ND filters

I bought a set of filters after reading a lot about the benefit of smoother video shooting with a shutter of twice the frame rate.
Might just be my eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be but I’m not really seeing any difference with the filters on.
Is anyone else finding this or do you really see a difference with filters on and lower shutter speed ?

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Im not really sure you see a difference, what the 180 shutter speed does is makes your brain see slight motion blur with movement a more natural look, without the ND filters giving you the 180 rule your brain sees motion in a bit of a stutter Im not sure its a conscious thing

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It does definitely make a difference… but how much depends upon what you are shooting.

So, if you are flying close to things (and thus see lots of detail) or flying a bit quicker, or filming something that moves then having the shutter speed at twice the frame rate (i.e. 30FPS and 1/60 shutter) does introduce some motion blur and smooth things out giving a more natural pleasing effect.

However, you still have to ensure your pans are slow (7 seconds across an entire frame is a generally accepted time) to reduce or remove pan stutter which can look horrible.


I don’t usually shoot anything particularly fast moving so maybe that’s why I’m not seeing much benefit.
One thing I have noticed is they cut out prop shadows.
And I suppose they give the camera lense a bit of protection.

I’m glad it’s not just me then :smiley:

I got some filters for Christmas and whilst I’ve only tried them out once, to be honest, I didn’t notice any difference at all either!

But having read @Jcborden’s post about flying close / flying fast, that’s not something I often do… I tend to be at high alts and moving pretty slowly anyway :blush:

That’s a good stat to know, thanks :+1:

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Same here. Slow moving landscape shots, mostly.
I did try a few shots flying fast and low to the ground but even then I couldn’t see much difference.

In the BRIGHT sunshine of southern Italy, I did find they made a difference with video, even when stationary … totally eliminating that micro-jello that one can get with “busy” content like leaves on trees.

However … mostly I was taking stills (and wanted fast shutter speeds for clarity in RAWs) with bits of video thrown in.
Now we are in the one-flight-for-stills and one-flight-for-video game … which is a total pain in the posterior … so, generally I didn’t bother.

Come on, DJI! Filters built into the camera that can be moved in and out from the app. :wink:

Perhaps that’s what will be in the announcement! :+1:


You won’t always notice a massive difference depending on the type of shot.

If your only flying forwards or backwards there is no motion in the shot, but it will smooth it out a bit from frame to frame.

If you are filming a moving object, travelling sideways, panning or filming fast moving water etc the motion blur will be more noticeable.

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… not to mention a remotely rotatable CP filter!

This I do use (killing haze, particularly in the mountains) … and they are a real faff to use … but the faff can be worth it.

Planning the shot is imperative (because it’s all dependent on sun angle), and I use my DSLR CP filter to look through to determine the best orientation (looking in the same direction as the planned shot, not necessarily at the subject of the planned photo).

But it needs to be a pretty special view to warrant the faff.

Easier to use for reducing reflection off water, since that always uses the same angle.

Reducing light reflections off foliage, and thereby improving colour, is also in the land of faff, for the same “sun angle” reason.

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I can’t get my head round when to use a polarised and non sometimes.

I’ve read about what you describe with angle of sun.

People talk of a polarised filter ruining video as angle changes.

My first mavic filters were the polar pro vivid series then purchased shutter collection.

I used to shoot with ND4PL a lot. Never noticed any negative effect that people talk off but perhaps I don’t know what I’m looking for.

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Difficult to describe …

If you know someone with a much larger DSLR CP filter, it’s easy to hold up to the scene and rotate. Can do it with the Mavic sized ones, but far more difficult.

Water reflections are the easiest to notice … since water is always level, so the filter always needs to be in the default position (mark at the top).
The angle you are pointing down at the water makes a difference, and the calmer the water the better. Works best with an angle onto the water of about 45deg.

Foliage (most) just intensifies in colour, slightly, as it reduces the reflected light. Shinier the leaves, more noticeable the effect … usually.

Haze. Hmmm … how to explain the angle … the filter mark “points at the sun”.
Imagine when the sun is directly above you when you point the lens at the subject, then imagine that you place a mirror in front of the lens, and the angle it would need to be to reflect the sun directly into the lens. The mark on the filter should be at the top!
Now imagine different sun angles and how you would have to rotate the mirror (relative to the lens axis) … THAT is the angle you have to rotate the CP filter marker to.

I still tend to do the “hold a filter to the eye - rotate back-n-forward - end notice the dip in the amount of haze” method … for two reasons …
a) it gets the angle right, and
b) you can see the amount of difference it will make, and decide whether you want to bother
… both at the same time.


I’ve been holding filter up and rotating to its darkest point.

I do notice a difference in colour with foilage, didn’t know that was the reason, thanks.

That’s interesting about the haze, was not aware of that.

Ive had camera’s over the years but never a DSLR. Compacts, bridge and Sony Nex3 &5.

Sometimes I’m tempted to pick up a used DSLR. Its hard to learn the ropes with a flying camera as you have limited flight time, weather and can’t make changes as easy like having to land to change filter.

Might keep my eye open for a used one on eBay with some filters to play with.

You can do it holding the Mavic polariser filter to your eye … or one for your other cameras. Doesn’t have to be full DSLR (mine isn’t : Pansonic GH2 - biggish lenses, admittedly) … just that the larger size makes the exercise more easy.
Just getting one for you other camera and experimenting is probably the cheaper way - and just as informative.

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This demonstrates the kind of difference a polarizing filter can have on haze in sunshine.


That’s a brilliant example mate. Cheers!

I think I know what I’m looking for now and a new purpose for my PL filters


I just bought a set of 4 PGYTECH filters. Only because I could get them cheap. Want to try them out but weather has been very grey and dull. Will ND8 have any effect on cloudy days?

The “N” of ND = “Neutral”.
They only affect exposure, nothing else.

The clouds/sky are normally like the photo posted above. Haven’t got a polarising filter :frowning:

Hi, apologies if answered elsewhere (though did do a quick search, honest!) Have got a 6-pack (I wish :crazy_face:) of filters for my MA and want to start experimenting (hopefully no Storms E/F/G etc imminent :worried:). What is the safe way to remove the existing filter - have used a circular clamp before on my former P3SE but can’t (immediately) find a corresponding equivalent for MA ? Thanks

Don’t make the mistake I did in Italy that I did last year, by wearing polarised sunglasses while doing it.
Could not work out at first why the screen went black!. Then I realised that 2 polarised surfaces act like a variable ND filter and block out all the light FFS!.