Hot Rod (High Resolution) Your Camera For Maximum Resolution!




Click on image for a full size JPG.  Picture taken by Marc Mccalmont using the first Canon 5DHR made. 
Marc took the picture handheld using available light of some avocados sitting on his kitchen table.


Please contact us to see if we can modify your particular camera for HR.



The Explanation

All digital SLR cameras contain a piece of glass called the Anti-Aliasing (AA) or Blur filter to prevent Moiré patterns.  If you are not already familiar, Moiré patterns are repeating light and dark bands that can occur when photographing a repeating pattern like a screen door or herringbone shirt with a digital camera.  When the pattern spacing approaches the pixel spacing on the sensor, you can get a Moiré pattern which is a digital artifact that occurs when sampling resolution (the CCD or CMOS) approaches the signal frequency (such as the lines of a screen door).  

To eliminate or reduce Moiré patterns, the camera manufacturers install an AA filter to blur the high frequency information.  The AA filters lets the low frequency information through but blocks the high frequency.  Thus, although you may own a 10 mega pixel camera, it may only be taking an equivalent of 7 mega pixels of resolution.  Any information approaching the resolution of the sensor must be blocked to prevent Moiré, but the cost of this is loss of resolution.

Below is an example illustrating the problem. If the bottom grid represents the image sensor pixels and the top represents a repeating pattern with similar spacing, the camera will sometimes see top pattern correctly and sometimes not.  To solve this, the manufactures blur the image slightly so that any pixel level detail is lost.  For most photographers, they would rather have the sharpest camera possible because they are more often photographing subjects that don't have these possible repeating patterns.  Problems that do occur can often be fixed in a program such as Photoshop though sometimes the moiré is a serious problem that can't be fixed.  Our experience has been that the AA filter solution to reduce moiré on a stock camera usually sacrifices image quality for all the photographs were moiré is never a problem - which is most of the time.


We can remove the AA filter and replace with an optical window with the same refractive index (so that focusing and aperture settings don't change).  This allows the camera to perform at its full resolution with one possible drawback - Moiré patterns.  However, most photographers would prefer to deal with the occasional Moiré problem by fixing it in Photoshop and are happy to maximize the resolution of their camera.

We can currently convert many different Canon, Nikon and Olympus cameras to HR..  The cost is $450 + return S&H ($20 UPS ground insured domestic USA).  We only need camera body, charged battery and cover letter requesting the conversion type.  Turn around is usually 1 or 2 days from receipt.  Conversions are done in our Class 100 clean room with ionized air and static control surfaces.  We have been in business since 1997.

Below are examples for a Canon 5D and a Nikon D200.  Both camera bodies used the same lens, same aperture, same manual white balance and even the same battery. Both were shot in RAW.  The hot rod model is only the left.  Notice  that the third picture down shows a Moiré pattern on the air conditioner grating.  All these pictures are small parts of the same RAW file taken from one shot. These examples are original and un-retouched. 

You can download the RAW files here:

Canon 5D Hot Rod (Do a Right Click and Save As) 

Canon 5D Stock     (Do a Right Click and Save As)



                                                                        Hot-Rod Canon 5D                                                                                                                                 Stock Canon 5D                   

Area 1


Area 2


Area 3   Notice the Moiré pattern on the air conditioner grates on the hot rod model.  This is the price you pay for the increased resolution!


Area 4


Area 5


Nikon D200 Comparison


                                    Hot Rod Nikon D200                                                                             Stock Nikon D200