Monday, March 25, 2013

That's A-Moiré! (Nikon D7100 Sample Moiré)

The Nikon D7100's unique selling feature is that it doesn't have a low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter, thus maximizing its sharpness.  The disadvantage is that the D7100 becomes prone to color moiré (an interference pattern that produces false color).

In my normal shooting I have not found an example of color moire (I did see moire in the top deck of one of the boat samples).  However, at least one wedding photographer has expressed concern about moire on veils and gowns.  In this post, I have provided samples of D7100 moire patterns.

"A-HA!" many detractors would say.  But there's a plot twist...! Hit the jump to find out.

So here they are...

For this test, I used a ski jacket with a very fine (microfiber?) texture.  I used the super-sharp Sigma 35 1.4 at f/8.  I took shots at various distances and orientations.  Here are the results (full resolution versions available):








see shoulders

So yes moire is possible on the D7100 with certain subjects, at certain distances.

I did promise you a plot twist... and here it is: I took similar shots, with a D600, also with a Sigma 35 1.4, also at f/8.  Here are the results:

middle of the body, also camera left side of the body.
visible at web viewing sizes
check out the middle of the chest
check out the shoulders

You can draw your own conclusions about the D7100's propensity for moire, compared to at least one other camera.

Nikon D7100 Hands-On Real World User Review
Importing D7100 Raw Files Into Lightroom
Nikon D7100 Low Light Teaser
Nikon D7100 FAQ and Helpful Links

Nikon D7100 Shadow Recovery
Nikon D7100 Real World Dynamic Range
Nikon D5200 and D7100 Band-Aid: Solutions for Banding
Sample of D7100 banding in a real world shot


  1. This is almost not visible.

    How about some more intrusive moire like in this D800E example:

    1. I agree! The D7100 does not seem unusually prone to moire.

      Best regards,

    2. Well, I found some picture with moire in wildlife shot here:

      And see this opinion:

    3. Thanks those are helpful links!

      As long as a camera uses a Bayer filter, I don't think it can be immune from color moire, with or without an AA filter. Color moire will be visible under the right circumstances. The question is whether a camera such as the D7100 has a higher than average tendency to show color moire. It appears that the answer for the D7100 is 'no.' At the very least, it appears less susceptible to moire than the D600 (and no one is complaining about color moire on the D600).

      Best regards,

  2. A. I don't even see any moire.
    B. Why would a wedding photographer shoot with a camera without an AA knowing that it might be a problem?
    C. Is all that you do is take bad photos and look for problems with cameras?

    1. A. Most of the moire in the D7100 shots are not very visible. If you want, you can go to the Flickr pages for the shots, where I added notes to show where the moire is.
      B. I have no idea. I'm just noting that some wedding photographer commented that he can't use the D7100 because the moire would ruin his wedding veil shots.
      C. Had a bad day? My goal is only to find useful information and present them, good or bad. In this case, some people are concerned about moire and have specifically asked for tests on that. So that's what I did, and fortunately it looks like the moire on the D7100 is very controlled - more so than on the D600. As for my photos, obviously these are only test shots. If I took a test shot of a resolution chart or a brick wall, would you judge my photography by that as well? Geez. If you want to see what photos I normally take you're welcome to look at my Flickr photostream.

    2. BTW here is my Flickr photostream:

      The other Flickr photostream I use is only for test shots:

    3. Just out of curiosity, what makes you think you're qualified to give advice on cameras? Better Family Photos? C'mon. Your "family photos" are nothing more than snapshots. Your advice is just garbage regurgitated from other websites. I bet you read a lot of Ken Rockwell.

    4. Hi. I give advice based on my experience, such as it is. I'm more experienced than some and less experience than others.

      As for my family photos, you are entitled to your own opinion. As for me, I am always looking to improve but I can say that I like my shots, and I have won a few small photo contests and have had my work published. In any case, I believe that one should take the advice of photographers whose work we like. That's why I post a link to my shots. If people don't like them they can ignore me. If people like them, then they can hear what I have to say. No one's forcing anyone to do anything here.

      As for "regurgitating" material from other websites, that's one thing I don't do. Most of the material here is original, based on my own experiments. To the extent I use secondary material (i.e., stuff that came from others) I do mention that.

      About Ken Rockwell, I have nothing against him. He likes to exaggerate, but that's his style.

      Peace be with you.

  3. Thanks for the test, I was concerned that might moire might be a problem but I can't see the problem with the jacket even when it's pointed out!

    So I guess my weddings will be safe because if it gets past a control freak like me it will be acceptable to any clients.

    Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Hugo! Yes, the way I see it, the moire is better than that of the D600, and no one's complaining about the D600 for moire, so I suppose moire should not be an issue with the D7100. :)

      Best regards,

  4. Hey.

    Thanks for the test! Just for sure: I downloaded some of the test images... regarding to the meta data all pictures was made by NIKON D5200 and NIKON D600. Did you modify the metadata?


    1. Hi Martin. Yes I modified the metadata. At the time I did these tests, there was no native raw support in LR yet for the D7100. The workaround for allowing the D7100 raw images to be imported into LR was to change the metadata to D5200, so that's what I did.

      Best regards,

  5. I appreciate the comparison that you posted here. Thanks!


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