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August 20, 2011

R.I.P Aliasing Problems on DSLRs? New Filter Eliminates Moire on a 5D Mk II

Yesterday Philip Bloom dropped a bombshell on the HDSLR world, announcing that he'd found a filter that claims to fix most aliasing problems on his 5d Mark II -- and that actually works. Earlier solutions have caused a loss of sharpness or didn't work at all, whereas this $385 optical filter seems to genuinely eliminate moire on most lenses. Check it out:

The filter goes in between the lens and the sensor (pictured) and can be removed for shooting stills (it will lead to a loss of sharpness in stills if left in). Unfortunately on the Mosaic website the online store is unavailable, so it's a badly-timed launch for them in terms of accepting pre-orders -- hopefully Dr. Dave Cubanski (Mosaic's engineer) can get it up and running soon. I'm certainly looking forward to getting one ASAP. Pair this with a Tessive Time Filter -- rented, mind you, as it runs $14k -- and you've just eliminated both aliasing AND rolling shutter, which are my top two complaints about HDSLRs (correction: the Tessive will not work with HDSLRs, because they can't sync with it. I knew this, but forgot... thanks, Chris and Darrell!)

Note that this is only for full-frame cameras at present -- for all intents and purposes making it 5D Mark II-exclusive. Dr. Cubanski is apparently working on an APS-C version for the 7D and presumably other Canon HDSLRs as well (T2i, T3i, 60D, etc).

Here's another pair of looks at the filter from cinematographer Glenn Przyborski:

Glen also has some resolution tests available for download (thanks, Alec).

Link: VAF-5D2 Optical Anti-Aliasing Filter - Mosaic Engineering

[via Philip Bloom]

Your Comment

27 Comments

Excuse my alphabet, but F Yeah! : )

August 20, 2011

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From what I can see, it looks like the addition of the filter helps the problems it's addressing, but it also looks like the sharpness is slightly affected? I noticed too that the WB got a bit warmer and the exposure dipped. I guess the filter wasn't compensated for?

August 20, 2011

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uh yeah... really nice
i think i have to buy it :)

August 20, 2011

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I have a question, the mirror has to be opened all the time? What happens if I accidentally close the mirror?

August 20, 2011

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santoro

I don't think it will close with the insert in. I'll find out soon (hopefully), as I've ordered one...

August 25, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I don't think it affects the mirror, it seems to be just in front of it, no? If it affects the mirror then we have a problem, no?

August 26, 2011

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Otávio Pacheco

To insert the filter you need to turn the camera on, and switch to Liveview mode - the mirror goes up and you can install the filter. Once the filter is in, the mirror can't close.

This is what I saw in the video only, but it was pretty clear!

August 27, 2011

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Heiko

Or selectively add .25-.75 pixel gaussian blur over offending shots for virtually nothing?

Would interested in seeing how this works in practise, that is not fouling the blinds, or mirror set up?

As i've said before, a sliding filter at the sensor would make things a lot better(a la the old nightshot filter on sony camcorders) one aa optimised for 18 or 24mp, one optimised for 1080p

August 21, 2011

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Paul

Koo,
I'm pretty sure the Tessive time filter isn't going to fix rolling shutter, just hard edged shutter artifacting. If you used a Time Filter on a rolling shutter I'm pretty sure you'd get a frame that is dark on the top and bottom but exposed in the middle, due to how it works and the procedure for a rolling shutter scaning...

This thing looks really cool and I'm pretty sure it holds the mirror up since it's just closed by a spring action anyway.

August 21, 2011

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darrell

Tessive filter does not work for dslr cams. Requires sync lock. It's designed for use with RED and Arri, hence the $14k price.

August 21, 2011

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Chris

Damn, you guys are totally right -- and I even wrote so in my original post! Sometime's it's easy to lose track of these things. Corrected the post, thanks!

August 21, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Here's some tests done with the filter. Check out the resolution test: http://www.przyborski.com/mosaic_downloads.html

August 22, 2011

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Alec Sprinkle

Thanks Alec! Adding it to the post itself, great tests.

August 22, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

blew my mind.

August 22, 2011

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I know another way to avoid the moire and aliasing on the 5D Mk II: Use an FS100 or an AF100.

August 22, 2011

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swester

Editing on a production using an FS-100, Moire and aliasing are still quite prevalent unfortunately. Host was wearing a silk jacket for one of his shoots, came in to post as some technicolour dream coat.... its horrendous.

August 23, 2011

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MRH

Eesh. One of the (few) disappointing things about that F3/FS-100 sensor... I'd heard it was pretty hard to bring out in real-world conditions, but you've found one.

August 25, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Sure, you could spend twice as much money on a camera... but this is a solution for < $400. I think that's pretty incredible... looking forward to trying it out!

August 25, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Koo,

Did you get this filter?

Do you think the filter will fix the moire problem that I am having shooting nylon bags in outdoor settings. I am debating if this is worth the $400 or just deal with the output as it is..

http://vimeo.com/33203153

Any advice would be helpful about the moire issue or any way to improve these bag review videos.. this is only the 3rd video that I have shot ever.

December 14, 2011

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Jon

The filter should solve the problems, yes. I didn't end up getting it though since I was spending (too much) money on a RED...

December 15, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Great for adding HALO effect around white objects - I'll take two !

August 26, 2011

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Wow, very interesting product! Though, looking at that close-up image of it, in the video preview, it looks a bit crude. (prototype'ish) With the rough edges, screw assembly and felt lining. I have a feeling we'll be seeing some test videos with less moire patterns.. but more sensor dust! :)

August 26, 2011

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dave

This is pretty funny. While the GH2 is now hacked to 100mbps with virtually no moire/aliasing, people are prepared to throw more good money to try and "fix" the Canon 5D2 (bless it, I had one for a year).

If it was that easy why didn't Canon add such a filter. Maybe they didn't want to make a soft (550 line) resolution camera even softer.

Please don't make it sound as if the the Low-pass Optical Filter has just been invented.

Try smearing some snake oil on the sensor instead...

August 26, 2011

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Skeptikal

I just had a better look at the video comparison tests, particularly the resolution charts... MVI_3691 and MVI_3692. It's not even actually eliminating any artifact (clearly visible in the central disc and the trumpets)...just softening to make it less obvious. Typical Low-pass filter optical consequences for resolution.

I can even see this quite clearly in the house bricks in one of the other video With Filter/Without Filter videos.

August 26, 2011

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Skeptikal

Wow! Does it work with Canon 7D?

August 28, 2011

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Paul, Can you please submit a comparison between this hardware solution and your idea for using Gaussian blur? I am thinking of getting into video with the 5D but now I'm not sure. The extra $400 for this filter and not being able to easily switch between video and still photography in the field has me wondering.

August 29, 2011

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Gary

Paul - or anyone actually.

August 29, 2011

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Gary