Built-in Filters – Olympus XZ-1

While I am reluctant to tout the strengths of any camera, mostly because there seems to be a culture of ‘equipment competition’ amongst some photographers (instead of a healthy competition with photographs), people often ask ‘how’ I am able to produce some of the effects in my photos. Here is something I use a lot – the built-in ‘art filters’ in my Olympus XZ-1. There are many filters to choose from, but mostly I use the ‘dramatic tone’ and ‘pop art’ filters.

Below are three photos I shot in Barcelona, all cropped, but otherwise, straight from the camera.  The photo on the left has the pop art filter used. The middle photo is using the dramatic tone filter. And the photo on the right is without filters.  I usually have to dial down the saturation in Lightroom when using the pop art filter. The dramatic tone filter is especially useful for amplifying contrast. I use it a lot when shooting scenes that include clouds, night scenes and when photographing cars. I shoot using the RAW + JPEG option so regardless of the filter, I always have a RAW file with no filters applied.

Any of the effects of these filters can mimicked in any good editing software, and I realize the ‘purists’ will probably wince at the idea of using them.  But I love the effects.

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