Whoops! Nikon Uses Canon DSLR Footage to Launch D800.
Nikon is, to put it mildly, a titan in the consumer and professional camera world, selling everything from sub-$100 point and shoot pocket cameras all the way up to, as we reported here last month, powerful dSLR cameras that cost many thousands of dollars and are designed to take impossibly high resolution stills and capture High Definition video for feature film and television production. Currently, Nikon is over in Bankok preparing to launch the D800, which boasts an astounding 36.3 megapixel CMOS sensor and the ability to shoot 1080p video. For said launch on March 7th, they produced this impressive demonstration video, which highlights the D800's strengths as a filmmaking tool:
Looks awesome, doesn't it? Makes the D800 look like it excels at shooting sports and time lapse videos of cityscapes and exotic locations, right? Makes it seem like the D800 is a vital tool to have in your filmmaker production kit, right? Makes you want a D800 no matter the price, right?
Only there's a catch... As seen today over at one of our favorite photography Facebook pages (a site we've covered here and here),TSO Photography:
Seems Nikon is not only using Canon EOS-5D Mark II-captured video from TSO's film 'The Mountain' to sell their new camera, but they never asked his permission and are, therefore and perhaps more disgracefully, violating his copyright.
Note the shot at 2:13 lines up with the Nikon promo video's 0:18 mark. What makes Nikon's blunder even more entertaining is the fact that the video also included footage that wasn't even shot on a dSLR, such as the snowboarding action shots which are lifted from the film, 'The Art of Flight', and are even featured in that film's trailer (beware NSFW language):
Note the shot at 1:36, which lines up with 0:50 in Nikon's video, which is then followed by a shot of a Canon dSLR. Also, the shot at 2:30 lines up with 0:52 in Nikon's video. Produced over a year ago, there's no way the D800 could have been used to make this film. In fact, if you check out 'The Art of Flight' website to see what cameras they used to produce the movie, Nikon isn't even on the list! The above footage was most likely captured with the Phantom HD Gold camera, capable of shooting 1,052 frames per second in 1080p HD.
So that's two separate, confirmed sources making up about 5 to 10 seconds of Nikon's Bangkok video, which ultimately begs the question:
Is the D800, or any Nikon dSLR camera, actually responsible for any of the footage in the D800 promotional highlight real being used to sell the D800's cinematography skills?
At this point, I'm highly skeptical. Perhaps Nikon owes some folks an apology, if not some financial reimbursement for what may be a whole slew of copyright violations. Shame, shame. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this Steve's Fans. Hit up our Forums or pop over to our Facebook Wall to discuss.
UPDATES (Monday, March 5, 2012):
A couple updates for you. First, courtesy of our Steve's Facebook Fans, we know that there is some Nikon footage on this reel, specifically from Corey Rich's "Why", which was shot on a D4. Also, for those who doubted that Nikon was actually behind this production, here's the full presentation:
However, and perhaps most importantly, TSO Photography issued this statement via Facebook on Friday, March 2, stating the matter is "fully resolved" between Nikon and himself, and he personally thanked Kimito Uemura (Nikon Hong Kong's General Manager of International Marketing):
It's good to hear that TSO is happy with Nikon's reaction to his complaint, but what about the other non-Nikon filmmakers? What about the fact that some of this imagery wasn't actually shot on a DSLR? What was this swift action (the videos are still up, as of this update)? Was there a public apology?