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E-PL5 has no AA filter

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by dhazeghi, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    According to an e-mail message from Olympus France, the E-PL5 has no low-pass filter (a.k.a. AA filter). A bit hard to believe considering nobody else has mentioned this, but the source seems fairly reliable!
  2. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 19, 2012
    That's really good news! I wonder if E-PM2 has the same treatment.
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I saw that too, Dara. Very interesting... I am not going to say it is impossible, because I don't even know what I don't know, but it just seems unlikely. Why even bother going without an AA filter, when the one used so far is incredibly light? Why do this on a camera more marketed towards P&S (not saying that more experienced people are not going to use it), when they are more likely to not understand when they are getting moire (especially on video?). Why roll this out on a lower end camera, and not include it on the OM-D, when this sans-AA stuff gets so much enthusiast buzz?
  4. Chronos

    Chronos Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ill keep the AA filter please. lol
  5. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    I respectfully disagree. Bring on a camera body or two, at the upper end of either line, that gets rid of the blur filter, and lets see if it makes a visible difference in RAW files.

    To me, this could potentially be one of the largest differentiating features for stills shooters that either company could do, if they want to steal market share from Sony, Fuji, etc.

    The Fujis interest me because of this, but I like the lens lineup with m43, so staying put, at least for the present.

  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Very interesting if true!

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Mu-43 App
  7. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    If the main function of the AA filter is removing moire, maybe Olympus has come up with a combination of sensor + software filter that they're really happy with to replace the AA filter's job?

    I wonder if they'll come up with OM-D EM-5E soon :D 

    btw, interesting before-after comparison of AA filter removal here:

    Nikon D200HR
  8. Chronos

    Chronos Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    the only difference it will make is for the pixel peepers.

    I have seen plenty of comparison shots of the D800 and D800e and in real world use there is literally no difference in sharpness or IQ unless you are doing some serious pixel peeping.

    however, the moire IS noticable, and does not need pixel peeping.

    If they can get rid of it where moire is no longer an issue then sure, get rid of it. Thats cool. But I am not interested in having to deal with moire as a result of having a camera that takes images that look identical for all realistic purposes against a camera with the AA filter removed.

    Find anyone who will claim a Nikon D4 with a Nikon 24-70 2.8 AFS lens is not sharp as all hell and ill show you somebody that has never had their eyes checked. The gains in sharpness by removing the AA filter are so negligible that nobody would notice a difference in sharpness.

  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I've put a couple emails in to Olympus in the US to see if they are willing to confirm or otherwise give any official information about this. I very much doubt that they will since they tend to never disclose anything that the folks in Japan haven't already stated.

    I personally would welcome this move, but I can see why they might put this in the lower end model as opposed to the higher end. For one thing, E-PL/M shooters are more likely to shoot JPEG, and perhaps they have a solid in-camera processing method to deal with color aliasing, whereas RAW shooters would be dependent on the particular software that they are using. For example I'm pretty sure Capture One (C1) has tools to automatically address these artifacts, whereas I don't think Lightroom or Aperture do.

    Most E-M5 users would probably be willing to live with the occasional aliasing issues in exchange for greater resolution captures, but it would be an issue for some, and a break with the mainstream for sure. Regardless, if they do this with the Pens, it seems likely that they'd at least offer it as an option with upcoming OM-D models.

    I think those kinds of comparisons, while definitely interesting, are a bit misleading because optimal sharpening workflows go a long way towards restoring any accutance lost to the AA filter. That said, sharpening also increases the visual impact of noise, so detail relative to noise will always be greater without the AA filter.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    All improvements made to the Olympus imaging pipeline gets carried on through ALL models thereafter. Olympus does not cripple their lower-end so they can hype-up their higher end.

    In fact, the common practice for Olympus is to release these kind of imaging improvements in the consumer-grade cameras first. The entry-level and other consumer-grade cameras are used by Olympus to field-test technologies which are later bundled together into one flagship pro body when they are sure that everything is perfect.

    This system is only sensible when you consider the product lifecycle of a consumer-grade camera compared with a pro-grade camera. A consumer grade camera only has a lifecycle of 6 months to 1 year before it could be replaced by a new model. A pro body (I mean like the E-x series for instance, not like the E-Mx series which I believe is supposed to be semi-pro) on the other hand, has a product lifecycle of 3-4 years. So you'd better make damn sure all the technologies you implement into that pro body are tried and tested, because your customers will be stuck with them for another 3 to 4 years before they receive an upgrade!! :eek: 
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    No biggie. I have a D800E and E-M5, and where the E-M5 excels is in metering and AWB. Differences in sharpness are negligible in crops. I seriously doubt anyone will notice any difference between the E-PL5 and E-M5. I'll take the E-M5 5-axis IBIS any day!
  12. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    As a side note, the Pentax K-01 mirrorless uses a similar sensor as the K-5 DSLR, but the K-01 removed or greatly weakened the AA filter, supposedly due in part to CDAF performance improvements. That is, removing the filter improves CDAF.

    Olympus may be taking a similar approach. In a way Olympus has taken this approach before with the light AA filters on the E-PL1/2.

    So the rationale might be related to CDAF and not necessarily to moire or processing moire. Moire may just be a side effect or diminished consideration.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Aegon very good point.
  14. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Sometimes it does not, but usually in my experience it does. Also keep in mind that it's not a binary situation where having an AA filter means no moire, and not having one means lots of it - I get moire not infrequently with my E-PM1 and E-M5, both of which do have AA filters. As resolution and pixel density goes up, moire also becomes harder to trigger.
  15. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Thus far, I'm completely stoked!
    After building up some base lenses, I plan on replacing my E-PL2 with the E-PL5 :smile:
  16. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Isn't the effect of a given AA filter's strength dependant on pixel density also?

    From what I understand, getting to high pixel density (as in the latest Sony :43: sensor or the one in the D800), it makes the effects of having a AA filter at all less discernible to almost irrelevant for most applications.
  17. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Wow! 1600% - now that's what I call pixel peeping! :biggrin:

    Seriously, you can certainly see the difference.
  18. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Well, you need finer and finer repeating patterns for moire to be recorded as pixel count goes up, and you need to print larger and larger for it to be visible in your output, so essentially yes. Also, given that images are rarely taken in optimal conditions, it takes less and less camera shake or AF error to mask the moire... I wouldn't say it's irrelevant - MFDB folks do see it often enough with clothing - but for a lot of applications it's definitely overblown.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
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