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levisdavis

Canon 50D_Video Anti-Aliasing Filter

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Received a prototype VAF filter from Mosaic Engineering yesterday afternoon. Went through a couple tests thus far... Feel free to download DNGs of the 50D with the prototype VAF...

 

https://copy.com/IOqlwsmWUi8i

 

Thanks. The company producing/inventing/manufacturing the filter is called Mosaic Engineering. They are headquartered in Pennsylvania, USA. The footage is shot in Phoenix, AZ. I am not affiliated with Mosaic Engineering or Magic Lantern other than I'm trying to put the two and two together... In my opinion, this combination is an incredible opportunity to create an appropriate production camera with high-quality imagery and feel-good results.

 

Enjoy!

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

For me, the problem with 50D raw video image really are the downscaling artefacts/false detail. Today, I tested it against the Blackmagic Pocket and came to the conclusion that I'll probably sell my 50D:

 

canon.jpg Canon 50D

 

bm_pocket.jpg Blackmagic Pocket

 

(Note that I did my best to match the colors of both images; the BM Pocket material was recorded as Prores HQ in cinema log, the 50D material in Magic Lantern raw video - all color correction in Photoshop.)

 

Oh yes, and the cleanest/sharpest image came from the Nikon V3 (raw high speed continuous photographs, downscaled to 1920x1280):

 

nikon.jpg

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Isn't it well known that the 50d has aliasing issues in non-crop mode?  Did you shoot anything in crop mode?  Of course, 5x crop makes getting a good wide angle on the 50d very difficult.   I don't know why you'd sell your 50.  The body isn't worth a ton and there are many things the 50d can do, with and without ML, that the BMPCC can't (I assume).    These tests are very useful.  I actually thought your test a positive one about how good the 50d is, compared to one's empty mailbox ;)

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Yeah, as you said, crop mode and wide angle are mutually exclusive. And using a 500% crop of the lens for a 1080p image really pushes the limits of lens resolution. Even a Tokina 11-16mm would end up as a portrait lens, and doesn't have the resolution to perform well at 1:1 pixel level. So, for me, this mode is not really practical. 

 

You're right that the 50D can do a lot - for less than half the price of a BMC Pocket, you get a nice photo camera aside from the raw video. But since I own other cameras and only needed the 50D for video, it doesn't make much sense for me to keep it, personally. (For those of you reading German, here's my sale offer on the Slashcam forum which I think is really a bargain.)

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Ehh, did any of you look at the samples provided by levisdavis? The whole point is the moire in full sensor mode... and how a VAF can improve it.

 

Anyway, I downloaded 2 dng's and make a quick comparison. Without VAF (sharpness 0) and with VAF (sharpness 25):

 

gallery_20742_64_213361.jpg

 

Thanks for sharing, looking pretty good. I switched to a 5D II and I'm waiting for my VAF5D2b...

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For me, the problem with 50D raw video image really are the downscaling artefacts/false detail. Today, I tested it against the Blackmagic Pocket and came to the conclusion that I'll probably sell my 50D:

 

This is a peculiar post on a VAF thread.  The VAF is a third party solution that is designed to address the moire/aliasing issues.  Unless you have one and some sample images you are not really contributing anything new.  People are aware of the moire/aliasing issues... which is why the 50D VAF was invented.  Have you done some 50D VAF vs BMPCC comparisons?

 

 

 

You're right that the 50D can do a lot - for less than half the price of a BMC Pocket, you get a nice photo camera aside from the raw video. But since I own other cameras and only needed the 50D for video, it doesn't make much sense for me to keep it, personally. (For those of you reading German, here's my sale offer on the Slashcam forum which I think is really a bargain.)

 

400 Euros for a 50D?!  I wouldn't call that a "bargain."  I don't know maybe in Germany but in the US I got a 50D a few weeks ago for about $350.  And I thought that was fair market value.  I didn't think I was getting any kind of deal.

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This is a peculiar post on a VAF thread.  The VAF is a third party solution that is designed to address the moire/aliasing issues.  Unless you have one and some sample images you are not really contributing anything new.  People are aware of the moire/aliasing issues... which is why the 50D VAF was invented.  

 

400 Euros for a 50D?!  I wouldn't call that a "bargain."  I don't know maybe in Germany but in the US I got a 50D a few weeks ago for about $350.  And I thought that was fair market value.  I didn't think I was getting any kind of deal.

 

You are right that my post was misplaced in this thread, my apologies.

 

- Second hand prices for a naked 50D body over here are generally around 400 Euro (and I'm not sure whether you noticed that my offer includes a 64 GB high speed Komputerbay card, 16+8 GB Sandisk Extreme cards, 5 batteries, a battery grip, Camera Armour body protection, Firewire800 CF card reader, 4 lens adapters, plus a free Canon EOS zoom lens).

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- Second hand prices for a naked 50D body over here are generally around 400 Euro (and I'm not sure whether you noticed that my offer includes a 64 GB high speed Komputerbay card, 16+8 GB Sandisk Extreme cards, 5 batteries, a battery grip, Camera Armour body protection, Firewire800 CF card reader, 4 lens adapters, plus a free Canon EOS zoom lens).

I don't read German and I accepted that hazard when I "read" your ad.  I am also aware of the gross geographic pricing inequities when it comes to electronics which is why I included by location.  I fully expected to be corrected.  Just thought I would throw it out there and see what I was right about... if anything.

 

 

As far as the VAF is concerned I am guessing pricign will be in the $300 range +Shipping.  You've worked with the 50D and you know you are making compromises.  For me I have to really think about $650 for a 50D with VAF.  I don't think there is a perfect camera for everyone.  I had no problem buying a 600D or a 50D.  Easily sold for only a small loss.  But a used VAF?  I don't know about that.  If I change cameras the VAF is totally useless and I don't know the resale.  If I had an APS-C camera that conviently did full frame full HD RAW then a VAF would be almost a no brainer.  Much I just can't fight the itch that I want something more than the standard Canon codec every so often and even a hacked 50D isn't the perfect solution for me.  So for now I am using the 600D and 50D but who knows a year from now.

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After a couple weeks of testing the prototype 50D VAF the one thing that stands out the most about this filter is the ability to push the RAW image in post. When aliasing and moire occurs in your footage the post-production color correction process has a limitation. That is why I decided to acquire a VAF from Mosaic Engineering. Interestingly, what I wasn't expecting to come about, at least so dramatically, was the range of colors that the 50D could handle with the VAF in place.

 

The 50D aliasing issue causes post-production color correction limitations.  It's a factor that must be configured into the color correction process. However, with the limitation seemingly removed, especially during closeups & mid shots, the images derived from the 50D become far more capable in post-production processes.

 

For example, when color correcting footage without the VAF I find that my scopes rest in the 50 - 70% legal television chroma-value range before the image proves qualities of aliasing, moire, and false color. With the VAF in place I regular find myself beyond television chroma-value limits and the image appears to want to go even further without breakdowns in skin tones and other artifacts. This is a very positive attribute that is only derived from a camera that has a lot of flexibility. So as a result, you know, the prototype 50D VAF is proving very valuable to the workflow.

 

Not to say that everything is totally perfect. There are some additional issues with the filter that need to be addressed. Currently, parfocal lensing is not possible. The VAF negates the user's ability to zoom in on a subject, adjust focus, zoom out from the subject and maintain focus throughout the entire focal distance. However, that is not an issue with prime lensing. I am currently in the process of speaking with Mosaic Engineering to address the filter's performance.

 

If you follow the link you will be directed to download sample DNG images as well as video footage. You'll notice that the filter eliminates about 85 - 90 percent of the moire and aliasing in the chroma channels. The luma channels appear to hold aliasing and moire but the percentage is about 93 - 97 percent eliminated.

 

https://copy.com/IOqlwsmWUi8i

 

So what do you think? Would 92 - 100 percent moire elimination actually take away from detail & texture? Is 100% moire and aliasing elimination a better solution because the shooter would never have to worry about when and when not to use filters to block moire and aliasing? Or, would you prefer more texture and detail with the chance of moire and aliasing in the image?

 

More or less that is what I'm thinking about the filter right now. The right thing to do will be to post another response after addressing this with Mosaic Engineering. I presume we all want to know just how much of an impact the VAF can make, right? Until then, thanks for reading and enjoy your time.

 

*I am not affiliated with Mosaic Engineering or Magic Lantern. I just want to own and operate a camera that is enjoyable to use: one that is readily accessible.

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cut

 

 

something new about the vaf 50D developement? any idea about when will it be on the market?

 

 

I wish to be a beta tester if it's possible, thanks.

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Got a reply from Mosaic Engineering here at 1:40 PM on 12-16-2013…
 
"We're writing to you today because you had previously emailed to us inquiring about a Video Aliasing Filter for the Canon 50D.  By the way, we apologize for our delay in responding if we've not replied to you previously.
 
Nevertheless, we'd like to let you know that we do now have the VAF-50D available, for use with Magic Lantern RAW video recording!
 
The VAF-50D is available now, in our online store: http://store.mosaicengineering.com
 
A brief with-and-without demo video of this filter -
- has been produced by Mr. Levi Davis.  We expect to have additional video example material available before long, and will post that as soon as possible also.
 
Our product page for this new filter is here - http://mosaicengineering.com/products/vaf/50d.html; we'll be adding more information and details shortly.
 
Sorry again for our delay in responding; anyway we hope this information can help you at this time!
 
Thank you again for your interest in our filters,"
 
Looks like 50D shooters are about ready to hit the professional market!!! Been having a lot of success with the prototype filter myself. The filter does a great job of resolving details and eliminating moire. The camera before the VAF displays serious issues with moire. These issues appear in every image in some way shape or form. There is moire on straight lines & fine detail. There is more on skin tones in areas of fine detail. With the VAF filter I'm shooing an image that holds about the same detail as a BMPCC. Albeit there are low-level moire issues with the prototype 50D VAF but the levels are nearly identical to the BMPCC. Technically this quite the accomplishment given the BMPCC shoots pixel for pixel and the 50D is line skipping a 5K sensor...
 
Picked up the BMPCC about two weeks back after watching a side-by-side dynamic range test with the BMPCC and the 50D. Dynamic range will play a large roll in future sensor development for sure. The 50D resolves about 10.5 to 11 stops in comparison to the 13 stops of the BMCC. However, the 50D appears to resolve a stronger color pallet. Quite simply, the 50D shoots a wonderful image for a colorist. In my opinion, I've got a long way to go before the BMPCC hits my liking… It's as though one unit is happy and beautiful and the other unit is bland and extremely true… Hmm??? Perhaps the 50D appears to hold a more of a mass-market "look & feel?" Maybe in 5 years I'll say the complete opposite?
 
If the 50D and the BMPCC cameras are going to be compared for their resolution and similar moire issues, then the shooter should be made aware of the sensor's capabilities and limitations… 
 
The noise floor is definitely more apparent with the 50D. The image slightly suffers from what appears to be sensor refreshing / banding, even at lower ISO values and exposing to the right. Adobe Camera Raw typically requires the chroma channels and luma channels to have low-level noise reduction. DaVinci Resolve 10 might actually produce a better noise floor, however, ACR typically produces a much stronger result. Essentially, though, we are talking about a sensor that has so much life in the image! The skin tones in particular are very prominent! The strength of the colors wants to reach out and touch the audience. In particular, the sensor has the great latitude so long as the image is inhibited by moire.
 
The grain and noise floor of the BMPCC are much more video/filmic. Additionally, there is no aliasing issues with the sensor. However, at this point in my venture with the camera, the sensor readout lacks the character that the 50D lends so wonderfully. Having applied 6 months of raw color-correction techniques to the BMPCC, I've found the camera captures nearly exactly what that eye sees. It's almost as though a perfect copy of the real world has transferred into the raw digital realm. Therefore, if you want character with the BMPCC, BMPCC shooters need to push "character" into the image in the production. 
 
With cameras like a "50D + Mosaic Engineering VAF + Magic Lantern" and the "BMPCC + raw" a shooter is able step aside from technical faults and truly produce an image made for high-quality television productions & independent film productions. Let's face it, this level of confidence is absolutely necessary. After all, the purpose of the shooter is to push the sensor to the limits, right? Quite simply, the 50D's limitations come up a bit too quick without the aid of the VAF.
 
… Continuing with the 50D VAF filter testing… The 3x zoom is soft with the filter in place, but I still shoot 3x with the filter in place…Not that it's a "completely unique look…" It's a usable look without too much degradation.
 
After about three months of testing the prototype filter, I think it is a very positive/powerful addition to the camera. This statement holds especially true considering BMPC's ability to resolve detail on a sensor shooting "pixel for pixel." Effectively, the 50D is right there with the BMPCC's image detail at 1600x900 when the BMPCC is shooting native 1920x1080.
 
Feel free to download the CDNG samples of the 50D with the prototype VAF on Copy. There are full-sesor read-out images as well as 3x image readouts. The images were taken with a near mint 35mm Nikon Nikkor F2.8 AI. The lens has a 52mm ProMaster UV in place. Please follow this link to download native CDNG images https://copy.com/8PP4i3MBODoTiovb.
 
The images are of an author named James Hinkley: Jimhinkleystudio.zenfolio.com & route66chronicles.blogspot.com. James has authored a number of books about Historic Route 66 in addition to other solid works of history! Interestingly, I talked to him about the production of one of his books and the fact that he had shot many of the photos for his books with the 50D. He was very impressed to see the power behind ML! "What comes around goes around," right?
 
Special thanks to the ML team and Mosaic Engineering! Feels great to have such a powerful workflow. Enjoy!

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Posted a BMPCC vs 50D video on YouTube. It's not a biased comparison. The topics specifically covered are luminance channels, chrominance channels, base noise floor, and ACR color correction. This comparison is sort of a straight forward realization of how these two cameras tend to operate. It should help shooters understand how powerful the BMPCC and 50D truly are.

 

 

What camera do you feel is right for your production? Why?

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I own both the 50d and BMPCC, I definitely would choose the BMPCC, but the 50d is great for the price. The dynamic range of the BMPCC is a huge benefit over the 50d's in my opinion, as you can see, the blacks on the 50d are crushed. In terms of color, I do agree that the BMPCC raw needs to be pushed more, but I do believe that the BMPCC raw contains more color information as it is a 12 bit log raw that unpacks to 16 bit linear in resolve as opposed to the 50d's 14bit. Nonetheless you can't go wrong with either camera. Both are great values for their prices and that is why I'm keeping my 50d.

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