"Let life enchant you again." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Technology
March 6, 2014

FujiFilm X100s Advanced Filters

FujiFilm do some of the camera film emulations in the photography world. And the X100s Advanced Filters show this off remarkably.

Normally I avoid any in camera filters when making photos with my bigger cameras. My preference is shot in RAW and leave any processing, like conversions to black and white, until later, when I load the images into Lightroom.

But, I’ve been intrigued by the in camera options available with the FujiFilm X-series cameras. The X-Pro1 and X100s have better onboard film emulations than any other camera I’ve tried. Certainly, if you are a fan of the old Fuji film stock, like Velvia, Provia and Astia, then the camera can deliver surprisingly good images, in JPEG format. And, the black and white conversions, especially when mimicking the effect of a red or yellow filter are also surprisingly good.

Although, I haven’t been tempted by the feature another trick hiding in the X100s menu has captured my imagination, the Advanced Filters.

These create in camera effects in a selection of popular contemporary styles, like high key, Holga/toy camera, miniature/tiltshift and one-shot high dynamic range. The resulting images are delivered as 4896×3294 JPEG files and despite losing some post-processing potential, compared to RAW files, the pictures are intriguing in their own way.

The images I’ve shared here are straight from the camera, with no adjustments made in Lightroom. I’m not about to abandon my RAW based workflow for this, of course, but it is a lot of fun to create images with these filters and I can certainly imagine doing a shoot, or event, solely in this mode.

One of the appealing things about the Advanced Filters are the way the X100s offers them up right in the viewfinder. When you shoot in this mode, the electronic viewfinder takes over from the optical and renders the scene with the effect, right in front of your eye. So, as you compose, you can tune the image you are creating to the effect you are using.

If you have one of these cameras, then I encourage you to play with the Advanced Filters, they might just surprise you.


Toni 10 years ago

The one question I have about use of filters like that is why you would use them, when all the effects could be created in post processing AND leave the raw image intact for further manipulation? Unless, of course, you can save both the effected and raw image files separately.

I went to the Photography Show at Birmingham’s NEC a couple of weekends back, and software has come on in leaps and bounds. Each maker also seems to have their own USP, with Macphun having the best removal tool, DXO the best noise reduction and lens correction, On1 the best intelligent brushes and easiest workflow, Adobe the best image development tools in Lightroom. There are so many incredible tools available now.

Fernando Gros 10 years ago

Toni – I agree when it comes to using any in camera processing, the best solution is to use a RAW+JPG output. Sometimes that’s possible though at the moment, the X100s does not let you do that with advanced filters (although you can with film simulations).

The reason for the filters is largely because you see them as you create the image and that, in turn, shapes the image you create. To use a musical analogy, it’s the difference between playing with a compressor or delay effect, versus adding the effect later. If you turn the effect on when you play, your playing adapts in a subtle way to it.

As an aside, I shot a lot of images I knew would become B&W on this trip and I set the X100s to work in B&W film simulation mode, but save in RAW. So, what I saw on image review and in the electronic viewfinder was a film simulated B&W, but what I imported into Lightroom was a full colour range RAW file, which I turned into B&W in post-processing. This is an approach I found very helpful.

Toni 10 years ago

Thanks for the reply Fern – sorry it took so long to come back. Having the image saved as an un-touched RAW file while seeing the image as B&W through the camera would be enormously useful. I’ve also heard some (not professionals) say they prefer the B&W conversion that happens in camera as opposed to in PP, though I have doubts about that.

The pedal analogy is a good one, but my image creation process is very different from my approach to music (that is all about the immediate sound and feeling – possibly partially why I can’t record well) where I try to think about what I’m going to create in lightroom etc, and to provide a foundation for that. I suppose I see the starting image like the backing track, and the development process is like finding a tune that’s rooted in it, but drawing out the potential.

Matt Kloskowski (sp?) mentioned in a webinar that when he’s out taking landscapes he doesn’t want to be distracted by technical stuff, and as standard, every scene is bracketed +/- 1 stop, knowing that he will have at least 1 image as a result that can be used. I’m more experimental than that (and less considered too) but have no expectation that an image can be used SOOC, even as a .jpg

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