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I am a brand new amateur photographer, so I really needing a lot of input from other users, for example..

I just notice yesterday while recording some video with my Nikon D5200 that I can't record video using only the eyecup view !

Only when I was using the live view mode, I could press the record button and record video, why is this happening?

My problem is that, the monitor is one of the camera functions that drain most of my battery!!! I record three videos of 20 minutes and I it's dead, because the screen is always on.

So, actually I have two questions:

1) Can I record video using only the eyecup mode (without live-view)?

2) If it's not possible, then, can I use live view mode but just turn off the LCD monitor?

Thank you so much for your help! Looking forward for your answer, I am loving learning photography, still need a lot of information :)

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5

I can't record video using only the eyecup view

D5200 is an SLR, that is a single-lens reflex camera.

As opposed to mirrorless cameras, SLRs use a mirror which sends the image which passes through the lens to the top where, with the help of a pentaprism, the light is redirected to the viewfinder.

When you shot a photo, the mirror is raised, letting the light through. Behind this mirror is situated the film, or, in digital SLRs, the sensor.

Depending on the position of the mirror, the light arrives to either the sensor, or the viewfinder. Never both. You can, by the way, see it very easily: shot a photo at 1/2 of a second while looking through the viewfinder: you'll see that it becomes dark for half a second.

When you're recording a video, the mirror is raised during the entire recording: the light which passes through the lens hits directly the sensor. The same thing happens with Live View—the only difference with video recording is just that the signal received by the sensor is not recorded to the memory card.

Could you disable the LCD screen when shooting a video? I don't remember seeing anything like that in the options, and it wouldn't be particularly useful, since it's kinda useful to be able to watch what you're shooting. However, if you're using a remote controller (such as a tablet or a PC), then the LCD screen on the camera is turned off.

Why wouldn't the mirror move up and down constantly when shooting the video, letting you look through the viewfinder?

There are a lot of reasons for that, including the following:

  • The image will look darker, since a part of the light will need to reach the sensor.

  • Flipping the mirror up and down twenty-five to sixty times per second would make a lot of noise, and lead to camera shake.

  • Looking through the viewfinder when shooting a video isn't very practical.

The last point, specifically, leads me to another aspect. I imagine that your original question is motivated by the fact that it's difficult to view anything on the LCD screen in a bright day. For that, different accessories exist. Most popular ones are the viewfinder which fixes itself directly on the LCD screen like that:

enter image description here

as well as the external monitors which look like that:

enter image description here

There is a much less expensive alternative: use a tablet as an external monitor. However, the quality of a professional external monitor is much higher than a tablet, especially noticeable when you have to work outside on a sunny day.

My problem is that, the monitor is one of the camera functions that drain most of my battery!!! I record three videos of 20 minutes and I it's dead, because the screen is always on.

No, it's not. While the LCD screen consumes some power, what actually drains the battery is the recording itself, i.e. the processing of the light received by the sensor into a video file on your memory card.

Note that there are accessories for that too. Power adapters make it possible to use the camera without battery, so if you're shooting videos in a studio, this could be an option.

For some DSLRs, Nikon also sells battery grips which are connected to the bottom of the camera. It looks like this:

enter image description here

However, it seems that Nikon doesn't have grips for D5200. There are third-party ones, but be careful when purchasing them, since low quality ones can damage your camera. High quality ones are usually rather expensive ($200 to $600).

Another solution consists of buying spare batteries. When one is depleted, you use another one, while recharging the first. Having three or four batteries is not that unusual.

  • Hi @Arseni Mourzenko thanks for your reply, I understand that turning off the LCD might not be useful because I would need to watch what I am shooting. But for that purpose I would use the viewfinder instead, do you understand? The thing you are saying is that when I am recording the light hits directly the sensor and not the viewfinder, so I can't handle it, right? I get it, my only option is to buy spare batteries I guess... right? thank you so much! (my first quesiton in this community and you helped wonders!) – TiagoM Nov 20 '16 at 23:30
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    @TiagoM: I edited my answer to include more information (especially the alternatives to spare batteries). – Arseni Mourzenko Nov 20 '16 at 23:42
  • Hi @Aseni thank you so much for your updated answer. My problem is actually the battery not the sunny day, most of my video shots are on night music concerts (I would like to save some battery turning off the LCD and just use the viewfinder, I know now that's not possible). The grip is interesting but I am not willing to spend that amount of money to extend my battery, I will rather buy a 4 pack batteries and one power output as you mention !!! Thank you so much again for your help, I am accepting now your answer! it covers everything and even more! – TiagoM Nov 21 '16 at 0:06
  • What about the Sony's with the fixed mirror? – ths Nov 21 '16 at 0:22
  • @ths: My answer was about Nikon D5200 specifically and the SLRs in general. I don't think SLT can be considered an SLR (or as a very specific case), and don't think mentioning SLT would be of any help to the OP. – Arseni Mourzenko Nov 21 '16 at 0:40

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