Thursday, July 24, 2014

Samsung NX300: Smart Filters, Picture Wizard and Editing on camera

The Samsung NX300 provides in camera editing of colour, contrast, exposure etc as well as using Smart Filters and Picture Wizard.  All offer creative options besides basic editing which allows you do to adjustments in camera and upload directly via the Wi-fi option without having to go through your pc.

In the photos below I have taken shots of a setup where I tried to incorporate as much colour variations as possible as well as texture.  None of the photos have been edited on the computer other than to decrease the size for the blog.  Any editing has been done directly on camera.

Please read below on how to activate Smart Filters under the camera settings.

I did have an issue importing any RAW photos into Lightroom 4 where I used the Picture Wizard feature.  After importing, the photos would seem to lose their adjustments e.g. Classic would turn from black and white into a normal colour photo without adjustments.  After a quick experiment I found that JPEG worked fine but not RAW.  This could be due to JPEG processing photos in camera whereas RAW keeps the photo as is without any form of processing (the adjustments are a form of processing).

So, for uploading via Wi-Fi and to keep the adjustments for Picture Wizard and editing (Smart Filters only allows JPEG), set your Quality to JPEG (Super Fine is best).

Duh me, only realised this after packing my setup away.  Instead of the having the photos themselves I did a screen capture of the RAW files.  Just didn't have the motivation to reset everything again lol.

This is the original image

Smart Filters

How the freak do you activate Smart Filters?

That was my first thought when trying to follow the instructions (all of one sentence) in the manual. Unless hidden somewhere in small print, the manual doesn't seem to mention that in order to use Smart Filters you need to set your Drive mode to Single and change the Quality to JPEG (Super Fine for the best if you had the setting on RAW).

I used Smart Filters after taking the photos and not before i.e. once the photo was taken I then went to review the photo, selected the icon in the middle of the screen (that shows as a piece of paper with pen) and used the navigation buttons or touched the screen on the far right icon (looks like a drawing of a landscape).  This was how I used the Smart Filter on the photos below.

(photos of icons are screenshots from the manual, just to show the icons you need to select)

In Playback (reviewing your photos) first select the middle icon (Editing):

Then select the right hand icon (Smart Filter) which looks like:

This way of adding Smart Filters is via the editing tool.  You will be given a selection of settings.

Now, the manual mentions that you can't use Smart Filters and Picture Wizard together, and you can't. Unless you do it the way I mentioned above.  

First choose the setting/feature you want in Picture Wizard (shortcut is to press the iFn button and select the dropper icon to the right of the AWB), take the photo and then review the photo.  Select the middle icon for editing, then the right icon (see above) for Smart Filters and you can apply a filter to any photo taken using the Picture Wizard feature.

To activate the Smart Filter setting under the camera options and take a photo using Smart Filters: make sure that under the camera settings, Quality is set to JPEG (Normal, Fine, Super Fine - Super Fine is the highest quality) and that your Drive is set to Single or Timer.  None of the other settings e.g. Continuous or Bracketing will work.  Also make certain that Picture Wizard is set to Off.

Once those three settings are in place then the Smart Filter option should no longer be greyed out and available.


Above are the creative features available and the last photo Edited Watercolour is the Watercolour feature applied and then edited: Auto Adjustment to make the photo darker and the colour Temp was changed to -1000K to remove some of the warmth.

You can further edit in anyway that you like with Exposure, individual colours like red, more contrast etc, all in camera.  Every time you edit a a photo a new file is created in JPEG (so the original file is kept untouched).  But editing can only be done after Smart Filters has been applied as you can't further edit this feature e.g. I would like to been able to adjust where I want the miniature effect.

To edit further, review the photo in Playback, select the middle Edit icon (see above for description) then touch the screen or use the navigation buttons to select the third icon (looks like a paint palette), which will then take you into a selection of editing options.  Click on or select an option e.g. Exposure and you will be able to adjust the exposure.

Picture Wizard

Unlike Smart Filters, which adds a painterly effect, Picture Wizard applies different styles to the photos i.e. retro for an old fashioned look.

You can't use Picture Wizard and Smart Filters at the same time but by applying Smart Filters (after taking a photo using Picture Wizard) in Playback review of your photo using the Edit tools, you can still apply both.

And also unlike Smart Filters, you can change the presets of Picture Wizard and add your own custom colours, saturation, sharpness and contrast.   I would personally leave the presets as is and rather create a custom preset using the same settings and change that.  You can reset.

For quick access press the iFn button and navigate to the dropper icon to the right of the AWB setting. Select and you will be taken to a set of 9 styles excluding the 3 custom settings.  Once you choose a setting, click ok or touch the setting and make sure a blue tick is visible in the corner, this means the style has been selected.

If you want to change the preset or the custom preset navigate with the navigation buttons until a blue box is around the style, then press the DISP button or touch the screen on the word Adjust.  You can then change the Colour, Saturation, Sharpness and Contrast.  To keep the change make sure you press Ok or touch the word Ok on the screen to set.

As you can see above, there is a very small amount of change in the styles, except for Forest which starts to present more green as the name indicates.

 In the above photos the styles are more pronounced.

I played around with a custom style.  Again, remember to set the Quality on your camera settings to JPEG as RAW will show on your memory card but not when you import into Lightroom 4 and you will lose the Picture Wizard Styles


As mentioned above, you can further tweak your photo with the editing tools.  This is done after the photo has been taken and once in Playback view, select the editing icon in the middle, then navigate to the pain palette for options:

Auto Adjustment
RGB (red, green, blue) Adjustment
Colour Temperature

Once you have selected one of the options above you will have the option of changing the adjustment except for Auto Adjustment, which does the adjustment itself.

When in the editing tools (after selecting the middle editing icon) you will also have the option of cropping the photo, rotating or adjusting the size.  My option for adjusting the size was not available but the manual says this depends on the size of the photo selected.

To crop, once you have selected the option, use the two corner squares by touching one at a time and moving the box to where you want.  Rotating gives you visual examples so you only need to select the one you want.

And I think that's about it :-).

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