Applying the Retouch Menu Filters - dummies

Applying the Retouch Menu Filters

By Julie Adair King

For photographers who want to alter reality beyond what you can achieve with the tools mentioned so far, the Nikon D5200’s Retouch menu offers a number of special-effects filters. And through the Effects exposure mode, you can add certain effects at the moment you capture the image — you don’t have to shoot the picture and then tweak it through the Retouch menu.

The Effects exposure mode also enables you to record movies using special effects. On your Nikon D5200, you can get to most Retouch menu features in two ways:

  • Display the menu, select the tool you want to use, and press OK. You’re presented with thumbnails of your photos; use the Multi Selector to move the yellow highlight box over the photo you want to adjust and press OK. You then see options related to the selected tool.

    The only menu item you can’t access this way is Side-By-Side Comparison, explained shortly.


  • Switch the camera to playback mode, display your photo in single-frame view, and press OK. The Retouch menu appears superimposed over your photo, as shown in this figure. Select the tool you want to use and press OK to display options related to that tool.

    However, you can’t use this method to access the Image Overlay menu item. That feature, which combines two Raw (NEF) photos to create a third, blended image, requires you to use the first method of accessing the menu. You also must start at the Retouch menu to use the Edit Movie option. (All other Retouch menu features work with still photos only.)

    In single-frame playback view, press OK to access the Retouch menu tools.
    In single-frame playback view, press OK to access the Retouch menu tools.

A few other critical facts to note:

  • Your originals remain intact. When you apply a Retouch menu tool, the camera creates a copy of your original photo and makes the changes to the copy only. A little icon that looks like the one that represents the Retouch menu (a box with a little paintbrush) appears with the image during playback to let you know that you’re not looking at an original photo.

    The filename also clues you in to a retouched photo: For images created through the Resize menu option, filenames begin with SSC; for all other retouched images, filenames begin with CSC.

  • All menu options work with either JPEG or Raw (NEF) originals except Image Overlay and NEF (Raw) Processing. Those two tools work only with Raw files.

  • Retouched copies for all alterations except Image Overlay are saved in the JPEG file format. The retouched copy uses the same JPEG quality setting as the original (Fine, Normal, or Basic). Retouched copies of Raw originals are saved in the JPEG format. For the Image Overlay option, the retouched image is stored using the current Image Quality and Image Size settings (selected via the control strip or Shooting menu).

  • You can apply each correction to a picture only once. The exception, again, is Image Overlay. If you save the composite image in the Raw format, you can combine the composite with a third Raw image. In fact, you can keep combining photos until your memory card is full, if the urge hits you.

  • The camera automatically assigns the next available file number to the retouched image. Make note of the filename of the retouched version so that you can easily track it down later.

  • You can compare the original and the retouched version through the Side-by-Side Comparison menu option. To use this feature, start by displaying either the original or the retouched version in full-frame playback. Then press OK, select Side-by-Side Comparison, as shown on the left in this figure, and press OK.

    You see the original image on one side and the retouched version on the other, as shown in the second screen in the figure. At the top of the screen, a label indicates the Retouch tool that you applied to the photo. (The D-Lighting adjustment has been applied to the image.)

    Use Side-by-Side Comparison to see whether you prefer the retouched version to the original.
    Use Side-by-Side Comparison to see whether you prefer the retouched version to the original.
  • These additional tricks work in Side-by-Side Comparison display:

    • If you applied more than one Retouch tool to the picture, press the Multi Selector right and left to display thumbnails that show how each tool affected the picture.

    • If you create multiple retouched versions of the same original — for example, you create a monochrome version, save that, and then crop the original image and save that — use a different technique to compare the versions. First, press the Multi Selector right or left to surround the after image with the yellow highlight box. Now press the Multi Selector up and down to scroll through the retouched versions.

    • To temporarily view the original or retouched image at full-frame view, use the Multi Selector to highlight its thumbnail and then press and hold the Zoom In button. Release the button to return to Side-by-Side Comparison view.

  • To exit Side-by-Side Comparison view and return to single-image playback, press the Playback button. The retouched photo appears on the screen.

If you want to view the original image in full-screen playback instead of the retouched version, use the Multi Selector to highlight the original while the Side-by-Side Comparison screen is active. Then press OK instead of the Playback button.