We propose a new phase contrast filtering technique based on a combination of a focused and a defocused point-spread-function. This way, an axial shear is introduced in the imaging system. Compared to conventional differential interference contrast, an isotropic behavior is achieved. The lateral resolution is improved compared to conventional defocusing. Furthermore, the digital combination of multiple images leads to strongly enhanced visualization of small structures. We show simulated results as well as experimental results using a spatial-light modulator-based microscope.