In-Camera Filters

Newer camera models often come equipped with in-camera filter and special effect options to add to your images. We previously covered a few of the typical digital art effects that come in many point and shoot cameras such as soft focus, pop art, pinhole, and grainy film (see them here). Today, we’re covering a few of the newer filters in D-SLRs such as in the Pentax K-5 (this is what was used for the examples below).

This is the list of available filters that come in this specific camera (bold ones are the options we chose to test and show below):

1- Toy Camera
2- Retro
3- High Contrast
4- Extract Color
5- Soft
6- Starburst
7- Fish-eye
8- Custom Filter (alter several filters to make a custom filter)
9- HDR Capture (3 images merged into one)
10- HDR Filter (Faux filter)
11- Miniature model effect
12- Sketch
13- Water Color
14- Pastel
15- Posterization
16- B&W
17- Custom Color
18- Slim

To use a filter, start to review/playback an image that you have taken. Press the down arrow on the direction pad, and then press “ok” to access the menu.

Fish-eye:  In this filter you get 1 editing option: Intensity/size of effect- low/medium/high. I used the medium option.

L: regular photo. R: with the fish-eye filter

HDR Filter:  In this filter you get 1 editing option: This is a Faux HDR filter (it does not combine images to make a true HDR image like in real HDR imaging. The combining method is used in the K-5’s other HDR filter option, HDR Capture.) The 1 editing option is intensity- low/medium/high. I used the medium for this shot.

Custom Filter: This filter allows 8 options to edit your image: High Contrast / Soft Focus / Tone Break (Red, Green, Blue, or Yellow) / Shading Shape / Shading Level / Distortion type / Distortion level / Invert Color. I used a dark shade in a frame around the image, with a green cast tone break.

Miniature Filter: (This is my favorite one) It allows you to make an image look like it is a miniature model scene. It throws focus off similar to tilt-shift. For in-camera editing (quick and easy) it does quite well.

Retro: Another personal favorite, with this filter you get 2 editing options: Toning (Shades of Blue to Brown) and Framing (you can add a white border around your image with varying thickness).

A big plus to having these filters in-camera is the ability to post-process on the go. I was recently at a shoot doing a bunch of headshots for a group of executives. One of the participants said his photo was too sharp and it showed too many wrinkles. I said “give me a minute and I will fix that”. I went in to the digital filters  menu and chose the soft focus one. I added a medium soft focus filter, saved it, and was then able to hand him the original and the soft focus version in less than 2 minutes. He was very happy and amazed I did it so quickly and without an editing program.

© Patrick Douglas


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *