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Video shooting on Nikon D780

Video shooting on Nikon D780


Who needs a Nikon D780 DSLR
Video shooting on Nikon D780
Why Nikon D780?
Crop or Full frame? The choice of a layman

I share my experience of owning (more than 1.5 years) a Nikon D780 professional SLR camera. And above all, the possibilities of video shooting on a Nikon D780. Using examples of a selection of videos I shot, I show and tell about the features of focusing, stabilization, sound recording, as well as video shooting modes. Interesting examples show the Nikon D780 5-fold video deceleration mode.
Video shooting on Nikon D780 is carried out using lenses: Tamron 35-150mm F/2.8-4 Di VC OSD (A043) and Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (A025).

What to expect from a simple Nikon 

Fig. 1. Nikon with microphone.
Fig. 1. Nikon with microphone.

Those who watched my short video about the possibilities of video shooting on an amateur Nikon D7000 camera with a professional lens, probably noted the significant disadvantages of this camera. Firstly, in the conditions of room lighting, the camera focuses with problems and not only slowly, but also often misses the first time and periodically uses focusing back and forth and this is on static objects, and it's better to forget about dynamics in general.
Secondly, even from the most modern focus drive motor, the sound gets into the regular speaker, making the recording unsuitable for further consumption. I will say more, this sound also gets to the microphone installed in the "Hot Shoe", although less. Only the remote microphone saves, but this is not very convenient in reportage video shooting. There are too many preliminary gestures before you start shooting. And if you are an amateur, then you will forget something out of these hundred manipulations.

Fig. 2. Nikon D7000.
Fig. 2. Nikon D7000. Everyone is running

For example, look at a fragment of a recording made in Victory Park on a Nikon D7000 with a standard microphone and a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 lens. And if the picture for home video is normal, then the sound … alas and ah.

Conclusion, the Nikon D7000 is suitable only for static shooting in street lighting conditions, or for shooting with a constant focal length, or with a remote microphone, but this is already a studio.
And what about the professional Nikon D780?

And what about the professional Nikon D780? 

Fig. 3. Nikon D780 & Z6.
Fig. 3. Nikon D780 & Z6.

And what about the professional Nikon D780? The commercial distributed by the manufacturer promised a lot of goodies, but to believe advertising in our time is even stupider than to believe a gypsy fortune-teller.
And indeed, professional reviewers quickly discovered that the Nikon D780 combines the Nikon D750 DSLR with some improvements, and the Live View mode and matrix are completely borrowed from the Nikon Z6 mirrorless, but with one exception: the Nikon D780 does not have an optical matrix stabilization mechanism. From the reviews, however, it is difficult to understand for what purposes, or rather for what tasks this stabilization works: in a photo or in a video, it is quite obvious that it is not the same. It is clear that the manufacturer says that in all modes. And indeed, there is no built-in optical stabilization in lenses with a Nikon Z mount, as in Nikon F lenses. But again, relying on advertising is a thankless task in this matter. However, there are few alternatives.

Fig. 4. Nikon D780, Live View.
Fig. 4. Nikon D780, режим Live View, фокус по 273 точкам.

It turns out that the Nikon D780 consists of two full-fledged cameras: a DSLR and a mirrorless camera. It is clear that video shooting can only be done in Live View mode. And here the capabilities of the Nikon D780 are significantly higher than almost all the brand's mirrors that came out before it. In this mode, focusing can be carried out over the entire area of the frame at 273 points, the focus mode on the face and even on the eyes is also supported, but it works at a fairly close distance or, more correctly, at a fairly close-up. Autofocus is fast and not so demanding on lighting.

Fig. 5. Nikon D780, DSLR.
Fig. 5. Nikon D780, DSLR mode, 51-point focus.

However, if we compare the modes of photography, then Live View noticeably loses to the "SLR Camera" mode. Autofocus is slower, and if you can catch carefree frolicking children in the DSLR, then Live View is beyond your strength. And he reacts to the descent, like modern cars to gas, with a pause. The dynamic plot has already changed several times during this time. And all this, of course, with expensive lenses for 1000 and even 1500 $. I am sure that if you put it for 10000$, then nothing will change either.

In the examples given, it is not clear at all what I photographed, but no. It's just that the children managed to run out of the frame while the camera in Live View mode reacted to my actions. One can, of course, assume that there was not enough light in the room, but also not. Here are examples of images from the same event, but already in the DSLR mode.

Standard Nikon D780 microphone 

And as for the sounds from the autofocus motor, it will not be possible to use a regular microphone yet. The option with a microphone on the "Hot Shoe" is better. I suggest you listen to a fragment of the recording. Though not too loud, but audible. For home video, perhaps it will do, but the camera is professional. It's a shame to sell such a thing. To prevent sounds from being recorded, you should set the microphone at least a meter away from the lens. The only improvements are that autofocus works clearer and misses less often and there is practically no endless yuzan. Well, the Nikon D780 has fewer requirements for lighting.

However, shooting dynamic videos on a Nikon D780 will not work. Once again, it is possible and even necessary to take dynamic photos in the DSLR mode on the Nikon D780, it was created for this, but in the video it is better to limit the average dynamics.

Stabilization in Nikon D780 

Fig. 6. Vlad Telebaev (right) and Academeg (left)
Fig. 6. Vlad Telebaev (right) and Academeg (left)

And most importantly, what about stabilization? It is not available in the video recording mode. From the word at all. As you know, lenses with a Nikon F mount have built-in optical stabilization, but it only works for photos, it is not active in video shooting. Fixing the camera in manual mode is not an easy task and requires practicing complex skills. Sometimes I did it, but if exclusive shots appear, such as when I met a fox cub in Lenin Hills, then you start to get nervous and you can't hold the camera.

True, some bloggers even specifically use the effect of a shaking camera, like it adds dynamics to the video, but I'm not a supporter of clip thinking. For normal video shooting, you need a cool stabilizer. This can be seen or heard from almost all operators of well-known video bloggers, for example, auto-reviewers.
Fig. 7. Nikon D780 & Tamron 70-200 f/2.8
Fig. 7. Nikon D780 & Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens

Another aspect is hand trembling. It manifests itself with a large physical distance of the object. In this video, I shoot with a zoom from Tamron 70-200 f / 2.8. The focal length is 200 mm, and the subject is several tens of meters away. With a slight shake of the camera, the focus is lost and it takes time to catch it. This is clearly visible on the video.

I will briefly go through the video shooting modes in the Nikon D780. The camera can shoot in 4K mode 24 and 25 fps and in HD mode from 24 to 120 fps. There is also a slow-motion mode. Deceleration is possible up to 5 times, however, when shooting in slow motion, the sound is not written. As for slowing down. Then 5-fold is not very slow, but the camera shake in this mode is imperceptible.

Fig. 8. Nikon D780
Fig. 8. Nikon D780

Another feature is that the video can be shot both from the full frame and in crop mode, with constant resolution. In other words, the video quality does not change, but only the focal length of the lens changes. If the subject is far away and the zoom is no longer enough, or it is not optimal to increase the zoom, for example, the minimum aperture increases greatly, then you can increase the focal length by one and a half times due to this trick.

Video on Nikon D780. Results 

Fig. 9. Veliky Novgorod
Fig. 9. Veliky Novgorod. The Kremlin.

Let's summarize the results. An empty Nikon D780 camera is like an expensive car in the database – one frustration, but … But this thing can be retrofitted. Retrofit according to your requests and make a rather fancy thing out of it, I would say a cool monster. The same camera can be used both as an uncompromising DSLR and as an advanced video camera. Expensive? Expensive. But you don't have to buy everything from scratch every time. After all, so far no one has managed to refute the rule: A miser pays twice, a stupid one pays three times, and a sucker always pays.

Video on Nikon D780. YouTube 


Subtitles in several languages are attached to the Video. Enjoy watching!

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NikonNikon D780Nikon D7000Video shooting
Статья опубликована: "25" ноября 2021 г.
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