Image © Nikon Corporation

The fact that the D800 comes in two versions is interesting, and I think a good thing. But let me say upfront that the majority will be very happy I suspect with the D800.

The D800E comes without its anti aliasing (AA) filter. This helps reduce moire and other problems that can be seen around some fine detail. The optical low pass filter softens the image slightly as a consequence, to reduce the effect.

However, for most uses, and for example people shooting say clothing, or other very intricate patterns, it has long been considered a benefit, as the advantages outweigh the drawbacks.

And let’s be logical, if you have not seen issues in your pictures, that is probably because either the subject and situation is not going to show it, or of course, your existing cameras AA filter is doing it’s job.

And when making that big output print or full page or larger in high quality magazine repro sizes,  that is when the D800’s pixel resolution is really designed to show.

Image © Nikon Corporation

That said, there are other benefits (and potentially some drawbacks), with all these extra pixels beyond this. But that is a story for another day, but which I discuss on some of my workshops.

Bottom line is that most photographers should find more than enough in the D800. Possibly even too much.

However, some medium format cameras or special edition smaller frame models, and occasionally even some normal production run cameras, have not had fitted an AA filter.

This does not therefore smooth detail and loose resolution.

Image © Nikon Corporation

There are areas of photography in both technical and some general use, where that is a definite benefit. If you shoot really detailed landscapes you may find some benefit, but I suspect that the D800E is not going to put the D800 into the shade even here in final use after post capture for most people. And please, if you are going to consider the D800E, or the D800 for that matter, make sure your whole approach matches its potential, so no sloppy hand holding:).

When I look at my medium format camera/back shots taken with no AA filter, they certainly are ‘life’ sharp.  You can argue that post capture, regardless of the D800 model used, you have some correction methods for when you have false colour or too much image detail anyway, so no matter the route, there is no wrong answer. It just changes what you start with and take from there as far as the D800 models go.

End. (09/02/12).