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Using filters on your phantom: A review

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Octoruss, May 6, 2016.

  1. Octoruss

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    At the advice of other forum members, I bought a 3-pack of filters from Amazon. They included a polarizing filter, an ND4 and an ND8 filter. I live in Florida where it is always bright and sunny, and I oped these would help mute some of the harshness in my photos and videos.

    Here are the results of using those various filters and none at all. First I took some photos, then a video clip to see the differences. Which one do you think looks best?

    1. No Filter/DJI standard cover
    2. Polarizing filter
    3. ND4 Filter
    4. ND8 filter

    And here's an edited video with 4 sequential video files using the various filters:
     

    Attached Files:

    Beavs Bird and Cnovamd like this.
  2. matti

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    Can you turn the polarizing filter to the optimum effect to the major view? Or is it just too cumbersome to do so .. or just impossible to do at ground level before the AC is flying?

    I don't have any filters yet. So just today I couldn't use the "the general rule of thumb is to use a shutter speed that is the inverse double of the frame rate. For instance, if the frame rate is 25fps, use a shutter of 1/50s".
     
  3. Thomas Cole

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    I pretty well keep my polarizer on all the time. Produces the most balanced results and good protection for the lens.
     
  4. alokbhargava

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    First of all your cam is not held horizontally by gimbal. You need roll correction. You see more sky on left than right.

    I liked the one with No filters :) if you are using filters, you need to post process your files.

    Also you should know why are you using filters for?
     
    #4 alokbhargava, May 7, 2016
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
  5. Fplvert

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    I like the polarized one, they cut the glare and make the sky a nice blue. This is really pronounced with any clouds in the sky.

    Ideally, I would use a combination of polarized with a ND 8-16. Here's an example with no post correction (CP-ND8).
     
    dirkclod likes this.
  6. YoshiK1

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    I just don't get the polariser. I'm a photographer and use the polariser and ND filters all the time on my DSLR. Using polarisers on a Phantom is cumbersome and not practical as to get the best results the camera needs to be 90 degrees to the sun in order for it to have full effect. Not only that you need to rotate the filter for effect too. This means you need to adjust and then take it to the height you want and then perhaps still need to adjust.

    Unless taking photos and you can get the angles right for the polariser then I wouldn't even bother using one and would just use the ND filters instead.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  7. alokbhargava

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    Very nice.
     
  8. matti

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    You expressed it better than I tried to in my previous message.

    So: is a polariser a waste of money in a drone because you can't adjust and rotate it while the AC is up? Is a polarizer then acting as a ND filter?
     
    YoshiK1 likes this.
  9. YoshiK1

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    Depends on how you would use it I'd say. It'll darken the image a little but likely would only be around a single stop of exposure, if that. In photography they're a must have for landscape photographers to remove glare. On a drone.....well it will work but your orientation would be restricted to 90 degrees to the sun and would take you some time to perfect the full effect of the polariser due to you having to take off then land to adjust it if it wasn't right. For videos I won't use mine. If there's an opportunity for a fantastic aerial photo and I need to reduce the glare on the water or other reflective surface then I'll use it but I think I'll barely use my CPL.

    Another thing is that what happens if you're flying on a super bright day and need to reduce the exposure AND glare? You can only fit one filter on at a time. If you select the polariser you'll likely still be over exposed. You'll pick the ND filter over the polariser every time because if you don't you'll get no photo or footage at all. When I'm doing photography I can use a polariser plus up to 3 ND filters on my camera.

    It'll be handy to have one just in case you do need it but I wouldn't go on the pretence that you'll never have it off.

    Hope this helps? Lol.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
    matti likes this.
  10. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    "I oped these would help mute some of the harshness in my photos and videos."

    The polarizer may reduce "harshness" in photos when there is bright light and a lot of reflection.

    The ND filters are not for that at all. In fact, while they CAN be used for photos if you need to reduce the shutter speed (which is not a typical requirement for still photography from a drone), the ND filters are for slowing down the video shutter speed when you are using lower frame rates.

    You don't have to do this; it is something you do if you are desire to use a slower frame rate for the look and feel that gives you (insert long discussion on what that is and why you want it, but I'm just here to say that ND filters are not to "mute some of the harshness"). Without the ND filter, video will use higher shutter speeds and you can also select higher frame rates and the "harshness" will not be worse. The video just have a different quality, and some people prefer THAT look (think of the high-frame rate films in theaters, such as Peter Jackson's Hobbit films).

    "is a polariser a waste of money in a drone because you can't adjust and rotate it?"

    No. On a DSLR, a "circular polarizer" does have a rotating front element and those are the best for those hand-held cameras.

    But you can still have a polarized filter (not a circular, so non-rotating front element) that changes your optics. Think polarized sunglasses, which do not have a rotating front element. (Sunglasses aren't a perfect example as they also typically change the color of the scene). What these will do for your drone is reduce reflections somewhat from glass or water surfaces.
     
  11. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    I ended up with the Polar Pro 6 pack, which comes with ND filters with and ND filters without polarization. So:

    • ND4
    • ND4-PL
    • ND8
    • ND8-PL

    Etc.
     
  12. YoshiK1

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    Didn't know they came like that! I'll need to have a look. I bought the polar pro 3 pack CPL, ND4 and ND8.

    That could change things then from what I said earlier.

    Thanks! :)


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  13. matti

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    Hey but if I rotate my head the sun glare changes and the LCD displays turn dark.
     
  14. anykill

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    I just use cpl on all my videos a cheap one from China and the sky are superb and no reflections at all. I just set it before takeoff
     
  15. Noodle

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    I like the enhanced blue colour (UK spelling) of the sky with the polarised filter, but I don't like the coolness of the trees on the ground. I like the stock DJI filter that gives a better warmth and greener trees.

    ND filters are just to reduce the amount of light entering the camera sensor, so they are not as useful for still photos. Better use in videography, like A speck of cereal has mentioned, to create that cinematic motion-blur effect.