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Sharp thinking: Nikon creates selectable strength low-pass filter

By dpreview staff on Aug 30, 2013 at 08:00 GMT

Nikon has patented a technology that can electronically adjust a camera's low-pass (AA) filter based on the situation. By using a liquid crystal panel, the AA filter can either be turned on and off, or set to 'normal' or 'high' intensity. The first design could allow for a digital SLR to have its AA filter turned off at the press of the button. The second design would have a mild anti-aliasing effect for stills, and a stronger effect to eliminate moiré in movies. The company suggests still more could be achieved by mounting two such filters back-to-back.

The patent claims the entirely electronic design means a two-mode low-pass filter can be implemented in a way that doesn't decrease the reliability or durability of the camera (rather than a mechanical system that switched different filters into place).

How it works:

The designs are essentially a development of the filters used in the D800 and D800E. The standard D800 has a low-pass filter that utilizes a property called birefringence - where a substance splits light depending on the light's polarization. The thickness of the filter defines how much the light is split, so the thickness of the filter can be tuned to match the sensor it's placed in front of (Blurring the light across the width of one pixel cuts out the high frequencies that would cause moiré).

The D800E features a second birefringent plate of the same thickness, set so that it re-combines the light split by the first plate - cancelling the effect.

The latest design can be an extension of the system used in the D800E, but instead of having two birefringent plates that cancel each other out, there's an extra layer that can selectively combine or subtract their effects.

The Nikon patent inserts a liquid crystal layer between the two plates. A liquid crystal layer can be made to rotate the polarization of light or just let it pass straight through, depending on whether an electrical charge is applied to the layer. This ability to change the polarization of the light as it passes between two polarization-sensitive plates lets you decide whether the effects of the two plates is additive or subtractive.

In the simplest system described in the patent, the first layer separates the light before it hits the liquid crystal. With the liquid crystal turned off, the polarization of this split light is rotated through 90 degrees, causing the light to be recombined by a second birefringent plate. However, if the liquid crystal is turned on, it doesn't rotate the light, and the second filter exaggerates the splitting effect and increases the blur.

The result is a low-pass filter with two modes. In one instance you could have a filter that can either be turned on or off (offering a high-res mode if you're shooting landscapes or situations without repetitive patterns).

Design 1: AA filter on/off

Here, the liquid crystal is turned off meaning the light reaching the second plate is the opposite polarization from when it hit the first one - cancelling the two plates' effects.

This allows a single point of light to be focused on a single point on the sensor. This is the equivalent to having no low-pass filter.

[Photo credit: Japan Patent Office]

By turning on the liquid crystal, the polarization of the light is unchanged and the effect of the two plates is combined.

As a result, light lands on two different points on the sensor, blurring the image and acting as a low-pass filter.

[Photo credit: Japan Patent Office]

Alternatively, you could design the filter with a stills mode (blurring light by the width of one pixel to avoid moire in full-res images), and a video mode that splits the light over a greater area (to prevent moiré at the much lower sampling frequencies used by video).

Design 2: AA filter normal/high

Here, the front birefringent element is thicker which, when the liquid crystal is off, has the same effect as a standard AA filter.

[Photo credit: Japan Patent Office]

With the liquid crystal on, light is split even further, providing a stronger AA effect ideal for video recording.

[Photo credit: Japan Patent Office]

Putting two such assemblies back-to-back would further expand the capabilities of such a system. These could include a camera with off, stills and video modes, or allow the horizontal and vertical filtering to be separately adjusted to take into account how the sensor is sub-sampled when shooting video.

Via: DIY Photography, Source: Egami

Comments

Total comments: 178
_Federico_
By _Federico_ (7 months ago)

We don't need the AA filter. Now, Nikon, start thinking something useful, thanks.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

makers should be happy to cut the cost
especially if users prefer low quality.

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (7 months ago)

They should design new DSLR's that don't need a filter/cancel filter in order to work. Just get rid of the AA filter.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

300MPix

1 upvote
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (7 months ago)

Moire in video can be avoided without messing with the AA filter. A software solution is better than a physical one especially when the issue is caused by crappy software implementation in the first place.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

before the "software" can work, there is a physical issue that we cannot readout full resolution at 24 fps (often 10 fps something, +20% faster for lower height).

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

so usually we can only readout half of the rows, just above 1080 from a 10MP sensor.

both D800 and 5D3 readout video at triple speed, D800 throws away 2/3 of rows while 5D3 bins 3 pairs of rows first to have better image quality (~1.6 stops). unfortunately it doesn't have the software at this stage.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (8 months ago)

Get away from Bayer sensors and you wouldn't have to use image degrading crap like that. The Foveon sensor and any sensor that works in a similar way is the future. Bayer is old technology. It's time to move on.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (7 months ago)

First of all, vendors don't "have to use image degrading" things like OLPF as there have been cameras without them for years and even Nikon's own D800E doesn't use traditional AA-filter technology.

Secondly, something like Fujifilm's X-Trans could be a good alternative to traditional Bayer sensors but Foveon simply does not perform well enough above base ISO so it's application is fairly limited for a professional digital camera.

2 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (7 months ago)

"First of all, vendors don't "have to use image degrading" things like OLPF..."

They don't have to but they continue to do so for the vast majority of cameras. Putting aside the blur filter you still have the fact that a Bayer sensor produces image information through interpolation. Look at the finest detail from the 800e in a non-natural setting and you clearly see the limits of Bayer sensors. It's old technology, and lousy at that.

"Fujifilm's X-Trans could be a good alternative to traditional Bayer sensors but Foveon simply does not perform well enough above base ISO...."

The Foveon does fine up to ISO 400 delivering far more detail than you can get with a Bayer sensor. That Fuji sensor while better than the typical Bayer sensor is still intepolating image information. Side by side the Foveon sensor is still delivering far more detail than the Fuji.

It needs further improvement but the future of cameras sensors should be with a Foveon or Foveon like design.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

Foveon solves one problem at the cost of tons of problems.

2 upvotes
_Federico_
By _Federico_ (7 months ago)

A Bayer sensor works like our eyes. Foveon is pointless. Maybe you'd like to introduce some new problems...because Foveon brings a lot of problems. And for what? A little more sharpness? No, thanks.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

> A Bayer sensor works like our eyes

pigmented layer = color filters:
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/Gray882.png

that said, I'm still looking forward to seeing a "stacked sensor", universal sensel that can measure the color of each (or sampling on a portion of) incoming photons, maybe after we can have say 300M or more pixels (we are in absolute shortage of resolution now).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ScottRH
By ScottRH (8 months ago)

this is why the D400 has been delayed.

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (8 months ago)

While you lot obsess about variable pixel resolution and other irrelevant gimmicks, I'm taking my D90 out for a stroll along the beach....

6 upvotes
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (8 months ago)

Perfect timing! I just bought the GH3 yesterday. Trying to find workarounds for the moire... :/

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
VisualFX
By VisualFX (8 months ago)

Buy a Fuji with X-Trans sensor that doesn't have Bayer array and eliminates moire.

0 upvotes
mumintroll
By mumintroll (8 months ago)

@VisualFX. You are wrong. X-trans has also moire, BUT lesser. ONLY cameras absolutely moire free are Sigmas.

0 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (8 months ago)

X-trans has terrible aliasing, worse than Bayer sensors. Sigma sensors are prone to very strong aliasing, too. Most people however confuse aliasing with detail.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (8 months ago)

Don't headline a patent app like it is a completed pre-production prototype. Too few of these see the light of day to be taken seriously.

6 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (8 months ago)

Just what we need; another metric to debate.

"The VAA on the Nikon is waaaay better than Canon's" or "Unless Canon gets some newer tech on their VAA I am jumping to Sony"

1 upvote
Tan68
By Tan68 (7 months ago)

"Is my VAA turned on and how do I tell?"

Probably have to a couple scene modes for the VAA as well.

0 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (8 months ago)

Well well, back in the early 1980's when I used to work in the camera trade (Tecno cameras) Paul Bird & I discussed the possibility of camera shutters being produced from LCD panels - so they could be switched on and off REALLY quickly - well 30 years later we have a sort of shutter arrangement via LCD - of course back then AA filters, sensors and digital were totally unknown...every idea has its day......

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
1 upvote
nachos
By nachos (8 months ago)

Sinar has had something like that for awhile now for technical cameras. About a decade ago I worked with a Sinar digital back that used an LCD shutter to allow an early form of live view.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

what was the fastest shutter speed?

0 upvotes
G G
By G G (8 months ago)

I'm not sure this is a truly useful exercise. One of its drawback is to reduce light transmission, as any polarizing filter does.
The future is probably something like this:
- increase the pixel density above the lens resolution (a low pass filter)
- filter digitally for lower resolution.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

lens resolution is the bottom line for sensor resolution. we may want way more pixels for image qualities other resolution.

I think omission of LPF is no more than cost saving from maker's point of view (lower cost at lower quality that some users prefer) so this really looks weird to me.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

There's no mention of polarizing filters.

4 upvotes
ajs jones
By ajs jones (8 months ago)

Exactly, in an LCD, the incoming light's *polarization* either gets rotated by 90 degrees passing through the sample or not at all. An LCD *in a display* has a fixed polarizer as well (the Nikon system here doesn't) so that's when you get the light blocking associated in people's minds with LCD shutter - it's the combo of a fixed polarizer and an LCD.

0 upvotes
G G
By G G (8 months ago)

There is indeed no polarizing filter as the ones in an LCD display. But the polarization process involves some loss of light. I should have said "polarizer" instead of "polarizing filter".

0 upvotes
CarVac
By CarVac (8 months ago)

There is no polarizer. It merely twists the polarization of the light.

0 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (8 months ago)

Low pass filters already have two filters: the innovation seems to be allowing rotation of light in between them, to turn the low-pass fitering effect on and off, rather than having the second physically rotated relative to the first by an appropriate angle. Like what happens if you swap between a D800 and D800E: they differ by having the two filters in different relative orientation.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
chaos215bar2
By chaos215bar2 (8 months ago)

I think the description of D800 vs. D800E AA filters in the article isn't quite correct. Both have two layers, but the layers in the D800 are oriented at 90° so that they split light in one direction and then again in the other. (After all, if you only "blur" along one axis, you'll still get aliasing along the other.) The D800E has the layers at 180°, so they split and then recombine the image.

In the same way, the diagrams are incomplete (presumably for the sake of simplicity). They only show AA along one axis.

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

not needed at all.

I just need a fine tuned low pass filter to guard high frequency noise, not the fake resolution. but what I really need is more pixels say well over 100M.

a good example how stupid users can change the market though.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (8 months ago)

Fake resolution, lol!

2 upvotes
Steen Bay
By Steen Bay (8 months ago)

The AA filter doesn't affect the high frequency noise (the noise won't disappear either if the subject is out of focus).

2 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (7 months ago)

Is there some filter to reduce noise in the comments section..?

4 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (8 months ago)

This is great.

What Nikon needs to be doing, is making a SMALLER, than D5200 sized FX body, F-mount, with the motor drive! Like Canon did the SL1(smaller); but with the D600 like FX sensor.

Not to mention, fixing aperture control in video, and ways to minimize the horrible rolling shutter. Lets help video, too. Faster focus, in live view, too.

Don't say it doesn't fit! We're not limited to 2005 parts.

This will shock the market.

However, Nikon should quickly build a mirror-less version of this camera, as well. This requires a stellar EVF, and progression in mirror-less AF-C. What's missing from Nikon's failed mirror-less ploy, is full frame, and the F-mount!

Let the consumer buy both DSLR's, and "DSLE's". Don't pit them against each other, and be known for the best, value price. This is your brand, and it starts with your (much greater number) affordable systems, and not your quickly depreciating boat anchors; no matter what else they do.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (8 months ago)

This little idea would sell a lot of modern "FX" lenses, *and* be extremely attractive for all those old full frame lenses, out there. All, with no adapter required! Now, that's a body worth more, and the best lens selection, ever.

So, if I'd have to up-size, a compact system camera (m43, E-mount), with a good EVF, external flash, and grip, then why wouldn't I just buy this Nikon idea, instead?

o Lens (all F-mount) [Stellar; for less]

o Sensor (color sensitivity [PEOPLE], more contrast, clean shadows, DR, and Bokeh.)

o Small body too! Easy to carry, all day. Built in VF (Optical, or high refresh EVF in two model selections), and with a strong (bounce-able) TTL flash.

CHECK!

What can't one do, with that?

Comment edited 6 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (8 months ago)

Leap frog the APS-C goodness, and go "full frame" [FX], with a really small body! No FAT cams! Just big fat sensors. ;) Because size does matter.

You know, we really need to stop comparing cameras to sex, LOL. It's just that (if we must), then the cameras we have now, are like extremely obese gals, with flat chests, and frigid. These things are not to valued, buy the weight. LOL.

Form, and function. Please.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (8 months ago)

Canon, Nikon, Ricoh/Pentax(K mount), Olympus(mount?), Fuji (F-mount?), and Sony(A-mount) could do this (small body, FF, with lens selection), and they damn well better; before some other manufacturer does.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (8 months ago)

Not everybody wants a tiny camera.

1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (8 months ago)

Not everybody wants an obese camera.

1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (8 months ago)

You see, if you make smaller cameras, without the better results, and you make obese, boat anchors, with all the better stuff, then your market data will be WRONG.

It's time; to give up obese. Use FF sensors, a full line, of better value, FF lenses (like small primes), all in a very small (not tiny, or pocket yet) system.

But none would work (just more wrong market data), without value, and a total benefits balance. For instance, if the thing didn't write fast enough to get the shots, then the other goodness is useless. Just to name one thing.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (8 months ago)

It's possible you have tiny hands. I don't know. The fact is there are still thousands of professional photographers, myself included, that appreciate a camera that is large enough to hold comfortably in the hand as well as have plenty of room for dedicated buttons to access controls quickly.

The D5200 is a nice tiny little camera, but I have little interest in using something that small. It's awkward to handle and the lack of dedicated buttons make it impractical.

They could jam a medium format sensor into a pocketable camera and I STILL wouldn't buy it.

Full-frame cameras like the Sony RX1 are still point and shoot cameras. Big sensors in small cameras aren't the right tool for most professional photographers.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (7 months ago)

To those who want to get FF only. What do you do then with those that stick to APS-C, or those, like me, that use different sensor sizes for ceratain known reasons?
YOU want FF only, but, YOU are not alone, always think about that before you claim something.

0 upvotes
Julian
By Julian (8 months ago)

I doubt somehow that they will be offering a service to put these into D800's somehow (as implied in this article), although I look forward to seeing this tech in future Nikon kit. They're for sure gonna need to have plenty of good new features to persuade me to upgrade my D800.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

We didn't mean to imply this would be added to D800s. What gave you that impression?

3 upvotes
mapgraphs
By mapgraphs (8 months ago)

Perhaps the way the front page blurb for the story is written:

"The first design would allow for a D800 that become a D800E at the push of a button."

2 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (8 months ago)

Duh.

0 upvotes
Julian
By Julian (7 months ago)

It was the sentence that mapgraphs quotes above. I understand its intent is to explain the potential benefits in a way that people can understand, but it was also at the same time unintentionally misleading.

0 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (7 months ago)

I suppose some people would figure all this could be stuffed into a camera after the fact. Send the camera in for an upgrade...

I took the sentence as a metaphor. It would have been more clear, though, as a simile.

0 upvotes
pca7070
By pca7070 (8 months ago)

X3 sensor is the way to go.

1 upvote
stevielee
By stevielee (8 months ago)

It could be if only it was available as on option inside a similar D800 like state-of-the-art camera body - instead of being entombed inside a primarily lens companies vague idea of one.

1 upvote
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (8 months ago)

I hear you man. As far as rumors tell us, IIRC Sony, Panny and Canon are all working on the true 3-color sensor designs. Yet, the overall sensitivity of the all the designs is simply unsatisfactory at the moment. IOW, it makes no business sense to bring to the market another sensor with all the quirks of the Foveon, including the poor mid/high ISO performance.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

the fact is no stacked senor can deliver good performance. we may find a way to make it better and we may not. the God designed our eyes with color filters.

0 upvotes
John Sheehy
By John Sheehy (8 months ago)

An ideal x3-type sensor without Foveon's color/noise/red_diffusion weaknesses, perhaps, but that still needs an AA filter for those who are sensitive to aliasing. Color moire is the most obvious, blunt artifact that anyone can see as if it were shoved in their face, but the less obvious effects of aliasing are still quite obvious to others, especially people who are naturals with math and music (so-called right-hemisphere types) who can clearly see the difference between, real analog detail where an edge or dot can can appear at any position or angle with equal acutance, and false detail that snaps to a pixel grid and emphasizes the presence of the pixel structure.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (8 months ago)

"the fact is no stacked senor can deliver good performance."

Nonsense. Foveon sensors are far superior to a Bayer sensor at lower ISOs. Look at an image from any of the current Sigma cameras right now and that is shockingly obvious. Not everyone needs to be shooting at ISO 800 and above.

"the less obvious effects of aliasing are still quite obvious to others, especially people who are naturals with math and music (so-called right-hemisphere types) who can clearly see the difference between, real analog detail where an edge or dot can can appear at any position or angle with equal acutance, and false detail that snaps to a pixel grid and emphasizes the presence of the pixel structure."

That's a bunch of nonsense. We are not dealing with VGA resolution.

0 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (8 months ago)

Wow! We still have to see how this works in real life but kudos to Nikon for being innovative.

2 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (8 months ago)

Keeping an inferior technology like Bayer sensors going is not my idea of being "innovative."

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

Unfortunately LCD panel is not perfectly transparent even when "open", robbing some light.

0 upvotes
chaos215bar2
By chaos215bar2 (8 months ago)

This is not an LCD panel, just LC. The polarization filter that blocks half of the light even when an LCD is on isn't a part of this design.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

Liquid crystal themselves are not perfectly transparent.

1 upvote
Tan68
By Tan68 (7 months ago)

Well, then how much light do this thing rob?

We got some pretty good performance in sensors now. I might be willing to trade some light for this capability.

People were happy to lose 1/3 stop in the Sony cameras for the hybrid EVF or whatever it was called. The EVF was worth it to them. Would this thing cost even 1/3 stop?

0 upvotes
AstroStan
By AstroStan (8 months ago)

It seems to me that variable AA can be done in software (firmware) via pre-de-Bayer color-specific Gaussian blur. Physical blurring can be very closely emulated in software. Software AA would slow down image processing and might noticeably decrease the burst rate, though turning it off would not interfere with RAW throughput.

0 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (8 months ago)

It can't.

7 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (8 months ago)

Well, once the moire is there, adding Gaussian blur does nothing to remove the false color. It just integrates it more smoothly into the image, which is not going to help much. An integrated moire reduction filter could be helpful, but I suspect that there is a reason why such filters tend to be implemented as "brushes" in order to allow the photographer to control quite precisely how much and exactly where to apply it ... so AA is still the way to go, for video especially ...

1 upvote
chaos215bar2
By chaos215bar2 (8 months ago)

To clarify, once you've thrown away half or three quarters of the pixels that would make up a complete image for any given color, there is no way to restore the information. The point of an AA filter is to blur the image before it passes through the bayer filter, making each pixel work like one covering between two and four times the area (but without actually capturing two to four times the light).

1 upvote
AstroStan
By AstroStan (8 months ago)

"blurring the image before Bayer" does not preclude filter-specific software blurring. If the signal does not get to the pixel then whatever transform was applied (physical or algorithmic) is irrelevant.

It is interesting that the most useless and dismissive reply has been liked more than others. This forum seems to attract many shallow and useless "opinions".

0 upvotes
AstroStan
By AstroStan (8 months ago)

P.S. Bayer blurring emulation is predicated on a minimal level of sampling (supported by most small-pix deca-mega-pix cameras). Emulation of pre-Bayer blur does become less effective with increasing undersampling.

0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (8 months ago)

I don't know if it's feasible but why not producing cameras without an AA filter and offer the possibilty to screw one in front of the lens when required ? At least for the pro-sumer and professional markets... A way to reduce the cost of every camera. Only users that need AA filter would buy one. Could remove the IR filter too and design screw-in AA/IR combo filters to use in lieu of the traditional UV or neutral protective filter. Which would make cameras suitable for IR photography too...

0 upvotes
AstroStan
By AstroStan (8 months ago)

The blur filter must be very close (essentially in contact) to the sensor. Placing it in/on the lens would induce way too much blur.

1 upvote
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (8 months ago)

AA filters would have to be graded to suit different focal lengths to account for magnification. Also, they'd cost more due to the additional area required.

Having no IR filter would produce less sharp images since IR light focuses at a different point & isn't corrected for in normal lenses to the same extent. You'd need a filter on every lens, which again, would cost more (I don't use protective filters).

2 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (8 months ago)

Thank you for your explanations. Does anyone know if, in current sensor designs, the AA filter and the IR filter are the same piece of glass or two different parts ? I know some people remove the IR filter, then add a filter in front of the lens to cut the visible light, for shooting IR photographs. But is the AA filter removed as well when doing so ?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

or make all lenses soft focus.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (7 months ago)

Karroly the only still cameras that I know of that use a removable IR filter are all the Sigma dslr models. They also don't use AA, or more appropriately, blur filters. When you remove the lens on say a Sigma SD 1 the IR filter is right there at the opening and can be easily removed for IR photography and serves an even better function by preventing dust getting to your sensor.

0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (7 months ago)

Basalite, when the camera has no easily removable IR filter, I know people have taken the camera apart to remove it. Myself, I know how to do it on Canon PowerShot cameras (I collect and repair cameras, both analog and digital, for years. With PowerShot cameras that accept an adapter tube, you can then add a low-pass or high-pass (in term of wave length) filter, that are commercially available, to shoot IR or visible light). But you have to replace the built-in IR filter by a multicoated piece of glass with good optical quality, same thickness, same refraction index so it has no impact on focus and IQ. But I did not try to find one... Must find someone able to design a customized one...at a big cost. I think I will try to cut a piece of glass in a multicoated neutral protective filter one day...

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (8 months ago)

So now we know. DPR editors read Nikon Rumors too

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

Actually I found this on the Egami blog.

5 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (8 months ago)

Sure, after you saw it in Nikon Rumors you started to do research. :)

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (7 months ago)

Does it matters where an information comes from? DPR has to get them somewhere, and here it proves that our friend Butler is surfing around and fetches information, instead of playing computer games. Butler .... 10 points.

0 upvotes
Ian
By Ian (8 months ago)

From all of reading I've done, the AA filter removal (either none at all or cancelling it out like Nikon) has turned out to be a lot of hype, at least for stills. The gains are quite minimal and only appear with the best lenses at a tiny aperture range (usually around f/5.6).

For video, it's probably more meaningful, but unless you use perfect technique (i.e. solid tripod, mirror lockup, cable release) and focus stack multiple f/5.6 exposures, I don't think you gain a whole lot.

Personally, I was hoping the hype was real, but it seems that more can be done by optimizing the AA filter (Canon 5D Mark II vs. III) than eliminating it or cancelling it out. This is an intriguing patent, however.

5 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (8 months ago)

I feel the same way too. There are too many real world factors that are much more significant than the AA filter. The effects of AA filter is pretty much academic and marketing.

These talks on AA filter simply serve to distract people from focusing on other important but hard to quantify factors in a modern day camera, such as ergonomics and user interface.

0 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (8 months ago)

I'm thinking that the D800 was not targeted at the fat wallet crowd, but rather at professionals who actually know how to wring every ounce of detail out of their cameras and lenses. So the fact that the D800 is good enough for most people who can actually afford it does not mitigate one iota the value of the D800E to those who could use the extra detail in their wall sized landscape prints.

5 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (8 months ago)

Too bad for you you don't own a Nikon or a Leica or a Hasselblad or a Phase One or a Sony or A Pentax or a Fuji that can take an unblurred picture.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (7 months ago)

"Too bad for you you don't own a Nikon or a Leica or a Hasselblad or a Phase One or a Sony or A Pentax or a Fuji that can take an unblurred picture."

The best example of cameras taking "unblurred" pictures are the Sigmas. No AA filter and no interpolation of image detail.

0 upvotes
NewForce
By NewForce (8 months ago)

If Nikon don't even believed what it created, why should the consumers buy the new idea?

"By using a liquid crystal panel, the AA filter can either be turned on and off, or set to 'normal' or 'high' intensity."

Can it be fully manipulated by consumers own feeling? You know, sometime some want it to be 59%, while another day same situation they want it to be 58.99% nothing less, nothing more kind of thing. Don't ask why, they just want that.

0 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (8 months ago)

Specious argument. If they nail the three modes (off for landscapes, stills for fabric etc, video) then they have done more than enough to make hay with the feature.

1 upvote
Jogger
By Jogger (8 months ago)

For a photo-specific device, its best to just leave the AA filter out.. the only reason for this complexity is to accommodate the photo-video market, which I prefer not that they just leave out. i.e. for the D800e and upcoming 54mp D4x.. just market it as a photo taking device.

3 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (8 months ago)

(a) Fabric and other challenges still make the D800 useful over the D800E on some shoots in the studio.

(b) Video is so prevalent that making a stills only camera is suicide.

So I think your argument falls flat in two ways.

3 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (8 months ago)

The reason for the AA filter is to prevent/reduce aliasing, as explained by sampling theory.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
PhotoPoet
By PhotoPoet (8 months ago)

A general comment: We all parse on each and every bit of news regarding which camera is "best", the weight vs. feature, will this change be useful, the new low pass, the next hi-tech change. I for one rarely print, had a darkroom back-in-the-day, photography was a full time gig, now I shoot, post, email and occasionally print. The changing, "newer-better” tech has little bearing. Am I alone in that95% of my work exist as digital? Do many of you print, frame or sell your work? Its been a strange trip from the time and patience it took to bring photos to perfection, jiggling trays to Instagram, where I can see some excellent work and post my own and get feedback in seconds. AA filters? Gold Awards? Pros and cons of RAW’ It’s hard to buy a truly bad camera these days, the differences are small, many lenses are made by the same manufacture, pocket size this, lens heavy that, other than full time working professionals, what does it matter to the 99% whose photos never leave the screen?

2 upvotes
vroger1
By vroger1 (8 months ago)

I find your comment intriguing. I just finished reading the article and my first thought was "what is left besides the photographer's eye?"
Once upon a time, when I processed Cibachromes although I preferred b/w, each print, which took hours to produce was for me a masterpiece. I worked hard at it. I manipulated colour, was precise in my camera exposure, or...played with the exposure to get the right effect.There is room for experimentation these days- but every now and then when I am asked to teach I wonder, how do you teach basics any more. Every digicam is a computer. Every computer can be improved upon. Images are better and easier than ever. I revel from time to time on how easy it is to capture a moment in time- still... the more we improve, the harder it is the claim an image as "our own" and not that of the digicam.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (8 months ago)

> the more we improve, the harder it is the claim an image as "our own" and not that of the digicam.

I think it is the opposite. These days, due to the vastly improved postprocessing tools, it is much easier to make the image into what your mind's eye saw, instead of having to accept the capture in the camera as the final product.

1 upvote
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

In the beginning there was the D800 for $3000. So Nikon stripped the AA filter and tge D800E was born. Because less is more, Nikon charges $3300 for the D800E. The next logical step would be a D800F with a configurable AA filter for $5000. E la nave va.

3 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (8 months ago)

They didnt strip the AA filter out. Looks like you should read up on the topic before you post

7 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

Don't be too finicky!

I based myself on what Ken Rockwell said about the differences between the D800 and the D800E:

"The D800E is the same camera and has the same sensor as the D800, except that the D800E has its anti-aliasing filter removed. IR and UV rejection are the same."
http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/d800.htm

The topic says that an additional birefringent plate is used to cancel the effect of the AA filter. For all effects it is like the AA filter was removed.

0 upvotes
Maji
By Maji (8 months ago)

The addition of the plate involves additional parts and labor... so Nikon charges more. What is wrong with that?

1 upvote
BJL
By BJL (8 months ago)

Frank: you trust KR for technical information rather than the details provided by Nikon or at this site?! KR is simply wrong on this: surprised?

P. S. Lower volume specialty versions products can cost more due to economies of scale even when they cost no more to make.

5 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (8 months ago)

I wouldn't reference Ken Rockwell as a source of factual information but OTOH, I doubt it costs Nikon $200 more to make a D800E.

1 upvote
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (8 months ago)

Frank, if you are using Rockwell as a resource, you have more problems then you realize. It is not being finicky. The AA structurecould not be removed because it would effect AF performance. It is a complex process that is far more than just stripping the AA filter out. Instead of trying to justify your misinformation....it's better to just gracefully bow out.

3 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

About Ken Rockwell and Nikon
--------------------------------------
I can believe KR and Nikon but always with a grain of salt. For example, when Nikon said the 200mm f/4 macro AI-S lens is spectacular, but KR says that suffers from strong color fringing (at macro distances!), I believe KR, not Nikon.

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

Back to the AA filter
-------------------------
>The AA structure could not be removed because it would effect AF performance. It is a complex process that is far more than just stripping the AA filter out

Completely wrong. The phase detection AF operation has nothing to with the AA filter. The AF system works independently of the sensor of the AA filter. Or saying better, the only thing that matters for the AF operation is the effective position of the sensor relative to the AF cells. If the AA filter is removed, the effective position of the sensor changes, of course, but this can be easily compensated by a recalibration of the sensor position. It is very simple operation in a production line, not a "complex process" as you said.

0 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

>The addition of the plate involves additional parts and labor... so Nikon charges more. What is wrong with that?

Nothing wrong if the additional parts and labor were really necessary. To understand the absurdity of the situation, imagine a car maker that charges more for a model without air conditioning system because the car maker says "additional labor is involved in the removal of the air conditioning system from the normal model". Nikon is acting like that car maker.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (8 months ago)

Frank, you have no idea what you are talking about. According to Nikon themselves, removing the low pass filter would effect the AF and thus they needed to keep it within the optical formula. I'm certain Nikon's engineers know more about this than you . The Imaging Resource test site confirms this from Nikon as well. now please, bow out.

2 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

Definitely, you don't understand the basics of phase-detection AF system. If you had a minimum knowledge, you would know that the PDAF doesn't use the AA filter! But, attention, there is a trap here! Removing the AA filter affects the AF, but only INDIRECTLY! since the optical path to the image sensor changes (the optical path is reduced as light travel fast in the air than in the filter media). The removal of the AA filter must be compensated in some way, for example, by shifting backwards the sensor. Depending on the thickness of the AA filter, a shift of only a fraction of one mm would be enough. Another solution could be the use of a ticker IR filter. However, Nikon is a lazy company, so they preferred the more expensive solution of adding a plate over the AA filter, and charge more for the D800E. The excuse to charge more? That the D800E has more resolution, and blah, blah, blah…
Of course, you are among the people who believe in all the lies Nikon tells about the D800E.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (8 months ago)

Frank...you are wrong...plain and simple. Now you're claiming Nikon engineers are stupid and dont kbow what tbey are doing I think it's pretty obvious that it's you who is clueless and not Nikon. Hilarious watching you fall over yoursrlf to argue.

1 upvote
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

No, the engineers at Nikon are smart people, but they work for their boss, not for Nikon customers. Stupid are those that believe in all the BS the Nikon PR says.

0 upvotes
calterg
By calterg (8 months ago)

Yay, when this technology trickles down to the dxxxx series, there will be no more complaints of soft pictures...

1 upvote
Rob Bernhard
By Rob Bernhard (8 months ago)

[[there will be no more complaints of soft pictures...]]

Hahahaha!

Thank you for that. I now have to clean coffee off my monitors. :)

3 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (8 months ago)

Wow, this will bring Nikon to leadership position, hahaha. How about lower prices on the better stuff. At Nikon, every buton or hinge added, doubles the price.

1 upvote
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (8 months ago)

Considering the D800 is cheaper than the 5D3....Canon must have a lot more hinges on their inferior camera.

3 upvotes
Ferling
By Ferling (8 months ago)

Adding a hand carved, wooden grip will triple the price.

2 upvotes
rishi o'
By rishi o' (8 months ago)

mis-post

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (7 months ago)

Canon is nothing better here, so is Sony. They save in features to sell it cheaper. No motor drive on low end nikons, no tilting lcd screen on low end Sony's, and so on. If I compare all Nikon's, from 3200 to 7100, I find the same basic camera with different fetures and bodies. The sensor and on the end, the IQ are the same, but as I said, every button, every added feature, you pay for it in massive amount of money. Check the differences of D7100 compared to D3200, and then see if it is worth what you pay for them. A more sophisticated 51 point AF, a lens drive motor, a different less evolved body, weather sealed, but for that no tilting screen. Now, is it worth to pay 1200$ for the body while 3200 body is 400$. So, with what do you want to justify the 800$ difference. Producing the chips and that few added things is for me a difference of a 100$ and here I calculate high. And here, no matter what manufacturere it is.
Sony's better than A3200 will sell at least 250$ more too.

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (7 months ago)

The manufacturers follow all a protective policy on cameras, prices are kept wide spread to justify 3 or 4 models with the same sensor, thus giving a camera to every budget, what is crappy system. Better produce one with all features and sell it at honnest prices. Look how Nikon keeps mirrorless high to advantage DSLR's, look their prices on FF to protect APS-C sales, while non of those cameras cost more in production than any other one. Sony comes slowly down to better pricing, what makes it affordable, Nikon sticks to high prices and is surprised of bad sales rates, so is Canon. We are worldwide in a crisis, money gets rare and people are not willed to pay those astonishing prices anymore, and here, even those who can easely afford it, don't want to pay that. So, is it not time to put the feet back on the ground. Now, tell me what difference you find in a shot made by a D3200 and D7100? There is none, it is the same sensor. The difference is 800$, that's all, if you consider IQ

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
DDWD10
By DDWD10 (8 months ago)

Haven't electronically-controlled ND filters been used before in compact cameras in lieu of actual aperture blades to reduce diffraction? I remember hearing this. Of course, Nikon's proposed system is much more advanced.

2 upvotes
Alberto Tanikawa
By Alberto Tanikawa (8 months ago)

I was going to mention this, but you've beaten me to it :) It would be nice to have a manually adjustable electronic ND filter built into the sensor. Something with a range of 1-3 stops would be good; 1-10 would be perfect.

1 upvote
photoreddi
By photoreddi (8 months ago)

If an electronically controlled ND filter could be used to reduce diffraction, it's only because it would allow the use of a wider aperture on very bright days. It's not a good general solution because when there's not a surplus of light, it would force the use of either slower shutter speeds that might produce blurring or higher ISOs producing noisier photos.

It seems to me that the use of such an ND filter (or a more traditional variable ND filter) is more about convenience, so you wouldn't need to carry multiple filters when you want to slow down the shutter speed. It sounds like it would be useful to have, but there may be issues that prevent it from being widely adopted, such as cost and/or reduced image quality compared to a similar camera that doesn't have that extra piece of glass.

0 upvotes
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (8 months ago)

It's nothing to do with neutral density or diffraction, it's to do with moire!

0 upvotes
DDWD10
By DDWD10 (8 months ago)

Yup. One of the things I remember about upgrading from a Canon SD1000 to an S90 was that it had actual aperture blades and I could produce sunstars at small apertures. I was pretty happy about that.

0 upvotes
rishi o'
By rishi o' (8 months ago)

I'd love electronically controlled ND filters for video. Extremely useful!

0 upvotes
BlueBomberTurbo
By BlueBomberTurbo (8 months ago)

Couldn't they just take Panasonic's approach to video, scaling down the entire frame instead of line skipping? No moire at all on my GH2, and it's infinitely sharper and more detailed than my old D7000 and current D7100...

2 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

Good question! Scaling down the entire frame needs a much more powerful processor than line skipping. Nikon is a traditional optical company , so it doesn't have the expertise of Sony or Panasonic in electronics. As a proof of Nikon limitations, take a look at the video recording specs of Nikon cameras. Most Nikons cannot record 1080 60p, whereas almost all Sony and Panasonic can.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (8 months ago)

I hardly think the traditional optical companies, like Nikon and Olympus, make their own processors, or other electronic components. For example, Chipworks writes this about the Nikon EXPEED 3 processor in D5200:

"The big chip of note is Nikon EXPEED 3. It is a package-on-package configuration featuring Samsung K4B4G3146 4 Gb DDR3 DRAM on top. The EXPEED device is fabricated by Fujitsu and is a big piece of silicon at 8.7 mm x 9.4 mm."

It also has a microprocessor and image sensor by Toshiba, and other components by other companies.
Sony, Panasonic, Epson, Texas Instruments and others also supply components for other companies, so I hardly think the optical companies are limited with respect to the hardware available to them.

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (8 months ago)

Two polarizers: how much light loss there is?

Sounds like a good idea which is really not needed. And even less in the future with ever sharper sensors.

3 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (8 months ago)

No polarizers: one layer that rotates polarization, different from a polarizing filter that blocks light of a certain polarization.

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (8 months ago)

I think AA filters don't make sense anymore. Just have small enough sensels to be past Nyquist for any lens and do analog/digital reduction in resolution. Easy. As I account for Bayer filters, a 5um sensel is at Nyquist for a lens resolving 50lppmm -- which few do corner-to-corner. 5um is just 14MP APS-C, or 36MP FF -- i.e., the D800. A little higher sensel count just makes the AA issue disappear.

5 upvotes
dennishancock
By dennishancock (8 months ago)

The D7100 pixels are 3.9 um. That's the major reason it doesn't suffer from lack of an AA filter.

2 upvotes
Daniel Clune
By Daniel Clune (8 months ago)

Interesting because if the pixel size on the D800 doesnt really need a AA filter allready then if the rumor about 54 meg it certainly wouldnt need ANY AA filter so why bother with a variable one at all? Unless there wont be a 54 meg camera at all but just another 36 meg one, humm?

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (8 months ago)

If a sensor does video by sampling just some pixels, rather than reading all and combining, then a variable AA filter makes sense. Sony has been putting LOTS of readout channels on their sensors, but perhaps Nikon found a new sensor vendor that doesn't have sufficient bandwidth for full reads at video rates?

0 upvotes
Ivan Azzopardi
By Ivan Azzopardi (8 months ago)

It seems to be nice but what about the weight would be that of the D800 or D700 .I prefer them a bit lighter as I can use more heavier sharper lenses. The lighter the better for travelling.

0 upvotes
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (8 months ago)

Do you really think you'll notice the weight of an AA filter?? It'll be less than the weight of a larger diameter lens cap!

10 upvotes
Ivan Azzopardi
By Ivan Azzopardi (8 months ago)

Nigel I am not saying that the filter will effect the weight of the camera but the camera that will be introduced with this filter for eg D900 will be the same weight of th D800

1 upvote
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (8 months ago)

Why Ivan, there is no reason to think that at all! Why not a mirrorless camera or point & shoot?

0 upvotes
Ivan Azzopardi
By Ivan Azzopardi (8 months ago)

The image quality is not the same I ve got the v1 and it is not the same as the D700/800 Fx vs cx. I have back problem that's why I am very concern about the weight as the they reduced weight from D700to D800 and I wish that they either leave the same weight of the D800 or else make it lighter. Leica are far lighter. A friend of mine got it and it is clear and lighter but no af

0 upvotes
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (8 months ago)

What I was suggesting was that maybe Nikon will produce a large(er) sensor mirrorless one day in the future.

I've just switched from a Canon 6D to an EOS M for a similar reason (climbing mountains). There is a slight reduction in image size & resolution, but depth of field is better for my work. Overall, it's a better compromise for me. The lenses are the biggest difference where weight is concerned.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (8 months ago)

I wish the tech was able to actually adjust the strength of the AA filter.

Still, a very exciting development.

2 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (8 months ago)

Unnecessary complication I guess; just one more thing that can break down and that costs extra money...right software can do same trick just fine and most people (who can afford such camera) probably already have it.

0 upvotes
Ken Phillips
By Ken Phillips (8 months ago)

Actually, you want to quash moiré at the source ... software has no clue as to what image created the values on a given spot on the sensor. Of course, if you are diffraction limited, you no longer need an AA filter (you've effectively got one!)
Personally, I'd rather have it "in or out" selectable (flip up like the mirror?) than have several more layers in front of the sensor.

2 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (8 months ago)

Less time editing = more time shooting.

2 upvotes
luxor2
By luxor2 (8 months ago)

Good idea, probably not suited to cameras used in varying temperatures, LC properties will change with temperature, causing AA control failure.

2 upvotes
Dimitris Servis
By Dimitris Servis (8 months ago)

FINALLY!

1 upvote
TLD
By TLD (8 months ago)

Outstanding. You'll be able to see all those oil spots on the sensor really clearly now. ;-)

11 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (8 months ago)

It may require oil change every 25k shots ;)

2 upvotes
corbus
By corbus (8 months ago)

Nikon, please also take away the mirror (and it's surrounding mechanism - that needs oil)... - and expensive.

Interesting to see who will be the first to present a full frame sensor mirrorless system camera (I don't count Leica, because of the prices!)

Sony is just behind the corner...

0 upvotes
Hubertus Bigend
By Hubertus Bigend (8 months ago)

I'm not in the least sure that I understood the principle correctly, but wouldn't such a device, no matter to what specific setting it was configured in a specific moment of time, always somehow act like a polarizing filter screwed onto the lens, procducing more or less unnatural images?

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (8 months ago)

It's Nikon so you have a nice green color cast anyway.
;-)

3 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (8 months ago)

No, this is not a polarizing filter, that filters out light that is polarized in a certain direction. It just changes the polarization angle of all incoming light.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (8 months ago)

I was wondering if this was going to happen... awesome it is.

1 upvote
Model Mike
By Model Mike (8 months ago)

Totally awesome... and totally marginal benefits.

0 upvotes
Arree
By Arree (8 months ago)

sounds need in theory, but if Nikon needs as long as a D16-85 VR f4 to take this in production, the design is absolete before we can see it working in a actual real camera.
Soon the mirrorles cameras will take over.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (8 months ago)

And this idea can't work in a mirror less camera because....?

12 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (8 months ago)

bla bla bla

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

Yeah sure mirrorless cameras are going to take over just as soon as vendors figure out how to sell them in large quantities. Right now, they aren't exactly flying off the shelves.

But poor sales is only a minor sticking point for mirrorless cheerleaders.

1 upvote
JamesVo
By JamesVo (8 months ago)

A little more crispness in my D800 files would be a bonus but I can't help thinking that the effect of every additional translucent layer and surface placed between the subject and image is increasingly detrimental, especially to saturation and dynamic range.

Improved saturation, dynamic range and contrast have the effect of improving clarity and therefore also contribute to the impression of sharpness and resolution

0 upvotes
Paul Hodgson
By Paul Hodgson (8 months ago)

James, as a recent D800 users but a long time Nikon user I've found that turning up the sharpening on my D800 to 5 results in a sharper image. However, it's a compromise, I must first process my images in either ViewNX2 or NX2 which I'm happy to do. On a personal experience level I find that shooting raw the file never appears overly sharp, just enough to make the difference.

Using Lightroom or another RAW converter I don't find the same output. With some other software applying sharpening later seems sometimes to create oddities which then require yet more time to correct.One thing I will say about D800 raw files, they're enormous. Couple that with a computer system not set up for speed added to software that's actually slow (NX2) and you're in it for the long haul! Me, I need a better speedier computer but still prefer processing my RAW files through Nikon software.

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (8 months ago)

Stronger AA for reducing moiré in video???
This is as ridiculous as it gets. Take a lesson from the Panasonic GH2 and their like and do some serious binning instead of heavily subsampling the sensor. :P

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (8 months ago)

Subsampling requires far more powerful hardware than currently available at, say, Nikon. For example, with the 41 Mpixel sensor of the Nokia 808, the bandwidth is some 1 Gbps.

No wonder very few cameras (GH2 to a certain degree, Nokia 808, Nokia Lumia 1020) use true subsampling when shooting video.

All in all, a configurable, video-friendly (that is, one that can be configured to be VERY strong) AA filter is definitely welcome.

2 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

If Nikon and Canon are struggling with 2k video, imagine what will happen when 4k and 8k video comes. The future belongs to the electronics companies: Sony, Panasonic and Samsung.

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (8 months ago)

@Menneisyys:

Subsampling doesn NOT require more powerful hardware. Subsampling is a CONSEQUENCE of less powerful hardware otherwise Nikon would be using data from the whole sensor to create video frames and not reading one line out of every N (subsampling).

What the GH2 and other Panasonics do is bin pixels together before they are read out so that the bandwidth is reduced before the readout process starts. If you bin groups of 4 pixels you'll reduce the readout bandwidth by a factor of 4. You will also get a 2EV gain in PSNR and an order of magnitude less moiré.

That is the Panasonic advantage, and that's also why the GH2 trumps the likes of EOS 5D Mk n as far as detail is concerned.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tsk1979
By tsk1979 (8 months ago)

Is it useful at all? As of today, a D800E resolution is very difficult to make out unless you use very expensive lenses.
I think the weakest link in the chain is the quality of not so expensive lenses.
this tech will make sense in a 10000$ camera for professionals who do big prints.
However, for the 2000-3000$ buyer this tech will be useless as most of them will not own lenses which can take advantage of no AA filter.
Unless lens tech advances so that quality comes at an affordable price, this is not so useful.
Come to think of it, 50 year old lenses have similar quality to todays lenses optically.

0 upvotes
groucher
By groucher (8 months ago)

You've answered your own criticism. Nikkor H series and AI lenses are available at very reasonable prices. The ones that I own (24, 28 (H), 50 and 35-70mm) out-resolve the D800 sensor. These lenses even out-resolve the Nikon 1 sensor.

0 upvotes
electrophoto
By electrophoto (8 months ago)

Neat idea... looking forward to see how it works under real life conditions...

2 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (8 months ago)

Just one more reason to charge more $$$, we need sensors with more DR!

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (8 months ago)

Greatly needed by the 12MP FF of years ago but not so much today. What baffles me are MF cameras that didn't have such filters especially with their bigger pixels and larger lenses. Anyway, still a good patent that might be useful.

1 upvote
jhinkey
By jhinkey (8 months ago)

Exactly - one of my biggest gripes of the 12MP sensor in my D700 was the heavy AA filter. Many times I would have loved to been able to turn it off completely. I really think this may be more focused on video applications with high MP sensors, but we'll see.

Nikon also has a patent on using a special lens element to act as an AA filter - I wonder what will happen to that technology.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (8 months ago)

The original 5D fared the same. As full frame, it supposed to have sharper pictures. Yet, as you have said, it is not necessary all the time such as landscapes and nature photos.
Now, we can get away without it, thanks to the megapixel race and zoom lenses.

0 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (8 months ago)

call me a pessimist but it just sounds like something else to go wrong within a camera. Don't get me wrong it is an exciting and ground breaking development. i just keep thinking of all those old cars we see with hardly any electronics and the newer modern cars that are continually developing problems in their electrics.

2 upvotes
CeleryBeats
By CeleryBeats (8 months ago)

On the other hand if we fear failures within evolution we would still be riding horses today.

7 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (8 months ago)

True we need to evolve, i've just learn't never to buy a product as soon as its out let others find the flaws and problems.

0 upvotes
electrophoto
By electrophoto (8 months ago)

Or not even that... the horses can die, bite, and kick you off...

0 upvotes
zorgon
By zorgon (8 months ago)

I agree entirely with this statement.
One more thing to go wrong, more complexity within the optical path to degrade image quality, one more menu setting or switch on the camera to confuse you.
In the old days, you could pick up just about any film SLR and you would automatically know how to use it, you would know exactly what every lever and knob does. Camera manufacturers should concentrate on simplifying and making the controls more intuitive rather than piling on more features and settings.

Just my opinion.

1 upvote
Nigel Wilkins
By Nigel Wilkins (8 months ago)

Or the alternative view...in the old days, you didn't have the choice.

You can do the same with digital once you've set it to your liking. Just because you can adjust something, doesn't mean you have to.

0 upvotes
CeleryBeats
By CeleryBeats (8 months ago)

A small but worthwhile evolution it would be.

Though i still don't see any need, by miles, to give my D800 more resolution as it is. What a beast :)

7 upvotes
Dirtyharry71
By Dirtyharry71 (8 months ago)

it's not about res, but extra sharpness, no ?

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (8 months ago)

"it's not about res, but extra sharpness, no ?"

And also lack of moire / aliasing in videos - something DSRL's are suffering from ATM...

1 upvote
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (8 months ago)

A novel approach but how log will we wait for this to come out ? And will it be just another one of those patents that Nikon has but we are yet to see anything of..?

1 upvote
Total comments: 178