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Gary Caganoff
Sony Z7 or Nikon D7000
on Jan 8, 2014 at 5:33:52 am
Last Edited By Gary Caganoff on Jan 8, 2014 at 5:36:42 am

Hi,

I need some advise on what camera to use for a job that will require the best image. No audio needed. I own a Z7 HDV camera which is my work horse, and I also have a Nikon D7000 that I have taken very little video with. As this job needs excellent images that will be projected onto a screen as part of an installation, which camera should I go for? Or, should I hire a XDcam or a Canon DSLR?

My fear with the Z7 is that the digital noise of the HDV format will not project well.

Thanks in advance.



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Rob Manning
Re: Sony Z7 or Nikon D7000
on Jan 11, 2014 at 4:02:16 am
Last Edited By Rob Manning on Jan 11, 2014 at 4:13:14 am

Hello Gary,

I've used/use the D7000 successfully as a video device, weddings, NPOs, venues, trade shows so as with most HD enabled DSLRs, there are common work arounds TBS.

In the D7000 one should set the (Movie settings) to manual ON. This will eliminate the capture being affected by movement or changes in lighting which will darken or lighten the exposure while recording otherwise (phase detection is used in live view, contrast detection through the view finder) and are an awful PITA to fix after the fact.

Note that exposure, proper lighting, dual source audio and so on come into play and Rich Harrington's book (with his co authors) From Still to Motion is among the best guidebooks around covering the entire gamut regarding the genre. http://www.amazon.com/From-Still-Motion-photographers-creating/dp/032170211...

As far as noise, the D7000 as with every HDslr captures at around 2MP, so in post if shot correctly, moderate or none with noise removal Noise Ninja, Red Giant etc.

Metering off camera a good idea, test drive clips in Adobe or other NLE scopes before the downbeat, ask for house lights off and shoot in set lighting as well.

Since the D7000 does not have live view histogram, shoot a still and check for exposure. The histogram is THE last word while or when things are in flux, DPs will tell you that, if one has to fly blind.

If you use iJOBS or Google hand held devices, you can download everything from a color meter to a slate.

Shoot neutral, and try a profile setting here: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=48733

Currently we have 2-D7Ks and 1-D800 with moderately successful products as a result.

What lens choices do you have? Do you have a second body to rent for angle, lens and cut away interest, lighting changes, and so on?

Is the shoot scripted so you have short takes, re takes or are you running at the full 20 minutes? If full length, can they break for a few seconds while you reset record?

Stills, are they part and parcel or do you expect to extract frame grabs from the timeline?

LMK, thanks,

Rob Manning


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Gary Caganoff
Re: Sony Z7 or Nikon D7000
on Jan 11, 2014 at 8:41:51 am

Thanks Rob,

I think I'll use the D7000 over the Z7 on this occasion as I'm feeling confident about using it and not stuffing it up. The shoot is a simple one, mostly landscapes shot from a tripod. Not much movement needed. It's for AV 'wallpaper' as a backdrop to a live dance show.

Yes, I will use manual settings including focus as I discovered the limits of automatic when filming my kids.

I still have to learn about reading histograms correctly and may purchase a fixed lens instead of using the standard 18 to 200mm zoom. Any suggestions on 50mm or a 30mm lense? Hmmm, I like my landscapes wide. Used to use 28mm all the time on my old SLR.

Does ISO work like in the old SLR cameras? I used to use no more than 100 to keep the grain level down. If I keep it low will the picture be smoother? As well as the shutter slower obviously.

Thanks for your advise.



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Rob Manning
Re: Sony Z7 or Nikon D7000
on Jan 12, 2014 at 3:22:40 am

Hi,

I may have reversed the phase and contrast detection aspects BTW, grabbed a comment by someone who had it backwards but the LV is contrast detection.

The histogram, simply shows if you are tending to crush blacks or blow out highlights, easy enough to see and the Flatt picture profiles will lessen (open up) shadows.

That is a decent zoom however, if you rack it, because it is not fixed at aperture (an f/2.8 versus f/3.5-5.6) then exposure will be affected lightened or darkened, so choose a focal length to be static.

Otherwise sure and you can rent a lens near term.

The crop factor 35mm equates to 52mm, the 50mm to a 75mm so perhaps the 18mm on zoom, at 27mm equivalent is the best choice especially as the exteriors will be daylight no doubt.

ISO at 100 is fine of course, but with this body you can push shots well into the ISO range if need be, 800, 1600 are not uncommon when balancing with the histogram approach.

You may consider an ND Grad depending on how bright the sun is for shallow DOF but most landscape takes do well at F8 (usually) and the exposure can be mitigated well enough without a grad.

HTHs,

Rob


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Gary Caganoff
Re: Sony Z7 or Nikon D7000
on Jan 12, 2014 at 8:30:23 am

Thanks Rob. Appreciate the advise. I can go with all that. Looking forward now to the shoot. Also I think the main shooting will be in the forest so I can get away not using an ND filter, if I keep away from the sky shots. Face of a waterfall is the main shot.



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Rob Manning
Re: Sony Z7 or Nikon D7000
on Jan 12, 2014 at 9:41:35 pm

Have fun.

RM


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Gary Caganoff
Re: Sony Z7 or Nikon D7000
on Jan 30, 2014 at 3:13:15 am

Hi Rob,

One more question please? I had a test shoot today and am happy with results but I'm confused as to which format I should be shooting. The D7K has two high quality options: 1920x1080 @ 24fps and 1280x720 @ 25fps.

As I'm in a PAL country 25fps is normal. BUT, will the 1080 format give be a better quality image for the projection onto the screen? I just put a 1080 24fps shot through FCP and it converted to 25 well. It actually moves smoother than the 720 clip I shot of the same thing! Will I be wasting my time converting 24 to 25 or should I just stick to the 720 option?

Just to clarify I can't change the frame rate from one to the other.

Thanks heaps.



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Rob Manning
Re: Sony Z7 or Nikon D7000
on Feb 3, 2014 at 11:49:46 pm

Gary,

Sorry for the delay.

Is the installation being fed via a DVD player, or will the file be on a hard drive?

Older PAL players don't always see NTSC 23.98 files well, but newer ones do.

Ingest of the 1080 file, and conversion to 25 FPS in the NLE doesn't add a frame but it can affect precise audio synch etc.

If the clip(s) are film only, the program should be able to manage it with little obfuscation AFAICT.

If the footage is run in post and the audio is not source recording, things should be fine with under bed audio.

If the piece is run from a hard drive in a loop, like a museum or point of sale in a gift shop there are various programs that can be used as players like VLC or Streamclip once you have rendered it into a high resolution h.264 format or other compressed scheme.

Should there be an issue, numerous fixes on a search are suggested for interpolating and so on but, the differences in your playback between the two formats should be negligible.

HTHs

Rob


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Gary Caganoff
Re: Sony Z7 or Nikon D7000
on Feb 4, 2014 at 10:53:02 am

Thanks Rob. So I take it there isn't any (or not much) difference between the two formats in quality. I'll stick to the 25fps then if that's the case.

Thanks heaps for your help and will by that book you mentioned.

all the best,



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