Nikon has chosen the media shoutfest that is CES to announce the D3300 SLR, an update to the – that’s right – D3200. It comes with a new sensor, a faster processor, a different crappy kit lens and this year’s favorite new gimmick: no optical low-pass filter.
The new sensor keeps the same number of pixels (25 million), but ISO has been boosted to 25,600 (previously is was 12,800 in boost mode), and it loses the optical pass filter aka blur filter. Fujifilm kicked off this “trend” by spending like five years redesigning its sensors, and now everyone is taking a screwdriver and prising the filters off their sensors just to keep up.
What is this mysterious blur filter? When you point a sensor with a regular pixel layout at a pattern of, say diagonal lines, the two patterns interfere with each other and you get a moiré effect where the whole lot goes psychedelic. The time-honored way to fix this was to blur the image a little before it got to the sensor, and to call the filter that does the blurring an “optical low-pass filter.”
Fujifilm decided to rethink the whole game, and came up with a sensor that avoids moiré by putting the red, green and blue pixels in a semi-random pattern. Everyone else, it seems, is just ditching the filter and hoping that nobody takes pictures of people in stripy ties.
The new EXPEED 4 processor might go some way to correcting this, and Nikon says that it “helps render true colors and precise detail.”
Other than this, you’re looking at a tweaked D3200 with a new AF-S DX NIKKOR 18–55mm ƒ3.5–5.6G VR II lens, all for $650.