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Model Behaviour Full ((TOP)) Movie Hd 1080p

Nikon pioneered video capability in its D90 digital SLR, and it's rapidly become a must-have feature, with essentially all the major manufacturers now providing some form of video capture in their DSLRs. Positioned as an affordable model near the entry level, the Nikon D3100 forgoes some of the more sophisticated features found in the video modes of enthusiast and professional digital SLRs, but it breaks new ground for Nikon in a couple of important areas. For the first time in a Nikon digital SLR, the D3100 can offer live autofocus during video recording. It also offers Full HD (aka 1080p) high definition video capture, ensuring that D3100 videos will look their best even on the latest high-def displays.

Model Behaviour full movie hd 1080p

As noted above, the Nikon D3100 offers only one video recording format -- H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC, which is much more efficient in its use of memory card space than the older Motion JPEG format used by some competitors, but necessitates a more powerful, modern computer for playback and editing purposes. A choice of three frame rates -- approximately 24, 25, or 30 frames per second -- are possible when recording video with the Nikon D3100, but only when using the 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) resolution mode. With the 1080p (Full HD, or 1,920 x 1,080 pixel) and non-standard 640 x 424 pixel video modes, movies are always recorded at approximately 24 frames per second. Due to the high data rates at Full HD resolution, Nikon cautions in the manual that it recommends use of at least a Class 6 SD memory card.

The D3100 provides both Single-servo and Full-time AF modes for live view and video capture, and as well as the Wide and Normal AF-area modes just mentioned, also provides both Face-priority and Subject-tracking AF-area modes, and the face detection function does continue to operate during video capture, continuously determining which is the dominant face in the scene, and following it as it moves around the frame. You can also manually adjust the AF point position both before or during movie capture, using the four-way controller. You wouldn't be able to do so quickly enough to follow a fast-moving subject around the frame manually with the AF point, but if your subject is static or moving relatively slowly, the ability to change the point position during a movie could be useful. Interestingly, you can also change the AF point size by turning the Mode dial before video capture, or during it if you don't mind the significant handling noise from the dial's stiff detent. It seems almost to be an accidental behaviour, but might nonetheless prove useful if you want to quickly change the point size without stopping the video. The Macro scene mode uses a smaller AF point size than other scene modes, and so simply switching to or from this mode will change the point size immediately, simultaneously resetting the AF point to the center position.

While the Nikon D3100 lets you record movies directly from any of its still-image exposure modes, including aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and full manual exposure modes, the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings for video recording are always automatically controlled. Thus, while the controls might suggest full PASM (programmed, aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and full manual exposure) exposure control for videos, none of the modes gives you direct control over depth of field. You can, however, adjust the overall exposure both before and during exposure by holding down the D3100's top panel Exposure Compensation button and turning the Command dial on the rear panel, although the stiff detent on this will cause very noticeable handling noise if audio recording is enabled, and the change in brightness between exposure compensation steps will be clearly visible in the recorded video. Perhaps more useful is the ability to lock exposure during video recording, by holding down the AE-L / AF-L button (or with repeated presses of the button, if AE lock (hold) is enabled through the Setup menu.)

We've generally favored use of the shutter button to start and end video recording, but found ourselves really liking the convenience of the D3100's dedicated record button. Having it on the rear panel within reach of your thumb makes it fairly quick to access, although it could be even more comfortable if it was located nearer the top of the panel. After a brief familiarization period, the arrangement is very intuitive as well -- a tap of the index finger to grab a still, and the thumb to start or stop video capture. If you're in Single-servo AF mode and want to trigger an AF cycle during video capture, you can half-press the shutter button with your index finger, and it's equally easy to lock exposure by slipping your thumb upwards and left a little to the AE-L / AF-L button. If you want to capture a still image while video capture is underway, you can fully depress the shutter button, but video capture will cease when you do so, and doesn't resume afterwards. There's also a fair delay between fully pressing the shutter button during movie capture, and the still image being captured, especially if Single-servo autofocus is enabled and your subject is moving. (Although you can quickly flick to manual focus before pressing the shutter button to prevent this delay, if you don't mind the handling noise being picked up by the D3100's internal microphone).


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