Working with Live View and Video

Nikon has been improving its Live View/Video feature with every camera it releases, and with the introduction of the D3100 and D7000 it made some pretty radical changes. Live View is now standard on every camera in Nikon's current lineup, adding convenience to the picture-taking process and also easing the transition for those stepping up from compact cameras.

A main change is that Nikon added full-resolution 1080p HD video while the early cameras recorded at 720p. Probably the biggest feature is the addition of full-time autofocus, the first of its kind in HD dSLRs (with the exception of the D3100).


Many filmmakers are turning to dSLR cameras because of their portability and wide selection of lenses.

Live View

Using Live View allows you to view a live feed of what is being projected onto the sensor from the lens. As you may already know, the image from the lens is projected to the viewfinder via a mirror that is in front of the sensor. A semitransparent area in the mirror acts as a beam splitter, and is used by the camera for its normal phase-detection AF (autofocus). For Live View to work, the mirror must be flipped up, making phase-detection AF unusable; the camera uses contrast detection directly from the sensor to determine focus instead. This makes focusing with Live View a bit slower than focusing normally. In addition, when you're ...

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