Weekly Nikon news flash #162

"In April there has been a massive price raise in Hungary that affected several Nikon lenses, for example the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G AF-S IF ED VR. In March this product cost 139,889 HUF (around 480 Euros) and now it costs 198,990 HUF (around 680 Euros). This is more than 40% increase! I asked one of the vendors what caused this huge increase and they told me that Nikon "normalized" the prices, meaning, that the prices has been synchronized to the Western European price standards. In the same time this lens can be purchased on amazon.de for 500 Euros."

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  • Lens cap is on in the video preview.

    • Jed

      Lensbaby + pro =?
      If I wanted random crappy photos I wouldn’t buy a DSLR.

    • Looks like leaving the lens cap on the D800 is a way to handicap it in the comparison test. Is that sort of like adding weight to a saddle for a jockey that is a couple of pounds too light?

  • mandrake

    Amazing video when you don’t try to blur all the aliasing out of the footage.

  • I’m interested in seeing some D800 vs. D800E systematic video tests.


  • T.I.M

    Hi guys,
    I tried the Nikon ME1 microphone for DSLR ($130)
    It does not improve the sound (on my D5100) so I returned it.
    The best way is using a wireless (digital) microphone (about $50)
    I hope it help make your choice.

    • Agreed. I’m recording a short film now with my D800. An external recorder (like any of the Zoom series mics) is a necessity.


    • Joaquim Prado


      Try the one made by RODE or sennheiser. Both are well known companies on the audio industry, specially sennheiser, and for sure it will improve the audio.

      Also a portable audio deveice from zoom, roland, tascam… that records on a SD.

      • T.I.M

        @Joaquim Prado
        Thank you, I just ordered the Rode stereo VideoMic Pro


        It seems to have very good reviews, we’ll see !

        • TIM,

          A lot of good advice here – here’s my 2cents worth.

          You probably still won’t get optimal sound out of the Rode mic. Not because its not a good product (it is), but because distance from subject to mic is so important, and you still pick up all the sounds of the camera with an on-camera mike (focus, fingers on buttons, etc.)

          I use a Sennheiser for sync sound (on the camera) but for quality I always record on a second device (like a Zoom H4n), then mate the audio with DualEyes (its a super simple program that works pretty flawlessly, making a new video file with the external audio).

          The Zoom isn’t very expensive, and produces very nice quality audio.

    • Start a Video Thread

      It would be very helpful if there was a Video D800 Thread in the forum with useful information and tips for shooting video with the D800. I have heard good things on the Rode mic, and you generally can’t go wrong with Sennheiser. I have read that the Nikon mic attached to the camera picked up AF focusing noise from the lens when the mic was mounted to the camera.

      I have little experience shooting video, but would love to embrace the combination of shooting pics and video now that I have a camera that can do both. Thanks

      • FX DX

        +1. I am a frequent NR visitor. I would like dedicated threads with tip and tricks, so we can share our experiences and knowledge with each other right here.

    • Jabs


      It is best to use a condenser mic off camera or a shotgun mic pointed at the subject. Always buy an expensive microphone and when going wireless get one with a Phantom power supply. Don’t forget a windscreen too plus use multiple mics. Three mics work better than one – 1 for right, 1 for left and 1 for the background sounds = more depth to your recordings. You can use wireless mics mounted on shock absorbing stands so that you don’t get ‘booms’ or pick up people’s footsteps as they walk by. Investigate shock mounts too.

      Sony makes great Condenser Mics and Sennheiser makes great Shotgun mics. Look at Sony Broadcast and Professional Group’s Web site.

      Try audio recording to a USB unit like the Tascam or M-Audio units (about $250 if I remember right) with more inputs and connections as they have better sound plus also use a 64bit version of Windows, Mac OS or Linux, as you get better bit depth than the 32bit versions and that has clearer sound too. Try and record at 24bit at least 96Khz for a world of difference.

      If you use a laptop, then the external USB sound cards (Creative) or USB units above will work best. If you use a desktop, then get an Asus PCI-E sound card, as they are awesome and then keep everything digital.

      Syncing the audio to the video then will be your problem – lol.

      Easy to fix in Post. Use Sony Vegas Pro, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro (the older one) or similar software packages. Also remember to use a separate HD or SSD drive to store your Video files as Windows and Macs use a Scratch drive or a part of the HD as memory and that adds latency. I usually have a separate drive for that as I use three drives in my desktop and two drives on my laptop (most it can take) to avoid that latency mess. Work on one drive and store on another drive = speed and latency reduction! Third drive is storage and since Windows does not access it much, then it stays fast. Get 7200 rpm drives at least or better yet 10,000 or 15,000 rpm drives like WD Raptors or the latest SSD (solid state drives) as your first drive for the OS and larger regular HD’s as the other two in a desktop.

      Get a laptop with a real video card (Nvidia or ATI) and a desktop with a Workstation video card and see remarkable speedup with your Projects. Newtek also makes superior Video gear and Programs but they are expensive and do real time effects even with HD files.

      • T.I.M

        Thank you, but I’m only photographer (video is a totally different job), all I want is to make my video a little better.
        It will be only family videos, I don’t have time spending days on adobe premiere (as I did before I had kids).

  • tifkat

    It’s a shame Dave didn’t actually use a custom white balance in the green tint 5DIII vs D800 video. When ‘showing’ his viewers that he was using a custom whitebalance on the Nikon, he held down the WB button, and triggered the camera to actually take another custom white balance image, and he mistook that for the final image with a custom white balance in effect.

    Not knowing the Nikon system process probably didn’t help out a lot. I commented on his youtube video, and tweeted him on the situation, even tweeted a link to a video on how to make a custom white balance on Nikon, but haven’t seen a response from him.

    • Andre

      Amen to that, I fail to see why anyone would even bother to watch that gooses videos when he so clearly doesn’t have a single clue about what he is doing.

      I strongly suspect that he is purely a typical consumer with more money than brains.

      • Shawn

        I think Dave, the maker of that video, is pretty smart. He knows a lot and shows it. The problem is, he doesn’t make it clear when he doesn’t know something. His lack of knowledge comes off on the video as “fact”, and that is very unfortunate.

        He clearly doesn’t know how to set white balance on Nikon and makes it look like the problem is with the D800.

        Seems like this is the culture we are in now though. Anyone with a personality can say whatever they want on TV, radio, or the Internet and people will believe them if they like them or already agree with the philosophy.

        I think Dave is better than that though. The video was well made, well paced, well structured, and above all informative (even if inaccurate).

        If Dave plans on running a site about how to make DSLR video, he better check his facts better, and he needs to own both cameras.

        • Shawn, I am here to learn.

          If I made a mistake with the way I white balanced in this video, please tell me at what time I got it wrong in the video and how I was supposed to do it. I will be glad to fix it in my review.


          I sent an email to Steve Heiner from Nikon USA (Senior Technical Manager) after I meet him at NAB over two weeks ago and I still have not heard back from him yet. I don’t think he is blowing me off because he told me he really likes my site. Also when I meet him at NAB he told me that engineers in Japan know of the green tint issue.

          A couple of people have told me I have done it wrong, I can’t fix the video if you guys don’t tell me what I did wrong.

          Please teach me, I am just an amateur which is what I said like 10 times in the video, I think I was very clear on that and I was not misleading anyone into believing I was an expert.

          • Not Whiny Dude

            Don’t worry, these whiny guys couldn’t be bothered getting out there and doing it themselves.

            Your video was very good. As a pro video and photo guy I can say you’re very good actually. Well done.

            Amateur ≠ Bad.

            Hopefully Nikon will adjust the WB and shift it a bit away from the green in a firmware update. I’ve noticed exactly what you said. I fix it in Premiere myself (using Magic Bullet Suite mainly). Usually I can match mixed footage pretty easily. Still it would be nice if it were closer in production.

            I shoot the D800 and Canon XF300 for video BTW. Still getting use to the D800 style.

            Thanks for the video.

          • Shawn

            Dave, I watched the video (on youtube as your site’s version wasn’t working for me). I will post comments on your site.

  • Bob

    I bought the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G AF-S IF ED VR brand new with 5 years warranty for $430 CAD +tax which is about $485 CAD. That’s 376 Euros. Europe has a high standard of living and a higher cost for photography equipment but 680 Euros is ridiculous for the same lens with possibly less warranty. That’s 80% more expensive!

    This lens is still selling lower in Canada than the US. The normal Canadian price today with tax is roughly 420 Euros. 680 Euros is absolutely ridiculous. Nikon must be making a fortune. 500 Euros seem fair for European prices.

    • iamlucky13

      The standard of living in Hungary is not, as I understand it, on par with most of western Europe, even though it has been rising substantially over the last 2 decades.

      This is bound to hurt sales in Hungary, but I suppose it may reduce gray market sales through Hungary to other European countries?

  • therussian

    I also live in Hungary and this price increase does not make any sense! In march I bought a 85mm 1.8d for around 100 000 HUF. Now the same lens cost 150 000 HUF. The 70-200mm 2.8 lens was around 450-500 000 HUF, now its 700 000 HUF. I hardly believed my eyes when I saw these prices.

    fuck nikon hungary…

  • The “official” price for the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G is 679 Euros in Germany. So Nikon’s statement about “synchronizing” EU prices is correct.

    This may seem unfair to customers in eastern european countries where incomes are still much lower than in Germany etc. On the other side, photographers in Eastern Europe (and Asia of course) are one of the reasons for low stock prices as they have lower production costs. So it may also seem fair that they have to pay the same for their equipment than we have to.

    • Rudi

      Honestly, why should I pay more in Germany in order someone in eastern europe can buy it cheaper?? Right now everything is already more expensive in Germany than in the countries around.

  • AGAIN. Another video comparison between the D800 and MkIII where they are comparing the rated ISO number and not the actual output… and also not taking into consideration in-camera noise reduction.

  • PhilK

    Despite the fact the quibbles that some people pointed out with possibly not operating the Nikon white-balance correctly etc, I was extremely impressed with the thoroughness of that video comparison between the 5DIII and the D800.

    Honestly it doesn’t surprise me that much at all that Canon has advantages in the video area – Canon has been deeply involved in the production of video and movie products for many years. I’m actually more surprised by how quickly Nikon has upped their game in that area.

    So clearly the D800 is a strong contender for a market that Canon had all to themselves for a few years, and I would imagine next time around Nikon will cover some of the few remaining competitive soft-spots.

    I’m also looking forward to D4 video tests – at 18MP, it probably won’t have anywhere near the moire/aliasing issues that the D800 has, and might have less noise issues for video as well.

  • Brent Schmidt

    Slow news week.

    • Foolishcfo

      You have that right. I wonder if Nikon is shipping D800/D4 product right now. The comments from members saying they have received their cameras has stopped.

    • Yes, slow indeed and I think it will be like that till July-August when we will start seeing the Photokina products.

  • SteMa

    I also live in hungary, and the price I see for nikon 70-300vr is 175’000HUF, not 200’000, and HUF is weaker than a year ago. So it’s not the fault of Nikon 😛

    • Gab

      175k indeed, but still a big increase from 140k. The 16-85vr went from 135k to 185k and this happened over the span of a few weeks. Not that I like these lenses, but they’ve really gotten expensive. I also have a suspicion that we Hungarians get more bad batches than normal, because it’s incredible that the 3 lenses out of the 5 I bought new were having subtle qc issues and our Nikon service center is just ridiculously bad. Sigma and Tamron are the winners of this move, because their prices are suddenly even more compelling (Tokina is not really available here, not for sane prices anyway) , not that I could live with the shortcomings of off brand lenses. Thankfully I have most of the lenses I need and will ever need, the only sad thing that I wanted to buy the new 85mm 1.8g and now it will be out of my reach, if it ever becomes widely available in our *****y Country.

      • Gabe

        I also live in Hungary and I have to agree with you regarding the lenses they sell here. I also have had a few small issues with my lenses I bought locally. Not serious but annoying ones. I have 70-200 VRII and 24-70 2.8. However I have to disagree with you regarding the service center in Hungary. I got prompt feedback every time I send them an email and exceptional good customer service and also fast service time. …and hey! everything works fine I got back from them 😉
        BTW I can confirm the price increasing here. 🙁

  • sloma_p

    750 freakin dollars for a Lens Baby ?!?!?!? WTF ??? Those made sense, when they wre cheap, now it’s a laugh…

  • Steve R

    Some landscape shots with the lensbaby. I made over £1000 selling these…

    • KenTi

      Nice images… however the Lady Gaga music kind of detracts from the beauty of the pictures 🙂

  • T.I.M

    The Euro keep going down since the new socialist french président.
    That will make Nikon gear more expensive in Europe.

    • Arthur

      I’m afraid you are right about that…

  • KlompKlomp

    Nikon’s official price is not the same as what you pay at an authorised dealer. Just looked up the prices. Nikon’s webshop asks 730 euros for the 70-300, one of the recognised dealers in Rotterdam sells it for 490 euros. The same should apply in Germany and Hungary, as well. (By the way, the pre-flood price was way under 400 euros.)

    • Bob

      And you can still get it for the equivalent of just under 400 Euros in Canada’s lowest taxed province today.

      There are a couple of huge retailers in Canada that still sells at the recommended price but most other shops will have a discount on their lens.

  • Dave, don’t take that comment too seriously. Read through other comments anywhere on this site and you’ll find a surprising amount of ill-informed, childish, or just plain stupid responses. That’s just what you get here, for whatever reason. However I bet its the case that most readers appreciate your effort, but the bad eggs are the ones more likely to take the time to comment.

  • KenTi

    Far from being an ass… It was a very good video and informative. I take all reviews with a grain of salt because, in the end, I’m the one who decides what I like and what I don’t like.

    I liked the presentation, your opinion and the humbleness even if you didn’t go for the D800 ;-).

    Now if I could just get my D800E instead of dreaming about it, life would be good.

  • Shawn

    Hi Dave,

    I liked the video and thought it was very well done. You had a lot of information and did a lot of nice tests and had a great way of presenting it to us. Nice work, keep it up!

    If I had to choose between 5D MkIII and D800 I would also pick the MKIII, but that is simply because it is a more flexible camera for the serious family photographer due to the custom user modes.

    I am very scientific minded, and I think there might be some accuracy issues in your video. I am a little concerned about the results you found where Canon has “better” high ISO performance. There were two things I noticed in the video during that test:
    1) The Canon looked “underexposed”.
    2) That the lack of “noise” in Canon actually caused a loss of detail.

    The first issue is that the meters on Canon & Nikon are not matching for some reason. That being said, I think you need to retry those shots and match the visual output to look the same. I’m looking at that section again and there is so much more detail in the Nikon on those shots that I think the Canon was 1-2 stops underexposed.

    The second is that Canon is known for automatic noise reduction in their high ISO ranges, it’s been this way for years. A lot of people like this, and that is OK, but cleaner images at high ISOs does not mean “better”. It means loss of detail. You should try to include some high ISO detail comparisons at the same visual level of exposure.

    I would expect the noise levels to be about the same on both cameras. I find it a little unbelievable that one company suddenly has “superior” high ISO noise levels. It’s not magic, it’s physics, and you can’t suddenly break the laws of physics. If it is magic, it seems like Canon has done a little slight-of-hand on this one. Everyone looks the other way while they underexpose low light shots and smudge over the details so it “looks” cleaner.

    The bottom line with photo & video is that you’re not trying to match the numbers up. You’re trying to get the same output using different tools, and you need to do whatever is needed to make that happen.

    I think you’re going in the right direction, but please add a little more skepticism to your reviews. If it looks too good to be true (clean images at high ISO), it probably is.

    • Shawn

      I just double checked a couple of D800 vs. MKIII high ISO tests for stills and what I said is absolutely verifiable. MKIII has less detail and less contrast at the same high ISOs of 3200 & 6400 (and set to the same output exposure) than the D800. I doubt Canon has special video magic that can change this.

      Noise can be cleaned up, detail cannot be added back. Everything is a tradeoff, everyone has to pick their own poison and swallow it.

    • It has been known for years that Canon and Nikon do not measure ISO the same way. There is no real brand-to-brand standard. From everything I’ve read, Nikon’s number tends to be quite close to film ISO (within 20%), and Canon tends to be further out (as much as 50%)… but with these videos, they are even further off than that, it appears.

      Dave, it was a really good video and you really dug into things that I wish more people cared to get into. You’re not the the first person to compare rated ISOs. We’re just nitpicking. I am very curious to see how they stack up at *actual* output, though.

      • Shawn

        Hi Sean,

        I don’t think we are nitpicking anymore. The reality is probably that the noise would be equivalent if the same resulting exposure and noise reduction were to be done on both. The problem is that folks like Dave (and many others) do a video or review and say stuff like “Canon has clean high ISO on video in low light, and by the way no one would ever shoot that way”. Then you see everywhere people taking it out of context and parroting “Canon has SUPERIOR high ISO” regardless of whether it’s video or stills. I was doing some research after seeing the video and that is what I saw.

        Looks to me like the butterfly effect, one tiny flutter sends small waves out into the world and eventually we get a storm.

        We all know the D800 has its problems, but ISO performance is not one of them.

    • I know what you are saying about the Canon having a different exposures with the same settings, I noticed that too. For that video I thought I would start them on the same settings.

      I will have another test coming out soon that is done in a much lighter situation where the Canon can’t crush the blacks like they did in the night scenes, I think you will find it interesting.

      • Shawn

        Hi Dave,

        One more comment. If you’re going to be running a site called “Learning DSLR Video” then I think you’re going to need to own both the Mk III and the D800.

        I think you’ll get a lot more credibility with both camps (and thus way more visitors).

        P.S. I hope in your further testing you come to agree that your statement in the video that the high ISO Nikon footage was “unusable” was unwarranted and remove it.

  • video D800E

    Too bad the guy with the D800E shooting 1080p couldn’t run to the expense of buying a decent tripod or even a steadycam if he just can’t stop himself from wandering about.

    Most of the benefit is lost in jiggly artefacts. The tremble on the clip showing the girl in the lumberjack shirt stops the detail showing through.

    • JB

      I was wondering where the tripod was a well. I appreciate the video and review (I don’t do video or know anything about it) but found the motion made it really hard to watch or appreciate the quality of the video. Good lesson for me…you HAVE to use a tripod!!!

      • My fault, didn’t expect to be filming that day and did not have my tripod with me, just uploaded it on Vimeo for some specific people but now it’s going around the globe at the speed of light (oops)

        I’ll take my tripod next time!

  • Dimitrii1130

    german test of sony a57
    compared to d7000: better resolution, more detail, better high-iso, dynamic range -> a perfect sensor for d7100 🙂

    • Sandro

      Sorry to tell you this, but chip.de is not a qualified source to quantify the image quality of pictures. As an example I recommend you to look eg. at the Nikon D5100 and the D7000 (identical on DxOMarks), or more interestingly at the Sony NEX-5N, which got a perfect 100 points in the image quality… Maybe it’s not a good idea to look at a (a) consumer and (b) computer magazine to evaluate cameras.

      • Dimitrii1130

        i know, but it is the first review of her, i have read to now.
        (d5100 and d7000 are not identival on dxo…)
        don’t look at “image quality” – look at the details
        however, now i am really wondering about the nex.. dynamic range of 9 at iso3200 compared to 8,7 (a57)

  • Andre

    Dave, I am sure that not everyone that reads this site considers you to be an ass. 🙂
    However you have put yourself in the position of purporting to be an educator and for people to take you seriously ( and to pay you the money that you ask for at the end of your video ) you really should be able to educate people correctly.
    For starters, you said that you are guessing that most do not have a D800 yet.
    Do you?
    I don’t see it listed in your gear list.
    Guessing is not a good educational tool, people like and expect facts from educators.
    See, most people would add some credibility to your comments if you actually owned one.
    Further credibility would then be earned if you actually demonstrated ( educated ) that you know how to use it.
    Unfortunately your attempts ( clearly shown on your video so there are no misunderstandings with language but set in immortality with pictures ) to set a custom white balance are a huge flop.
    To put it bluntly, you failed with a capital F.
    Perhaps you should educate yourself as to how a particular camera system operates before you attempt to educate others.
    The way to set a white balance is pretty clearly detailed in the owners manual. You did read that didn’t you?
    Actually it is detailed in much the same way in the D200, D300, D700 and D800 manuals.
    Seeing as I feel a little sorry for you that you have been offended by someone calling you names I would like to help you out with a spare Nikon manual to read.
    Seeing as I have 2 x D200, 1x D700 and 2 x D800 bodies and the manuals to suit I reckon I could spare you one.
    As a friendly word of advice, I would urge you to remove those videos from the net ( or maybe it is too late already ) because from what I see wherever they are mentioned is that a heap of people are laughing long and hard at them. 🙁

    • Andre,

      Can you do my a favor and watch this detailed video I did on Custom white balancing the D800?

      Again, I am just an amateur at this and I seriously want to know what I did wrong white balancing so I will not repeat my mistake next time.

      I did read the manual, and there are 3 or 4 ways to Custom WB, I tried 2 or 3 of them without success, or failed like you said. If I fail that is OK, I just don’t want to repeat that again.

      Seriously I want to learn how to do this correctly. Can you create a video on how to do it and how I screwed it up?


  • Jabs

    Off Topic question:

    What do you think of Nikon’s older AF-S Nikkor 24-120 F3.5-5.6 G Lens?

    • PhilK

      That lens is widely considered to be one of Nikon’s worst efforts. Very soft.

      That’s why so many people were looking forward to the 24-120 F/4 AF-S: Nikon’s reputation suffered significantly from the negative opinion about its predecessor.

  • PhilK

    To the people complaining about Dave Dugdale’s conclusions wrt video noise, he is not alone in that assessment – I have seen at least a couple of other comparative tests between those 2 cameras that came to similiar conclusions.

    It really shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that a much higher MP sensor of similiar vintage and surface-area has more noise under similiar conditions. Though I think Nikon may have made things slightly worse by ‘pixel binning’ rather than ‘averaging’ for video output. (I read elsewhere that they are ‘throwing away’ pixels to extrapolate the 36MP down to video resolution rather than averaging the extra pixels which I would think would cut down on noise due to the larger surface area capturing photons.)

    • Shawn

      Hi Phil,

      You may be totally right about how Nikon is downsizing for video and they possibly made a mistake which is introducing more noise.

      I’ve seen the same comparison reviews & videos that came to the same conclusion, and those tests were hardly scientific. They looked at the same shallow result and saw less noise in Canon and said “better”, then they moved on. I guess on video all the dancing noise is extremely visible and can be very annoying, but that is only part of the story. They seemed to completely ignore the underexposure of the MK III and the complete loss of detail.

      I’ve seen only one video (http://nofilmschool.com/2012/04/5d-mark-iiid800-hands-on-review-part-3/) where they delved deeper and said “MK III looks cleaner, but it’s underexposed, let’s raise the ISO”, then they said “let’s zoom in and see which has more detail.” In that case they found the D800 had more detail.

      I just don’t see a lot of differences between the two in that test that would make one a “winner” and one a “loser”. Each has their strengths.

      I’m starting to come to the conclusion that people see what they want to see and draw an immediate conclusion that matches their established viewpoint.

      • Dimitrii1130


        thanks for that link. i was wondering why some people say that a dark video in which you can see hardly anything, is better than a bright video in which you can see much more.
        however, it looks like d800 has still a litte bit more noise in video..

  • Dweeb

    Oh yes, do buy a lens baby for that demanding 36MP sensor. Make sure you spring for the extra 300 bucks for the E. Fools and their money.

    Pay 7 grand for a Leica normal MF 50 f2 lense.

  • LP

    Those who are bashing Dave, in really vulgar ways, do nothing to advance their credibility. They show themselves to be petty and mean-spirited. Dave is up front about his limitations. As someone who’s been following Dave for some time, he provides useful information.

    Frankly, I’ll take Dave’s videos over the hundreds of poorly shot “video tests” that give one pause when considering a given camera. I prefer Dave’s humble approach, which gives everyone a heads up to view his videos in context. They are much better than videos that shout “Hey, check this out, this video is great!” and you look at said video and ask yourself: “Is that good video? It sure looks like crap to me”.

    Dave, keep up the good work. There are some of us who can think for ourselves and realize when things you present in your video require a second look, so ask the ISO comparison.

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