3 weeks with D500 - findings & experience from video recording

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RadoK Junior Member • Posts: 48
3 weeks with D500 - findings & experience from video recording
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Hi all,

My new D500 has been working hard since I bought it recently. I took it to two hip-hop dance competitions and two scholar basketball matches. All these indoor in poor light and full of jumping and running kids. I took video mostly and some photos too.

I did not find anybody sharing experience from non-professional video shooting. So here are my findings and thoughts:

A) Buy a spare battery. With D7000 I was able to record video of two basketball matches (two times 4 x 8min) with one battery. With D500 and its higher bitrate and fps (50fps vs 24fps on D7000) it takes at least 1 and half battery. Usually it is around 300 clips that are 1h and 10mins together. I tested 4K video too. Quality is superb but be ready for 35GB for 30 min video and very long processing time after video editing.

B) Disable Movie High ISO NR. Or set it to Low. Setting "Normal" or "High" makes video soft. Very soft. Take test low light clips at home for all 4 ISO NR settings and select your favorite. Default setting Normal can disappoint you when you see first output of low light video.

C) I did not find Electronic VR degrading video quality so I have it turned on. It crops field of view little bit. Turn it off if you need the few extra millimeters with wide angle lens. The Electronic VR works quite well. I haven't checked yet if E-VR can save battery life when used instead of lens VR.

D) Audio clipping - Internal microphone set to Auto level likes to distort even semi-loud sounds. I did not notice any problem like this in D7000 video. Seeing audio levels on display on D500 I cannot believe how often it is in red in environment full of people and sounds. Its gain is simply too high. Even louder talking next to me is distorted. I wish there is an option to do "audio exposure compensation" for auto-level sensitivity. Yes, there is the option to set mic sensitivity manually but then for example during basketball match most of time audio is very quiet and sometimes after scoring there is a loud drum or horn sound. So far I haven't found how to do good audio leveling in post-processing. Especially for 300 clips. The leveling that adds gain in quiet parts and keeps loud parts as they are.

If you have tips for the audio improvement please let me know.

Few findings from photo shooting:

E) In the beginning I was missing User Settings C1 and C2 from D7000. But now I am quite used to shooting banks. I have a button combination for quick change of the banks. One for normal shooting, one for indoor sport (fast shutter) and one for indoor video (specific shutter depending on fps). The fact that change of aperture, shutter or ISO changes the setting in the shooting bank is fine for me. I can understand that this difference when compared to how D7000 user settings work can be frustrating for someone.

F) JPEG directly from D500 looks great. Especially for high ISO. It is not easy to get similar noise reduction and to get more details from RAW. I am still trying to find my way for RAW processing.

G) The more you ignore SnapBridge the more reliable it works. If I want few pictures from the camera in my cell phone I launch SnapBridge, disable Airplane mode in the camera, mark few pictures for transfer and put my phone back to my packet. I am stressed less, SnapBridge is stressed less, I can continue shooting and latter I find the pictures in the phone as expected. Even though I still have not managed to transfer full sized images. Through Wi-Fi. But hey, 2Mpix is ok enough for Facebook.

I hope you will find at least some info above useful or will be able to help me with the sound distortion.

Thanks & Regards,
Rado

Nikon D500 Nikon D7000
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