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  #1  
Old February 7th, 2012, 02:05 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Default Just Announced: Nikon D800 & D800E

The new DSLR from Nikon has just been announced. It is the D800 and it's sibling D800E. The camera has a full frame sensor with a 36.3 megapixel CMOS sensor and an EXPEED 3 imaging processor. Of course, lots of improvements for filming as usual nowadays. The D800E is identical, except for the lack of an anti aliasing filter. This will surely result in a lot of chatter across the Internet.

A couple of items worth mentioning:

4.88μm pixels: smaller pixels as a result of the higher resolution. I am curious what the resulting DR and IQ will be like. The top ISO is set at 6400 (without using the overdrive to 25600), which may be telling. Also, what about the diffraction limit? My initial calculation shows that it becomes diffraction limited just above f5.6 (CoC being 1.5 times that of the pixel pitch, that is).

51 focus points, just like in the D4.

Exposure compensation: -5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV and exposure bracketing: 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV. (NB: this is a pet peeve of mine with the 5DII, why won't Canon give us this? It is just a matter of firmware upgrade. I know that they are trying to differentiate the market between the 1d series and the 5d series, but this is simply not a reason for enthusiasts like me to buy the 1d anyway.)


Official Nikon link.

Here is a hands-on preview from dpreview.com.

Here are the sample images on Nikon's website.
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  #2  
Old February 7th, 2012, 05:13 AM
Andrew Stannard Andrew Stannard is offline
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Certainly look like an interesting camera, and will be fun to see all the sample images and chatter spread across the internet.

I wondered about the diffraction limit, but hadn't calculated it - thanks for doing so.

I reckon on my 5D MkII I can start to see the effects at anything beyond f11, so will be interesting to see how easy it is to extract all of those 36MPix in a deep DOF situation without a tilt-shift lens.


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ANdrew.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 07:50 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Stannard View Post
Certainly look like an interesting camera, and will be fun to see all the sample images and chatter spread across the internet.

I wondered about the diffraction limit, but hadn't calculated it - thanks for doing so.

I reckon on my 5D MkII I can start to see the effects at anything beyond f11, so will be interesting to see how easy it is to extract all of those 36MPix in a deep DOF situation without a tilt-shift lens.
Hi Andrew,

It'll surely generate a lot of chatter. It's an interesting direction towards more pixels, where Canon sofar seem to stick to the current status, and focus more on video, for the professional range anyway.

The diffraction of course only plays a role at the per-pixel level, when one indeed uses the additional pixels for larger output or more cropping. The amount of diffraction doesn't change because of a different sensor, but it will be sub-sampled at a higher density.

The diffraction effect on the individual pixels will start to manifest itself when the radius of the diffraction pattern exceeds roughly 1.5x the sensel pitch. With a sensel pitch in the order of 4.88 micron, that would mean that at f/5.6 for green light the microdetail will begin to suffer at the pixel level. That might be somewhat welcome for the version without AA-filter, and it will be interesting to see how that works out in practice.

One useful aspect of the denser sampling of the diffraction 'limited' image is that it can be restored relatively well if one applies a deconvolution sharpening with a good model of the PSF.

What's also interesting is to see how the smaller sensels (and thus smaller well depth) affect the Dynamic Range. With sensels this small, I expect the storage capacity to be 42800 electrons per sensel at best. In that case, the read noise should be better than 11 - 21 electrons for a dynamic range (engineering definition) of 12 to 11 stops. We'll have to see what materializes when the camera actually becomes available and can be analysed by serious users and/or by DxOmark.com .

Cheers,
Bart
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Old February 7th, 2012, 06:55 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Cem,

Thanks for the nice summary of these new machines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
My initial calculation shows that it becomes diffraction limited just above f5.6 (CoC being 1.5 times that of the pixel pitch, that is).
Indeed.

To be a bit more finicky about notation (no criticism of your report, Cem), assuming a wavelength of about 550 nm, at f/5.6 the diameter of the "central spot" of the Airy pattern produced by diffraction (that is, the pattern out to its first minimum, which we might think of as a circle of confusion) would be about 1.5 times the pixel pitch.

Sort of gives one pause, doesn't it!

The "1.5 times the pixel pitch criterion" can be thought of as based on equating Rayleigh's criterion for resolution in the face of diffraction to an inherent resolution of the sensor of about 1.5 times the pixel pitch, as would be suggested by a Kell factor of about 0.7.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old February 7th, 2012, 07:06 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Cem,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
The D800E is identical, except for the lack of an anti aliasing filter.
It is curious that the language of the Nikon announcement (as presented on opf) speaks of the "anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF [optical low-pass filter]" being "canceled" on the D800E.

This may just be a "manner of speaking", perhaps involving translation from the Japanese, or it may mean something a little different than just "eliminating" the filter.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old February 7th, 2012, 08:00 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Hi, Cem,



It is curious that the language of the Nikon announcement (as presented on opf) speaks of the "anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF [optical low-pass filter]" being "canceled" on the D800E.

This may just be a "manner of speaking", perhaps involving translation from the Japanese, or it may mean something a little different than just "eliminating" the filter.
Hi Doug,

It's indeed a strange way of descibing it. I expect it means that the OLPF is eliminated from the usual IR-filter+OLPF combination. It's going to be interesting to see how they will cope with the color aliasing that will exceed the luminance aliasing due to the different sampling densities, and if that is already somewhat addressed in the data that finally gets stored in the Raw data. How Raw is Raw is not a new question with Nikon's NEFs.

Cheers,
Bart
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Old February 7th, 2012, 08:57 AM
Andrew Stannard Andrew Stannard is offline
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Hi,

If you scroll down a bit on this page on Rob Galbraith's site there is some interesting info about the differences between D800 and D800E, which perhaps casts a bit more light on the use of the word 'cancelled'...

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...=7-11674-12304


Regards,
Andrew.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 09:08 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is online now
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"Diffraction limit", "dynamic range", "well size", etc...

I'd like to remind everyone that we have had sensels that small for some time now on smaller sensors, in particular the 4/3 kind but also the D7000. While measurements show that indeed degradation of the MTF happens over f/5.6, in practical photographic usage f/11 looks very much the same as f/5.6.

Of course, compact or video cameras use even smaller sensels. They often use a neutral gray filter in place of a diaphragm because the influence of diffraction quickly shows. But we are not there yet.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 10:36 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
"Diffraction limit", "dynamic range", "well size", etc...

I'd like to remind everyone that we have had sensels that small for some time now on smaller sensors, in particular the 4/3 kind but also the D7000. While measurements show that indeed degradation of the MTF happens over f/5.6, in practical photographic usage f/11 looks very much the same as f/5.6.

Of course, compact or video cameras use even smaller sensels. They often use a neutral gray filter in place of a diaphragm because the influence of diffraction quickly shows. But we are not there yet.
Jerome,

Indeed! Bart has repeatedly taught us this and even given us tables to make it easy for us to check where we are photographing with reference to resolving the blur caused by diffraction. We should consider that the degradation we see over the diffraction limits suggested merely reveal the waves each focus point is blurred by. Those same waves landing on a much larger sensel are simply read as on level of brightness. It's amusing to see cameras with 7 micron sensels used at f16 or f 22!

Asher
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