I am finally beginning to move to shooting video with a DSLR. I'm curious if lenses with the vibration reduction feature perform well with hand-held DSLRs? I see Nikon has a 24-120 F.4 VR lens that would serve me well for general shooting.
I've not used VR lenses but have experience with Canon lenses with Image stabilisation which I presume are the same?I recently bought a handheld DSLR rig which I have yet to try out.When I shoot handheld I normally try to use a counterbalance system with the camera on a tripod. Not ideal, but it works.I agree that those monster rigs are terrible.In regard to audio, I record seperately and use PluralEyes to sync.I know it's not ideal, like you say, but it works for me.I've also hacked my Canon T2i with Magic Lantern which removes the auto gain control and enables audio levels. You can't monitor the audio but it's pretty cool.
I use a viewfinder from iDCphoto that has a plate on the bottom that slips into my video tripod head. I find holding onto that plate while hand holding really helps with stabilization. It's also not overly cumbersome as many of the DSLR rigs look.
I use both the Beechtek and a JuicedLink pre-amps. The juiced link has more accurate levels display using LEDs. The Beechtek levels do not display consistently. The JuicedLink has a very clean pre-amp and I really like the sound. The challenge is you have to have very high output for the LEDs to display. I use a headphone volume control in-line to turn down the output enough so it doesn't overwhelm my Nikon D300s input (sensitivity is set to low). On a Canon you can calibrate the JuicedLink by watching the volume display in the camera menu and turning down a resistor on the JuiceLink. I used the headphone volume control instead so I can leave the JuicedLink on one setting and switch pre-set volume control cables when I switch cameras and shoot with a D7000.You can also get 25dB and 30dB step down cables that do the same thing. The advantage of the headphone control is you can fine tune it. I tape them so the volume stays consistent once I have it set.Obviously, audio will all be easier when the next generation of cameras has levels displayed in Live View during record and you can hear the audio out of the camera body (this is wishful thinking that I really, really hope will come true). Assuming camera bodies get better, I expect I'll continue using a pre-amp like the JuicedLink to power microphones that need phantom power, so it's a good long term investment.
Thanks Curt and James and Pat for the info. Curt, I just ordered the Juicedlink for my D3s, so I hope that will work fine. The Juciedlink manual says the Nikons kinda suck for audio vs. the Canons, and the Juciedlink does the best it can with what it is given. I will use your suggestions for set up! This stuff can get frustrating real fast. Also, I ordered a H4n Zoom recorder for the times when dual audio is necessary.
Curt, I'm really struggling to find much information about how the JuicedLink products perform with the D7000. I'm primarily interested in the DT454 but it would be helpful to know more about any of their audio products that you may have used. The info in the Juicedlink DT454 manual implies that the device won't work as well with a Nikon. Can you speak to the quality of the sound you were able to capture with one of these devices on a Nikon.Many thanks.