LumoLabs: In depth analysis of Nikon D800 AA filter vs. D800E

Started May 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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falconeyes Senior Member • Posts: 1,427
LumoLabs: In depth analysis of Nikon D800 AA filter vs. D800E

Ever since Nikon announced that the D800 will come in two flavors, D800 with a Bayer-AA filter and the D800E without one, people wondered how large the difference would be and what version to get.

If you want to know what's really in the boxes and how it really differs, you have to measure it.

Which is exactly what my friend Dieter Lukas from and myself did and now want to share with you. You obviously need both a D800 and D800E to study the differences

In an attempt to send a simple message, we crafted the headline:

D800: E = 0.5px sharper

which means that about 0.5 pixels less sharpening radius in a 100% Lightroom sharpening operation yields about similiar results.

Of course, there is much more to it. We actually succeded to measure the Bayer-AA filter's isolated MTF, an industry-first (in the open web).

The finding is that the Bayer-AA filter strength is only about 75% of what to expect from a full strength filter. The side effect is that D800 images sharpen up to the full Nyquist frequency but at the same time, do not fully rule out the risk of false color moiré.

Eventually, our work provides examples of ISO test charts sharpened up to the same level for both D800 and D800E, including the corresponding MTFs shown below:

There is an example of false color moiré in the wild as well:

(crop, cf. the blog article for the full size image)

If you have an interest to understand the impact of the Bayer-AA filter in the D800, or its omission in the D800E, you may want to have a read.


(link provides access to full report and a printable version too)


 falconeyes's gear list:falconeyes's gear list
Sony RX100 III Pentax *ist DS Nikon D800E Nikon D500 808
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