Anti-aliasing Filter - Optical Anti-aliasing Filter

Optical Anti-aliasing Filter

In the case of optical image sampling, as by image sensors in digital cameras, the anti-aliasing filter is also known as an optical lowpass filter or blur filter or AA filter. The mathematics of sampling in two spatial dimensions is similar to the mathematics of time-domain sampling, but the filter implementation technologies are different. The typical implementation in digital cameras is two layers of birefringent material such as lithium niobate, which spreads each optical point into a cluster of four points.

The choice of spot separation for such a filter involves a tradeoff among sharpness, aliasing, and fill factor (the ratio of the active refracting area of a microlens array to the total contiguous area occupied by the array). In a monochrome or three-CCD or Foveon X3 camera, the microlens array alone, if near 100% effective, can provide a significant anti-aliasing effect, while in color filter array (CFA, e.g. Bayer filter) cameras, an additional filter is generally needed to reduce aliasing to an acceptable level.

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