Category Archives: Other Nikon Products

Whilst this site is dedicated to the forthcoming Nikon D5200 DSLR, we also look at some other products launched by Nikon.

Rode Mics for your Nikon D5200

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The Rode range of Mics are ideal for DSLR videographers

Rode Mic for the Nikon D5200There are various ways of recording sound when you are shooting video with your D5200. Whilst using the internal mic is the easiest option, the sound quality is not good enough for professional use, or if you have to compete with any background noise.

The Rode mics fit on to the hot shoe and then into the jack on the side of the camera. They all have some sort of shock absorber – usually some flexible plastic fitting – and are very simple to use. Obviously one advantage of having the Mic on the camera like this is that it faces the same way as the lens. These Mics are ideal for interviews or documentary type videos and can also be very useful at concerts or live events, where the sound all tends to come from a single source. The best Mics are actually mono. That is because they can be pointed in the right direction and don’t suck sound from the periphery. Stereo Mics tend to pick up much more ambient sound. The graphics here show the sort of area the Mics cover. If you want to know more about these look for “polar pattern for a cardioid microphone”.

 

The RØDE VideoMic

rode_videomic_sideThe RØDE VideoMic is a professional grade condenser shotgun microphone designed for use with consumer video cameras and personal audio recorders. “Condenser” refers to the way the sound is gathered and is regarded as more generally more sensitive that the other main option, the dynamic Mic. “Shotgun” refers to the shape of the Mic – long and cylindrical.

videomic_polar-patternThe shock absorber does a good job of isolating the VideoMic. The microphone is very directional, aiming directly in front of the camera. It also has the option of a high pass filter, which removes all noise below 80HZ – this level of noise tends to be distant traffic rumble or, if you are inside, the aircon. Inside the battery compartment (it runs on a 9volt battery), there is a level reduction option, but this is very difficult to access and change. It is certainly not something you could expect to do during the shoot.  The foam cover is reasonably effective at keeping out wind noise.

USA: Order your RØDE VideoMic here

UK: Order your RØDE VideoMic here

 

The RØDE Stereo VideoMic

rode-stereo-videomic-The RØDE Stereo VideoMic is a broadcast quality stereo microphone. It is an ideal microphone for capturing environmental and ambient sounds, as well as live music. For dialogue and directional applications the RØDE VideoMic and VideoMic Pro are more appropriate. It also has a good in-built shock mounting system that prevents unwanted rumble and vibrations in the microphone.

Rode-Stereo-VideoMic polar patternsIn addition to the high pass filter, there is an option to reduce the sound input by 10 decibels, to allow recording of loud sound sources, such as live music or motorsport. The Stereo VideoMic is ideal for use with DSLR cameras such as the Canon 5DMkII, Canon 7D, Canon 1D, Canon 550D/T2i, Canon 60D, Nikon D7000, Nikon D5100, Panasonic GH1 and Panasonic GH2.

USA: Order your RØDE Stereo VideoMic Here

UK: Order your RØDE Stereo VideoMic Here

 

The RØDE VideoMic Pro

rode-video-mic-pro

The RØDE VideoMic Pro is another shotgun microphone specifically designed for DSLR cameras. It provides broadcast quality audio via a 3.5mm minijack connector (outputting the mono signal to both left and right channels). Surrounding audio is minimised, and your recording and it focusses on the subject in front of the camera. An innovative suspension system separates the VideoMic Pro capsule and electronics from its mount, preventing unwanted rumble and vibrations in the microphone.

DV016_Jpg_Large_H75795_polar_pattern

Easily accessible on the rear face of the microphone are the power, filter and level controls. It has a selectable high-pass filter at 80Hz, which will prevent low end noise such as air conditioners and traffic from being recorded. Below these controls are the level settings. The -10dB level attenuation (or PAD) is ideal for recording loud sound sources, such as live music, motorsport, or interviews where the subject is very close to the camera. The +20dB level boost is designed for use with DSLR cameras such as the Canon 5DMkII, Canon 7D, Canon 1D, Canon 550D/T2i, Canon 60D, Nikon D7000, Nikon D5100, Panasonic GH1 and Panasonic GH2. This boost in the microphone output allows the user to reduce the camera’s preamp level (or mic-input level), effectively reducing the amount of noise generated by the camera’s comparatively low quality audio circuitry. The VideoMic pro is battery powered, and provides over 70 hours recording from a single 9V battery.

USA: Order your RØDE VideoMic Pro Here

UK: Order your RØDE VideoMic Pro Here

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D5200 movies – sound number 1

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The best ways to record sound with your Nikon D5200

There are two areas where photographers really struggle when they try to move into making videos. The first is understanding that, with moving pictures, they can use the movement of the camera to help tell the story – so they don’t need to fit everything into the frame from the start. The second is sound. Sound is completely irrelevant to stills photography. In most situations you can make as much noise as you like and it won’t effect the image. However, with movies, sound is more important that the picture. Just try watching a movie with poor images and an movie with poor sound. Your brain will cope with poor images, but the lack of quality sound makes the whole experience unbearable.

So, as we start to look at movie making with the D5200 in more detail, sound is the obvious place to start. We welcome Cheryl Howarth, who has just completed her degree in Music Technology and is a professional sound engineer for a video company. She will take us through the complexities of getting the best possible sound for your videos.

 Getting the sound right is a tough job for photographers

The place to start is with the Nikon D5200 itself. boosting the internal mic from mono on the D5100 to stereo on the D5200 is really only a small change. the mics are very close together and, more importantly, very close to the lens. This means that, even with a SWM lens, there is a good chance that the Mic will pic up the noise of the lens focussing and any other camera noise. The Mic also has a wide recording pattern which means that it will pick up any noise from anywhere, not just what you are trying to video. This may suggest that the internal Mic is useless, but it does produce good ambient sound and is fine if you are close to your subject in a quiet spot. We have recorded on the internal Mic before in the studio, and it is perfectly useable.

A rode Mic for a Nikon D5200If you want to record sound from a specific point, you will need a directional Mic. Rode make good ones. You can get a couple of types – ones designed for a DSLR and ones designed for more general use. The DSLR Mics will come with a hotshoe attachment and a short cable to fit into the camera. These will run off a battery and feed the sound directly into the camera. Others, like the Rode NTG2, are more flexible, as they can run into a seperate sound recorder or ( with the right cable) into the camera. The NTG2 is the sort of Mic you will see being used by professional video crews. Often with a ‘dead cat’ wind muff, they are placed on a boom and sit above the subjects head, just out of shot. Because it is a directional Mic, it doesn’t pick up much ambient sound and is very versatile. With the right cable, it can fit into your D5200.

Tascam DR05 for the Nikon D5200It could also fit into a digital sound recorder, like a Tascam. These are great if the action is away from the camera and there would be too much noise interference to use a directional Mic on or near the camera. You can place the recorder near to the subject, and use either the inbuilt Mics or a directional Mic to pick up the sound. These recorders produce superb quality sound. The only downside is that you are recording the images and the sound separately, which means that you will have to put them together in post.

Sennheiser radio micsIf you are working with the subject and he/she is too far away for a directional Mic, or is going to be moving around, or there are two subjects, then the best way to record them is with radio Mics. these fit on the clothing of the subject and connect to a transmitter. the receiver is connected either to a digital recorder, or the camera. These work really well because they are always with the subject/s and clearly record their sound. Of course, you have to be careful not to record other sounds, like their clothes rustling, and if you have two Mics working into the same feed, the subject off camera needs to remember to be quiet.

We are producing a series of videos talking about Sound. Some of them will be available on the Nikon D5200 Channel on Youtube, and some will be exclusively produced for our manual. Cheryl is really looking forward to explaining some of the complexities of sound recording and show us how to get the best sound in different situations. Also we are grateful to Rubadub Audio in Glasgow, who specialise in sound recording equipment and are lending us some gear and further expertise. All the products mentioned in this article and in others are available to our UK readers here. For our US readers, check out these links.

See more videos about the Nikon D5200 DSLR here

Now is the time to buy your Nikon D5200

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Now is the time to buy your Nikon D5200

Prices have flattened, the holidays are coming

Nikon D5200 digital camera with standard lensIf you haven’t bought your Nikon D5200 yet, then this is the perfect time to buy. The prices have stabilized and the camera stores fighting between themselves to get your money. Whilst the Nikon website is holding out for $800/£719.99 for a body and $900/£819.99 for the body and 18-55mm kit lens, (we don’t recommend getting the 18-105mm lens) you can get them for $700/£499 and $800/£571 respectively on the internet. Check out our prices below. We don’t think they are going to change much before the end of the summer. It is a great deal – the camera produces superb stills and videos and the 24mp chip is a cracker. Combined with the faster processor and the 39 focus points, you are getting a lot of camera for your money.

And if you have bought your D5200, why not try out our D5200 manual. It is full of tips and information to help you take great pictures and movies. It is only $10/£7 and we will update it for free. We are currently working on a video section which should be available shortly.

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

In the meantime, please drop into our YouTube channel to catch up on some great advice and helpful videos. Recently we have put up a full review of the D5200 and also a video explaining the abbreviations on lenses made by Nikon Sigma and Tamron. Some more tips on night time photography are to follow. If you have any questions, that is probably the best place to contact us.

Review – 12-24mm Nikkor dx lens

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Take a look at this great Ultra-wide standard lens

This Nikon lens is perfect for your D5200

 

Nikkor 12-24mm lensThe Nikon 12-24mm lens would be a great addition to your lens collection. It is one of their semi-pro lenses and has eleven elements (pieces of glass). This makes it feel quite heavy, but the toughened plastic shell makes it feel sturdy in the hand. The metal mount ring and quality of the focus and zoom rings does give the lens an air of permanence. If cared for, this lens should be around for a good few years and should certainly outlast your current Nikon body, the next one and possibly the one after that.

 

12mm is just outside fish-eye territory and ideal for internal room shots and close ups though it is hardly a macro. Zooming up to 24mm gives you a view not far away from normal human vision. It smoothly goes from 12-24 with markers for 15, 18 and 20mm on the zoom ring.

 

This is a fixed aperture lens. F4 is the fastest setting, but it extends to f22 with plenty of aperture options in between. It is not a super fast lens, so shallow depth of field is not really an option, but the fact that it is fixed and its focal length is close to normal vision means that it is an ideal general lens for shooting video. Unlike some wide lenses, there is not much light fall off or vignetting throughout the zoom range.

Get some great deals for the Nikon 12-24mm f4 lens from these dealers….

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Adorama | Amazon | Cameta | Rakuten | J&R | UniquePhoto

 

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Amazon | UK Digital cameras | Wex

 

This is a DX lens, built for DX cameras like the Nikon D3000, D5000 and D7000 series of bodies. It has video friendly SWM (silent wave motor) technology, making it very fast and relatively quiet. It is an IF lens, which means that you can put a filter on it ( 77mm) and offers extra low dispersion (ED). One thing I particularly like about it is that it has an M/A switch for the auto-focus, which means that you can manually over-ride the autofocus without having to switch from Auto to Manual – though this lens is pretty forgiving when it comes to focus, especially for movies.

 

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

If you got the kit lens with your D5200, this is a really useful addition, offering a massive leap in image quality. The 18-55mm lens is a pretty good general lens, but it can’t compete with this top quality beast. This lens is perfect for video, travel photography and landscapes. It is not a cheap lens, but its performance is excellent and it is built to last.

See more videos about the Nikon D5200 here.

Nikon Lens Abbreviations

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What do those initials mean in the side of your lens?

 Getting the right lens for your Nikon camera

A detail of a nikon lens Different manufacturers identify the different features of their lenses with different initials or abbreviations. These can be quite confusing and so we thought it would be a good idea to go through the most common ones, so that you know what to look for. It is important to know what your Nikon lens can do, because some lenses will not be appropriate for your camera.

Firstly though, two very basic settings

MM or focal length of the lens. So the larger the number, the longer the focal length, the higher the magnification and the further you can see with it. The human eye is about 30mm (though there are different interpretations of this), so if you want to see more than that you want a higher number. For example, sports lenses tend to be big, perhaps 300 – 1000mm, so that they can get close to the action. They also tend to be fast…

Which brings us on to aperture. The aperture of a lens is known as the F number or F-stop. Often the widest aperture is shown on the lens. So an f4 means that the widest aperture on that lens is f4 – though it will have other settings, probably going down to f22. If the lens has two numbers – for example f4-5.6 – then it means that the lens has a variable aperture. This means that when you zoom the lens in and out, the aperture will change. This can be annoying when shooting stills, but a nightmare if you are shooting video. The bigger the number, the smaller the aperture. Again, a sports lens would be f2.8 or so, so that the shutter speed can keep up with the action.

Now some of the abbreviations:

DX Means that the lens is built for DX cameras like the D3000, D5000, D7000 series cameras. They tend to be smaller and lighter than FX lenses and the focal length doesn’t change – if you put an fx lens on a dx camera the focal length will change. It will be increased by a factor of 1.5 or 1.3, so a 50mm lens would become a 65mm or 75mm lens. If you buy a 50mm dx lens and put it on a dx camera, the focal length will remain 50mm

IF Means internal focus. This means that the front of the lens doesn’t move – so you can attach filters to the lens either clear filters to protect the lens, or polarisers or neutral density filters to change the light going into the lens.

ED Means extra low dispersion. This is supposed to reduce the amount of chromatic abberation, which is the blue/red tinge you can sometimes see on edges when you blow pictures up.

AF-S Means Autofocus the lens has an internal motor for focusing, it might also use the initials SWM for silent wave motor. Because the D5200 doesn’t have an internal motor, if you want your lens to auto focus, it must have an internal motor

VR Means vibration reduction and is designed to reduce the effects of camera shake. Very useful for low light hand held photography, and in big lenses which are hard to keep steady. Because this is automatic, you must switch this function off if you are on a tripod or it will increase blur.

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

Check out more videos on Nikon lenses here

Using a Reversal Ring on your Nikon D5200

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Using a reverse ring with your D5200

 This is a  great way into to Macro photography

If you have ever wanted to dip your toe into macro photography, but were put off at the thought of having to buy an expensive lens, the reverse ring – or reversal ring – is for you. It is a simple, but very clever, bit of kit that lets you turn a standard lens into a makeshift macro lens. Basically, you attach the ring to the front of your lens and then turn the lens around and attach it to the camera via the ring. This reverses the optics and can make a macro lens out of any standard prime or zoom lens.

A key shot with a nikon d5200The great thing about the reverse ring is that it takes you back to very basic photography, because the reverse ring sits between your lens and your camera, there is no physical contact. That means that you lose all automation – no AutoFocus, no AutoAperture etc – you have to work it all out for yourself.

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

Because the lens is reversed, the best focus setting to use – which allows you to get up close to your subject – is infinity. Likewise, if you are on a zoom lens, the best focal length to use is the widest. The closer you get to the subject the bigger it will appear in the frame. You will need to focus by moving the camera (or the subject). Also, you will have to manually set the aperture settings and shutter speed. This is a wonderful return to the trial and error photography that many of us will remember from your early photographic experiences. Of course, you still have the advantage of being able to immediately see the results in the viewing screen, rather than having the process, so you can make changes to lighting etc. straight away. I would always recommend using a tripod, as this removes one of the many variables you will be dealing with.

a reverse ring for a nikon d5200You can pick up a reverse (reversal) ring for a few dollars and they are a great way to try out macro. What’s more, going back to the very basics of photography for an afternoon is tremendous fun.

For more information about using a reverse ring with the Nikon D5200, click here

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