Thursday, 3 April 2014

Playing with Advanced Filter Modes


As a way of getting to know the camera better I delved into the Advanced Filter modes to see just what the X20 could do. Much of the effects show here can be done external processing, but some settings (to my surprise) use multiple exposures. I picked out a few samples, and posted them here without any post processing, other than scaling them down a little.

Pro Focus

Intended for portrait photos where the background is blurred out to make the subject pop, and it does a pretty good job (here using natural light). The camera claims to be able to use multiple shots (here using just one) to create the a better soft-background image.

Pro Focus (this time clean faced Shiela)
It's a nice photo but I'm not seeing any nice boke in the background. Maybe I'm expecting too much of the little lens!.. but it is the sort of shot I'd get from my SLR. The depth of field is not too shallow so that his ears are still reasonably sharp. Also nice detail on the little chap's freckles and catchlights in the eyes. There's also sharp definition on his shirt, but the door in the background has slight amount of noise if you zoom in.

This next picture had the effect turned up full,and shows much more blur in the background. You could hear the shutter firing three times and even though the camera was hand held it looks great.

Pro Focus (Level 3)
The bookshelf and flowers in the background appearing very soft, but the foreground still nice and sharp. I'm not sure what magic's going on here but it's all clever stuff.

Motion Panorama 360

I was quite intrigued by the panorama mode as I've often used a panorama app on my iPhone to capture scenery on holiday. Here's the start screen which assumes you're going to pan to the right.
Display in Panorama Mode
After pressing the shutter button the camera starts clicking multiple times per second, and then you sweep right using the yellow centre line to keep it straight. It does a much better stitching job than my free phone app and if you go all the way round you'll get a seamless 360 degree photo.

Panorama Photo
When viewed on the camera you can play them (as if they were videos) and they auto-pan across the image. 360 images will keep going indefinitely but partial ones stop when the reach the far edge.

Partial Color (Red)

These partial colour photos are nice, I think the first time I saw this effect was in the Schindler's List film. My son's Nikon S3300 also does this and you can select red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple. The colour really jumps out but there's no adjustment over the set colours or thresholds.
Partial Colour Effect
Here's my wife's array of Mother's Day cards and nick-nacks as made by the kids. The red in the apples didn't show, neither did the more orangey reds.

Super Macro

Not really and advanced filter mode this one, but I wanted to see how the super macro feature would work. Again it's using compact fluorescent lighting (which generally gives quite a strong yellow cast) so it's maybe not quite as sharp as a natural light shot.

Macro shot of my Harmony Remote Control
To give you and idea of scale, that "zero" button is just 8mm across, and to take it the camera lens was almost touching at the bottom edge. I didn't buy the camera for this ability but it's just another string to the X20's bow. It might come in handy from time to time.


I'm guilty (like many) of treating my camera just like a tool, trawled out for special occasions and days out. But it really doesn't have to be that way. Fuji have provided some real fun with their Advanced Filters (and there's plenty that I haven't mentioned), so it really does provoke a desire to experiment. Photography can be a really fun rewarding hobby and I'm starting to feel that spirit again, like when I got my first SLR back when I was 16 years old.


  1. Glad to see you wiped his mouth this time - that's a lovely photo. It's nicely lit - is that without flash? Interesting to read some detail about how the panorama works, I've been making some by manually stitching pics together, not entirely convincingly. So I've been thinking about a camera with the feature. Not sure about the other effects. Perhaps it's control freakery, but I'd rather wind open the aperture to get the depth of field I want, and blur the bg more in photoshop if necessary.

  2. That photo is purely natural light, he just looked up for a moment, smiled and then looked back down again. I had a split second to take the shot and no time to reframe so I lost slightly too much of the top of his head.

    I kinda suspect if I set the camera to aperture priority, set the lens to full open I'd get something very similar to this picture, but that one with the thermometer might be more of a challenge. Thing is, it's meant for somebody who doesn't understand the dynamics of aperture and depth of field.