But wait, there’s moiré

After seeing the early samples, everyone’s been really excited about the video quality of the 5D Mark II. But does it really live up to the hype? Certainly it can produce beautiful shallow DOF images, but there are some issues. It appears that the video is susceptible to moiré, leading to false color artifacts in some cases. Jim Jannard posted a test pattern showing this problem on the Red user forums, and this post on Crunchgear provides a possible technical explanation for the source of the problem. It would be one thing if this problem only showed up in the lab, but unfortunately I’m seeing it in some of my real world footage.

I’ve seen it manifest as out of place red and blue pixels in areas of patterned detail, such as in the rough weave of a polo shirt or in fine hair. More interestingly for my subject matter, I’ve also seen it in moving water in some cases. Here are some example frame grabs and corresponding 100% crops. There’s some JPEG artifacts in these web versions, so don’t pay attention to anything except the moiré.