Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

  1. redeye69

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Scotland
    Hi all , can anyone give some recommendations on what ND filters to buy for my P4 ? I dont want to break the bank but would like to get some reasonable ones . Any brands to avoid ? Ones to definitely look at ?

    thanks
    in advance !
     
  2. msinger

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    18,782
    Likes Received:
    5,530
    Location:
    US
    Any of the brands I compared here are good choices. No matter which brand you decide to go with, it would be good to have at least an ND8, ND16, and an ND32.
     
  3. Suhail78

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    88
    Hey msinger........question about ND Filters, why do u say that its good to have an 8/16/32?

    I flew yesterday morning, and the sun caused all sorts of havok, glare, prop shadows, and flares.....

    I dont know much about these filters except they block out light. Im sure there is a thread out here somewhere that explains all this stuff, but i dont really kno where to start? Are the DJI branded ones the best to go with as they allow use of the stock gimble holder?
     
  4. msinger

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    18,782
    Likes Received:
    5,530
    Location:
    US
    They cover the most common flying scenarios.

    Check out this post.

    Any that are the same size as the DJI UV filter will fit with the OEM gimbal lock installed. If you decide to go with a larger filter, then you can swap out the lock with some type of third party gimbal lock. For example, this gimbal lock fits over Polar Pro filters.
     
    Suhail78 likes this.
  5. GMack

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    139
    First choice:
    Phantom 4 Cinematographer Collection

    Starter set:
    DJI Phantom 4 Filters - Cinema Series - Shutter Collection
    plus this:
    https://www.amazon.com/DJI-Phantom-Filter-Professiona-Advanced/dp/B0143HXWE6

    Above would cover just about all your outdoor lighting scenarios, with the exception of graduated ones, and polarizers which I find a bit offing in the blue sky at times due to extreme saturation differences of the wide angle lens.


    Fwiw, I now have accumulated all the filters in my First Choice. It's a **** addiction I tell ya.
     
    Suhail78 likes this.
  6. Jayfdee

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    63
    Polar pro gets my vote, but I still need an ND16.
     
  7. Suhail78

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    88
    I know most people say that the ND filters are specific to shooting videos to be able to get the right shutter speed by adjusting the ISO depending on the frame rate you are recording. please someone correct me if i'm wrong with that statement. But i often times do both while im up in the air, shoot pictures and record video. If i have an ND filter on and am recording video, would i need to bring the bird down, swap out the filter, and then go back up? What would happen if i just left the filter on there and switched to taking photos with it on, would it ruin them?
     
  8. Trinimon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Canada
    @Suhail78 and anyone interested...

    ND filters ie Neutral Density filters allows you to reduce the amount of light getting to your camera's sensor. I use the tern Neutral loosely as you will find that some cheaper ND filters aren't 100% neutral gray but have a tint to them that show up as a colour cast/bias in your video. Are they needed? Yes and no.

    If you just want to fly around and shoot basic video and don't care about smooth looking pans etc, save your money.

    If you want that smooth looking pan/trucking shots or smooth movement on moving subjects, you will need to shoot at 24fps and roughly double your set FPS which means you need to bring your shutter down to 1/50" or 1/60".

    In order to do so, you need to counteract reducing light by decreasing the aperture size or sensitivity ie ISO setting by the same amount. Unfortunately the aperature setting on the drone's camera is fixed at f2.8 so your only other option is to drop ISO down by the required stops of light. Here's the second limitation, your drone can only drop to ISO100 so with your hand tied with a fixed f-stop and minimum ISO100, the only option in order to reduce the amount of light down so that your image is properly exposed at 1/50" or 1/60" is by means of a ND filter.

    Not all ND filters are created equal. As I mentioned earlier above, not all ND filters and 100% neutral gray. The cheaper ones tend to have a magenta bias to in the video. This you can correct for the most part in post production. Better quality filters are usually more expensive because they are more neutral with very little (if any) colour bias and also have multi-coated glass.

    The multi-coating on the filters helps reduce flares which can be a good/bad thing. If you want to get that solar flare look, try with a non-coated filter and shoot anywhere from 0-45 degrees towards the sun.

    Then we have ND Polarized filters which helps reduce reflection/glare on foliage, water and other reflective surfaces, sky etc. Think beaches, lakes, ponds, lush vegetation areas. The drawback to ND PL filters is that the wide angle of your drone's lens is beyond the max coverage area of your filter. Keep in mind that a polarizer is stongest 90 degrees to the sun. Therefore at certain directions away from the sun, you will find uneven colouration in the sky ie dark in one part and much lighter in another part of your video. Use wisely ie limit the amount of sky in your framing or keep the video moving etc.

    ND8 is good for early morning, late afternoon shooting. ND16 is good for mid-morning and mid-afternoon. ND32 is good for between mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

    One added bonus to shooting 24fps @ 1/50-1/60" is that your drone's props won't be easily visible because it's spinning faster than the slow shutter speed can pickup.

    I've had good luck with the Polar Pro Cinema Series ND/PL filters but would like other's inputs on other quality brands to look out for.

    If you need to increase shutter speed for stills, the quickest way without bringing the drone down is to up the ISO to 200 or 400. That should give you 2-stops faster shutter speed.
     
    Suhail78 likes this.
  9. Suhail78

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    88

    Thanks Trinimon for the detailed response!!! I've always loved photography, but don't really know the technical aspects of it very well. I was out flying my drone Sunday morning on a bright sunny day, in what i thought was a perfect spot, couldn't wait to get home and watch the videos. so when i got home, i found that i had lots of prop shadows in much of the shots, and and it almost looked like a rainbow going right above the center of the frame, so i started looking into the best ways to avoid these issues in the future, and it seems that ND Filters are the answer. now i just need to figure out which ones i want to get for general overall conditions. It seems that a lot of people suggest that i should be covered if i get an ND 8, 16 and 32.
     
  10. dudemang

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Hanahan, SC
    Suhail78 likes this.