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Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)

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Tony Connoly
Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 2, 2011 at 3:26:52 pm

I am confused about whether the Nikon D5100 allows you to manually set ISO, shutter speed and f-stop. It would be nice to be able to use the D5100 since it has the flip-out screen, but lack of manual control would be a deal-killer for me.

I have read various reviews and the Nikon manual, and the information seems contradictory. The D5100 lacks a menu setting on the D7000 called "manual video control" or something. However, it seems you should be able to put the camera in M mode, choose the settings, press EL (exposure lock) and go into Live View and then start movie recording. One website suggested that you can't let go of the EL button, but in my experience with Nikons the EL button can be set to be sticky, so it needs to be pressed only once.

Thoughts?


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Noah Kadner
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 2, 2011 at 9:38:36 pm

It is as you expect- requires an EL sticky. I tried out a 5100 a little while ago and was pretty disappointed. Nikon is way behind Canon in terms of video operation/ergonomics- at least at the 5100-level market. I hear better things about the D300S- of course it's another price bracket.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Roger Martin
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 3, 2011 at 5:11:19 am

I have had the opposite reaction to ergonomics.
After owning a 5D2 which I consider Canon's best HDSLR, I much prefer the Nikons.
You can shoot full manual with the D5100.
The controls are available after you are in live view.
However, I prefer the automatic settings for movies myself.


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Andy Schroeder
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 4, 2011 at 9:14:34 pm

Not exactly the same but I own a D3100, and you can shoot in manual; but you have to trick the camera.

Start out setting the dial to M, shutter to 1/50 (or whatever you want),set your F-stop, ISO, white balance etc... for however you'd like things to look in still mode. Normally after this part you'd think to press exposure lock.

The problem is (and heres where the trick starts) when you turn on live view EVEN WITH the exposure locked, it'll change ISO/shutter speed to whatever it wants within a 1/2 second of going into live view, then RE-lock the settings that IT chose for those two functions. Seemingly keeping you from having full manual control.

So to keep your settings you have to set them how you want them for the scene but don't go into live view, then pan the camera around until you find a spot that lets the exposure meter reads a perfect 0, at this point you hit exposure lock and go into live view and stay still to keep that meter reading at 0 for that 1/2 second before it re-locks exposure.

Then you can reposition the camera however you want, to frame your shot, and it will retain your exact manual settings without the camera's pesky automatic features second guessing/correcting you.

It sounds complicated but it's not so bad if you don't have the money to cough up for a D7000. I recently shot a 22 minute short that way and was able to get consistent results every time.


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Tony Connoly
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 4, 2011 at 9:38:21 pm

Andy, that's amazing for a camera to do. I assume you can't make changes during a scense.

I remember with my D90 an additional issue was that the camera never actually told you what ISO and shutter speed it was using while recording. Has that changed? Does it actually tell you what it's doing, so that when you press lock, you know that you're good? Also, even if it's at 0, does it every choose another combination of ISO and shutter that get to zero?

Does it allow locking White Balance too?

Thanks very much!


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Andy Schroeder
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 4, 2011 at 10:10:13 pm

I assume you can't make changes during a scense.
Correct, you can't make changes on the fly. To change any settings you have to stop recording, unlock exposure and reset.

I remember with my D90 an additional issue was that the camera never actually told you what ISO and shutter speed it was using while recording. Has that changed?
No. No matter what happens the screen readout always tells you what you set the manual controls to, so if it changes them on you, the readout will still say what you set and not what is actually being recorded. If you were to snap a still shot while recording it would take the pic at the manual settings that are on the screen though.

Also, even if it's at 0, does it every choose another combination of ISO and shutter that get to zero?
I haven't noticed any changes that would lead me to believe this happens. I snap a still photo of each shot setting beforehand to figure out the look I want and it seems to always match up to the final video. The shutter speed/on screen motion always seems to look as it should to me (I use 1/50 as my go to setting) when using this method. Plus while in live view you can(and I do when possible) check on an external monitor via HDMI for a better view than the LCD provides. You wouldn't want to record out that way to an external drive though because all the on screen info appears on that video output as well.

Does it allow locking White Balance too?
Yes. If you're using manual white balance (I use an expo disc for this) it retains that white balance in video mode.


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Tony Connoly
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 6, 2011 at 4:33:28 pm

Andy-Does your method of locking exposure also work with Ai, Ais and Non-Ai lenses, where the camera cannot measure exposure at all?


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Andy Schroeder
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 9, 2011 at 11:58:44 pm

I use 3 lenses with the D3100. The Nikon - AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens is my main lens (very detailed visuals), the Nikon - AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm Lens for long shots, and the Nikon AF-S18-55mm Lens that came with the camera body; mainly if I need a wider angle. All AF-S lenses. I have not tried this workflow with any other lenses as of yet.


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Arild Pedersen
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 21, 2011 at 10:54:44 pm

Just picked up one D5100 in Oslo and the video function acts different. Cannot in any way lock exposure settings. The only way to record good video is to push the AE-L button continous in LiveView mode.

Arild Pedersen


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Roger Martin
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 22, 2011 at 1:53:03 am

I had the need to push the AF-ON button all the time when I first got my D7000.

I cannot really tell you what I did but I can now shoot a Video in either that or my D5100 in autofocus and even zoom while doing it without using the AF-ON (or shutter half-down).

I think it is just something you have to learn by using the camera.

I also weened myself from needing the MonoPod or TriPod for shooting stills on the D7000 but need them again for the D5100. I think it is because the body + 28-300 lens is much lighter than the D700 with an 80-400.


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Tony Connoly
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 22, 2011 at 2:30:51 am

Arid-Custom control f2 is what you want. Set it to AE Hold.


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Arild Pedersen
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 31, 2011 at 12:25:54 pm

Custom control f2 set to AE Hold solved it. Works with all my lenses, even Zeiss type. Great! Tnx! Best Arild.

Arild Pedersen


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Andy Schroeder
Re: Nikon D5100 and manual controls (ISO, F-stop, shutter speed)
on May 23, 2011 at 1:00:02 am

On the D3100 you have to go to button controls in the camera menus and change AE-Lock button to Lock and Hold or something along those lines to get it to hold with a one touch button press. I wold assume its the same on the 5100. Read the manual, its in there.


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