"Great for Cinematic looking HD video"4.5 starson by hurricaneandy
Pros: Manual Control of ISO, F-stop, Shutter speed, White balance in video mode (by using AE-Lock)
Subject Tracking Auto Focus (useful for steadicam)
21mbps (so far, might be able to push it higher)
Improved ISO, less noise in lower light
Cons: Jello Video Effect (Though it's not any worse than any other CMOS censor utilizing video if you understand how to operate a camera)
No microphone input (isn't an issue if you use a separate recorder)
Summary: I produce independent television and short films utilizing DVX100b and HVX200a cameras. I decided to move into DSLR video production specifically due to this camera. I've shot still photography for years on Nikon with beautiful results. With this camera I can now get those looks on video without buying overly expensive 35mm adapters for video cameras. I've seen a lot of complaints elsewhere about the "jello effect" this camera supposedly has. I don't see any more than you'd get on normal CMOS censors as long as you aren't a moron and know how to operate video/film cameras. I've gotten bit rates up to 21mbps, which for some people is too low, but if you're like me and shooting with HDTV or the web in mind I think it's an appropriate bit rate. You ARE able to use manual controls for shooting, you just have to lock them with the AE-Lock button before you move into live view. All exposure functions (ISO, F-stop, Shutter, White balance) can be locked giving you for all extents and purposes full manual control in video mode. Manual focus and Exposure compensation are available to tweak while recording. Subject Tracking AF is useful for tracking and steadicam shots, but outside of that I wouldn't really consider using automatic features, not because they're not good, just because it's unprofessional. It doesn't have microphone inputs, but I record to a separate audio recorder anyways.
With Nikon's 35mm F1.8 DX prime lens this camera is capable of some really stunning cinematic HD video. Against Canon cameras in a similar price range the D3100 appeared much more cinematic in quality, whereas the Canon had more of a video look to me.
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