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Steve Douglas

Nikon D800 questions

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I am asking these questions for a friend who uses the D800 for topside photo work. He has not shot video with it and was asked to shoot video in a somewhat dark club. After speaking to him, and not knowing the camera myself, I had some questions for the audio. I can lend him a shotgun mic and use the 1/8 in plug but do not know whether the D800 allows for or has any metering for the audio levels. He also wasn't sure what ISO he should use and I suggested that 800 or 1000 might be the best chance for getting a clean shoot but I very well could be wrong on this.

 

I did download the Nikon manual and did a very quick scan of the index but saw nothing. Also assuming that the D 800 will shoot video in both 1080p as well as 720p. He doesn't know and neither do I.

Anyone have any answers for this? Suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve

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Hi Steve,

Some great questions! First off, I would suggest he try to simulate the darkness and get some experience with the mic and doing audio/video in similar conditions. The first time you shoot video with a DSLR it's never as good as you hope for.

 

The D800 does have built in metering for audio. You can access it in the menu structure or when in video mode by holding down the right keys. I forget which they are but I kind of remember the up/down joystick buttons doing it. Could be wrong though.

 

The ISO depends on a lot of factors, but your suggestions are a good starting point. If he can shoot a fast lens he'll be better off. Sadly wide-angle and fast glass is a bit expensive. I use a Nikon 16-35mm F/4 and hate how slow it is for dark lighting conditions with video. If he can, prioritize the ISO being in the range you suggest, and after that try to get in the f/5.6-f/8 range for aperture. If you have a nice prime lens you might be able to get good results opening it up a little more from that to get more light in. Your DOF is going to be tiny so focus is critical.

 

I would suggest shooting at 1080p at 24fps. Try and shoot at 1/50th of a second to get a good compromise of motion blur in each frame along with letting a bit of light in.

 

Hope that helps give a good starting point for you. Nothing beats trying a few settings first though. Noise at high ISO in video is acceptable on the D800 but canons still blow it away on the video end.

 

-Andy

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Much thanks for the advice Andy. I copied and pasted your answer to him. He can't find anything in the manual that mentions audio and I downloaded the manual myself to look for something but I also couldn't find it. Will lend him my H4n and sync the audio to his video for him if/and/or he doesn't get it right.

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Hey Andy,

Just to let you know. His video came out very well. He found the audio meters and I told him how to adjust them so the audio wouldn't distort. I gave him a small LED light to mount on his hotshoe and he shot at ISO 800 and all was well. Much thanks for your advice.

Steve

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Hi Steve,

Great, glad the video turned out well for him!

 

Take care,

-Andy

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