ETHICS STATEMENT: I made this in my own time (and it took A LOT of time!) for the readers of my blog. I was not paid by any manufacturer to do this. The two Nikons were supplied to me on loan as review cameras by Nikon UK for this review. I have never and will never be paid by a manufacturer to review a product. My opinions are my own and always will be. There is a big plug for my site sponsor Kessler Crane for their new products below, as they damn well deserve it. Brilliant stuff! Read more on my ethics statement here.
My BAFTA/ RAINDANCE winning documentary “How to start a revolution” is available to buy on Amazon. You can purchase it below.
I know I am a bit late to the party getting my reviews of the new Nikons out, but I have been on the road for almost 3 months. First in Australia and New Zealand and then in the US. I managed to get loan cameras from Nikon just before going to the US, so a big thanks to Nikon UK for helping me out there.
The full-frame look, for me, is a wonderful unique aesthetic. I already own three superb super 35mm video camera which all do a better job at shooting video than the three DSLRs in this test – I have the Sony FS100, F3 and Canon C300 (The Canon C300 was used to film this video) but their aesthetic is totally different. Very similar to crop-sensor DSLRs. Not a bad thing. Just different. Full-frame looks so unique that it is hard to quantify in words. Certainly, it can achieve much more shallow depth of field, which is a nice option to have in your box of tricks, but not one to use all the time!
The 5DMk II was the first full-frame DSLR to shoot usable HD video, and until the Mk III came out it was still the best. It was marred by image issues, in particular moire and aliasing, but it excelled in low light and had that UNIQUE aesthetic. It was and still is a great camera. The MkIII bettered it and it is reviewed fully here. That camera fixed the moire and aliasing issues and was enormously better in low light. Sharpness out of the camera was not great BUT could be improved a lot in post, unlike the MkII where sharpening just made the image look worse.
My first DSLR was a Nikon, and I have bought a lot of the video shooting ones. The D90, D3s, D7000, D5100. All disappointing in video. The D5100 the first to shoot 1080p 25p but with no proper manual control. The D7000 had no 1080p 25p and no onscreen metering. All of them suffered from disappointing images. I have wanted Nikon to bring out their own fantastic video shooting DSLR for such a long time, as they really have been playing catch up. It really has taken until the D800 for them to finally bring out a camera that is pretty damn good for shooting video!
I go into a lot of detail in the rather long video below. I hope it will entertain and inform you for its running length. I show resolution and image issue tests, show off the full frame aesthetic, discuss features, and demonstrate how they all compare in low light.
The one bit I missed out of the test was rolling shutter issues. They are all the same. Very difficult to tell them apart!
I didn’t do a dynamic range comparison as that is too damn tricky to get accurate without knowing how to get the best picture profiles for the D4 and D800. Too many chances of making a mistake.
The ProRes recorded footage looked great but to the compressed web eyes identical. Only when pushing hard in post does it really start to shine.
No 5DmkIII footage was sharpened (nor Nikon) in any of the shots. This is straight out of the camera. The MK3 would have looked way sharper had I done that.
Check out the “Kessler’s People” video at the bottom of this post. Shot for the review but I have made a little self contained version. It’s shot the D800 and Mk3. All have been graded in Colorista II and the Mk3 has around 25 sharpen on it in Premiere Pro CS6. 7 Shots are on the Mk3 the rest are D800. Can you tell which are which?! All shot with Zeiss ZF 50mm F1.4 and 35mm F1.4.
Huge thanks to TheMusicBed.Com for their excellent music, to Sarah Estela who shot all the links and helped out so much, and to all at Kessler Crane and the NY meet-up for being a part of the video.
The D800 anti-aliasing filter is available from Mosaic engineering by clicking the link below. A version for the 7D is out now too.
I will be taking a look at all the excellent new Kessler Crane products very soon, including their fantastic new quick release plates which adhere to the Arca standard size, the shuttle pod mini and their brilliant new low profile ball head (I did help design it!) for putting cameras on sliders easily but with excellent adjustment. You can check them all out here.
You can help support my site by buying your cameras or gear through one of my affiliates. Without this help I wouldn’t be able to make this videos. It doesn’t cost you any more. Thanks!
Shot on the Canon C300
Shot as part of my “Full Frame Shootout” and expanded for a bit of fun. http://vimeo.com/42065372
I shot this on both the D800 and mk3. But which shots are which? Can you tell?
7 are on the Mk3 and 23 are on the D800.
You can visit Kessler Crane’s website here: http://www.kesslercrane.com/?Click=85
Music from www.themusicbed.com
Daniel Elsworth: Cardinal Wings
Read the review and more on my blog post here: www.philipbloom.net/?p=24958