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Old Feb 12, 2014, 3:59 PM   #1
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Default taking video with Nikon D5200 Focus issue

I have a question regarding the focus on the Nikon D5200.

First I bought this body 4 months ago for the only purpose to shoot videos with it. I own a Nikon D700 and I am very happy with it. With time I bought few nikon lenses (20,35, 50, 105, 24-300 mm) and even if D5200 is a DX I can fairly use them. I put the 35mm on the D5200 at this time. My goal in taking clips is to record interviews, and I want my guest to be in focus and obtain a nice crisp images. No big deal right?

When I started to shoot video, my very first concern was the focus. The image on my PC screen was not sharp, and I thought I was not good in focusing with the small flipping screen so I got myself an external screen that could be attached to the D5200 (and other gear to help get crisp takes).

Am totally new in video and am trying to find help on the web for this specific issue... with no much success so far.

After few attempts (going all Manual) the crisp result was not as I expected at all. I did a "test screens" yesterday night with full lights on (3 Aura lights which are soft fluorescent lighting), of course am on a tripod, all gear up (rig matte, follow focus, ...), and unfortunately got the same poor quality result when the clips were transferred on my PC.

Do you have any suggestions in setting up the D5200 for a clear sharp image on video? or to point me where to find answers?
Or maybe I need to choose another lens (than the 35mm) to shoot video?
Or could it be a "transfer" issue from the memory card to the PC?

Thank you so much!
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Old Feb 13, 2014, 8:18 AM   #2
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Welcome to Steve's.

I moved your post to our Nikon dSLR forum so that more Nikon owners would be likly to see it.

What video mode are you shooting in?

You'll want to avoid the 1920x1080 60i or 50i modes; as those modes with the D5200 use up sampling and degrade video quality, so the softness you're seeing may not have anything to do with focus issues.

I'd try the 1920x1080 30p or 1920x1080 24p modes instead (chances are, you're just using a video mode that produces degraded quality versus having other issues, and one of those modes should give you much better video quality).
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Old Feb 13, 2014, 9:00 AM   #3
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Was the subject drifting in and out of focus as it moved or shifted position, or was a stationary subject constantly soft?

Have you tried a smaller aperture (numerically larger f-number), thus increasing the Depth of Field?

Have you considered that, while the D5200 has a 24MP sensor, video is, at best, a sequence of 2MP images, and that what you're seeing is simply the limit of the sharpness you can expect from a 2MP image? And if you're using an interlaced frame rate, what you're seeing is actually a sequence of 1MP images.
  • The lens is the thing.
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Last edited by TCav; Feb 13, 2014 at 9:06 AM.
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