Nikon blunder: camera maker uses Canon DLSR footage for D800 promo video

Cheating aside, the Nikon D800 is out and we took some time with the 36 MP camera. Check out our full Nikon D800 review.

These days, the launch of a new DSLR camera is more often than not accompanied by a short movie showcasing the camera’s capabilities, a movie often shot with the camera itself to show off the potential of its HD video function.

And so it was last month with the launch of Nikon’s $3000 D800 shooter, equipped  with a 36.3-megapixel sensor and capable of shooting 1080p video. Nikon’s 97-second promo video is, as you would expect, rather beautiful — you know the sort, emotive soundtrack, sweeping shots in exotic locations, several slo-mo clips, the obligatory time-lapse sequences. There was even a cute dog.

The video (you can check it out below), shown at a launch event in Bangkok in February, was recorded by a visitor and put up on YouTube. Soon after, a number of people began to complain that their own work featured in the promo video without permission.

But it gets worse (for Nikon). You see, some of the clips were shot not on the D800, or any Nikon camera for that matter, but on a device belonging to its long-time rival, Canon.

The landscape photographer and film-maker Terje Sørgjerd was one such person taken aback to see his work used by Nikon — he is, after all, sponsored by Canon and shoots with a Canon DSLR.

On his Facebook page, the Norwegian wrote, “A bit surprised to see Nikon using some of my video clips in the world launch of the Nikon D800 camera….without contacting me. Especially since Canon is one of my sponsors, and I use a 5DII.”

More bizarrely, Nikon’s promo video also included another sequence (at the 50-second mark) of snowboarders in action. Nothing bizarre about that, you might think — until you learn that it was shot on a Phantom HD Gold high-speed camera. Not a Nikon device and not even a DSLR. Seems like Nikon cobbled together the video with shots pulled from a few hours spent scouring the archives of video-sharing site Vimeo.

Fortunately for Sørgjerd, he was able to resolve the matter pretty swiftly with Nikon. “I want to thank Kimito Uemura & Nikon for taking swift action, and resolving this issue quickly,” he wrote on his Facebook page earlier this month. “They have taken every step to have the video removed, and will do everything possible to avoid this from happening again in the future. The matter is now fully resolved between the two of us.”

Quite what Nikon was thinking is anyone’s guess, but if it involved the services of an external advertising agency, you can bet the Japanese camera maker will be looking elsewhere when it comes to its next big camera launch.

The sequence at 2:13 in Sørgjerd’s video below appears in the Nikon promo at the 18-second mark.

[Cnet via Steve’s Digicams]

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