder market.  People want both stills and video in one camera, because they have seen it can be done on a cell phone.  If they spend the money for a separate camera and another item to carry around, they want superior quality and functionality for both stills and video, not just stills.  Other than Panasonic, the camera companies for the most part are still are stuck on stills, and dragging their feet on video, meaning they are 5 years behind the times.  That's an eternity when it comes to technology now.  Entire markets dry up in that amount of time.

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I hope it didn't come across that I was implying Andrew is some sort of shill. Wasn't saying that at all. The point was, if I may clarify, is that I value the findings of other users who don't review all the time. Those who're looking for a camera to do the same things I want it to do and have similar criteria as me. The conversations like the ones I had back and forth with Matt before we each decided that based on our experience with the D5200, the D5300 would meet our needs. 

 

I'll add that I first got the D5200 based on what Andrew wrote about it, and the work that Brandon Li was doing with it. So, I do appreciate his opinion and weigh that with what appears to be a little different ultimate criteria, ie. final work flow, budget, and computing power/storage needed. 

 

Before I left for Mexico, I did a few tests and started playing with grading. Not completely happy with my skill level with grading, so I figured it was best to just show the flat stuff mostly untouched. The problem with shooting those extremely flat profiles... is that if you're going back and forth from video to stills, it becomes a real pain. I'll have to see if there's a way to quickly go from completely different custom setups without having to go into menus. My little Nikon compact has a plethora of customizable settings I can quickly change to with one flip of a knob. It'd be nice if I could find a way to do that with the D5300.

 

It doesn't bother me in the slightest that Andrew doesn't like the D5300 so much. What's odd is that it seems to matter to others so much. People have different needs and what they're willing to put up with to get the image they're happy with. Andrew does a good job of stating why he likes this or that and why he doesn't like something, though... it didn't really seem like a "review" that he did of the D5300. More of an opinion piece to call out just how much he doesn't care for it. So be it. I personally don't need anyone to validate my purchase. If it had not lived up to my expectations, I would have simply returned it. So far, it has surpassed my expectations and I'm looking forward to getting better with the camera and grading. So far, considering I haven't even tried grading anything from Mexico yet, and shot for a month handheld under a variety of often difficult conditions... my purchase has been self-validated to my liking. :)

It matters to me because people look up to review site and blogs for advise. If you had read a one page rant without any image comparison against any other camera on the D5200 one year ago would you have bought it. Last year there was 2/3 article review on the D5200 and was compared side by side to the Pana GH3 and Canon 5d3. As we cannot buy all these cameras we all rely on reviews to guide us and that they are the most reliable possible and for those of us who have been following the latest Nikon Dslr video. We know that they are very capable cameras. And I want other low budget filmakers to know how capable those camera are. The same that I did when the gh2 was coming out and everyone was Canon. This is a community and as much I benefited from others sharing their experience, I would like to do the same.

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I understand where Andrew was coming from, although his "DSLR Dead" points probably should have been in a different blog post.  The D5300 camera is more capable than many for video.  It has a nice image.  It's just a bit clumsy for controls, and is stuck with low data rates.  Nikon and the other camera manufacturers, like many big companies, are slow respond to changing trends.  Cell phone cameras are killing the P&S market, AND the camcorder market.  People want both stills and video in one camera, because they have seen it can be done on a cell phone.  If they spend the money for a separate camera and another item to carry around, they want superior quality and functionality for both stills and video, not just stills.  Other than Panasonic, the camera companies for the most part are still are stuck on stills, and dragging their feet on video, meaning they are 5 years behind the times.  That's an eternity when it comes to technology now.  Entire markets dry up in that amount of time.

 

The D5300 lacks only one thing for the consumer market and it is autofocus for video and I am sure Nikon engineers are working feverishly on it. In terms of video and more so photo it has long outgrown its market. Imagine that it is sharper than the lastest Nikon D3s $ 8000 flagship and sharper than any Canon in existence. Has about 2 stop better DR than any canon and Better DR than any medium format back. In video it will kill every phone/tablet in terms of DR and lowlight and true resolution. What it lacts for now for video is an autofocus system so that the consumer can put everything on auto. If you read the market trend it is the mirrorless camera that are suffering the most -48 % market in the Americas.

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Guest 89e2bdf5797fbbdc17c2cc6da1413fa0

The fact is that the D5300 has been made primarily as a stills camera with video added on, so stills features get priority. Panasonic however are making true hybrid cameras (arguably even primarily video cameras with the GH3/4). Someone could quite easily have written an article, as equally full of hyperbole as Andrew's D5300 review, to the tune of: "Nikon give us amazing quality video from a stills camera, better in many respects to Panasonic's true hybrid offerings in the same price-bracket. Why is this? Shouldn't Panasonic be doing better considering their cameras are designed from the ground-up to shoot video?."

 

The fact is that audience-grabbing headlines like "is DSLR video dead", and deliberately provocative articles about big industry issues fuel activity on the site and this forum, and simultaneously lessen the need for Andrew to actually put the work in and do a proper review of the camera itself.

 

It's not hard for any of us to look at enough videos online, play around with enough cameras in a shop and scour enough forums to get a feel for what we do and do not like about a particular camera. It's even easier to find lazy people with big-picture opinions online. What's hard to find is someone who's gone out of their way to put a specific camera through its paces, rigorously testing its possibilities and giving people a clear, objective idea of what the camera is capable of. Andrew used to do that. His D5300 piece (I won't call it a review) did not. Where was the HDMI-out test? Where was the mention that the fixed-pattern noise that plagued the 5200 has been completely eradicated? Where was the discussion of the camera's very good dynamic range, to my mind the 5300s greatest strength, which he said himself in another thread seemed to equal the BM Pocket's at 12 stops!? All that stuff is irrelevant though. There are more important issues. He needed the space in the article to moan about the fact that you had to press the zoom-out button several times to come out of focus assist because you couldn't just half depress the shutter to snap straight out. It's understandable really - apart from the fact that if he'd spent more than 5 minutes with the camera before deciding to crap all over it he'd have realised you could press the OK button, and that will snap you straight out of focus assist. Oh but it's the Nikon mount, that awful Nikon mount that can't take any lenses. What the same mount that's on the MFT-Nikon Speed Booster that's so great?

 

I'll stop before I go any further. No doubt this will come over as a rant from a twat with a chip on his shoulder, but the fact is that everything I've said above is true. 

 

The D5300 is a really, really nice video camera. It really is. It's a bit of a pain to shoot with compared to cameras that are designed from square one to shoot video with. If you're considering buying one, wait for the GH4 to come out. If you like the image from the GH4 forget about the D5300 forever - the GH4 is going to be an awesome dream of a video camera. If you don't want to spend that much money or prefer the relatively soft, crappy, low-colour-depth image of the D5300 (it is actually possible) you are not wrong. The 5300 is a great camera if it's usability limitations aren't a deal breaker for you (if they are you probably need a camcorder anyway).

 

Now somebody please do a rigorous, comprehensive HDMI-out test!

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