Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Brave New World
Two new cameras bring HD video capability to the D-SLR and create a new way for nature photographers to see and share the world through imagery
The D90 can shoot HD video at 1280x720 resolution, or standard video at 640x424 or 320x216 pixels, all at a natural “cinematic” 24 fps. Videos are in .AVI format with Motion-JPEG compression and mono sound (or without sound, if you prefer). HD video has a wide-screen 16:9 aspect ratio, while standard video has a 3:2 aspect ratio.
Nikon has made it easy to shoot video with the D90. Just choose your resolution and sound option (On or Off) from the Movie Settings submenu in the Shooting menu, press the Lv button next to the LCD screen to activate Live View mode, press the shutter button halfway to focus, and press the OK button in the middle of the Multi Selector to start recording. To end recording, press the OK button again.
You can shoot video in P, S, A or M mode; metering is Matrix. Note that autofocusing doesn’t occur during Live View shooting: Either set up the shot so the initial focusing point works for the entire clip or focus manually during shooting like the pro moviemakers do.
You can shoot up to 2 GB of video at a clip, 5 minutes maximum in HD and 20 minutes max at lesser resolutions. Picture Control settings can be used to adjust saturation and contrast, create an old-time sepia look or even produce black-and-white video. High-ISO performance is excellent.
Computer Requirements For Video
Playing videos on your computer requires an up-to-date computer system due to the large amounts of data involved. If you have an older system, it’s probably best to play the video directly from the camera on an HDTV set using the camera’s built-in HDMI interface.
If you just want video clips of nature’s moments, raw footage straight from the camera is fine. But if you want to produce finished videos, you’ll need to edit your footage. That requires video-editing software and a computer with sufficient power and storage to handle the job.
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