A Nikon representative has confirmed in an interview that the recently-announced 1 System cameras, Nikon J3 and S1, do not feature an anti-aliasing filter.
Nikon was present at the Consumer Electronics Shows 2013, along with numerous other camera manufacturers. The company used this opportunity to announce the new J3 and S1, the next generation mirrorless cameras from the so-called Nikon 1 System.
Bypassing the AA filter
Matte Haglund, Product Specialist at Nikon’s Support and Services department, is claiming that technology advancements are allowing the company to skip past anti-aliasing filters in its cameras. The J3 and S1 mirrorless cameras were chosen to become Nikon’s guinea pigs, as the company believed that there was no decrease in photo quality following their internal testing.
An optical anti-aliasing filter is used in digital cameras to reduce moire patterns caused by aliasing. In order to prevent moire, camera manufacturers typically add filters coated in double refractive materials, which split light into four-point swarms.
Usually, the AA filter is used in Bayer-type optical sensors, which employs a single layer of RGB-subpixel array. Triple CCD sensors or Sigma’s Foveon X3 sensor don’t need AA filters, as the RGB sub-pixels are arranged on three different layers.
The past may come back to haunt Nikon
This is not the first time Nikon decided against employing an AA filter in one of its cameras. Last year, the company launched a revised version of the D800, called D800E. The former featured an anti-aliasing filter, being praised by reviewers worldwide, while the latter was said to be very susceptible to moire patterns because it used a different technique, rather than an optical AA filter.
Reviewers criticized Nikon for using another technology, as the moire patterns present in D800E photos were very difficult to repair with post-processing software.
According to Fotosidan, Matte Haglund dismissed the claims, saying that the company learned from its past mistakes and the technology was greatly improved since the D800E. He added that the absence of an anti-aliasing filter will cause images to be sharper, fact noticed by reviewers in the Nikon D800E.
Nikon will release the new J3 and S1 mirrorless cameras for an estimated price of $599.95, respectively $499.95, as of February 2013.