Some scenes of the new Mad Max movie were shot with Nikon cameras

Some of the scenes in the new Mad Max: Fury Road movie were shot with Nikon cameras:

“Part of the reason I had that idea was that I shoot a lot of HDR mirror balls on set and the Nikon camera I use has a nine stop automatic bracketing setting. Occasionally after shooting a mirror ball I would forget to turn the bracketing off and I’d have a series of images that are from four stops over to four stops under. I’m always shooting 14 bit RAW images with the Nikon and I can grade those two three four stops over images and they look amazing. As long as they’re not clipped, as long as you’ve not lost the highlights, the resulting images are the best images you can get.” (visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson on FXguide)

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  • Stas

    That’s why all looks so yellow!

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  • Dolev Ardova Inbar

    but which cameras?

    • Marcotron

      D7200. But some rumors about D3300.

  • Josh Sullivan

    I don’t think they shot scenes with Nikon cameras. I think a guy had a Nikon on the set and was just shooting photos and discovered a concept that they decided to try with the film cameras.

    • Eric Calabros

      Yea, Its all they’ve used, according to the movie’s IMDB page:

      Arri Alexa M, Panavision Primo Lenses
      Arri Alexa Plus, Panavision Primo Lenses
      Blackmagic Cinema Camera (some shots)
      Canon EOS 5D Mark II (some shots)
      Olympus P5 (some shots)

    • Correct – the article goes on to say, “Jackson’s observation was that the higher exposure, the better the image is – assuming no clipping has occurred – something that he felt could be replicated by shooting with the ARRI Alexa.” and “I had talked to John Seale about it and they did a test in broad daylight in the middle of the day – full sun – and shooting with the ARRI at various exposures,” recalls Jackson.

  • Benjamin Brosdau

    Yeah, the technique mentioned has most likely nothing to do with shooting any actual scenes. They shot HDR images from a reflective chrome ball to generet panoramic images. They do this to accurately capture the lighting scenario on set. In addition they will shot medium gray and other spheres to get a better idea of the diffuse lighting components.
    Later, during postproduction, they can use this HDR images to light and shade computer generated assets to blend seamlessly with the live action footage. At the very least the HDR images will serve as a reference base for the lighting of CG effects.
    I used to work in the idustry btw.

    • paintitwhite

      I used to do 3D graphics as well. Since he is mentioning shooting “mirror balls” this is exactly the method that he describes. D8xx cameras are extremely well tailored to shooting such due to their color reproduction combined with high dynamic range at low ISOs.

      For those who don’t understand the technique and want to learn more, have a look at this PDF:

    • HibikiRush

      Why did you quit?

  • Michal Zdunek

    I saw that movie… it’s fantastic, so much over the top but it’s just great. Visuals are amazing. I’m biased because I love the Mad Max franchise since I saw it when I was a kid !

    stunning, breath taking
    action movie !

  • HibikiRush

    You’re interpreting what he said incorrectly. It sounds like he just has a Nikon that he uses for personal photos to document the set. He never mentioned video.

  • Brian Collins

    The interview describes a workflow inspired by shooting RAW on his Nikon. The actual production shots came from Alexa.

    “During grading, Whipp took advantage of the latitude in the Alexa to deliver the day for nights. “When I first started grading the scene,” recalls Whipp, “I was in a little bit of shock – literally you have these people running around in full sunlight. There were shots in the film with lens flares, people are literally squinting into the sun and the lens flare is hitting the camera and it’s two stops overexposed in full daylight – how am I supposed to make this work?””

  • Will Austin

    I saw outtakes of the director walking around with a D800

  • jtan163


    THe next paragraph says in the article says “Jackson’s observation was that the higher exposure, the better the image is – assuming no clipping has occurred – something that he felt could be replicated by shooting with the ARRI Alexa. His rational was that an overexposed image would contain more detail and less noise, and on the Alexa would roll off into the highlights while not quite clipping, and therefore be suitable for grading from day to night. “I did some tests with the day for night idea with digital stills,” adds Jackson. “The massive benefit you get with shooting overexposed for a day for night setup is that you get detail in the shadows that’s still there. You can pull the highlights down and darken the whole image, but still have detail in the shadows. It doesn’t just clip to black in the shadows.””

    I.e. they used a principal that the Andrew Jackson uses with his NIkonm but it was shot on an Alexa.

    Nikon video is at best 10 bit 4:2:2 when recorded on an external recorder..

  • Kevin

    There’s B-roll footage that shows George Miller using a Nikon camera, looks like he’s using video, Start at 53 seconds in. He’s also using the Nikon again at 3:48…i think.

  • thanks, I will add this to my post

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