In praise of AA filters

Started Oct 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Reilly Diefenbach
Senior MemberPosts: 8,409Gear list
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Re: It's not a "yes" or "no" proposition
In reply to Lee Jay, Oct 27, 2013

Lee Jay wrote:

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

My contention Vlad is that that is okay, it's the actual pixels, not blurred. The scale is more legible without a doubt. If you want finer detail, folks, get an 80MP camera. Just don't blur my pixels!!!

You'd rather have sharp, but wrong pixels than very slightly blurry, but accurate pixels?

Removing the AA filter gets you, at best, 30% more equivalent pixel count, but it means you can't trust your images to show what was actually there, and it means you might get some very, very ugly and false artifacts that are obvious at any scale.

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Lee Jay
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They aren't wrong, they are just plain old square pixels placed on the grid at the exact pitch required, meaning you no harm. And plenty of them. Blurred pixels are by definition not accurate, nor do they magically jump around and align themselves differently. The crops of the Proportional Scale above tell the whole story at the pixel level. The D800e is somewhat clearer, period. As for Canon... I could crop 1/4 size and leave a Canon 5D in the dust, that's for sure. The 5D II looks like you're shooting through cheesecloth by comparison.

To hell with the AA filter! For the first time in well over fifty years shooting everything from a Brownie to 4X5 and all stops in between, I've got the perfect camera. No more nagging subliminal dissatisfaction or straining to make out fine foliage and distant treelines. Microcontrast and detail for days. When you get a new camera in five years, which if it isn't a point and shoot, you'll be dealing with unblurred pixels, so get ready.

"Removing the AA filter gets you, at best, 30% more equivalent pixel count, but it means you can't trust your images to show what was actually there, and it means you might get some very, very ugly and false artifacts that are obvious at any scale."

Nonsense. For landscape and critters, it almost never happens in real life to any visible or significant degree, any more than with a Phase One or Hasselblad or Pentax 6X5, to which the D800e compares pretty favorably at the peeping level. Not a whole great deal of difference, really. Do you mean to tell us all those heavy duty landscapers are out to lunch, as well as every major manufacturer except Canon, which hasn't exactly been known for excellence in sensors lately? I have yet to touch the moire brush in a year and a half, and neither has anyone else I know of.

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