Camera filters can greatly impact the outcome of an image. Cooling or warming filters can, for example, adjust the white balance of a scene. Filters can also be used to protect the lens, as with the case of UV filters. Let us explain each in more detail:
Before the advent of digital cameras, UV filters were a must to reduce haze and improve contrast by lessening the amount of ultraviolet (UV) light that reaches the film. Digital camera sensors are not as sensitive to UV light compared to film so it makes filtration unnecessary. It is now mainly used to protect the front part of the camera lens, being clear and not visibly affecting the image.
Multicoated UV filters remarkably reduce the chance of flare and it also keeps your filter clean and minimizes the chances of getting poor quality of images. Great quality UV filters prevents any visible color casts. On the downside, UV filters can decrease image quality by intensifying lens flare by adding minimal color tint, or by decreasing contrast.
It is always being debated on as to whether using a UV filter for protection is better even though it runs the risk of decrease in image quality. For high-end DSLR lenses, that added protection is the deciding factor. However, for less expensive DSLR lenses, and also for digital point-and-shoot cameras, the quality of images trumps protection. In the end, it all depends on the user.
Another thing to consider is that with digital cameras coming out every so often with more and more options to lure even non-photography enthusiasts, we always want to upgrade our current DSLR camera to newer, better ones. One way to assure you get top dollar for reselling your old camera is to get added protection for it. UV filters does just that. It keeps the front lens in mint condition. All things considered, it can even increase image quality compared to an unfiltered lens since it can be replaced when it starts to affect the quality of an image.
Cooling or Warming Filters:
Cooling or warming filters affect the balance of light that reaches the camera’s sensor. This is most effective when correcting color casts. It can also add warmth to a scene. For example, when weather conditions are cloudy, you can instead make it seem like the sun is setting and have the scene appear with a warm yellowish hue.
A DSLR camera will have the feature to automatically adjust for white balance, and this can also be adjusted in post processing. However, some situations may still call for color filters, such as having to deal with unusual lighting or underwater shots where the color blue is predominant. This is because of the monochromatic light that cannot be corrected by any amount of white balance that supposedly restores full color under normal conditions. If in case it does correct white balance, there will be a noticeable amount of image noise in some color channels.
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