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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Robert Carman: So Rich, in the last movie we talked about the Nikon menu system being, for me anyway, a little bit of a downside. But I admit that is mainly due to familiarity with the system. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robert Carman: I'm more familiar with the Canon system, so I thought it would be a good idea for me personally as well as some of our viewers out there to step through some of the main highlights in the Nikon menu system, as there is a lot of customaization available. And as a Nikon shooter, I think you can give us some of the highlights. Rich Harrington: Sure. Well, I think the first thing you are going to do is make sure that you take a look through every page.
Now, one of the ones that I always set up is the My Menu. And this is where you can actually start to add items to this, as well as remove, or move them up and down Even add multiple tab pages. It's that you take the time. And there's times that I can't find things. So I'll just use this and it becomes really easy to see a linear list of everything in a category. But it is a lot and they don't really hide everything. You know, a lot of this stuff on a Canon is under the custom functions and they keep it under a separate tab that like, oh you're ready to step up to the big boy menu.
Robert Carman: Right. Rich Harrington: So in here Nikon just sort of mixes it all together. Playback menu, don't worry much about. What's happening here in the playback menu is reviewing content. But as you do this, you might want to take Image Review off. Like, that's just going to eat up battery life on set. And as you step down here, you're going to notice all sorts of things, like sending to a printer direct from the camera. Like, well, that's usually buried. If you see that scroll bar, that means there's more content below. The next one is going to be the shooting menu. Now on a Canon you have multiple tabs for shooting.
Here's it's all one. One of the things you can actually reset the shooting menu to give back the default. Choose the folder you can actually make more folder there and select a specific target. And deceide how you want to name your files. Which can be useful. Here's that important one. What happens? Yeah, how am I going to route the content. Now this is for stills but video has its own controls too. And as you go through you just really step through the shooting controls. And that's fine, you know. Robert Carman: Those are pretty standard things like. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robert Carman: JPG or RAW the white balance, different picture control or picture modes.
Rich Harrington: What you're not seeing here is the ability to make some custom picture controls. So for video you're going to want to go with neutral. I think Canon. Has the edge here with letting you make your own presets and logos. But under manage here, you can load them and you can make them on a desktop app. So this can be useful. You can modify the default ones here. So notice I can go in and I can adjust. So if I think that the standard setting is too high, I can tweak that. And that's fine, you know, you can really get in there and start to modify what exists, or load additionals.
Now, under the shooting menu here, most of these things, shooting in camera HDR, all of that, nice to be able to control the vignette effect. Robert Carman: Mm-hm. Rich Harrington: You know, and all of these things here. Interval timing shooting absolutely lets you set up interval recording. You actually can, depending on the shooting mode, do in camera time lapse. So I can record direct. To a time lapse movie here in the camera itself. Now that opens up all sorts of things because we're sending out the live view here, it's turned off. Robert Carman: Right. Rich Harrington: But that's really exciting. And then of course the movie settings.
And let's take a look at these. All the ones I think you would expect and some of the same things that we were talking about over on the Canon side. You know, we've got 1080, we've got 720, and, you know, you're saying, well, what about I versus B? That's controlled over here under Movie quality. So if you switch to the high quality mode, it's doing that all eye frame mode essentially. So you've got the same controls, they're just separate. And how about audio, Rob, what do you think? Robert Carman: It looks pretty similar to what we had on the Canon 60. I mean, this is a nice control, giving you a visual indication of your audio levels.
And obviously because I'm the second loudest person in the world, we gotta turn it down a little bit. again, nice thing, but I think coupled with the fact that we have an actual headphone jack, really makes it powerful. Because not just being able to see it, but actually hearing the incoming audio. This is a, hit you over the head type moment where I just want to mention... Rich Harrington: Headphones. Robert Carman: Yeah, good having good headphones is good, but the other thing I just want to mention is, remember the microphones on these cameras, a couple pin pricks in the plastic? Yeah, not very good. Yeah, but you can watch another episode to talk about that.
But you can run audio from an external mic, or a mixer right into the microphone in jack, and then you could adjust your levels and you could hear the levels. Much greater confidence. I find myself still using the sync sound recorder. Robert Carman: Mm-hm. Rich Harrington: But just looping the audio out of that, right into the camera, so sometimes I have less work in post. Robert Carman: Yep. Rich Harrington: Let's just finish out the menu system here. Besides the ability with those movie settings to adjust the audio quality, this is where you can target what's going to happen. Robert Carman: Mm-hm. Rich Harrington: And it does a good job of saying which card's going to go where and telling you the capacity of that card.
Robert Carman: I really like that, the duration of how much you have left on that card, which is nice. Rich Harrington: Now, this is going to be the menu that scares you, and even me sometimes. It's like, and where exactly is that? Robert Carman: Rich Harrington: So, all sorts of pages here. You know, I could drill in, and it's like, oh well there's all the autofocus controls. And there's a lot. And I could go in and say, well, what type of center weighting is it going to do. Now, this is mostly still shooting type stuff, so you're not going to worry too much. But you'll see there, that there are actually things for how quickly does the monitor turn off.
Robert Carman: Right. Rich Harrington: You know, if I'm doing live-view, I'm going to set that. Ten minutes, that's going to suck my battery. Well, unfortunately, five minutes is the shortest delay. Robert Carman: Okay. Rich Harrington: But you're going to have control there. And all sorts of options, you know, turning off the beeps if you're shooting stills on a set. Robert Carman: Mm-hm. Rich Harrington: The ability to adjust how many stills can be fired. All sorts of great control and there are actually some additional movie control down here. I do like the ability to assign my buttons, so depending on what you're doing, you're just shooting video you might want to change some of your buttons and how they work.
And as we get down in there, notice we can get pretty precise as to how things behave. So this is where you could say, when I'm in Movie mode, what does the Function button do? Well, you could have it simulate depth of field. Or you could do exposure lock. So, holding that down, if I'm panning with a mixed light scene. Robert Carman: Mm-hm. Rich Harrington: It's not going to do an auto-exposure. So you can absolutely take control. Or, what am I going to use this button for? It's nice to be able to assign how things behave so you can temporarily enable or disable autofocus as well as lock autofocus Robert Carman: Yeah, so there's a lot of customization possible here.
Rich Harrington: Yeah, but it is buried. It is tricky. And then of course, it wouldn't be a Nikon if there wasn't a whole nother menu. And this is where you do the things like adjusting your user settings. You do have two user presets so you can set up two quick modes so you can just drop right into those. And what's nice here is the ability to clean the sensor. This is where you can control what's happening with the HDMI. What's the resolution it's sending out? So you can actually have really good control and target the device for output. So I like that. I think it works pretty well. All your standard things about information, copyright, the language.
You know, everything you'd expect. Now, I'm a big fan of the virtual horizon. Like, right now it's telling us our tripod is not steady. And so this is just basically an in-camera bubble level. And you can also turn this on and off with the Info button on the back of the camera when shooting live. Comes in real handy as you're working. And then, you know, this is where retouch just for stills. And then as we mentioned before, take the time to set-up My Menu. Robert Carman: That's cool, Rich, thanks for that little tour. I mean, I do think it's a little complex, but again, as I mentioned before, that might be my familiarity with it.
I think when it all comes down to it, it's, you know, getting familiarity with the camera, and for somebody like me who's interested in the D600, it's not that it can't do what I want it to do, it's just in a different place. It's like with any piece of software. Rich Harrington: Or, or called a slightly different thing, image stabilization versus VR, yeah, different names. Robert Carman: Yeah, so overall, I think that the Nikon D600, especially if you're looking for that middle range, entry level full frame sensor. The Nikon D600 presents a pretty compelling case to be a camera that you put into your kit.
Don't you think? Rich Harrington: Yeah and I used, I've used the D800 a lot. I think if your primary concern is video. This camera's great and I know a lot of people even myself included that would rather shoot stills on a 24 megapixel camera than a 36. I think that the level of control that you get in this camera is more than solid, the D800 and the other flagship models are awesome but the price difference is less than a thousand. Over a thousand dollars savings on this model I think at about $2,100, which is about the same list price as the Canon model.
Robert Carman: Mm-hm. Rich Harrington: The good news is, is for about $2,000, you could step up to a whole new style of shooting that really is going to perform for you. Robert Carman: Cool. Rich Harrington: All right, for lynda.com, my name's Rich Harrington. Robert Carman: And I'm Robert Carman. Rich Harrington: Thanks for joining us.
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