Nikon D300s: Advanced shooting techniques – Precision Focusing for HD Video

Posted: October 20, 2010 in General Videography, News Videography, Nikon
Tags: , , ,

Thanks to a buddy who let me play around with the Canon 5D Mark II, I figured out a useful trick for precision focusing in HD video mode on the Nikon D300s. When in Live View mode (either handheld or tripod mode) you can use the + and – buttons on the left of the viewfinder to digitally zoom in on your subject. Then, use the AF button to focus (or manually do so) and zoom back out. Presuming you don’t move the camera and your subject stays still, you can now rest assured your footage will be in focus. This tip is particularly helpful when using a shallow depth of field on bright days or when you don’t have a viewfinder eyepiece.

  1. Jirud says:

    Nikon D300S – I’m totally happy with this camera. You can make as much and simply gorgeous pictures. Relatively easy to use, very good instruction manual, and you can take snapshots of any kind with it. The Live View function is awesome. Very satisfied and highly recommend.

  2. Frank M says:

    Jeff is there any way to print 4×6 photos or stills taken from live view recordings on a Nikon D300S?

    • jeffachen says:

      Frank, thanks for the question. Yes, there is a way to save a still image that you can extract from the HD video clip. You won’t be able to do it “in-camera,” but the good news is the program you’ll need is a free, safe download. It’s called MPEG Streamclip. (You can download it free for Mac or Windows here.) Once you’ve downloaded and installed MPEG Streamclip, you’ll find it useful for converting video file formats as well as creating “image sequences,” which you can then save as a TIFF, PNG, PSD or a wide range of other formats.

      Simply open MPEG Streamclip and then select FILE > OPEN FILES > (select your D300s video clip)


      You should see a window pop up with lots confusing options. All you need to know is to select “image sequence” for the file format down at the top center. Then click the OPTIONS button next to the file format drop down and select your image format (i.e. PSD, JPEG, TIFF). Once your done, click OK.

      Now, you’ll want to select a destination for your photos (yes photos. An image sequence is just that–a sequence of still images for every frame in the video!) This means you’ll want to create a folder for all the images to save to so you don’t lose track of them.

      Once the export has completed, you can file through all the images and find the one or ones you’d like to print. Keep in mind that they’ll be of a lower quality format (72 dpi web resolution instead of 300 dpi for typical print quality). Hope that helps and isn’t too complicated!

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