Record 4K video from your DSLR with Nikon
Make your own super-sharp 4K movies to watch on your UHD TV with Nikon’s new DSLR camera
04 Feb 2016
Make your own super-sharp 4K movies to watch on your UHD TV with Nikon’s new DSLR camera...
DSLRs have long been the camera of choice for professional photographers and advanced amateurs thanks to their fantastic picture quality and flexible controls.
But now some models are offering another great feature – the ability to shoot video in 4K resolution.
Why use a DSLR to record video?
Shooting HD video on a DSLR is no new thing, in fact video capabilities are a major consideration for people when buying a new DSLR.
But why would you make videos on your camera when you can buy a camcorder or use your smartphone?
DSLRs are great for shooting video because they:
- have interchangeable lenses for giving a different perspective of the same scene – switch between standard and zoom lens for video
- can create a more cinematic feel with large image sensors that gather more light and detail
- are portable and quick to set up so you can start filming quickly at short notice
- are flexible – take stills from your video footage and switch between photography and filming, quickly
Why shoot video in 4K?
Because it’s becoming the new standard for video – whether you’re a Hollywood producer or a bedroom YouTuber.
Sony Pictures has been shooting movies in 4K for a few years now, Netflix too shoots its original shows in the resolution.
Even NASA is getting involved with amazing 4K videos of life in space – check out NASA in 4K
But it’s not limited to movie studios and spaceships – the availability of 4K camcorders, DSLR cameras and smartphones means anyone can get involved.
A great DSLR for shooting 4K video: Nikon D500
The Nikon D500 was one of the most talked-about cameras at the CES 2016 tech show in Las Vegas.
The camera is light and small to carry around, but still has a large APS-C/DX sensor for more detailed video and photography.
You can record 4K UHD footage for around 30 minutes too, whereas some cameras will only record much shorter sessions.
When shooting hand-held your footage will be smoother thanks to vibration-reduction technology, while the angled touchscreen is great for filming in tight spots.
Of course, it’s a fantastic DSLR camera first and foremost. Enjoy great results in low light with its high ISO range when shooting photos, and capture stunning detail with its large sensor.
How to watch your 4K content
To get the best from your 4K video you should play it back on a 4K TV. 4K TVs make regular content look much sharper thanks to upscaling technology, but for the ultimate 4K experience you need content that’s shot or mastered in 4K.
This could be 4K streaming from Netflix, or Ultra HD Blu-ray, or the movie you shot on your new DSLR.
Whether that’s a family party, or your teenage son riding a half pipe on his skateboard – it’s going to look super sharp in 4K.
What else can I do with my 4K videos?
YouTube has pioneered 4K video since 2010 so the video-sharing site is a great place to show off your videos.
Alternatively, there’s plenty of inspiration for your next project, as there are loads of amateur 4K filmmakers to check out.
To watch 4K videos on YouTube in proper 4K, your TV or laptop screen will need to have 4K resolution and be enabled for the VP9 codec.
Top tips for recording video on your DSLR
- Use a tripod. When taking photographs it can be difficult to keep the camera steady, and it’s more of a problem when shooting video for several minutes. A tripod will keep things steady and free from shakiness.
- Shoot short sections of footage that can be edited into a single piece. That way you can have clips from different perspectives and angles that can be edited into a single video.
- Use editing software like Adobe Premiere. Learn the basics to create simple but effective movies. You can easily import video from your camera, cut out sections you don’t want and to combine different clips together.
- Learn manual focus to capture movement. Auto focus doesn’t work with moving objects – only still ones. Find the right frames per second and shutter speed settings.