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EOS 5D Mark III hacked: Anti-aliasing filter removed, more sharpness

This is a hardware hack performed on the EOS 5D Mark III. It voids guaranty and should absolutely be avoided without the necessary technical knowledge.

James Miller teared down his brand new EOS 5D Mark III and removed the Optical Low-Pass Filter (aka Anti-Aliasing filter) that’s put on the sensor. It seems that the filter is really blurring the image, since the pics shot without the filter are much more detailed. Judge for yourself – first pic shot with the OLPF and the second without:

EOS 5D Mark III with anti-aliasing filter

EOS 5D Mark III with removed anti-aliasing filter

NOTE: pictures shot at different days, using same camera settings. Original pics can be downloaded:

As you can see the pic shot without the OLPF has more detail and more sharpness in general. Brick walls and roofs reveal details not seen on the crop from the pic shot with the mounted OLPF. Moreover, the filter is responsible for reducing moire and aliasing, but looking at the crops you can see some aliasing but no moire. Two more crops, left one with, right one without OLPF – look at the clock and at the roof above the clock:

OLPF mounted                                                         OLPF removed

The is a big difference regarding image details with details appearing in the pic shot without the OLPF that are barely if even visible in the crop from the pic shot with the OLPF mounted.

Miller also shot a video with the modded 5D Mark III:

Given the strong increase in details, it looks like if Canon has put on the EOS 5D Mark III an OLPF that’s too strong, and that’s sensibly reducing the native capabilities of the sensor. Reducing moire is important, but I question if it has to come with such a considerable loss in detail (not just for video mode, also for stills). However, the absence of moire in the crops from the frame grabs does not mean that in other circumstances there would not be more moire. James Miller is now using his 5D Mark III without the filter, so more news will come. Stay tuned.

Here are some pics of the tear down:

James Miller on Twitter

For the latest 5D Mark III pics uploaded to Flickr and our eBay live-ticker for possible 5D Mark III deals click here.

The following shops have the EOS 5D Mark III in stock and ready to ship:

  • Amazon: 5D Mark III w/24-105mm f/4 L $4,299 – click here
  • Canon store: 5D Mark III w/24-105mm f/4 L $4,299 – click here
  • B&H: 5D Mark III body $3,499 – click here
  • J&R: 5D Mark III body $3,499 – click here
  • J&R: 5D Mark III w/24-105mm f/4 L $4,299 – click here (NOTE: shows up as out of stock, should be in stock in a few hours)
  • Adorama: 5D Mark III body + free photo-book $3,499 – click here
  • Adorama: 5D Mark III w/24-105mm f/4 L $4,299 –click here
  • DigitalRev: 5D Mark III body – location-based price, different kit options, ships in 24h – click here
  • DigitalRev: 5D Mark III w/24-105mm f/4 L – location-based price, different kit options, ships in 24h – click here
[via EOSHD]


  • Spider-man

    You people are crazy.Now that you put out the OLPF can you take photos of ghosts? Give us some real world photos.

  • Peter

    why is he to dumb to expose correct with the AA filter?

    or is this a 1 day to early april joke.. as it was posted on 31 march.

  • Frank

    :-) no April Joke.
    I think this is an interesting hack. Sure, not a mod anyone can perform (it voids guaranty and could seriously damage the cam), but nevertheless it is informative. I mean, the difference in image details is astonishing.
    @spider-man: for 5D Mark III real world photos have a look here:

  • Scotch

    No Canon, I don’t want video optimized camera for 3500

  • Spider-man

    Frank i want to see real world photos without the filter.Im trying to say tat if there was no reason for a filter do you think that Canon will put in their cameras?

    • Frank

      That’s a good point, spider-man. No, Canon wouldn’t apply a filter for no reason. But isn’t it amazing how much more details you get without? Let’s see it from a hacker perspective: no system is perfect, and it’s a good thing to show its weakness (or strength).

      For real-world pics shot without the OLPF we have to wait for an upate by Miller.

  • Spider-man

    Frank you didnt get my little joke with the ghost. Putting out this filter also gives you the ideal camera to shoot at near infrared spectrum.Many people they are doing this.I saw it at Eos 20 d before many years.Many Camera services in Greece they are doing this trick because there is NO possibility to take infrared photos with this filter that cuts all infrared rays.

    • Frank


  • Scotch

    I thought the IR-cut and AA filter are two different filters..

    • Daemonius

      Theres cover glass, then theres IR filter and after that is AA filter on top of CFA. So if you want to remove AA filter, you will need to remove IR and cover glass.

      Professional made AA filter removal consist of removing cover glass, IR filter, AA filter and then replacing it with thicker IR filter and cover glass (or just thick IR filter). Or ofc if you wish they can put there customized IR filter, or simply just put only glass there, which will give you UV-IR-visible light camera that can do all sorts of fun stuff in astrophotography.

  • Spider-man

    There is only one glass that includes all these filters i think.

  • I use the 5D Mk2 everyday for work along with 5 other EOS bodies over the years and removing this filter makes a huge difference AA effect cuts all DSLRs off at the knees. For video I recommend installing technicolor’s Cine-Style profile for great results.

  • Tony

    So I have a $3,000 camera and the pics are crisp.
    Its true, I complain all the time that my pics aren’t sharp with the 5D Mark III. I am not happy

  • Tony

    I mean the pics ARE NOT crisp.

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