True to promise, the Nikon D5000 did become available on May 1st in the UK, and my review camera turned up mid-day in time to be photographed and have its battery charged. Taking it out on my walk to the post (regrettably, to send in large sums of VAT and tax…) the sun came out though it was a very cold and windy day. With the sun, the breeze dropped to a reasonable level and on the way back I was struck by the motion of the trees, leaves and flowers.
So I filmed a few clips just to catch these ‘moving stills’ with the birdsong – and a fair amount of traffic noise, as expected in a cobbled town like Kelso. Major disappointment, not experience with the D90, 5D MkII or the EOS 500D was the level of wind noise catching the microphone. I was actually worried that my fingers might get in the way of the mic, and when filming, I was unaware of the very loud wind noise occasionally spoiling an otherwise good level of sound recording.
What may be needed is some kind of baffle or popshield made from fabric or foam. No external mic plugin is possible, and live sound filming in windy conditions – very common in many places, Scotland included – demands a cure for this!
Here is my 2-minutes’ worth of mini clips capturing a bit of the abbey, a walk through the kirkyard, and finally back in my garden for some cherry blossom and close-ups.
This is a full 720p encoding on YouTube so please do click the HD symbol and view it full size.
On returning to my office around 6.30pm tonight, the first thing I did was fire up the Sony VPL-EW5 projector and Playstation 3 with card slots, and stick the SD card in. Bingo! Unlike the Canon EOS 500D movie file format, the Nikon .AVI files are recognised by the Playstation. I could not play the Canon files at all directly from the card. It worked with the Nikon. Result, great HDTV playback from the Playstation 3 via its HDMI connector to the projector which is native 720p-ish (actually, WXGA which is 1200 x 800 not 1280 x 720, and better suited to showing 35mm format stills – but the 720p output is great anyway).
I checked out a few of the stills, JPEGs, shot on the way. Colours are punchy, exposure is not over-generous, blue skies are quite noisy at ISO 200, sharpness is moderate only with the 18-55mm VR lens. But here’s an example anyway:
Anyway, I’m looking forward to testing the D5000 with a little more time to use it than I had for the 500D. On Wednesday next week I get the 35mm f/1.8 DX lens and a 75-300mm to allow a bit more creative experiment.
Please feel free to post the link to the video directly from YouTube, or embed if you wish, or link to this page.
– David Kilpatrick