Olympus OM-D E-M5 Art Filters and Picture Modes
"Two Guys at the Bar" (Key Line Filter)
Some of the reasons I've really enjoyed shooting the Olympus OM-D E-M5 are it's Picture Modes and Art Filters. In the past, it's seemed like a bit of a hassle to select these on other cameras, plus I always thought I could easily replicate them in post processing. The OM-D changes the game in some important ways.
Another thing that is great about the Art Filter Mode is it's ability to automatically bracket the desired filters. The last selection in the Art Filter list is ART BKT. Select this and then either push the right arrow key or rotate the front dial and you're taken to a list of all the filters available. Once there, you can select just the ones you want (for me, it's usually the Sepia, Key Line, and Monochrome filters) and your next shot will give you 4 images (*maybe 5): a normal color RAW file, and JPG's of the Sepia, Key Line, and Monochrome - automatically. It does take just a few seconds for the camera to do this processing, but if you only select a few it doesn't take that long.
(*NOTE: Art Filter Bracketing may also give you an extra unprocessed color JPG.)
The nice thing about it is you still have the RAW file in case you're not happy with any of the Art Filter images. So go out and be "creative" … you don't have a thing to lose!
There is one slight problem I recently came across for us Adobe users (which is just about all of us) that involves using the Picture Modes. For instance, if I select Monochrome and take the shot, I will see a nice monochrome image in the camera during playback. However, once it's imported into Lightroom 4, you will only have the normal, color RAW file. Somehow, the monochrome information is getting lost in translation. The Adobe Forums suggest a workaround for this … duh … do the monochrome version AFTER the image is imported. Of course - we know we can do this, but it defeats the entire purpose of getting the b&w straight out of the camera.
I found a better way: If you really want monochrome from the Picture Mode, then just select RAW+JPG on the SCP and you will get a normal color RAW and your Monochrome JPG when you import into LR. The other, possibly easier workaround is to just select Monochrome as one of the Art Filters you want to bracket.
"Summer Street" (Key Line Filter)
"Create" (Monochrome Art Filter)
"Vintage look for a store" (Sepia Art Filter)
Keywords: Olympus OM-D E-M5, adobe, art filter, import, key line, lightroom, monochrome, picture mode, sepia, workaround
Thanks for the question. I really enjoy the Key Line filter because it gives such a unique look to images, but you're right, I think the usefulness is a bit limited.
I think, depending on content of course, they could be great for fun greeting cards or even prints for a kids room, or a school, or just anywhere you might find lots of children. But you know, that filter presents an artistic look, too, so maybe even the bar where I shot that image in the blog post would be interested. :-) As I write, I think there may be more possibilities than originally envisioned.
Be sure and check out the Filter Bracketing Option. You can set the camera to provide one or all of the filters (plus a normal photo) every time you press the shutter. I used this in the beginning to get a good idea of what each filter could do.
Have fun with your new "baby"!
Not even the art filter "key line" is cool, you can also use it as a peaking mode with a manual lens. Shooting in jpeg+raw and after you have the raw file in focus.
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