[Update] after my interview with the group, they clarified that while the HDMI setup was used for initial tests, they were switching to a wireless HD-SDI transmitter/receiver pair. The HDMI solution was quite stable but the HD-SDI version was rock solid even after "filming while moving through the mud".
A press release just reached me via email: the group ArtisticBokeh finished a project, combining a theatre play with a video/film shooting. According to the press release, the used hardware for realizing the piece (and a live stream setup for online viewers) were
Miasma – Call for Reduction was an initial prototype that combined the media/formats of theatre and film: in three days, the performance that took place in the viennese ‘Alte Ankerbrotfabrik’ was interwoven with a movie-shooting. The actual production included the DSLR-cameramen – the cameras were not hidden from the public, but rather included in the storytelling and the stage set. ‘Call for Reduction’ was not only a performative experiment, but also consisted of various experiments with new media technologies as well as new audiences and forms of reception regarding the story-complex and the fictional world of Marie Müller, the main character of the play.
In my opinion, this project perfectly shows how a creative combination of camera and computer hardware can bring new perspectives to rather "old artforms" such as theatre. According to the press release, the group will work on additional prototypes with self-developed camera rigs and settings. You can follow them on twitter and subscribe to their mailinglist directly on their website.
DxOMark is the trusted industry standard for camera and lens independent image quality measurements and ratings - DxO Labs is also behind the software DxO Optics Pro, a "Photo Enhancing Software for Mac and Windows", which is said to have the best RAW converters out there, compared to Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. Long story short, the latest Nikon Cameras are the top-leaders of the DxOMark scoreboard - with the Nikon D800E scoring 96 points and the Nikon D800 scoring 95 points.
The Nikon D800E as well as the Nikon D800 are in stock on amazon marketplace, so make sure to get either model. As previously reported on nanofunk - the differences of the D800 to the D800E are minor - but both models are highly recommendable cameras. I just ordered myself a D800E, expect some in-depth experience postings here soon.
According to Nikon USA and to various sellers, the next bunch of D800 cameras will be released by end of the month, since the production volume of the cameras (D800 and D800E) is 30,000 units per month. I am also on various waiting lists for a D800E (which is actually even harder to get hands on, since it is produced in smaller quantities), such as Amazon and B&H Photography - and I can recommend you do the same, if you are really interested in getting any version of the D800 camera.
In Europe (UK and Mainland), there are some sellers that actually have the Nikon D800 in stock, although for a slightly higher price than Nikon's recommended price tag, but what about the USA? I tweeted yesterday, that the Nikon D800 is available for $2750 in the US, but the stock of this particular shop seems to have been completely sold in only 3 hours. There are some people selling their factory sealed D800 cameras in the USA, so if you really want one, you have to pay the price of some few extra bucks.
But according to big resellers and to Nikon, the next batch of units will be available soon in Europe and in the USA: end of the month/beginning of next month, another big amount of preorders will be fulfilled.
"With the current 1,600 workers, the factory is producing one unit of camera per minute on a daytime shift with each unit of the D800 variant produced every four hours and the D4 variant every five hours." (source: nikonrumors)
But this is not the whole deal: according to techradar, "Some components for camera production are sourced from overseas factories including Nikon China, with around 1600 component parts required to produce both the D800 and D4."
All this hype and lots of work go into the D800, which already received the Camera GP2012 Camera of the Year and Readers Awards, and still the demand is very high.
[Update] as outlined by commenter dslr4video, there are minimal differences to the two camera models, but they are minimal and can be ignored.
Falk Lumo from LumoLabs made an interesting comparison of the D800 vs the D800e: they came to the conclusion that "the differences between the two models are less than one would expect" and "with ~100% amount sharpening, the D800E should deliver comparable results with ~0.5 pixels less sharpening radius, compared to a D800. This also means that one should not refrain from sharpening when using the D800E. Just use weaker settings".
In conclusion, the Nikon D800 and the D800E are almost the same cameras, with only a pricey difference: the Nikon D800 sells for $2999,00 while the Nikon D800E currently costs $3299,00. As Falk Lumo notes - the biggest difference is the market segment, the different Nikon models approach: while the D800 is meant for APS-C and 35mm full frame SLR crossgraders (coming from Canon, Sony, Pentax or Panasonic, etc), since those cameras already have a Bayer-AA Filter. The D800E is meant for medium format (or Leica M9) cross-graders as all those cameras have no Bayer-AA filter implemented and photographers are used to the moire that can show up on fabrics or repetitive patterns.
"The results are pretty similiar, with a bit more sarurated false colors and false color moiré in the D800E (as to be expected). But the D800 is able to show a bit of false color moiré too (a phenomenon known from the Canon 5DmkIII too)."
Please read the article for yourself on falklumo.blogspot.de (written in english), since they really did a good job in measuring the actual sharpness differences.
A Guest Blogger on NikonRumors points out, that lots of criticism regarding the Nikon D800 DSLR Camera is because of lack of technical knowledge.
24 X 35.9mm sensor hosting 36.3 mega pixels
Sensor is 861.6mm squared
Pixel Pitch is 4.88 microns
Nikon D800 in DX shooting mode
16 X 24 sensor hosting 15.4 mega pixels
Sensor used is 384mm squared
Pixel Pitch is 4.88 microns
The Nikon D800 has the largest pixels when compared to the Nikon D7000, the Canon 7D, the Olympus EP-3 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5. According to a commenter on said topic, the Canon 5D MkIII (22.3 Mpx) with it’s full sensor gives a close measure to that size of pixel. Knowing that the full sensor size is 36 x 24 mm and the ratio is 3:2, [...] a calculation gives a pixel pitch approx 6.22 micron.
The Nikon D800 can be pre-ordered for $2999,00 - the Canon EOS 5D MKIII already ships for $3499,00. Nikon D800 second hand price currently rises and is already more than pre-ordering a brand new Camera: current bids go as high as $3.800,00.
Canon 5D MKIII
The Canon 5D MKIII performs better in low-light and high ISO. Sadly it has no clean HDMI out, which is a real bummer. The internal codec is at 90Mbps 4:2:0, which is not much. The available video samples look good, although it could be even better with clean HDMI output - but who is to bring clean HDMI to the 5d3? There are two possible ways:
a) Magic Lantern could bring clean HDMI output to the Canon 5D MK3, if it can be hacked, which is not clear as of now. Also, it will take some time, expect at least 6months to see any usable development (if at all).
b) Canon could release a firmware update to provide clean HDMI out. We could try and contact canon to tell them, that we demand clean HDMI out. Of course, it remains totally unclear if they will ever release such an update.
Although, the Canon 5D MK3 seems to have better Video capabilities, clean detail and no moire (or at least almost no moire) - which would not be fixed by HDMI out anyway. If there is the chance to crank up the codec to 180Mbit (with a hack by Vitaly Kiselev or Magic Lantern) we would see a definite winner in the battle.
The Nikon D800 performs quite well on paper, but in reality the Canon 5D MK3 performs better in low-light and high ISO. First samples of clean HDMI output and RAW Video (Apple ProRes) with the Nikon D800 are online - and they look great. Keep in mind that the Nikon D800 provides 8bit output (not 10bit), and the first RAW Video results are better than the internal codec Canon 5D MK3 Videos. Bundled with the Atomos Samurai and the Atomos h2s connect the Nikon D800 brings you high resolution 800×480 LCD (with focus peaking and zebras via latest firmware) plus 4:2:2 video. This is clearly the best setup we have as of today, maybe only topped by a D4+Samurai (c.f. mike kobal's results with the d800).
Still, the current discussion is about comparing apples to oranges, at least from watching actual results and comparing them:
Comparing photo/stills performance (via canonrumors forum)
1. At ISO100, the Nikon D800 has noticeably superior images out of the camera, due primarily to greater detail and dynamic range.
2. At ISO6400, the Canon 5DIII has noticeably superior images out of the camera, due primarily to significantly less noise.
bobatkins notes: The bottom line is that neither the D800 nor the EOS 5D MkIII sensor is "better". They are different. The Nikon sensor should have higher resolution which will be desirable for those making very large prints or who need to significantly crop their images. On the other hand the EOS 5D MkIII sensor will produce images with lower noise and higher dynamic range in lower light conditions where the use of higher ISO settings are desirable. For smaller prints at lower ISO settings (which is where most amateur photographers will be working most of the time), the sensor pixel count and noise characteristics won't matter.
Comparing video performace
Fact: Video doesn't need a high resolution sensor, it is all about the crop modes and sensor scaling, as outlined by eoshd, when we just look at the surface of the Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D MK3 debate.
BUT (as discussed on dvinfo) the Nikon D4 could be the real deal, beating both the D800 and the 5D3: It would seem to me that as a micro-budget filmmaker without access to as much lighting as one would like - the fatter pixels of the d4 would provide better low light shooting outside at night, dimly lit night interiors etc. When moving about with only a china ball and a c-stand I think I would want the sensor of the d4 on my side to maximize the lack of additional equipment. So while it seems like the d800 is better suited because of the price tag - my thoughts are that the d4 with one more crop setting than the d800 [fewer lenses], and better low light, and wireless control [small crew] that it is the d4 that will actually be the indie-filmmakers choice.
There is no clear winner to the war, and Canon could still turn around and release a firmware update that provides HDMI out. Further, the actual results of the D4 vs D800 have to be compared to crown the king of DSLR video.
In the meanwhile, it might be also worth to invest in a Canon 5D MKII still, since it is selling quite cheap those days (selling for $2,199.00 new) and can be used with RAW Video (HDMI) output with Magic Lantern Unified soon.
The user manual from the Nikon D800 and D800E is online on nikon usa.
Canon EOS 5D MKII MK3 is here and can be pre-ordered on amazon. But: no clean HDMI makes D800(E) a strong competitor
The long awaited Canon EOS 5DMKIII is here, as correctly predicted by canonrumors and the best news: it can be pre-ordered on amazon. This means that we won't only have to see if the Canon 5D MK3 will be hackable and can use Magic Lantern, it also has to face a direct competitor: the Nikon D800.
Why would anyone switch lenses and go down the Nikon Road when the new Canon EOS 5D looks so promising? Well, it has one small but serious flaw: it does not support clean HDMI (uncompressed HDMI) output.
This small fact means, that external HDMI recorders (see the RAW VIDEO comparison on nanofunk) such as the Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle or the Atomos Ninja will not work with the Canon EOS 5D MK3. Still, if the camera gets hacked by the Magic Lantern Project, or a firmware update gets released by Canon, the situation could change. After all, the 5D3 is a very capable camera, and in some points even superior to the Nikon D800.
What are the new features of the Canon 5D MKIII for filmers/videographers?
The new 5D3 produces 90mbit h264 files out-of-the box. This is a significant improvement over the previous 5D2. Also, the negative rolling shutter effect is reduced by half, as outlined by a japanese blog. ISO performance is almost clean at ISO 3200, and much improved at 6400 and 12,800. Aliasing and moire are reduced. There is less false detail and the codec improved a lot.
improvements roundup (via eoshd)
* 91Mbit high bit rate video support
* possible "movie crop mode" (similar to the Panasonic GH2 Extra-Tele Video Mode)
* Audio controls and on screen meters
* Clean ISO 12,800 and full resolution JPEGs
EOS 5D Mark III ISO 12800 MOVIE
Please add your comments below. It looks like with that specs, we might not even need the 5D MKIII to be hacked, as it performs quite well out-of-the-box. Still the Nikon D800 is a worthy competitor and we have to wait for both cameras to be delivered, so we can crown the future king of DSLR Video. Until then, why not get both cameras? :)