Tag Archives: D5200

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

Supercars video with the Nikon D5200

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Shooting Supercars with the Nikon D5200 was a Real Thrill

The Video Quality was Superb from this DSLR

A couple of weeks ago we got the chance to shoot some video for one of our clients who run supercar track days in Scotland. We wanted to get plenty of stock video so that, over the next few weeks, we could put together a selection of movies to advertise their next visit to the track. We had a really great day – the weather was superb and the crowds were really enthusiastic. The great thing about Supercars Scotland is that they are so enthusiastic about cars. It is infectious. I am not a petrol head by any means (I’ve got a boring Saab) but they took me round the track a couple of times on the Lambo (that’s a Lamborghini Gallardo, if you didn’t know…) and it literally took my breath away. It’s not just the acceleration, it’s the awesome breaking power of these cars that amazes you.

Anyway, I took the Nikon D5200 along. We were using a Nikon D800, D3s and Panasonic AF100 for the main action shots, but I was to shoot some of the drop in segments. The light was really bright, so I made sure to drop the picture profile down to neutral and focussed on doing the fronts of the cars. We have a make shift slide system made from some plastic piping and so I shot the from to the orange Lambo with that. Although we were planning to put music over most of the video, I didn’t want the noise, or inconsistency of the autofocus, so I used AF to focus and then switched it off on the lens. That way the Lambo stayed in focus even when other cars were in the shot. Next time I shall try to focus from one to the other.

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Other than changing the picture profile from standard to neutral and controlling the focussing, I left everything on auto. Let me know what you think!

Here is one of the finished videos….

Click here to see more D5200 videos

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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.

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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The Nikon D5200 and selective color

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The Nikon D5200 selective color mode

Nikon have a winner with their Schindler setting

I must admit, I am not a great fan of some of the scenes and effects on modern cameras. I think some of them are more for show than anything else. Someone somewhere has decided that this camera or that camera should have 16 effects and so the designers and engineers have to come up with modes that will never get used. If you buy a Nikon D5200, will you ever use the Dusk/Dawn setting? or Autumn colors? (and why is it autumn, British season and colors, American spelling?) Will you ever find yourself in a situation when the silhouette effect will be just what you were looking for?

However, the selective color settings on the D5200 open up a whole new perspective on shooting both stills and video. That dramatic scene of the little girl in the red coat in Schindler’s list has spawned a thousand imitators and has made the part color, part monochrome image a right of passage for many photographers. Of course, it is relatively easy to do in photoshop – you just draw around your color object, select the rest of the image and grayscale it. But if you want to have multiple objects colored, you have to draw around them all, and even with the Magnetic Lasso Tool is can get quite laborious. That is the price of having a software that defines color by pantone and is very specific and exact. The selective color option on this digital camera is a blunt tool by comparison. When you choose a color, every object in the image that has that general color will keep it. This sounds pretty rubbish, but I think it works really well. In these two pictures, I chose orange and removed all other colors.

selective color on a Nikon D5200

selective color in a D5200

I particularly like the detail in the lampshade and the fact that the software found orange in the cabinet. Obviously, you need to be careful. I don’t particularly want the buildings outside keeping their color, for example but, used with some forethought, this can be a great effect.

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

There are two ways of using selective color for stills. You can either chose it from the Effects menu on the Mode Dial or use it in the retouch menu after you have taken the shot. The pictures above were changed in retouch. This picture was shot having selected yellow through the Effects menu.

selective color in the nikon d5200

With video, you cannot use selective color in retouch (imagine the processing power you would need for that) but you can choose it through the Mode dial. If you choose your color wisely, it can have a very dramatic effect. Which, I guess, is why it was so appealing to Steven Spielberg…

Click here for more videos about the Nikon D5200 effects

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