It seems only yesterday that I read a two-thousand-word article on why DSLRs should not be used for video recordings. The technical arguments presented in that article made sense, and till today, the cost and design nature of any DSLR still makes it ridiculous if you’re getting one primarily for filming videos.
On the other hand, if you’re photographing at an exotic location, and you happen to see something that just might get you a measly few million views on YouTube, why not? Better than fumbling and activating your phone, and leaving your expensive camera gear unattended, isn’t it?
Not to mention, the video recording quality of DSLRs like the Nikon D7500 beats that from any cellphones by miles. It’s an unfair comparison, I know, given the larger, much more expensive lens and sensor on the D7500. Still, it’s something that pops at you right away. As of this point of writing, I’ve already decided to use the D7500 exclusively for all my future YouTube video recordings.
Nikon D7500 Video Recording Specs
Just so that we are clear on what we’re looking at, here are the “video specs” for the D7500.
Movie Resolution: 3840×2160 (30p/25p/24p); 1920×1080 (60p/50p/30p/25p/24p); 1280×720 (60p/50p)
Movie File Format: MOV (Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC; Audio: Stereo Linear PCM)
Composite Video Out: No
NTSC/PAL Switchable Video: N/A
Video Usable as Viewfinder: N/A
HD Video Out: Yes
HD Video Connection: HDMI
4K Recording Quality
As I mentioned in my previous post on the LG G6, my primary gripe about my current phone is its unimpressive handling of noise in low-light situations during video recording. Since the Nikon D7500 has already demonstrated fantastic noise management in still shots, I was relatively confident noise would not be an issue for it. In fact, I was sure it would excel. Thus, for the tests, I deliberately chose darker environments as the testing grounds. I wanted to see how “great” it gets.
I think there’s little doubt that the quality is amazing. The same goes for audio quality, though in this case, I must highlight there was very little background noise other than the display soundtrack.
Which should then justify the Nikon D7500 video recording capabilities being given full marks, had there not been a rather alarming situation.
Nikon D7500 Video Recording Interrupted i.e. Terminated and Restarted
The recording kept terminating after approximately 30 seconds. This happened five times in a row as I strolled down the display.
Error Message. “Recording interrupted …”
After checking online, I discovered that older Nikon DSLRs had this situation too, for example, the D3200.
Some users also explained that this was the result of using slower speed memory card, as in, the huge data could not be transferred in time to the memory card. Given that I was using a class speed 10, brand new 32 GB, this really doesn’t feel to explain what happened to me, though.
Actually, there and then, I was convinced my walking movements caused the errors. As of this time of writing, I can’t find any solution online, except for “try to download the latest firmware.” Looks like I’d have to keep experimenting and monitoring this situation for a while. Hopefully, it is indeed a case of firmware or a lousy card, and not a permanent fault of the D7500.
Update 2018: This interruption has not completely gone away; it still happens once in a while. My conclusion is that it’s most likely to do with the memory card inserted. If you are experiencing it, try changing one.
Nikon D7500 FHD Recording Quality, 60P
As expected, the higher framerate resulted in a noticeably smoother flow. Optical stabilization, not available for 4K by the way, is also working fine. Here and there I can see it kicking into effect, such as when I turned to avoid other visitors.
Interestingly, the “recording interrupted” error did not happen here. This might point to the source of the problem being something to do with the memory card and data transfer.
And oh, Flicker Reduction at auto levels didn’t seem to work at the beginning of the video. I would need to experiment with other settings.
4K Video Recording, Redux
Unconvinced that it was all due to the memory card, I tested 4K video recording again two nights later. This time, I placed the D7500 on a street railing, which then more or less simulated the use of a tripod.
Guess what? No interruption. Nothing happened.
And ever since, everything is working as it should. Even in handheld situations.
Was it then just a case of a bad memory card? That though new, somehow the card wasn’t “burned-in” enough and functioning as it should? Whatever the reason, I have no way of testing, unless the error happens again. (Which is naturally something I wouldn’t wish for!) For the moment, I’m thus satisfied with video recording using the D7500. Sorry, cellphones, I’d be using you guys for Instagram pics only, for the next year or so.
As I wrote in part one, I’m not the sort of DSLR user who delves into technical features. Thus, this concludes my review/presentation of the Nikon D7500. In summary, I’m a proud, happy owner!
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