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Stuck with Nikkors - can't decide


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Is there a full frame DSLR out there, that has no or at least a usable amount of moiré and aliasing in video mode. I can't decide in between a Nikon D7100 and a D600 which I am currently testing. Wait, that's not entirely true, I have, kind of, decided already because I love the picture that the D600 renders with my old 1980’s - 90’s AF (no D no nothing) Nikkors, I love the minimal DOF, I love the latitude, I love the vignette that some of my lenses make on the D600 (the D7100 does none of that with my lenses). But the moiré and aliasing on D600 is in my opinion simply atrocious compared to the D7100, which has some but it’s bearable for me. The shadow noise banding on the D7100 on the other hand, even on low ISO settings, kept me awake working for some nights to try to soften this flaw in post, (and it didn’t really worked out BTW).

So, my options I think are, if I want full frame (shallow DOF, lens compatibility etc.) and the least amount of moiré and aliasing: the D800 with the mosaic engineering thingy or a D5 Mark III with a lens adapter or what else?

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The cheapest price I could find for a 5dm3 is around 2630.- EUR. Oh well, that’s nearly as double in price as the d600. Hmm, I don’t think that I can swing that kind of money for now. Another option would be the d800 but as far as I read (never tested one) the moiré and aliasing would be nearly or as equal as on the D600.
Is that true?
I tested the HDMI out on the D600 with an intensity pro and regarding moiré aliasing it was no better. Bummer.

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@Andrew Thank you for the very reasonable suggestions.
5d2 with VAF (if I find it in Germany) looks good. I wonder if my Zenitar 2.8/16 would focus to infinity with the filter in place.
I asked the guys at mosaic engineering some days ago, if their d800 filter would also fit into the housing of the d600 but sadly, still no response from them, (but I am guessing that it wouldn’t fit anyways).
Hmm, my-brain-hurts but what would be the better deal quality-wise (price seems to be nearly the same):
D800 + VAF + can-use-my-f-mount-lenses-natively or
5dMark3 + lens-adapter

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I wouldn't go with a d800 because you don't have the raw option, get a cheap 5d mark ii (around 1200€ or less, and sell in a few month at a 300€ loss) with a vaf filter. In 6 month I think things will have changed.


I do have the d800 but I am shooting video with a 50D just because you can get so much more control over your footage (d800 obviously has more resolution even with h264).

The codec in the d800 sucks so much, I don't know what nikon is thinking, lineskipping is another thing.

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I am so gravitating towards the BMCC because of its IQ (and the price is getting so attractive now). But a 2 to 1 crop doesn’t help me very much because I shoot mostly indoors and having not enough room is always an issue. But the IQ is really beautiful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETznlM_qtA4#at=35
(G is my favorite and I hate C in that example.)

What’s the difference between a 5d mark III with Magic Lantern and a 5d Mark II + VAF with Magic Lantern? What would I miss on a Mark II?
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I saw some tests with ML raw and the VAF, it helps but it is not perfect. You will loose resolution and still have some artifacts compared to the 5d mk iii.

The 5d mkii records max 1880x1250 (3:2) and you can get 2144 x 1076 in zoom mode (3x crop), but keep in mind that you can't go that high because of the speed limitations. The zoom mode has absoluty no moire (it has the same moire as a still picture - almost none-, but you will have to take off the VAF). So anything that is around 1920x1080 is possible. I forgot noise, noise is worse on the 5d mkii.


I made some tests and the 5d mkii has more moire (in raw) than the d800, the percieved resolution would be almost the same (can't really tell) but everything else is better with RAW. The only problem is that RAW, as it is now, is a pain in the ass... In crop mode the 5D blowes the d800 away in every term (you loose shallow DOF), it has the same resolution as a still photo cropped to 1920x1080 (or what ever frame you choose).


Here are the current ML capabilities.


Also take a look at the BMCC with a speed booster.



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@araucaria this list is really great, thank you so much, very very informative.
Basically you are saying, that in 1080p the D800 is better than the 5Dm2+VAF regarding moiré/aliasing and the 5Dm3 is the king, right? For raw it would be a ML 5Dm3 or a BMCC + speedbooster (has to be the MFT version since I couldn’t find a Nikon to Canon speedboster). While the workflow would be easier on the BMCC the DOF would be wider (kind of a 1.6 crop with the speedbooster). Everything seems to point at the 5Dm3 … or not … I think I'm going bonkers :$

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How do you mean the codec in D800 sucks?


In tests I've seen people seem to rave about it being good - even the people who shot the tv series Dexter on D800 used the internal codec since they didn't find the clean HDMI much better. 


And from my own shooting, my opinion is that it's great for an 8-bit codec.



About the D800: I considered getting a VAF, but I find that the moire isn't too bad. I've seen moire or aliasing occuring on certain brick walls and such, but it's not enough to get me to buy a VAF. Unfortunately I haven't used the D600, so I can't compare to that.


In the D800 720p60 / 720p50 modes there's loads of moire unless you try to keep everything nasty out of focus. Works quite ok if you do slow motion with a person in focus and let everything else be out of focus.


I guess Nikon will improve video in the next generation of full frames, since they improved so much in D5200 & D7100 now. However, I don't think you'll see such an update in less than 2-3 years.

So, if full frame video is your #1 reason for getting a full frame now, I'd save up for the 5dmk3 and use the Nikkor lenses with a converter.

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The d800 8bit codec is good considering the low bitrate, and when you compare it to the canons I think it stands up, but all these are super soft. I don't have problem with moire on the d800 because you just have to blur a little bit the chroma and it goes away, but it's soft and you can't really sharpen it (I recomend shootin with sharpening at 2, with sharpening at 0 and sharpening in post it will bring out the compression artifacts).

When you compare to the gh2 or gh3, these are a lot more sharp, I think it's ridiculous what nikon is doing. When you have lots of small things moving (nature shots) you will see an aful lot of compressiona artifacts dancing around. The d800 could do a lot better, it's actually downsampling from 2240x1260 to 1920x1080p, it should be super sharp, but it's not. I haven't tried an external recorder but I've already read a few comments about not being worth it (I guess it would get rid of the ugly compression, maybe it's even sharper, no idea).

So if you only want to use 8bit and don't want to take stills get a panasonic,if you need great stills, the stills of the d800 are unmatched (my opinion, not going to argue with canon fanboys) dualiso on the canons take them closer but it's not the same.

But when you compare all this to raw video, even my 50D looks almost as sharp as the d800 footage at 1584 x 892 lbut with all the color control you want (the moire is horrible though), but when you compare the 50d crop footage at 1920x1080 I do percieve like x1.5 more resolution (just guessing).


After having using raw for some small videos, when I get back to my d800 footage, I feel handicapped, maybe it's just that I suck at grading h264. (I used to only take photos)

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I am giving up with the D600, maybe it is my particular model but yesterday my camera produced some of the ugliest moiré I have ever seen, whoa. A wooden floor covered with red and green fungus, yikes. Everything of what you can think of beforehand what is prone to give moiré or aliasing this camera is no “disappointment”, it does it and hell, it does it real “good”.
So back it goes and Canon 5Dm3 it is eventually. (BMCC is still nagging in the back of my mind, but I need full frame.)
@auricaria I’ll try to blur the chroma in resolve. I hope the Lite version can cope with this. (BTW the name araucaria reminds somewhat of Chile … spend there some time)

I will search this forum but anyhow, could anybody recommend a good Nikon lens to Canon mount adapter (except the $$$ Novoflex)?

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I love the tree ^^, about adapters, take a good look, I got some cheap ones and the lenses move, specially the heavy ones. Keep in mind there are some adapters that don't have focus confirmation chip (the manual focus dot help).


About blurring the chroma, it works in the lite version. Create one node, then create a layer note, change the layer mixer mode to "ADD", now go back to the two nodes, desaturate the one above, in the lower one you will go under the Primary adjustments and under gain you will drag the Y down to 0.01, don't change the node, go to the blur tab (beside the key) and rise the raidius until you don't see any aliasing. This actually makes you loose color definition so keep it low.

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