Color Antialiasing Moire Artifacts

What happens when a fine red line passes through a green image area and doesn't touch any of the neighboring sensor photosites? The line wouldn't appear at all in a RAW image file. Most digital cameras combat this type of phenomenon by using an AA filter placed in front of the image sensor. An AA filter diverts the light reaching the sensor slightly so that it is also registered by neighboring photosites. In our case, neighboring photosites would then see parts of the red line.

An AA filter therefore cures one problem and creates another in the form of reduced image sharpness. Such images have to be more strongly sharpened in the course of the RAW workflow.* Detail that is lost due to an AA * This effect is also just as evident if you filter cannot be reconstructed later, regardless of how clever your sharpen- shoot in JPEG or TIFF formats. ing tool is. AA techniques nevertheless deliver results that are generally better than our description of the problem might lead you to believe.

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