Nikon D3100 video macro test with Nikon 55mm macro manual focus lens f2.8 and Nikon 35mm manual focus lens f2.0
Camera mounted on Manfrotto magic arm with Manfortto 128RC video head and Manfrotto Super clamp to enable close overhead camera position.
Lighting - Arri 150 with Lee Heavy Frost overhead and two halogen desk lamps either side.
Internal light meter used for exposure.
PAL 24P 1920 x 1080 Edited FC Pro, 3 Way CC to crush blacks the minimal amount, no other grading.
Audio from camera, no audio post.
Rendered medium quality as Vimeo crashed with larger files.
1. For stability devise alternative mounting system such as tripod for macro work. especially when focus pulling.
2. Use Kodak Gray card to lock exposure for each shot.
3. Use lens tape for focus marks rather than follow focus and rails which can prohibit some macro shots.
4. Consider loading custom exposure profiles fr this camera and lenses using Grey Scale Step wedge, into Sekonic Cine light meter for important work to measure scene contrast and highlights.
The D3100 was purchased predominately for stills work as a second camera and BTS during productions and is compatible with all our Nikon prime lenses. The video function was not the deciding factor of the purchase but was an added bonus if the footage is deemed usable for professional productions.
The camera will probably be used as second camera on video shoots. We have a healthy caution of the limitations when using DSLR's as primary cameras, compared to "video cameras", on a production. We tend to hire DSLR's if they are required and they have their place. However the D3100 was purchased second hand for £300 with kit lens as a stills camera and is good value considering it has HD video capability. Its also compatible with our Metz Nikon dedicated flash guns out of the box. It just works. Nikon stills quality has never been as issue especially in NEF RAW even on this consumer camera.
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