Nikon D300s – First Low Light Shoot

So I had my first shoot in low light levels with the D300s, I figured this would be a nice challenge, seeing as most of the sample footage I have seen from the D300s has been in nice brightly lit outdoor scenes. It was a concert in an old church, very low light levels, and constantly changing levels as well, as from song to song, the lighting went from almost all house lights up to some songs where there were a few small parcans with red gels and that was about it. As my main lens, my 18 – 70mm, is in the shop getting serviced I pretty much shot the entire thing with the 80 – 200mm, which while fast, is a brute of a lens to hold steady, and as my Redrock order hadn’t arrived (courier walked through the door with it literally the next morning) I found myself relying on a monopod to get some semblance of a stable shot. I’m still getting used to how the Nikon deals with exposure, but the settings change to allow the AE Lock button to stay locked when pressed and released at least allowed me to lock exposure easily. I still would love to know how I can adjust white balance as the normal white balance settings don’t seem to affect the colour temp when shooting video, also I did experience some really weird video aborations when shooting under the sodium vapor lights outside, I assume it has something to do with the shutter speed, but I didn’t have time to play as the concert was about to start.

Couple of things I noticed when shooting was, the (jelly effect) that all these cameras seem to experience due to the rolling shutter seems to be most apparent on high frequency motion, ie when you are holding the camera handheld and not stable, I think that this is probably the single biggest reason that people have to knock a DSLR as a video camera, pop it on some kind of stabilizer, be it a monopod or a shoulder rig such as that from Redrock and you almost completely lose the jello look. Also, and this is something I have not heard anyone else mention, the sound of the lens locking up into LiveView is bloody loud, so loud in fact that in a few portions of the concert that were extra quiet, I had to avoid shooting as turning on LiveView so I could record would have interrupted a particularly quiet section, it is worth noting, especially for those thinking of using the D300s on shoots where sound is important and the sound of the mirror locking in place will standout.  Anyway, here is a little compile of the footage, this is part of a three camera shoot that will be edited together at a later stage, but I figured some people would find the D300s footage interesting. Once again, it is totally ungraded so you can see the footage straight out of the camera.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
And so a day later (a day to late mind you) the courier arrived with my bits from Redrock Micro. And all I can say is wow, the build quality on these bits is insane, they are so well put together they are almost worth the price 😉 Seriously though, I do think, that after ordering my first Redrock gear, they do know there stuff, not only do all the parts have an awesome build quality to them, but after sitting and watching every single instructional video on the Redrock site ( I highly recommend you do this BEFORE purchasing, as already I realized a few little bits that I need to finish out my kit) but they also give you an idea of the expandability and customization you get with their gear. As an example, the shoulder rig I got for my ProAim rails can be configured several ways, depending on your needs. When I pulled all the parts out of the box I immediately just put the mount together the way I thought it should go and slapped it on the rails. It worked and felt great, however I was a little concerned that putting the camera onto the quick release was going to be a little tricky as the shoulder rig blocked it, not a major problem, anyway, after watching all the videos and found out that the mounting bracket for the shoulder rest can go onto the rig several ways, as it is threaded top and bottom (this also explains the multitude of different sized bolts that came with the kit) so a few minutes later and I had reconfigured the shoulder rig so it wasn’t blocking the plate,

PAS_2862

then a few more videos along I discovered what is personally one of the best kept secrets on the Redrock site, the shoulder mounting block actually has what they call dove tails so you can slide it straight onto a Manfrotto quick release tripod plate and lock it in, no need to purchase an extra quick-release plate or take your camera off the rails to mount it onto a tripod, the whole kit just slots in, no extra bits needed!

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I am going to wait until my Hoodman eyepiece arrives (its on back order uggghhhh) but I will probably end up getting the offset kit from Redrock as well so properly line up the camera with my eye

microSM_offset_lg

, I also think the micromount to allow me to pop an LCD onto the front bars is also going to find its way to my house

microMount_lg

In the meantime though, I could not be happier, the ProAim kit with mattebox, follow focus and rails was an extraordinarily good buy for the money, and with the addition of the shoulder kit and front handles from Redrock, and eyepiece from Hoodman, for not a lot of money compared to buying a full kit from any one vendor, I have a fully configured should rig and tripod mounted rig.

Oh and also, have also uploaded the Hollywood Ending Trailers to Vimeo as well, if you want to see it in higher quality. Its funny, I only shot this 8 months ago, on the Canon HV30, but now that I have the D300s, looking back at it, I really wonder how much better I could have shot it with the Nikon.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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