Shooting video with the Nikon D3

Nikon D3 can already shoot video. Stop motion video that is and the results are worth seeing. I wanted to publish this post before the Nikon D3s is released next week. Here is the explanation from Andrew Kornylak (blog):

I've been doing this over the last couple years with an off-the-shelf D3 and D2X. It's basically stop-motion. The D3 in particular shoots at up to 11fps of course, and with different settings you can get different buffer depths, up to about 12 seconds shooting in cropped jpeg mode. Being careful with the clips, you can shoot short videos like this, and convert them to 24 or 30fps, depending on your original frame rates. The color correction, or grading is done in Adobe Camera Raw, and then everything is edited in Final Cut.

It is pretty close to a video look, but a little different. I can shoot with strobes (like in the Nikki Blue commercial), and the color depth of even a cropped jpeg is better than the best HD video frame. I can make 11x14 prints from a frame grab, which sweetens the pot for a client looking to do a still and motion shoot without an outrageous production. And the videos:

Controller - the second part of the climbing footage was shot on the D3. Everything else including the interviews were on the D5000 video mode:

The Beta - Controller from Andrew Kornylak on Vimeo.

Six Feet Under - All the climbing/sitting in cave footage was shot on the D3. D5000 in video mode for the interviews:

The Beta - Six Feet Under from Andrew Kornylak on Vimeo.

Brutus - All the climbing footage was shot on the D3. D5000 in video mode for the interviews:

The Beta - Brutus from Andrew Kornylak on Vimeo.

Other videos on the Stillmotion vimeo pageParkour - All footage and ambient sound are from the D2X save for the first few seconds where he is breathing and voiceovers, which was on a Sony EX1 video camera. This was my first experiment with stillmotion. All the rest are 100% shot on the D3: O-At-Ka, A Day in the Open, One in a Million, Superstitious, Inline and Nikki Blue:

Nikki Blue from Andrew Kornylak on Vimeo.

I was surprised overall at how well the stillmotion footage integrates with HD video. It's seamless but at the same time has a richer look. You can also see Scott Kelby's blog featuring Andrew Kornylak. Andrew Kornylak will be doing a detailed walk-through for the ASMP Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar in December.

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  • Anonymous

    good stuff….. but stop motion is nothing new or limited to the D3.

    Hopefully this isn’t a subtle hint that the D3 already has video and everyone should stop complaining. lol…

    Why would you choose stop motion over a video camera in this scenario?

  • Anonymous

    umm nevermind i reread it and saw the reason… still undecided though….

  • eval nx2.4

    still photography is yielding its way

    • funny

      and every printed media will be on a screen?

      not for a long long time.

  • Char

    Well, the look of the stop motion stuff is very special…. and I like it ;).

  • Adomas

    This is also made with NIkon D3:

    I know that because my friend directed and shot it.

    This is a commercial of a potato chips “Lays” and was aired in Poland and some other countries.

  • Those were sweet. Thanks for sharing. I, too, love the look, and have long thought of doing a vid. shoot with the fast fps of the D300s or the like. Now I gotta try!

  • Anonymous

    Can’t you just use a D5000/D90 and kick out every second frame in post processing? Sounds like a terrible waste of D3 shutter life to me. But the videos are awesome.

    • funny

      because the image quality is poop.

  • AZ

    really good work on the videos

  • bubuy
  • Vendetta

    The best way to ruin your camera, did Nikon gave some D3 for free ?

  • Anon: You can shoot video and drop frames of course, but you wont get the image size and color depth you get from the still frames, nor the lens effects of the large sensor, and you wouldn’t be able to shoot with strobes.

    Vendetta: Luckily my D3 has lasted me for almost 2 years of professional use plus all the stillmotion. I do rent a lot though, to give it a break.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the explanation.

    • Steve

      Wonder how long the D5000 will last me for my consumer use 🙂

      • by “professional use” I meant idiotic of course. If you took care of it, I could see the D5000 lasting a lifetime!

  • Vendetta

    @Andrew Komylak , I was doing this 7 years ago with my D1h, But I had to change the obturator as I broke it after to years of not intense utilisation .

  • Derek

    Beautiful footage! Andrew, did you shoot continually using the Nikons 11 fps mode, or did you go “manual”? Kind regards, Derek.

    • Derek – I shoot at different frame rates depending on the look I want or whether I want to shoot in DX or FX mode, etc. The final frame rate is also important, since, for example, 11fps conforms better to a 30fps video rate than a 24fps video rate, if you are a going for a real-time effect (as opposed to time-lapse for example)

      • Derek

        I see. I love the look of the boulder stuff. Thank you so much for your reply! Your videos are awesome, keep doing good!

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