“We took a $300 Nikon D3300, which is one of the cheapest cameras offering 60p video in 1080p, and removed the hot mirror in front of the sensor,” cinematographer Steve Gong tells PetaPixel. “We replaced it with a piece of glass cut from a microscope slide, which fit just about right.”
In all, the camera surgery took about 1.5 hours.
“There weren’t any tutorials online for the D3300, so we had to follow directions for a D3200,” Gong says. “While they weren’t exactly the same inside it was still fairly straightforward.”
“It’s interesting to see what a minor camera revision looks like – the manufacturing of the D3300 looks like it’s been simplified ever so slightly compared to the D3200.”
The team, including director Benjamin Bartel, used a near-infrared filter of 720nm for the project “to get a bit of a stylistic color once white balanced against grass (which reflects a lot of infrared light),” states Gong.