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54 mentions of video vs 32 of photos in Nikon D810 press release


Andrew Reid
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Nikon D810 HD-SLR video features

Along with such disappointing video quality on both of Nikon's flagship models the D4S and D810, it's suggested by some that Nikon do not care about video on DSLRs because it is a small market. They make stills cameras! Video is a tiny niche. And so it goes, on and on (mainly from people on photography forums and not actual working pros)...

So I was very much taken aback to see 34 mentions of "video", 14 mentions of "cinema" and 10 mentions of "broadcast" in their official press release for the D810.

That compares to only 18 mentions of "photographer", 4 mentions of "photography" and zero mention of the word "still" or "stills" in the entire release.

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So I was very much taken aback to see 34 mentions of "video", 14 mentions of "cinema" and 10 mentions of "broadcast" in their official press release for the D810.


That compares to only 18 mentions of "photographer", 4 mentions of "photography" and zero mention of the word "still" or "stills" in the entire release.

 

I think we're at the point now where we expect all cameras to take great still pictures. There's not too much that needs to be said.

 

Video seems to be the next technological frontier.

 

I remember a similar situation with printers... when "photo quality" was a key feature.

 

But when most printers finally rose to the "photo quality" level... they stopped promoting that as a feature. Now it's just a printer.  (of course I'm oversimplifying it... but you get the idea)

 

I expect a $3,300 DSLR to take great still pictures... no one needs to tell me.   :)

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I see this as a VERY good sign. We have never seen Nikon lay that much importance to video. From this, we can see Nikon really are starting to look at themselves as a video-camera company, a company for professional broadcasters and cinema, not just stills photographers.

Even if that particular product is not good, I think it's a sign that Nikon will be giving more attention to their cameras as video cameras and even a strong sign that they might develop their own video division. They're clearly after the professional video market and see it as a big market worth investing in.

Nikon cameras have very good dynamic range compared to the DSLR competitiors, and has gorgeous colour science, I even say colors are better than Canon to my eye. The Nikon image when done right (D5300) has a unique look that's very hard to find in other cameras. Plus they are reliable like Canon and have a wide range of excellent stabilised Nikkor glass.

I see it's very probable they would put that s35 sensor from the D5300 in a different housing, add XLR inputs, NDs, peaking and zebras and waveforms and histogram, decent codec and log profile, etc, and charge somewhere around 3000$ for it. It would be a VERY successful camera in the low-budget wedding videography and documentary world even more so than the C100.

I see this as a step from Nikon closer to making something video related.

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I think Andrew is too crazed to see the funniest, at least to me, comparison.  Sony's $800 RX100 III has 50mbit video.  Need I mention the $1,700 GH4 at 100mbit.  For Nikon to release a camera that, AFAIK, is still stuck at 28mbits says it all.  I don't see how NIkon can catch up.  Sony has some serious momentum and Panasonic has kept, if not grown, all their MFT video base.

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I agree. The D800 is by no means a camera that won't allow you to create something brilliant but their competition makes it much easier. The press release is promising though at least if not for this camera perhaps future. I'm a Nikon shooter, I like their ergonomics, build quality and lens legacy. I don't like where they have been going (or lack of going) in regards to video though. I'm in the market for a new camera and while primarily a still photographer I'd love to have GH4 video quality or at least something competitive. I can see myself using a lot more video for work etc. At the same time I still want to shoot stills and the GH4 is not the best camera in that regard. I like to print large like 20x30 (or bigger) and I like the shallow DOF and improved pixel data of the larger sensors.That said for the price of a D800 I could get a GH4 and a D7100 or Fuji APS-C camera and have something great at both.

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After reading and watching the PR material I think the marketing director has "Dreamer Eyes."

 

"This one's for you Nana!"

 

Seriously, check out the D810promo. So many odd beats in the thing.  It's a good illustration of how making cinematic narrative is REALLY hard --and it's not the gear or the budget that allow it to succeed.

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Okay, now thats just funny. I guess the proof will be in the pudding once footage starts to hit the web. But I think we all share your suspicions, it'll probably still have moire among other issues. 

 

Yes, it will most likely have moire, as it has no OLPF, or even a "counter-anti-aliasing filter" á la D800E. Even much smaller sensor cameras with no OLPF like the BMPCC and the RX10 with full pixel readout show some moire in certain conditions. Even when recording to an external recorder. Nevertheless, I don't think the minimal moire (alone) under certain conditions is such a big deal in the case of the BMPCC or RX10.

 

The D810 may indeed show much more moire, false colour and other digital artefacts, thanks to the (likely) pixel binning and stuff, unless it packs some secret sauce we're not aware of yet. How likely that is, well, maybe not too likely. But better to hold judgement until we can see some real world samples from reliable sources, and dust off all the marketing buzzwords sprinkled around by the easily intimidated marketing moguls.

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"Along with such disappointing video quality on both of Nikon’s flagship models the D4S and D810..."

 

So you've seen some native files from the D810 to make this claim, I take it? Or are you referring to the specs? :) Still, a "Nikon sux" post is a refreshing change from the usual jabbing at Canon... ;) (both deserved though)

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I see this as a VERY good sign. We have never seen Nikon lay that much importance to video. From this, we can see Nikon really are starting to look at themselves as a video-camera company, a company for professional broadcasters and cinema, not just stills photographers.

 

It is also possible that Nikon's left arm is not talking to its right arm. The marketing department might be more on the ball than the design and engineering departments. The marketers know what the market wants, but they haven't been given quite the product to match it. Without bringing the two into closer alignment this sort of discrepancy might go on for years. And marketing is a bit like politics; just tell them what they want to hear. Words like 'broadcast', 'cinematic' are so loose and ill defined that you can use them at leisure. 'Broadcast' these days might imply a standard of quality that the BBC might accept, but in reality it could just as easily apply to YouTube, which is technically a form of broadcast, just in a different sense.

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It is also possible that Nikon's left arm is not talking to its right arm. The marketing department might be more on the ball than the design and engineering departments. The marketers know what the market wants, but they haven't been given quite the product to match it. Without bringing the two into closer alignment this sort of discrepancy might go on for years. And marketing is a bit like politics; just tell them what they want to hear. Words like 'broadcast', 'cinematic' are so loose and ill defined that you can use them at leisure. 'Broadcast' these days might imply a standard of quality that the BBC might accept, but in reality it could just as easily apply to YouTube, which is technically a form of broadcast, just in a different sense.

 

Sensible post Richard. I think you hit the nail on the head. The product design and engineering in Japan comes from a very traditional photography culture, one that has no at all embraced video. The US side of marketing, etc. comes from a country with rich filmmaking culture. I am surprised they cannot connect better and give us what we want.

 

Line skipped 1080p at 24Mbit/s, 8bit 4:2:0 and no features such as focus peaking, articulated screen, etc. is just not where pro video is at in 2014. I don't know how Nikon expect to give us such specs and dodgy image quality on brand appeal alone, and full frame.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

We have no idea whether the image is aliasing-free and super detailed with huge dynamic range and high ISO, or full of aliasing with lots of false detail, muted colors, weak dynamic range and poor sensitivity. For all we know, it might have the best image in any 8 bit camera ever made, or could be iphone-like.

Wait till we really see proper image quality samples and try it ourselves. I don't know why but I am optimistic about IQ on this one.

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I have to think that Nikon's marketing team saw that the Panasonic GH4 has been a runaway success, and they want to get in on the action.  Panasonic is backordered on the GH4. The engineering of the D810 was done before Panasonic released the GH4, so they were stuck with what they had.   If you look at the reviews of the GH4 on B&H Photo, they got 5 stars from over 50 people, with only two people giving it a 4 star.  This is in about a month.  That's unbelievable.  Obviously, good video features means something to a lot of buyers now.

 

Michael

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