Interview with Mark Miller – the person who rode the bike in the Nikon D800 commercial

MotoPod podacst #300 from December 19th, 2011 (also available on iTunes) has an interview with Mark Miller who rode the motorcycle in the Nikon D800 commercial shot in Chicago. The actual interview starts at the 2:28:28 mark - very interesting stuff about the actual commercial movie and how it was shot.

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  • ShaoLynx

    Any chance on an interview of the guy who shot with the D800 in the D800 commercial?

    • EasyRider


    • kede

      Any chance on an interview of the guy who shot the D800 commercial with D800?

      • Any chance on an interview of the guy who shot the other guy with the D800 in the commercial for the D800?

        • D

          Any chance on an interview on the little guy inside the D800?

          • sirin

            forget the guy and the interview! any chance on the D800?

  • EasyRider

    i hope that the D800 will be announced along with the D4 on Jan 6th…

    • Mouonline


      Me too..

    • I think everybody hope for that!

      Nobody will buy D4 until D800 specs will be known.
      Nobody will buy D800 until D4 specs will be known.

      • Xto

        A lot of people will buy a D800 even when the D4 specs are unknown… not everybody has the amount of cash to buy a D4.

        Your statement that nobody will buy a D4 until D800 are known is more true I guess.

        • Where’s my…

          I will buy the D800 the split second I spot one with a ‘Buy it NOW!’ button next to it!

        • Camaman

          Nobody will buy anything until it is in stock… 🙂

          • Andrew

            Not true. Ever heard of pre-order? If you wait until the camera ships, you will be waiting for 6 months. This is called “on back-order”.

        • Bill freddington

          People who need and will use the D4 to its true potential wil not care how much it costs. It’s called being a pro and buying pro gear for pro results

          • neversink

            Excuse me… I’m a pro for more than 30 years. I never rushed out to buy the newest and most expensive equipment.

            Breaking news: Pros only buy the bodies and lenses they need to complete their jobs. If I need something for a shoot, I buy or rent it.

            Pros know how to get great shots on any piece of equipment…..

            • How odd to read words that make sense at these pages…


            • Bill freddington

              Like I said, pros who NEED and will use it TO ITS POTENTIAL will not mind the price tag. I would love to see you get the same results with a D100 and a 70-300 vs a D3s and a 300 2.8. Not gonna happen. Stop being a troll, bro. What I said was right.

      • MJr

        Nobody will buy either until they are for sale who knows how long after the announcement.

  • Hotdog

    Did he mention the dog riding monkeys?

    • why?

      lol that’s the question.

    • John Richardson

      No, he did not mention monkeys and dogs at all!!! and that is the deal breaker.

      “Gee, I like as I was riding and stuff on the motorcycle and they filmed me on a camera.”

      Impressive and insightful …. NOT

  • Rumour of the Canon 5d Mk 3 being announced in Mar/April 2012 to go ahead with the Nikon D800 – probably will yield a sensor 30mp++ lets hope they have beef up the AF in it rather than mudane 40d af.

    • D700guy

      I couldn’t care less what they do with the MarkIII. I will never own a Canon, so, it an have a turbo charged shutter for all I care.

    • Ren Kockwell

      Wow. 1993 called. They want their Web site design back.

      • TCD

        haha that was a good laugh

      • D

        That’s it. I’m switching to 1993!

  • R R

    after listening to the interview, my intuition tells me the D800 .. is gonna kick ass in video recording, probably high rate fps for video (for slow motion purposes) .. sounds very interesting

  • piahi

    At 2:42:41 he starts talking about the famous still photographer and videographer… anyone know who they are? The latter was the guy who filmed Avatar (I’m assuming not James Cameron, who directed Avatar).

    • broxibear

      Hi piahi,
      I think the Director of Photography on this video is Mauro Fiore. He worked on Avatar and I remember reading that he used a D700 on the set of the A-Team for color referencing.
      The stills photographers he’s talking about sounds like Mr Jarvis but I’m not sure.
      Here’s the BMW RR×766.jpg He mentioned they added different carbon body panels so it’ll look slightly different.
      Does anyone know if this D800 video camera does stills too lol ?

      • MJr

        Woa that is one helluva awesome looking bike ! And i don’t even like bikes.

        • broxibear

          He said carbon panels so maybe it’ll be more like this one
          I like bikes…but I like being alive even more so I’ve stayed away from them.

          • MJr

            Hmm that might make it lighter, but in this case doesn’t make it look better. Also way too smooth, i liked the strong lines and angles in the other one. Same with the (supposedly) leaked D800 pics, way too smooth imo, alsmost like a canon. :/

      • Robert Daniels

        Did you hear one of the director’s name he did mention is Sandro. Sandro is the same guy ho introduced the Nikon D3 when it first came out, along with the 14-24/2.8 See Here:
        If you listen to the video. the guy mentions the director of photography on set was SANDRO. Thus the camera soon to be released is the D4.
        -Nuff said

  • I would love to see that commercial, however I don’t see myself scooping up a D800 right away to replace my D700, especially if the price comes in at $4,000.

    • +1

      I’m in line to purchase D700 in two months timetable. D800 would be too pricey.

      • That’s a plan. A lot of used D700’s will hit the market when the D800 comes out. This happens each time something is updated. When the 85mm f/1.4 AF-S was released loads of used 85mm f/1.4 AF-D lenses suddenly were available. The earthquake has probably kept supplies of the D700 tight.

        • Ken Elliott

          This may not happen this time. It does not seem that the D800 will replace the D700 as much as it becomes an affordable D3X upgrade.

          I’ll add one, but it won’t be replacing my D700’s. I’ll be buying it rather than waiting for a used D3X, or adding a 5DmkII or A900 body.

          • If the D700 shows up as discontinued, it has been replaced. Whether a D700 combined with a D800 has utility that goes beyond having a spare, is yet to be determined. True, a D700 can fire faster, especially with a grip. High ISO noise on the D800 is the big unknown.

        • I’m still keeping the hope warm of new D700. Prices are pretty encouraging as for now.

    • Dweeb

      I have little interest in it until I see what the price increase is. Nikon have to make up for a lot of bad karma in 2011.

    • Don

      uh… who said the D800 was going to be $4000. THERE’S NO WAY!

  • Roger

    I found motorcycle talk way more interesting than the camera shoot bits.

    • FX DX

      You should be on, if there is such a site.

      • Done. Registered. Also picked up Thanks for the idea! I will now be billionaire!

        • D

          Ron, you forgot

    • Kyle Hunter

      I would imagine I will as well, I just started listening from the beginning. That and I am more interested in the D4 than the D800 . . . This is going to make me want to hook up to the trailer, head south, and hit up a track day.

  • “Jet Black Dudes” He sounded like an asshole.

    • f-stop

      +12,000 …Right!…These Black Dudes…

    • What would you rather have him say? “Dark as night” dudes? How else would you explain that they were invisible in the blackness of night?


    • dwd

      So he can’t describe a person’s complexion? Try not getting all butt hurt over a simple conversation.

    • David

      I agree that he just meant to describe the situation he had been in. Given that much later during the talk he is reflecting about the un-necessity of country borders I think this is quite an open-minded guy.

    • Don

      I agree!!! “Jet black dudes” sounded like a poor choice of words. I don’t think he meant it as an insult. At least I hope not. I’m suprised there are not more comments about that.

    • As a Black person hearing that comment is offensive & that’s the bottom line. Because you are probably not Black and have had your skin tone used as the butt of jokes, a discriminatory factor etc, you probably don’t get it.

  • tell us the price 😛

    • broxibear

      Considering the D700 price at launch, the high price of the Nikon 1 and the ever increasing economic woe, a good guess would be about $4300 US. I know people want it to be around the D700 price but that just isn’t going to happen…look at the prices of recent Nikon products, the mirrorless, the SB-910 all a lot more expensive than expected ?

  • Motorcycles? Obviously they want to showcase a professionally accurate tracking autofocus system for video. I’d love to see a new and amazing AF system from the company that already has the best AF system in the industry.

  • T.I.M

    I have hope for next year to see the D700 sucessor.
    2012 is a leap year with 366 days, that give more time for Nikon to work on the D800 !

  • Zoot

    Before I read this, I thought a motopod was a monopod with an engine, designed to take the strain out of panning.


  • David C

    Cool interview, combining two of my favorite subjects, motorcycling and photography!! Looking forward to seeing the commercial and really looking forward to seeing the intro of the cameras….

  • EiTaro

    That’s it. I’m switching to BMW!

  • That was a great interview. Mark really sorta sold it all for me…. I’m looking forward to the 6th. I bet they announce the D4, They will have to have the speed for this type of shoot. Not only that but the Olympics are coming AND the Presidential elections….

  • Charles Edelson

    I liked the way he mentioned a big release at an electronics show in new york.

  • Steve Starr

    Never said which Nikon camera. Could it be the D4 too if it was for action?

    Would be funny if Nikon got into the “video only” mode like Canon an Sony with a separate videocam in their lineup that takes their F mount lenses.

  • D4Guy

    This sounds like the D4 commercial to me. Low light night shooting? How sure is admin this was for the d800?

    • Steve Starr

      That does seem like more of a D4 than a D800 doesn’t it?

      Low-light. Action. High speed. etc. Not the specs of the D8000 unless it is that good.

      • QQMoar

        Why D800 will suck at low light? It will have better than D700 low light ability which is pretty good already.

    • that’s a possibility – at the time this video was shot, we were talking mainly about the D800, but this as well may be for the D4

      • Hugh Jass

        I don’t buy it. A professional flagship D4 camera is not something they would promote with a video like this. Anyone buying the D4 is not going to be the kind of buyer influenced by this kind of video. This type of advertising production is more geared toward the consumer or serious amateur (who is more likely to be looking for video features). It does in fact seem like a D800 shoot which to me is a positive but which doesn’t seem to square with the specs that have been leaked which are those of a studio camera and not a low light beast.

        • I agree, Joe McNally will probably be doing the D4 promo – he did the one for the D3 and Nikon likes to stick to the same people they’ve used before – for example Chase Jarvis did the D90 and the D7000 promos.

          • vFunct

            What? They used a motorcycle shoot for the D3 launch. You remember those photos? It looks like they’re doing the same for this, with video now.

            This is for the D4.

            • Robert Daniels

              Sandro launched D4 with the motorcycle shoot along with the 14-24mm/2.8

        • Ren Kockwell

          Yeah. No real photographer would like fast bikes on closed streets in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. They’d hate that.

          And once again, what enthusiast has $4K to blow on a DSLR? You’ve got to be kidding.

    • D700guy

      You asshole. Now who am I supposed to be after I sell my D700?

    • Rich

      I was thinking the same thing. It makes more sense that this is the D4 commercial, I would think you would need the low light performance. Or maybe this is the revolutionary factor Nikon was talking about; low noise with high ISO? He says “Nikon’s Flagship camera.” I hope its not, because if the D800 is the new flagship, you know it will be at least $6000.

      I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason the 5D mark 11 has been so appealing to me and others is the price more than anything else. We all want a full frame sensor for under $3000. I doubt Nikon will come through on that. Hope Im wrong.

    • Don

      I agree! The guy clearly said the video was for the “Flagship Nikon camera” and the D700/800 is clearly not that.

  • kyoshinikon

    These new HD lcd’s that allow for high quality videos XD

  • cosmic

    Wow. It seems Nikon pulled ALL the stops with this commercial. I can’t remember a time they promoted a product this aggressively. They must have something special on their hands. Mark Miller was super excited in the interview too.

    Good job admin! Everything seems to match up with the rumors so far.

    • yep, everything matches up

      • Wait — I thought there wasn’t a D800. Actually, I thought there wasn’t ANY other DSLR to come from Nikon ever again. I’m pretty sure that’s true, because I read it on the internet. 🙂

        Ok, but really: looks like Nikon doesn’t just want to shut up the whiners this year, but instead is aiming to make them feel like idiots for even talking on the internets. I just hope this promo video (it sounds like a short) is as awesome as it sounds. Nikon doesn’t have the best track record in the dept. of VSLR promos. This one sounds promising. Oh, and it also sounds like the camera is going be announced REAL soon. Even better!

        Great info, Admin. Keep em coming!

  • Kevin

    LCD screen…….absorbing light?

    • Yeah, but did you then hear the part when he riffed about all the bike stuff? Sounded just as foreign to me as the “LCD absorbing light” concept to him. 😉

      I loved that he was so enthusiastic about the cameras. Sounds like the crew was thrilled to be using the newest Nikon gear too. Exciting times ahead.

  • R!

    I just can’t wait they stop the ” I am” campaign It’s so stupid.

    • R!

      I am waiting for a D 800 for 3 years!!!!!

      • FX DX

        I AM certain that as soon as D800 comes out, you will start waiting for D900. It’s quite obvious from your comment.

        • Funky

          I AM sure that we are in a consumer society..that’s all. like if the cameras we have in our hands are not able to shoot good photos… I AM spending the money i don’t have.

          but I AM one of you.

          bring that D4 i need a new loan 🙂

          • R!

            I’ve been taking some really good photos as a pro with my 5D II that I sold last year for the same price I paid for It, then I bought the 60D when It came out before the D 7000 , I now have both because I shoot the best I can at the moment ,like all serious pros. I don’t cherish a camera body ,I cherish the moments that my picture is freezing ,thank you Internet geek, nikon is not making camera for video games players but for photographer.

            • R!

              I now have D 7000 & 60 D , my 16 35 VR is waiting a landscape Camera for 2 years now !!!!!!!

        • Rich

          If he was like me. He was never happy with what Nikon did with D3 or D700. I wasn’t happy till the D3x came out. I was hoping the D800 would have been something between a D3s and D3x. Kinda like what Canon is doing with the 1dx. But I hate the ergonomics of Canon and don’t see myself switching.

          • R!

            You know what I mean,D3X is the best camera ever,we need the same with more fps and high iso plus off course the full hd !!!!! Nikon come on !!!!

            • R!

              …under 3000$.

  • Calvin Hobbs

    The rider only calls the camera a new ‘flagship’ model from Nikon, he does not refer to a D800 or D4. Given the low light and high speeds of the filming conditions, it seems the model is the D4, unless admin has more specific info.

    • Kyle Hunter

      “Flagship” sounds like D4, but Miller was also apparently calling Lake Michigan an Ocean. But just because it was night, does not mean it had to be low light.

  • Fast moving at night sounds like D4 not D800!

  • kevin

    maybe they shot the commercial with D4, and then tell us it was the D800.

    • Hobbs

      Sure or may be even with a D3S and just changed the labels on the body..

  • Zim

    I will only buy Nikon’s that Ashton Kutcher does commercials for!

  • broxibear

    What do you reckon, a 24mm f/2.8 patent ? it’s some sort of wide angle, I’m not that good at trying to make head or tail of these bloody patents.

    • Recent Convert

      18mm f/1.8

    • EnPassant

      Another interesting discovery. I’m no patent or optical expert either. But considering the lens have 12 elements I doubt it’s a standard wideangle like 24/2.8 as the current oldtimer have 9 elements. It’s either a wider wideangle than 24 mm or faster than 2.8. Or both! My wild guess is 20 mm/1.8! It would make a nice addition to Nikons pro prime line-up!

    • BornOptimist

      This patent covers 5 examples, three of them are for a 20mm f1.8, and two are 18mm f1.8. All FX.
      12 elements implicate a complex design, and an expensive lens.

    • tifkat

      Notice in Figure 11, element “4”. Looks like maybe an LCD for an hybrid viewfinder? Add in graphical elements to the viewfinder, and possibly viewfinder visibility when the mirror is up (ie liveview)

      • tifkat

        No, it’s a focusing screen. Transparent focusing screen?

  • Zeb

    Hope they devalue the Yen soon, might be able to afford one of them then.

    • Funky

      EUR started already against USD…

  • Don

    Whatever camera it is, thats a big production and a lot of dough…its going to be ALOT of Camera I’m guessing

  • Landscape Photo

    With 36mp pixel count, the diffraction issue will be very challlenging for landscape photography. Normally apertures around f/11 is very common. Now, the photographer will fight with the dilemma of insufficient DoF vs. diffraction limited sharpness.

    It’s not mainly an issue of using the “holy trinity” zooms or stellar primes if you’re stuck at f/5.6 to f/8.

    For other reasons (corner resolution of lenses, focus inaccuracy, slightest motion blur, etc) in the field D800 will often yield 24mp-like images at best even with best technique applied . Some of the pixels will be inevitably wasted.

    Best thing that 36mp allows is the flexibility of DX or DX-like crop at optimum apertures.

    I’d rather prefer the 24mp sensor of D3x in a smaller body, but D800 too will be welcome if not ovely priced. $3500 street price will be somewhat ok…

    • cosmic

      f/8 is fine for landscape photography at infinity focus point. The diffraction thing is overblown. I’m sure you can use f/11 with some loss in resolution, but the trade-off is that you have 36mp – basically a non-issue.

      • Danyyyel

        It has been long in the tooth the diffraction thing, every-time somebody is not satisfied by the pixel count. They just can’t understand that some users want and use the high pixel count and are not interested to shoot in the dark. Until now to get a get a high resolution Nikon you had to pay $ 8000, compared to the Canon and Sony $ 2500 camera. So please do understand those Nikon users. I am sure that Nikon will come with a more affordable body for the sensor in the D4. They will just for the economies of scale of the Nikon sensor.

    • JED

      Yes diffraction will limit the total amount of resolution available but it is not a ‘brick wall’. Diffraction is nearly always affecting the image but usually not enough to be visible. A 36MP F11 picture is still going to yield more detail than a 24MP F11 picture.

    • R!

      this is so true ,thank you!!!!!

  • ek

    did this guy just break his NDA?

    • broxibear

      I think so, he’s probably already had a phonecall asking him not to speak about it further. In his defence he’s far more excited about riding round the streets of Chicago at over 100mph than some black box the cameramen are using to film him ?

  • Camaman

    Rode the bike?
    Didn’t knew we “knew” the bike is being ridden!?

    LoooL they really are messing with us… Releasing “the guy who rode the bike” from an NDA and paying him for an interview! 🙂

    Sneaky Niko000n!

    • Camaman

      BTW I see an ad for “Bovine Insulin powder” from Google on the right…
      How is that connected to Nikon? Maybe the infomercial was shot with it!? 🙂

      Or Google just concluded from my surfing for cookie recipes that I might be a future candidate for diabetes… LOL!

      • Sahaja

        Diabetic cows? Have they been feeding them Nikon Rumors…

  • Kingyo

    It does seem to be way too much of a blockbuster commercial for just a first..

    but when you think about it..the 5DMKII was the high-mp HD video hit for Canon, and I think Nikon would want to go this far to show off a new high-mp improved-HD video-capable camera to video enthusiasts & shooters alike just before the release of the 5DMKIII. That should be the D800.

    The D4’s allure for pros should be more about high fps shooting & low light ability. I don’t think the Canon 1Dx, which is the D4’s wimpy little rival, is being hyped as an awesome HD video-ready stills camera..that would be the 5DMKIII.

    SO, I say this is still the D800 commercial 🙂

  • StupidlyWonderful

    According to the interview!
    Stupid Nikon new flagship camera is used in shooting a stupid film of a stupid
    face riding a bike at stupidly highspeed 140mph at 50mph zone! Yea, that’s a brilliant stupid !
    Now I cant wait for December 2012 so I can buy that stupid camera!

  • studio460

    FYI: timeline (times are approximate).

    02:30:19 Interviewer asks set-up question. Long preamble about how he got the job (I would skip this part and go straight to 02:34:06).
    02:34:06 First mention of the word “camera.”
    02:34:13 First mention of the word “Nikon.”
    02:42:55 Talks about “Avatar” director of photography.
    02:50:00 This is where I stopped listening (they start talking about the bike’s ABS system).

    • Jim W

      This was very helpful, thank you!!

  • Afshin Deliry

    I am also waiting for d800 from last year.
    I thought that there will be big improvement over d700, but if only capturing movie cost me over 1200 us$, it seems it will be better to have d700 plus a first class consumer camcorder with internal hard and more options for movie.
    I hope that nikon understand his costumers and make a reasonable price for his product.

    • jodjac

      I hope they make a magical box. I don’t really care what it costs anymore. I’ve been waiting so long it just doesn’t matter- I feel like I’m married to the damn thing already. Now, where can I learn some video editing techniques?
      Loved the interview. Thanks Admin, very exciting. My favorite parts, when the guy was coolmunicating with bike sounds- it went whoomp whoomp- whoooooomp…

  • Boing Wronkwell

    I’m waiting for the pirate copy of the commercial to get onto youtube, after all Nikon the masters of marketing that they are, will only pay for it to air on PBS at 3am on Fridays when there is a ‘z’ in the month.

    Anyone got a link yet?

  • Steve Starr

    Google search turned up this site. The 15 video boxes are blank here but the header is interesting.

    Maybe a BMW Video Rumors site or they know something about the 15 videos on that page and plan to load them soon?

    Wonder if they are planning to run the motorcycle D4 video at their PMA booth? Didn’t they do the same sort of video presentation thing with the 1 series too? If it is 3 minutes (I think that was what was in the Podcast?), I can’t see it going to TV unless they edit the crap out of it.

    Seems it is a D4 though they worked with and word Flagship would coincide with a high price too. I don’t think it’s the D800 unless they did both maybe?

  • Psycho McCrazy

    Crazy fast S1000RR rumbling down Chicago streets at night for a DSLR commercial – SWEET!

    Motorcycles, and photography – my two passions combined! 2012’s gonna be a good year!

    • Any Anon

      Is the S1000RR motocycle petrol or diesel?

  • Richard

    How exciting does this advert sound. My god, can’t wait.

    226 Km p/h in Chicago

    BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Zoot

      Yep. It’s a helluva fuss to make over the launch of the Coolpix Ducati.

  • Adrifter

    Good chance that McNally is indeed doing the D4 promo. He had a shoot in a swamp in southern Georgia right before thanksgiving (the swamp will remain nameless for now to protect my sources). I was initially invited to assist on it, but shortly before the shoot I was told I couldn’t attend. Afterwords I asked the guy who invited me how it went and he told me that he couldn’t say a word about it. Nothing. Total media blackout. He was told that all he could say publicly was that he spent the day with Joe. He couldn’t even mention the fact there was a shoot. I didn’t see any swamp related shots in the SB-910 ads, so all signs point to the D4/D800.

    • hmmm interesting, so I guess the D4 promo pictures will be from a swamp in GA

  • Nicholas Wojciak

    Hmm motorcycles and the d800…. sounds like a video to prove that Nikon has defeated the rolling shutter!!!!

  • Great interview – thanks for that admin. Looking forward to seeing how the camera holds up in HD video mode with action and at night (in this TVC). Sounds like it really will surpass the 5D mk11 (hopefully it also has better highlight handling)

    I would imagine that kind of action would be best covered at 100 fps or above – maybe the D800 does faster than the 60 fps rumored?

    As a cameraman and a still photographer it could be my dream camera…

  • Frank Young

    Running at 190 miles/h in a real street at night. Wow!

    • Frank Young

      Sorry. It was 140mile/h.

  • Davix

    I can’t wait now, good job Admin 🙂

  • Cool WHip

    I read an article with the guy that got the coffee for the guy that rode the motorbike for the D800 commercial. It was bold and earthy with a hint of oak.

  • Murray Chris Thomas

    Let me save everyone the trouble of listening to the podcast: It starts at 2.5 hours in, theres a bunch of swearing and “dude” and “like” and vocal sound effects, technical superbike talk, the rider didn’t even want to look at the footage, and no mention of the word D800. Why even post this on here?

    • Jim

      I thought the podcast was pretty awesome, and it got me totally excited about a camera I wasn’t sure I even wanted.

      I was fortunate to know that coverage started 2.5 hours in, finding it would’ve been very frustrating otherwise. Also, the rider didn’t look at the footage because he didn’t want to second-guess himself, which makes sense.

      Anyway, A+ as usual admin, keep postin’.

      • Murray Chris Thomas

        But it didn’t give any insight on the camera. It was 95% bike talk, 4% bragging, and 1% other. I’m sorry, but I listen to podcasts that are actually GOOD. This, even without the hype of the D800 (which it didn’t mention to describe in any detail…and I call bullshit on the whole second-guessing thing because he’s either too cocky or they made him sign an NDA so he couldn’t look at it which is more than likely) is still an uncreative parents basement quality podcast. Yes, I am aware of how whiney I sound.

  • Pascal

    What about D800 integrated Flash? Will it have one? I saw no information about this in the “expected” specs! Thanks.

  • Smudger

    Makes no sense.
    No mention of the upgraded body cap……….

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