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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:

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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]


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  • Excuse my alphabet, but F Yeah! : )

  • 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?

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

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

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

      • Otávio Pacheco on 08.26.11 @ 3:49PM

        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?

        • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

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

      • 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!

  • Alec Sprinkle on 08.22.11 @ 9:33AM

    Here’s some tests done with the filter. Check out the resolution test:

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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!

      • 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..

        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.

        • 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…

  • Great for adding HALO effect around white objects – I’ll take two !

  • 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! :)

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • Wow! Does it work with Canon 7D?

  • 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.

  • Paul – or anyone actually.