D800 video function thread

Started Jun 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
David H Dennis Regular Member • Posts: 295
Re: D800 video function thread

Haven't gotten my D4 yet, which will be my first video-enabled DSLR, but here are some ideas.

In general, the more you pre-plan your shots, the more likely your project is to be well-suited to DSLR video.

If you can't focus pull because you're short-handed, plan your shots so your subject moves into focus. You can put marks on the floor at the exact place you want her to stop.

Or, better yet, have her move from side to side, staying in focus, instead of front to back (requiring focus changes).

The original poster is correct - you cannot zoom, because DSLR zoom rings are very rough. The solution to this is to purchase a cine zoom lens, designed specially for this. Unfortunately, cine lenses cost in the mid five figures for FX work. Yikes!

Unlike zoom, focus on a high quality lens is good enough to change while filming. For those unaware of the term, that's focus pulling. In professional moviemaking, a dedicated person does it.

You may want to consider DX crop lenses instead of FX for your production. DX lenses combine a wider focal length with a narrower field of view, which means they have more depth of field. So you can get a significantly wider focus range so focus is not quite so crucial as it is in FX.

On the D4, which I'm getting, you can do 1:1 2.7x crop mode, which will allow for even more depth of field and thus easier focus. This apparently is the only really high quality movie mode on the D4, unfortunately. Unfortunately, I don't think it's available on the D800.

The problem with this approach is that if you have more in focus, there is less of a feel of depth of the image. If you look at DSLR films, you will notice they make enormous use of the shallow depth of field associated with the FX sensor. But if you are a beginner, or someone who doesn't have total control over their subject, using a DX lens or even the 2.7x crop mode on the D4 is likely to produce better results.

Hope that helps.

D

 David H Dennis's gear list:David H Dennis's gear list
Leica Q Leica X-U (Typ 113) Nikon D4 Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon D5 +5 more
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