DRONE ND FILTERS – HOW TO EASILY CHOOSE THE RIGHT FILTER | DJI MINI 2, MAVIC AIR 2
So what is an nd filter? Then an nd filter very simply is a colored piece of glass which limits the amount of light going into your cameras sensor. It is as simple as that. It does not affect your video in any way in terms of color. It doesnt make your video any sharper or blurry it. Doesnt increase your saturation. It is very simply effectively like a set of sunglasses for your drone. When do you need to use nd filters, then? So again, many youtubers will give you a wrong piece of information when it comes to nd photos and when you should use them, many people will claim it is a sunny day. You must have a set of nd filters that very simply is not the case. The correct answer as to when you should use nd filters is very simply whenever you want to achieve motion blur in your video. It is as simple as that in this video im not going to go into the ins and outs of nd filters. Ive already done that on a previous video, and you can check that out using a link in the description below when you are filming. Video, okay and you want to achieve cinema standard motion blur within your video. You should set your shutter speed at double your frame rate, so if youre shooting at 24 frames per second, you would ideally use 48 um for your shutter speed. But of course we dont have that, so we use the clusters, which is 50 or if you were shooting at 30 frames per second, you would choose 60 and so on and so on.
All that is to do is to get motion blur inside your video. Okay. Now, for that to happen, you have to be actually shooting something with motion in it. Now that doesnt mean if youve got your drone up in the air, and you are flying along the video you have or the video feed that doesnt constitute as motion. What would constitute as motion is, if you had your drone up in the air, and you was filming somebody running up fast or recording a motorcycle or something like that or recording a car moving. That would constitute as motion inside your video, okay heres. A brief demonstration on screen now as to what would happen if you didnt use md filters. So if you dont use nd filters and you just leave your drone set on alter, as you can see when we pause the video here, you have got a very, very crisp image of me doing some star jumps and of course, if you want to set your Shutter speed or double your frame rate. Of course your shutter is going to be open for longest its going to let in too much light. So again, if we try to do and achieve cinematic motion blur without an nd filter, we just get a massively overexposed image and then, of course, if we do use an nd filter, we can get our properly exposed image and, of course, we can also achieve that Motion blur, like i said, please do check out my other video, so you know you know exactly what im talking about, but that is the brief summary one of the major questions people do ask is on nd filters.
How do you know which one to use on a particular day, of course again it doesnt, particularly matter whether its sunny or dull, so for this i have dji midi 2. I have a really nice set of nd filters provided to me by freewell gear. You know theyre a really really nice setting pretty much does come with everything, but this isnt a brand promotion. This is teaching you how to use them, although i will add that free well are about the best in the business. Okay – and we are also going to use this light source here, which is going to take place, and this is going to mimic the sun so heres. Something quite interesting then – and this is built in within the dji flight – app a really really nice feature and im going to show you in that dji flight app how you can use it to expo your image correctly. Very simply because one of the major questions people do ask is on nd filters. How do you know which one to use on a particular day, of course again it doesnt, particularly matter whether its sunny or dull, you if you are getting an overexposed image, then of course any time is right for nd filters, but, like i said they do not Do anything for photos unless you want long exposure photography, they dont enhance your image. They dont enhance your picture. They very simply just act as a pair of sunglasses.
So if we look at the dji flight app, then you can see i am in an automatic setting when we are in automatic mode. What happens? Is the drone manually sorts its shutter speed out to limit the amount of light coming in to make sure that your image is exposed correctly? However, what we need to do is we need to alter that by switching into manual mode. So if we switch the from where it says auto, you can now see pro. I am pointing the drum directly at the light source. Hopefully, you can see that if we look in the bottom right corner, you will see a figure that shows plus 1.0 and effectively. That is the drone telling you that it is over exposed by plus one. So it generally goes up in not point three increments. Okay, now very quickly, i want to show you something else which many people do actually use which im not so keen on. If we go into the menu, so the top three buttons and then we click over exposure warning, you get these zebra lines all over any particular light source, and some people suggest checking that or checking the histogram. But the problem with that is, it might work in a studio when im doing this video, but when we go out in the real world and youre trying to film anything, thats overexposed the zebra lines really do get in the way and block your shot effectively.
I dont really like to use them, but im going to show you this other method in that bottom corner. We are overexposed by plus one the simple way to do. It would be to just increase our shutter speed, okay, but then that stops us getting the cinematic motion blur, because our shutter is basically too high. So what we need to do is we need to knock that back down to one over 50. There we go, and this is where nd filters come in, so for the start, im going to pick nd4, and that is what the nd filter looks like for the dji mini 2 and these, of course fit the mavic mini as well, because it is the same Camera so very simply, im going to tilt the drone down and im going to just slot that in place there you go nice and simple, and what im going to do is im going to put the drone back in front of our light source and, as you Can see that has not changed now if we look back at our dji flight app, we are now underexposed by 0.7. Underexposed is fine because you can always brighten it up in post. If you need to, however, this is perfect. If you have a solid and fixed light source, but in the real world that doesnt particularly happen, does it because this could be the amount of light thats getting hitting your sensor when the sun is behind the cloud? What happens when that cloud moves? Very simply, this gets brighter okay, this gets brighter and then your drone image then becomes overexposed once again, as you can see, that is now far too bright, and if we look again back in the bottom corner, that is telling us our exposure is plus 1.
0. So again, overexposed, so what were going to do is were going to go ahead and switch from the nd4 which is on and well try the nd8, which is, of course, the next stop up so very quickly. Lets change that so there you go, that is the nda on. If we go back to our dji fly app, you will see in the bottom corner again we are 0.0 and that has worked perfect for absolutely perfect exposure. That is how you use the dji fly. App as a very simple hacking tool to be able to ensure that your image is exposed correctly, of course, there is no absolute guarantee which one you want to set it at some people deliberately over expose their image. Like i did on this video filming ships, i deliberately overexposed it so then i could blow out blow out the highlights. So then, the colors really did sort of uh look really really nice and sharp. Because of the look that i was applying, so that was deliberate but of course its all done to personal preference. Now, of course again, this is all down to the dji flight, app having this little inbuilt tool that you can use to do this if youre not using a dji drone. Very simply, you can just play around put your video feed on on your phone and just basically point your drone around and just see what image you are happy with. So hopefully you found this little guide useful and again, i just thought doing it this way.
Using these and the freewell filters, of course, i just thought that this was a much easier way to demonstrate how to do this without having to go out and mess around and, of course, ive got a controllable light source. I can really show how you use that little tool, so hopefully you found that useful if you do want to pick up a set of the free world filters, links in the description below theyre, a really really good piece of kit.