After finishing high school Pinter enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb in 1946 to study painting, but he soon dropped out and devoted himself entirely to cinematography. He began working at the Jadran Film studio in 1945, at first assisting more experienced cinematographers, and in 1948 he started working independently. He started shooting documentary shorts in the early 1950s and his first feature was the 1960 film Point 905 (Kota 905, directed by Mate Relja).
Throughout the 1960s and onwards Pinter became the most prolific Croatian cinematographer, filming some 90 feature films, around 100 short films and some 10 television series. Some of his critically praised works include:
Pinter received many awards for his work in film, including three Vladimir Nazor Awards and eight Golden Arena for Cinematography awards at the Pula Film Festival (the Yugoslav equivalent of Academy Awards), which made him by far the most decorated cinematographer in both Yugoslav and Croatian cinema. At the 4th Moscow International Film Festival, he won the award for Director of Photography for his work in Vatroslav Mimica's 1965 film Prometheus of the Island.