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BZChi7d Oct 9, 2009 7:24 AM

Software Filters in SLR's
i've been thinkin' bout this for a while, while playing around with Photoshop.

why don't makers of SLR's incorporate (emulations of) filters in their cameras ?

i'm talking about color filters, about grad filters ? is it that complicated ? or is it just a marketing scheme i don't get ?


JimC Oct 9, 2009 7:41 AM

Some do now. For example, see the Art filters in the E-620 on this page of it's review here:

Or, look at models like the new Pentax K7. It's got a variety of filters:

Monochrome mode includes adjustment for filter effects (green, yellow, orange, red, magenta, blue, cyan, infrared), toning (sepia warm/cool), high/low key, contrast and sharpness (regular and fine adjustment scales). Other capture filters include Toy Camera, Retro, High Contrast, Extract Color, Soft Focus, Starburst, Fisheye, Custom Filter.

There are other cameras with some built in filters, too. But, I don't keep up with the models that have those types of features. So, perhaps some of our other forum members will chime in.

kazuya Oct 9, 2009 7:43 AM

i dont know why, but what would be nice is if there were digital on cam ND grads, proper digital ones, where the top half of the sensor is more sensitive than the bottom half or vice versa.

TCav Oct 9, 2009 8:35 AM

First, since your computer has more computing power than your camera, doing it in post processing will be a lot faster and more accurate than doing it in the camera. Doing it in the camera could result in significant shot-to-shot times as the camera toils away at applying the creative filter of your choice.

Second, if you do it in the camera, and you don't like the result, you can't "Undo". Creative filters on film cameras let you see the result in the optical viewfinder. Creative filters in post processing let you play with the settings, tuning it for the result you want. Creative filters in the camera only let you see the results after you've taken the shot, and then only on a 3 inch LCD, and if you don't like what you see when you get it to your computer or you print it out, tough.

mtngal Oct 12, 2009 10:02 AM

The Pentax K20 has the ability to apply some filters in-camera and they save the file as a separate jpg. The K-7 has additional options. The nice thing about them is you can take a raw photo, look at it and decide it would look better some other way (i.e., b&w using a simulated IR filter) and the camera will save it as a separate jpg file, processing it after-the-fact while you are reviewing your pictures. If you shoot raw plus jpg, you can also have the effect you choose appear on the jpg version but not the raw version (lots of cameras are like this).

While it's kind-of fun to play around with these things, I think it is far easier to do it on the computer. You have far more control of all aspects of the changes you make with software, while the camera (understandably) has limitations (memory, processing power and the ability to write in controls).

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