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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    35

    Video Quality for Nikon D3100?

    Hello,

    I'm brand to the DSLR world and went from a Nikon L11 to a D3100 that I got two days ago. I have a week to fully refund it if I'm not happy. Trying to learn the ropes by reading the manual. One problem I'm having is getting bad video quality. I'm shooting in Guide mode/easy option/then start shooting/shoot video I left it the HiDef format even though I don't anything hi def (maybe that's the problem?), I held the camera in my hands and tried close up mode and also portrait mode, used automatic and set in VR mode. Then tried it briefly in manual mode. I have the basic lens that came with it the AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm. Now when I go online to look up videos shot with this camera they are way clearer then mine are (I'm viewing videos on my Macintosh in iphoto. Is there something I'm missing or is this a flaw of this model? Also I tried shooting for a full 10 minutes on a 2GB Kingston memory card and twice the video was interupted and I had to restart recording. Is there some special setting I should try, I'm shooting indoors and trying to make a video of me cutting soap I make as I have a blog I'd like to put it on.

    So far as I'm a newbie the pictures look great but I'd also like to take decent videos as well. My other option for a camera was Canon T3 so I've got a few days to figure out if I want to keep this camera.

    Michelle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Posts
    378
    I must admit I'm not au fait with the D3100 or exactly what your problem is. You say your videos are not clear. Do you mean they're out of focus or just dark? The camera should auto-focus in auto mode, if your lens is set to auto-focus. Make sure your lens is not set on manual focus. If the videos are dark because you're indoors, try to provide more light. Are the videos OK in daylight? Also try 720p definition rather than full HD -- it results in smaller file sizes and makes it easier for computers to handle.

    The D3100 can record up to a maximum of 10 minutes in one clip, so this may be why you had to restart. If you're still having problems, take it back to the store where you bought it, and ask them to do a sample video for you. Good luck!
    Nikon D7000 and a bunch of Nikon stuff oh, and some Canon p&s's too

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,892
    Your problem is your SD card
    If it really is only 2GB then it will almost certainly be an SD card and will be way too slow to handle the data transfer required for video hence the interruptions in your filming.
    Go out and get yourself a SDHC card that is AT LEAST Class 6 speed or better still class 10 and your problems will go away. The capacity of the card does not matter make sure you get the correct speed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    35
    Thanks you both. The video quality is noisy (think that's the term I want). It's not crisp looking at all. Sound is great no problems there. I'm using a Kingston 2 GB SD card that I was using in my Nikon L11. The video was interupted twice around the 4-5 minute mark so I couldn't even shoot for 10 minutes. I was in the 1080 high def mode and tried both the automatic setting with VR on and then the manual setting with VR on. Both were bad quality with noise in the video. It's worse then my video in my L11 so knew something was up.

    Will go the store this week and ask them to put in a decent memory card, shoot a video and show me the upload on the computer. I don't mind a new card, just being new I had no idea what was wrong so appreciate the help. So much to learn.

    Michelle

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,419
    Noisy video footage can be caused by low lighting. Even day time indoors is considered low light. Try shooting outdoors on a bright day to see if the quality is still the same.
    Nikon D90, D80
    Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S DX F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) macro, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4D, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D, Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ||| 2x SB800 | SB600 ||| Manfrotto 190XB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,421
    Agree with tim. If its noisy it's got nothing to do with the memory card. There's just not enough light. Take some video outside. If the quality of that is crap, then you have a problem. I don't imagine the d3100 video will be too different to my d5100 and the video I am getting is superb.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    35
    Thanks, used my same SD 2 GB card and put the video on the lowest size (can't remember what that is at the moment) and shot indoors again but earlier in the day. Crystal clear video footage and was able to shoot for 10 minutes with no interuptions. Then tried it the video option just below the 1080 at same time of day, just shot for a few minutes but again the quality was much better.

    I've yet to try outside but I'm sure it will be even better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Posts
    378
    Good to hear things are improving! I do agree with K1W1 though -- a Class 6 or Class 10 card (say 4, 8 or 16Gb) is the way to go. Video chews up an enormous amount of memory -- even at the lower resolutions -- and apart from having slow data transfer, the 2Gb card you have will soon fill up. Nikon themselves recommend Class 6 or faster for video. Note that not all cards are created equal; some that say they are Class 6 or Class 10 don't approach those speeds in real life (i.e. the manufacturers are not being entirely truthful). I personally recommend genuine Sandisk cards -- had 'em for years and never had a moment's trouble (touch wood). Be aware though that there are many fake Sandisk cards for sale out there on Ebay, so you may want to buy through a trusted source such as an authorised camera dealer.
    Nikon D7000 and a bunch of Nikon stuff oh, and some Canon p&s's too

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