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Andrew Reid

Nikon D5300 Review and why DSLRs are dead for video

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Skiphunt, very nice video!   Sorry to sound critical, the narration sounded very interesting, but didn't match the footage for me.  Quite the opposite, it was distracting.  I would have rather heard you babbling on, "Look at those dogs.  Ah, the dogs life.  Look at the guy on the windsurfer, ah, the windsurfer's life..." :)

 

Another way of putting it, what are these colors RED BLUE GREEN

I had a similar thought. But I liked the narration with the first, ungraded cut. I wonder if polishing/adding a little soup to the audio narration would change things? Bring it more in-line with the more polished visuals?

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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

Regarding that last Yucatan video I posted.. not likely going to spend any more time with it, ie. travelogue, sweetening audio, etc. Just wanted to make something finished with my D5300 source/test footage to see how it looked after playing with grading. It's really just a camera test for the most part. Mostly likely the better clips that don't need releases will be uploaded to sell as stock video. It was just more fun to shoot interesting subjects while traveling Mexico in real shooting situations, than to shoot any more bowls of fruit or people at the park, etc. ;) Figured some considering the D5300 might enjoy seeing something else from it.

 

I discovered that the D5300, for the money, can deliver an image I'm happy with. Now, I just need to come up with a good story/project, and figure out how to get my editing gear faster without dropping a few thousand on it.  

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https://vimeo.com/87551084

 

Nikkor 85mm f2 AI-s on both cameras (G6 with Speed Booster). All shots graded. This is a personal test, it is not intended to be an objective comparison. Please Download the original .MOV file on Vimeo.

I don't know if it is the shots, but the D5300 does not seem that soft compared to the G6. In the last one it even looked sharper. But it could be due to what was in focus.

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@skiphunt - nice video.  I thought the footage and the edit were great.  The narration really worked for me and I didn't find it distracting at all.  

Were the slow motion /time lapse pieces done with the 5300 in camera?  

 

Thanks! No, all of the time-lapse was done with a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition (not the new + one) 

 

The GoPro is great for doing easy time-lapse and when you want to get into the water. The last shot in the video is from the GoPro shot at 2.7k 24fps and down-sampled to 1080. I know I could have removed the fisheye effect, but decided I liked it. I think given the fact a new GoPro Hero 3 is cheaper than the ultra-wide lenses available for the Nikon.. it makes for a compelling alternate choice instead. For less money, it's actually smaller than an ultra wide lens, plus it can shoot 1080p at 60fps as well as 720p at 120fps for ultra slo-mo, does great high-res time-lapse easily, and gives you an excellent waterproof option while traveling.

 

For me, given a choice of a sharp ultra-wide Nikon lens for around $700+, or a GoPro Hero3 for around $400, I think I'd take the GoPro, especially for video.

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Posted a longer, mostly unedited, flat color version of this D5300 footage a few days ago. Here's a shorter version, that's edited, a stab at grading, with music and some GoPro footage added. :)
 
File too large for my free vimeo account.
 

 

 

At first the narration bothered me a bit and then slowly it just worked out. It had a very woody Allen feel to it and could have been a little nicer with more related imagery, but was still very nice.

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I'm going to try to find time to do another test. I know the G6 can look better than this. DR and colour suck compared to the 5300 though, and it's nice to know the Nikon can be very sharp.

 

To really test sharpness you need to use a wide lens, stop down for a very deep DOF and focus to infinity. Close ups of plants sharpened in post hide the resolution issues of the D5300. Also for the next test make sure clouds in the sky don't make for your shots being lit completely differently from camera to camera. In one of your shots practically the entire scene is in the shade, whilst in the other shot most of it is in bright sunlight.

 

It also tend to stress the codec. It use to relevant for the canons but for the Nikon's it would be good to test with an external recorder to take out the codec variable.

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One place you can find them is DxOMark. They score sensors and lenses according to various metrics. The sensors in the D800 and D610 share the very top position of DxoMark's ranking for dynamic range at 14.4 Evs, with the D5200, D5300 and D7000 being the highest ranking among APS-C format cameras at 13.9 Evs. In general, the sensors in Nikon models currently dominate DxoMark's rankings, especially for dynamic range.

 

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Ratings/Landscape

 

(those values apply to stills, but it is possible that part of the dynamic range is truncated for video)

It seems like a bit of a stretch to translate the DXoMark figures to video.  There is a lot of difference going "sensor to raw stills" vs. "sensor to compressed video".

 

Michael

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The Pocket for example has very low noise at high ISO's but I would choose the D5300 over the Pocket because the colours remain very good in low light, whereas the Pocket gets really washed out.

You are supposed to grade the Pocket's output anyway no matter what type of shooting you are doing, and then all is good. :)

 

Michael

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You are supposed to grade the Pocket's output anyway no matter what type of shooting you are doing, and then all is good. :)

 

Michael

I was talking about after grading. I haven't seen anyone get really punchy colours back into low light stuff shot with the Pocket. See EOSHD shootout here (jump down to heading "Colour Response"): http://www.eoshd.com/content/11350/depth-test-5d-mark-iii-7d-raw-vs-blackmagic-pocket-vs-gh3

 

To quote AR: 

 

 

I love the Pocket Cinema Camera’s colour in bright light especially when graded with Kodak or Fuji film stocks in Film Convert.

In low light though something happens to the colour to kill it especially if you’re aiming for maximum dynamic range and shadows.

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At first the narration bothered me a bit and then slowly it just worked out. It had a very woody Allen feel to it and could have been a little nicer with more related imagery, but was still very nice.

 

Yeah, at first it sort of bothers me too. I do get that. But, like you... it slowly worked out to the point I was satisfied. Thanks for the compliment!

 

Also, I just watched the 1080p version via 60in plasma TV and I'm definitely happy with the image. That was also the heavily compressed YouTube version streaming through AppleTV.

 

My editing system is very minimal and got VERY bogged down, so I didn't end up trying a bunch of different stuff. Just wanted to get it to something presentable and be down with it. 

 

My system is just a MacBookPro 13in mid-2012 with 2.9 i7 with 8GB of RAM. I added an external thunderbolt drive connected to a thunderbolt display, but it's still just the Buffalo mini TB portable drive, that I believe only had a 5400rpm drive in it. 

 

Just did a little research and found that simply turning off a few things in FCPX that I wasn't using anyway, including background rendering... helped a HUGE amount. I think all I'll really need to do is possibly upgrade from 8GB to 16GB and I should be good to go for short projects like this one. If I was trying to do anything with a raw workflow and not the compressed D5300 source, I'd definitely need to sell off my machine and get something much faster.

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As I said this was a personal test, more to compare overall aesthetic qualities rather than specific technical ones. 

 

... With the problem being that the overall aesthetic qualities of the G6 and D5300 are nothing like what you portrayed in that video.

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... With the problem being that the overall aesthetic qualities of the G6 and D5300 are nothing like what you portrayed in that video.

Nice. Thanks. What's wrong with the D5300 part of it then?

 

I got around to a quick sharpness test today. This round goes to the G6 (this is the sharpness difference I was expecting when I did my first test). It was dull as hell outside and getting dark. I probably did everything "wrong" but hey, it was useful to me.

 

 

I wonder if the higher bitrate of 50p on the D5300 helped with the sharpness of my first video? Here it looks mushy as hell and noisy too. I'm going to keep doing these tests as I need to learn how to mix the cameras, and what their respective strengths and weaknesses are for the sort of things I do.

 

Lens: Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 (mounted to G6 with Speed Booster).
Aperture: c. f8 (couldn't be accurate with SB on G6)
Sharpening: default in-camera, 1.5% in post (both cameras)
FR/SS: 24p, 1/50th (both)
ISO: 400 (both)
Graded to match as close as I could

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Nice. Thanks. What's wrong with the D5300 part of it then?

 

I got around to a quick sharpness test today. This round goes to the G6 (this is the sharpness difference I was expecting when I did my first test). It was dull as hell outside and getting dark. I probably did everything "wrong" but hey, it was useful to me.

 

 

I wonder if the higher bitrate of 50p on the D5300 helped with the sharpness of my first video? Here it looks mushy as hell and noisy too. I'm going to keep doing these tests as I need to learn how to mix the cameras, and what their respective strengths and weaknesses are for the sort of things I do.

 

Lens: Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 (mounted to G6 with Speed Booster).
Aperture: c. f8 (couldn't be accurate with SB on G6)
Sharpening: default in-camera, 1.5% in post (both cameras)
FR/SS: 24p, 1/50th (both)
ISO: 400 (both)
Graded to match as close as I could

 

That's interesting. I felt like what I got out of my not-very-sharp 18-200mm f3.5-5.6VR lens in Mexico was mostly sharper than much of what I've seen you post from what should be MUCH sharper lenses. However, I was shooting ALL 60p in Mexico and I'm guessing much of what you've been posting (until recently with your slo-mo stuff) has been 24p? Doesn't seem like there'd be that much difference in sharpness between 60p and 24p. And, I would have guessed 24p would have yielded a sharper image between the two frame rates.

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That's interesting. I felt like what I got out of my not-very-sharp 18-200mm f3.5-5.6VR lens in Mexico was mostly sharper than much of what I've seen you post from what should be MUCH sharper lenses. However, I was shooting ALL 60p in Mexico and I'm guessing much of what you've been posting (until recently with your slo-mo stuff) has been 24p? Doesn't seem like there'd be that much difference in sharpness between 60p and 24p. And, I would have guessed 24p would have yielded a sharper image between the two frame rates.

The thing is that while 50/60p has a higher bit-rate per second than 24p, the actual bit-rate per frame will be lower. So while the 50/60p video looking sharper while playing makes sense, still frames would not be sharper. But I have been judging sharpness from freeze frames and they do look sharp.

 

The main difference between my older and newer videos is that I've changed from having in-camera sharpness dialled right down (0), to now having it at default (3). It's made a big difference.

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The thing is that while 50/60p has a higher bit-rate per second than 24p, the actual bit-rate per frame will be lower. So while the 50/60p video looking sharper while playing makes sense, still frames would not be sharper. But I have been judging sharpness from freeze frames and they do look sharp.

 

The main difference between my older and newer videos is that I've changed from having in-camera sharpness dialled right down (0), to now having it at default (3). It's made a big difference.

 

Yeah, I noticed on your last collection of slo-mo ocean clips, etc. All looked much sharper than your first videos were. I think I've got mine at +1 or +2 (have to check) then a sharpness bump in FCP. I'm still liking the D5300 image better than the G6, but they're close I think. Should be easy to find the right combo to mix nicely.

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Regarding bitrates, just keep in mind that unless you use a codec that compresses each frame separately (think jpg for reference), most codecs store only a few keyframes, and in between, only record the difference between each frame, so lower bitrate is ok considering there are less changes between each frame at higher framerates.

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Great work with the tests, its the best way to learn. Interesting to se how they handle colour different in shadows.

 

My guidelines for doing tests like this is to start with trying to get the best out of each camera in the same setting. I would try maybe three ISO values for each camera in lowlight and compare. Then do sharpness and DR at ISO 100 in daylight with like f8. Then I would do a static, indoor portrait shot around ISO 400-800 at around f2.8. Then, since I do docu, I would do some handheld walking shot with movement and going from dark to bright rooms etc, I would look how the camera handles under and overexposure, how it retains detail and noise in shadows. The last step is key for run n gun where you don't want to change exposure during the shot. The Nikons DR has proven useful in those scenarios because they don't just clip to black but gives slight detail and provides orientation for the shot. Then I would go to the pub and drink two beers, tell my friends what I did and have them laugh at me.

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This is my most controlled test so far - all settings as close as possible and the sky was overcast so a fairly flat, consistent light.

 

This one is quite close, but I prefer the D5300 image here. The sharpness of the G6 isn't pleasant in this shot, and IMO the D5300 isn't that different in terms of resolution. The Nikon is also a lot cleaner. I am starting to wonder if 50p on the D5300 is sharper than 24p. I should also try the test again using 50p MP4 on the G6 - I don't like this 50p AVCHD shot much at all.

 

Lens: Nikkor 24mm 2.8 AI-s (with Speed Booster on G6)

 

Settings the same on both cameras:
Aperture: f11
Shutter: 1/100
FR: 50p
ISO: 160
Sharpness: in camera default, 2% in post
Picture profile: Natural (G6), Neutral (D5300)

 

Very light grade to raise contrast and saturation.

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