Do You Need ND Filters for Your Drone?
So i test and review lots of drones cameras, lenses, places like this, give you tips and tutorials on how to use them. So if thats something interests you consider subscribing today, i want to show you when you do need nd filters and when you dont, full disclosure free will did send these filters to me, but theyre not paying for this video theyre, not sponsoring this video in any other Way – and they get no input into this video before slash, in fact, they dont even know im making this video, but i got to say ive always been a big fan of free, well filters. Ive purchased a lot of them myself and they make a good quality product at a reasonable price. First, we need to talk about why we talk about nd filters so much, and the big thing is that you want to have a natural amount of motion blur in your shots. Now there are times where you can break this rule, but for the most part to mimic what our eye sees when you see something in fast motion like if im shaking my hand like this, you want it to have a certain amount of blur. So if you hold your hand out – and you shake it like, this youll see your fingers sort of blur together as its moving really fast. We want to emulate that with film and with video. The way we do, that is whatever frame rate you shoot at.
So if youre shooting at 24 frames a second or 30 frames, a second or 60 frames a second, you want to double that and make that your shutter speed. So if you shoot at 24, youd want one over 48 or you know one over 50 is where most cameras end up or if youre shooting at 30 frames a second. You want to shoot at one over 60 for a shutter speed and if you shoot at 60 frames a second, you want it at 1 over 120. and doing that doubling the frame rate that you shoot out with your shutter speed gives you the right amount of Motion blur for what our eyes and what our brains are used to, seeing that was settled on a standard a very long time ago, because they realized that thats kind of where our brains end up and what looks natural to us, not to say that you cant Get away without it, but if you do it looks odd everything looks a little stuttery and a little jittery, and just a little bit strange because were used to seeing that motion blur so were trying to do is emulate what our eyes see. How our brain interpret motion, how our brains interpret motion as were seeing things in fast motion to mimic that natural amount of motion blur thats, where nd filters come in because most drones, even the mavic 3, has a limited amount of aperture and even a good camera Has a limited amount of aperture that you can close down and lessen the amount of light coming into the sensor.
So the way we do that, especially on drones and especially on drones without an aperture, is to use an nd filter because an nd filter acts like sunglasses because holy crap is it bright out here with the sun out and without sunglasses on? But basically, if you can see this here, it darkens everything around it, its not that you cant see through it. You can, but it definitely darkens it, and so we want an nd filter to be able to lower our shutter speed and to keep our shutter speed. Where we need to be at two times whatever our frame rate is thats, where nd filters come in and thats. Why? I love variable nd filters, because it gives you a fair amount of leeway without having to change any uh filters out quite a bit. But like this set from freewell comes with an nd4 and e8 and d16 and d32 nd 64 and then some massive, like indy, 1000 nd 2000 for long exposure, photography and stuff um that between an nd4 and an nd32, is kind of the minimum of what you Want an nd 64 is really nice if youre in places like this, where the sun is insanely, bright and youve got white snow everywhere, and all that light is bouncing back into the filter or into the sensor and d64 is is good, but for today were weve Been using mostly an nd32 to get away with what we need to, but there are times when you can get away without it first.
This is when you cannot. You really need to follow the 180 degree shutter rule when youre filming anything in fast motion. As you can see here, these shots as im. You know, chasing myself or tracking myself or my my dad uh on the snow machine were moving along. Pretty fast were moving at a good clip about 20 miles an hour, and you want everything to look natural in motion blur. It does a couple of different things, one, it makes things look natural to your eye and it also helps to separate your subject from the surrounding area, because everything moving has a little bit of blur to it, and your subject remains nice and sharp. As you can see here in this frame when i pause it so when youre filming anything that has fast motion fast action, cars, people running anything like that, its really important to have the proper amount of shutter speed for the frame rate youre shooting because it gives It what looks like a natural look to our eyes and to our brains, as i explained earlier, but there are times when you can break this rule and thats. What i want to show you next, so one of the times that you can break the 180 degree. Shutter rule, where theres a couple of different times, one is if youre moving, really slow and the stuff that youre filming doesnt have a lot of fast action to it. So, for example, me setting up out here in the middle of nowhere and ive, got just a really nice orbit going on with the drone at a really slow speed here, youre, not really going to notice a difference if it has proper shutter speed or not proper Shutter speed because the motion, the movement of the drone, is so slow and everything around it is moving, so slow its not as critical to to make sure youre hitting that 180 degree shutter rule.
But here, as you can see, as we pick up the speed it is, it becomes more and more important. The faster you go to have that proper shutter shutter speed compared to the frame rate, youre filming so like this proper shutter speed pause it here. You can see that everything looks blurry. Oh you know everything. Thats moving fast looks blurry, whereas this improper shutter speed as soon as we pause it here. Everything looks sharp and like individual pictures and thats. What gives you that jittery sort of odd feeling? Because your brain is trying to go well, there should be motion blur. Everything should look a little blurry as its moving around, but it doesnt. So something looks off, but there are other times when you can. You know record without worrying about shutter speed and the biggest time is like, if youre just going out to have fun film, stuff, film, your friends and family out on the beach or maybe in the frozen wilderness. Uh then, and all youre going to do is post. That on social media, you want to share that adventure with friends and family dont worry about the shutter speed just put the drone in auto and film capture. The moment. Thats really whats important at that time. But if youre going to do work for clients, people who are paying you to do work, people who demand a certain level of work like tv shows or anything like that, its much more important that you pay close attention to that shutter speed the 180 degree rule Because they will notice when its not right now there are some other times where you can break that rule a little bit and thats.
When youre going to do some motion tracking or youre going to do some post work with like vfx, then they typically actually want you to shoot at a much higher shutter angle, like a 90 degree, shutter rule or higher, because they want to be able to track Everything in there and the more blurry stuff gets the harder it is for them to track. So when youre involved with filming a shop for vfx or filming a shop for motion tracking something later into that particular location, its really important that you know that ahead of time. So communication is great so that you can set your shutter speed accordingly and typically, when im doing that, like if im filming, say at 30 frames a second ill set, my shutter speed at maybe one over 120 or maybe one over 180, or something like that. To make sure i get just a little bit sharper frame every frame looks a little sharper in the computer software for tracking for the vfx, whatever theyre going to be doing has a much easier time, and then they can add motion blur after theyre done putting in The visual effects that they want to put in, but thats the only other time when youre doing professional work that you may want to break the 180 degree shutter rule. Now, if you want to learn other ways, you can improve your drone videography and photography click or tap right. There i put together a small playlist ill, see one of those videos.