To shoot or not video with D800?

Started May 2, 2012 | Discussions
kongo
New MemberPosts: 6
Like?
To shoot or not video with D800?
May 2, 2012

I keep looking at responses like this:

You are spending $3,000 for a camera and won't spend $375 on a Zacuto???

Why is commonly accepted in this forum and other forums that if you have 3000$ for a D800, you will have the same amount or more for accessories?

I get it with lenses and the important point that you buy or upgrade a system, not only a camera body. Someone who is giving 3000$ in D800 and 2000$ in some worthy lenses and wants to shoot video, does he need to buy a Zacuto Z-Finder for Liveview viewfinder? Does he need in order to create a stimulating video with a decent camera (D800) and good lenses, expensive follow-focus, zacuto shoulder rigs that cost 1500$, 400$ in one nd filter, sliders, microphones ? Films like "An Andalusian dog" or "Rome Open City", masterpieces of cinema, created in difficult and sometimes extreme conditions.

I don't doubt that professional equipment is more than useful and necessary. But is the purpose of these unhelpful answers , to remind us that we shouldn't buy this camera unless we are professionals or rich? Wouldn't be more helpful to advise someone instead of replying with unanswered questions? Wouldn't be more helpful to describe the quality difference between cheap and professional accessories, the possibilities and the alternatives with this equipment and the DIY solutions ?

My main two points here are that the bare (equipment) minimum for shooting stills or video is subjective and that would be far more helpful and useful to contribute to a question rather than spoiling it.

Nikon D800
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
billyboy14
Regular MemberPosts: 175
Like?
Re: To shoot or not video with D800?
In reply to kongo, May 2, 2012

I think you have to ask yourself what kind of video you want to shoot. I got my D800 specifically to shoot video...professional video. I have thousands invested in Nikon glass, and figured if I wanted to take my business into the video realm then the D800 made sense. I didn't drop $375 for a Zacuto Z Finder, though. I dropped $699 on a SmallHD DP4 Evf. I also ponied up another $600 for a Sachtler video tripod/head combo, hundreds more for a rig, and well, you get the idea. I'm not showing off, it's just that camera is a tool for my business, and if someone is paying me to shoot their video, then a monitor/evf with a peaking feature will help make sure I nail the focus. A good fluid head tripod will assure smooth pans and tilts. My shoulder rig will help stabilize shots so you don't vomit.

I still shoot video of the kids with my iPhone and for home movies they look great. You might have seen the comment about the Z finder as obnoxious, but it may just have been a pro who couldn't believe you'd spend the money for a pro body and balk at getting the rest of the kit to make your video great. But if you're an enthusiast who invested in a D800 for the love of photography, don't worry! Check out http://www.cheesycam.com and http://www.oliviatech.com They have fantastic advice for shooters on a budget as well as DIY'ers. Hoodman makes a finder, and you can find others on ebay as well. A finder will at least give you a third point of contact with the camera to help steady the shot, along with aiding your focus. Also, check out http://www.edelkrone.com Their pocket rig has lots of good buzz. It may seem a bit pricey at $299, but that with an $80 Hoodman loupe gets you a great little rig. There are also resources for other inexpensive shoulder rigs, bargain fluid head tripods, etc. Invest a little to get your video looking nice enough so that you're not discouraged. Then, if you decide you want to get into it seriously, there are plenty of companies ready to take you money Best of luck!
--
Bill

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Robin Casady
Forum ProPosts: 11,193
Like?
Re: To shoot or not video with D800?
In reply to kongo, May 2, 2012

kongo wrote:
I keep looking at responses like this:

You are spending $3,000 for a camera and won't spend $375 on a Zacuto???

The Zacuto doesn't fit the D800. It is for 3" LCDs and the D800 has a 3.2" LCD.

My main two points here are that the bare (equipment) minimum for shooting stills or video is subjective and that would be far more helpful and useful to contribute to a question rather than spoiling it.

It might have been more productive to ask a well formed question, rather than posting a rant. How about something like:

Want suggestions for budget or DIY accessories for video shooting.

My suggestion: Instead of a Zacuto, get a dark cloth, some velcro for fabric, and high power reading glasses. Do as the old-time photographers did. Attach the cloth to the camera by wrapping one edge around the lens and using velcro or a closepin to keep it in place. Drape the cloth over your head and view the LCD with reading glasses.

For camera movement, you can build a camera dolly and track with PVC pipe, skateboard wheels, and a piece of plywood. You should be able to find DIY web pages through Google.
--
Robin Casady
http://www.robincasady.com/Photo/index.html

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
marike6
Senior MemberPosts: 5,070Gear list
Like?
Re: To shoot or not video with D800?
In reply to Robin Casady, May 2, 2012

I had the Zacuto on my 5D MK II and it's a great piece of gear, but there are plenty of other LCD VFs that works nearly as well. I have an inexpensive Carry Speed LVD VF that honestly works just as well as the Zacuto. And it's much lighter, and pops on and off the LCD as it's held in place my magnets, and a metal frame that you can attach to the Nikon screen protector. (I haven't attached it you as I just got my D800 this afternoon, but the dimensions seems to be fine. It the 4:3 Model for Canon 5D Mk II).

The one next to it that it's a copy of is the LCDVF, which is about $125. I bought the Carry Speed for 5D Mk II from an Ebay store $34.95. And it's well made, and works perfectly. The optics in it are likely a simple condenser lens vs. the multi-coated optics of the Zacuto, but in practice you won't notice the difference. I also have one on my GH2. Don't get sucked into the "you spent $3000 on a D800 and you can't afford x trap. It's total BS. There are tons of quality items that don't sell for Zacuto professional filmaker type prices. Good luck.

http://cheesycam.com/images-of-the-vfinder/

http://cheesycam.com/new-view-finder-t2i-60d-5d-mark-ii-7d-nikon/

 marike6's gear list:marike6's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P330 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D800 Fujifilm X-E1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kymarto
Contributing MemberPosts: 630
Like?
Re: To shoot or not video with D800?
In reply to Robin Casady, May 2, 2012

It all depends on what you need and what you want. I recently shot a documentary on a 5D on Fukushima that is up for a number of awards. I could not have done it decently without at least $4000 of accessories, apart from camera and lenses.

Yes, you need a Z finder, and even with that you will have trouble with focus--the back LCD is too coarse, as are most mountable monitors. decent ones cost several K and weigh a ton, nor is it easy to see them well in bright sun.

Yes you need a tripod, fluid head with bowl level for steady shots and smooth moves; likewise, a decent rig is necessary for steady shoulder work.

Because of non-stepless aperture considerations, a variable ND is a must, and for audio, you need at minimum an external mic.

Without those, you will get video at seriosly compromised levels. Just sayin'...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Scott Oberle
Regular MemberPosts: 251
Like?
Re: To shoot or not video with D800?
In reply to Robin Casady, May 2, 2012

The Zacuto doesn't fit the D800. It is for 3" LCDs and the D800 has a 3.2" LCD.

The new Zacuto for the D800 should be released any time now. I haven't heard about a 3.2" Hoodman, but would be certain one is in the works. Same for other manufacturers.

-- hide signature --

Scott Oberle

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kongo
New MemberPosts: 6
Like?
Re: To shoot or not video with D800?
In reply to billyboy14, May 2, 2012

I didn't want to underestimate professional equipment and the definite good result you get. But when you are tough on budget and enthusiast, you can find alternatives.

Your answer and some of the others were really helpful and a starting point for a more budget equipment. That was my point. Thank you very much.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Big Col
Junior MemberPosts: 30Gear list
Like?
Re: To shoot or not video with D800?
In reply to kongo, May 2, 2012

Can anybody recommend a 5" portable plug in HDMI monitor? The Marshall V-LCD50 looks sweet but pricey. The Sony CLM-V55 is much cheaper then the Lilliput ones are cheaper too. Any experience with these?

While we're at it, in the LCD display of the D800 when in movie mode can you switch on the flashing highlights to easier see if you're blowing out? The histogram is there, I know, but I've got used to using this feature on the GH2 and quite like it.

For the Zacuto Z discussion above, those things are okay providing you can always get your eye behind them. For many shots, for me anyway, the cam is usually low or high at strange angles so perhaps it's more important getting a monitor first..

 Big Col's gear list:Big Col's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Nikon D40 Nikon D700 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Sal Baker
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,564Gear list
Like?
Re: To shoot or not video with D800?
In reply to kongo, May 3, 2012

kongo wrote:

I didn't want to underestimate professional equipment and the definite good result you get. But when you are tough on budget and enthusiast, you can find alternatives.

Your answer and some of the others were really helpful and a starting point for a more budget equipment. That was my point. Thank you very much.

The first year with my 5DII I shot 12 corporate videos for large screen projection. I bought a $380 fluid head for my existing tripod, and this...

http://14dollarstabilizer.org/

When I made the "steadicam" they had a kit that cost $39 which I bought. It works great if you have decent biceps (real Steadicams simulate the arm, elbow and the theory that a mass wants to stay in place) and if you practice, practice, practice. Years ago I was able to rent a "real" pro steadicam for a shoot. I thought it would be the magic stabilizer that makes the camera float on it's own. Not only did I tear my back apart, the shots looked horrible. There's a reason why you should always rent the steadicam and the steadicam guy.

Most shots were inside and the LCD worked fine for focus. Outside you need an optical assist viewfinder. For steadycam-style shots I use a 16-35 L zoom, mostly towards the wide end. Pre-focus and maintain distance to subject as they move.

The better support gear makes a huge difference, but you can do amazing things with some ingenuity.

Sal

 Sal Baker's gear list:Sal Baker's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 350D Fujifilm X-E2 Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Marshall Thompson
New MemberPosts: 1
Like?
Re: To shoot or not video with D800?
In reply to billyboy14, Feb 14, 2013

When I hear folks gripe about the price of video equipment consider this excerpt from my own purchase history:

Sony Betacam 400a body only $38,000.00

Fuji 15 x pro lens: $6,000.00 - $8,000.00 and up

Sachtler video 18 carbon legs/head $8,000.00

Brick battery, $500.00 each

Sony power supply $500.00

3 GB AVID HDD $3,000.00

Count your blessings!  Now that any strapping lad or lass with an iPhone considers himself a video producer - and that might well be the case - remember in the final analysis it is the producer/shooters' knowledge, experience and taste in telling a visual story is what matters, not glitzy hardware.  Today I variously use Sony DSR V1U, Flipcam HD, Go-Pro 2, Motorola Android phone, Nikon D-800, Nikon D300 and Nikon N-90 film camera.

The best camera to have is the one in your hands.  Cheers, shooters!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jay A
Senior MemberPosts: 1,051
Like?
Re: To shoot or not video with D800?
In reply to Robin Casady, Feb 14, 2013

>>>The Zacuto doesn't fit the D800. It is for 3" LCDs and the D800 has a 3.2" LCD.<<<

There is one for 3.2" LCDs. It's called the 2.5 for 3.2" and it works great on the D800.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
nitinm
Forum MemberPosts: 74
Like?
An affordable video accessory
In reply to marike6, Feb 14, 2013

Just wanted to share with you all an affordable follow focus accessory I recently picked up for 50 bucks. Will see how good it is.

http://www.focusshifter.com/follow-focus-dslr/

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads