Can anyone explain in a simple way what the difference is between the D800 and the D800E. There is a lot of information out there about this but I'm not able to distill from all of it what the differences are and, more important to me, which is sharper? There's something about moire and a high pass filter or maybe it's a low pass filter and a trade-off but I just end up getting confused. It's as though I asked a chef the difference between French and Italian food and he empties the contents of a supermarket in my living room. I still don't know what the difference is between French and Italian food.
The Nikon D800E does not have a low pass filter in front of the sensor. The filter keeps high frequency parts of the object from getting to the sensor. The filter prevents Moire effects in images that have a lot of fine lines. I have a D800E and have never observed a Moire problem. Even if Moire rears its ugly head Photoshop can eliminate it.
It would seem to me that the D800E would have a slightly better resolution because there is no filter but this is probably not noticeable in practice unless the highest quality lenses are used along with a really good tripod.
The choice is up to you but I would go with the D800E.
If the purpose of the low pass filter is to slightly blur certain images or sections of images or certain 'information' then it's correct to conclude that photos from cameras with the low pass filter (incl D800E) will not be quite as sharp as those from cameras without the low pass filter. Right?
Does my D700 have a low pass filter? Images from my D700 are usually tack sharp -- or can be I should say. Depends on the lens.
Is moire that squiggly line/pattern issue with pin stripe suits, bricks and other fine geometric patterns?
I don't think I get moire with the D700.
Why didn't they just keeping making the D700? It sounds like there's a lot of problems with the D800 -- including the file sizes being so large that it is creating problems. What problems I am not sure but I've heard people complaining too many megapixels and photos too large.
Yes, moiré is the squiggly coloured pattern you see on fine detail like pinstripe suits, shirts, bricks, etc.
The blurring process of the low pass filter is, in large part, reversed in the demosaicing process that happens when the image data is converted into a visible image on screen. It gets further reversed or 'fixed' at the capture sharpening stage of the editing workflow. Lightroom/ACR and some other editing applications use a process called deconvolution which works to mathematically compute the source of the blur - which includes low pass filters and lenses - and accurately reverse it. It works pretty well. It's not perfect as you'd have to have millions of computations for every camera/lens combination but it does a pretty good job. The amount of blurring isn't significant. But that's why, when you open a raw image it appears to be slightly soft.
Why didn't Canon just keep making the original 5D? It was a terrific camera too. Why didn't Canon just keep making the original EOS camera, the 620? Technology changes and improves. We now have cameras that have smaller pixels yet wider dynamic range and lower noise than we did 2 or 3 years ago. That's remarkable. Why not take advantage of that? Now, all that said, the D800 isn't the camera I wanted as a successor to the D700 but it doesn't look like Nikon's going to make the camera I want so.....
As far as there being lots of problems with the D800, I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. I'm not entirely sure why Nikon brought out the 800E. Well, I know why but I'm not sure the reason was warranted. They brought it out because the pixel peepers and measurebators who spend inordinate amounts of time viewing photos on their computer screens at sub-pixel level magnification but do nothing else with the photos except maybe post low-rez copies on the web were pissing and moaning about the softness of the low pass or anti-aliasing filter. They wanted to see absolutely sharp images but some are now pissing and moaning about the moiré and aliasing artifacts they see. Never cater to the measurebators. To be a bit less sarcastic, the 800E was also brought out to offer a 'credible' and 'affordable' alternative to medium format digital backs which typically don't have an AA filter and are used primarily in studio work. All that aside, the only real problem with the 800/E is the left side focusing issue. That has now been resolved. A fix has been produced for existing cameras and Nikon claim the problem has been addressed for several months at the manufacturing stage.
What do you mean about the file sizes being so large as to cause problems? I have no problems working with D800 images on my computer. But I'm also working on a machine with an 8 core processor, 16GB of RAM, 2GB of on card video RAM, 4x1TB hard drives for storage, a 120GB SSD for the OS/software, a 250GB hard drive that's dedicated as a scratch disk and a 64 bit OS. If you were trying to work on the same files with an older dual core processor with 4GB or less of RAM and a 32 bit OS then I could see the workflow would be slowed down a fair bit but upgrading computers is a part of the game in digital imaging. Those people probably shouldn't have bought the D800. But that isn't the only camera with a high pixel count. The D600 and new D5200 both have high pixel counts. There are rumours about a high pixel count new camera from Canon in the near future.
It should also be noted that the D800E doesn't eliminate the AA filter, as Tigger states. It uses different types of AA filters from the standard.
Life is too short to bother with the criminally inane.
BobF you are very generous with your time and expertise. Thank you.
D800: Low pass filter
D800E: No low pass filter
Is that right?
Low pass filter blurs. (D800)
No low pass filter means slightly sharper images. (D800E)
Does anyone know if the D700 has a low pass filter or not? Or AA?
Is low pass filter and anti-aliasing filter synonymous?
I've just heard complaints about the file sizes being too large. I am not sure what the problems are with that. Speed? Storage? Deterioration/etc... when resizing? I am sure the complaints are more specific I just don't know what they are.
BTW BobF, is your new book out yet? I know it could be pre-ordered. What is the title again?
The D800E has a low pass filter but it's different from what's in the D800. There are actually two, the second one reverses the effect of the first. Not sure why they did it that way. But yes, the effect is that the same image from the E will be slightly sharper out of the camera. Actually, even in a regular low pass setup there are two but in the standard setup, each splits the light in different directions.
The D800E is the only DSLR, that I'm aware of, that doesn't have a traditional low pass filter, so yes, the D700 has one. Maybe some old ones back in the early days didn't have it but that would be several years ago (i.e., more than 10).
Low pass and AA (anti-aliasing) filter are the same thing, yes.
OK, my guess is that the people who are complaining don't have sufficient computing power/hard drive space to deal with the larger files.
I got my advance copy this week. The publisher tells me that they will arrive in the warehouse about December 11 and should show as in stock and available for shipping at Amazon, B&N and the like on December 18. Just in time for Christmas. The title is "The Digital Zone System: Taking Control from Capture to Print". Thanks for asking.
Life is too short to bother with the criminally inane.
All of the Sigma cameras that use a Foveon imager do not have a low pass filter as they don't need one because they don't use a bayer pattern but instead stack the color sensors. As a result images are extremely sharp with a good lens. The SD1-M is an SLR. They are 15MP but produce images comparable to 24-30mp Bayer sensors. The Leica M9, MP, new M and S2 do not use an AA (low pass) filter either.