Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Nikon D750 vs Fujifilm X-E2 on shooting the moon

Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/9, 1/200
I was not planning on comparing the two cameras, but ended up noticing quite a difference between the two cameras when making some photos of the moon.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 800, ƒ/8, 1/4000
While editing the two photos I noticed a sharpness in the 16 megapixel Fuji image that wasn't there in the Nikon 24 megapixel. I would expect the Nikon D750 to be sharper.

Nikon D750, ISO 4000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000
I just put this photo here shot at 1/4000 to quiet those who think the softness of the D750 was from camera movement. It is the filter.

Until recently virtually all digital cameras had an anti-aliasing or low-pass filter over the sensor. This filter had the effect of softening the image very slightly to reduce the likelihood of moiré patterning happening in parts of the image with a very fine repeating pattern that is close to the resolution limit of the sensor.

There is no filter on the Fuji and there is one on the Nikon D750.

The benefit of leaving off the filter is that the camera is able to record a little more detail and produce slightly sharper images, with less need for post-capture sharpening.

Nikon just introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show this week there new Nikon D5500 which tt's high-resolution sensor has no optical low-pass filter. It joins the Nikon D810 which also doesn't have the anti-aliasing or low-pass filter over the sensor.

I think we may be experiencing the change in the industry. Since the introduction of the Nikon D800E we have started to see more cameras being introduced without an anti-aliasing, or low-pass, filter over the sensor. This is because the pixel density of sensors has become so high that there are fewer and fewer patterns that we are likely to photograph that have a high enough frequency to cause moiré patterning.

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