While many Phantom and Mavic users are likely satisfied with the look of unmodified footage from their drones, those using them for real filmmaking may need something more. Cinema cameras are often shot at slow shutter speeds, usually around 1/48 of a second. This slow shutter speed allows for a small amount of motion blur, which in turn lends a smoothness to moving pictures. In order to achieve this relatively slow shutter speed without overexposing the image, neutral density (ND) filters are used to limit the amount of light coming into the camera. This is especially important on bright, sunny days.
PolarPro offers a variety of ND filters for both the Mavic and the Phantom 4 that cut different amounts of light depending on the conditions. The ND4 filter cuts two stops of light and is suitable for overcast days, while the denser ND32 (five stops) is better in direct sunlight. ND8 and ND16 filters are also available.
The PolarPro circular polarizer (CP) filters block polarized light, reducing glare and increasing contrast by darkening bright skies. As weight and balance limitations of the drone’s gimbal limit the number of filters that can be attached, PolarPro also offers combined CP/ND filters at varying densities so that filmmakers can get both effects in a single filter.
For the Mavic Pro, PolarPro is offering both a three pack and six pack of filters. The three pack ($69) includes one CP and two ND filters, while the six pack ($99) adds a denser ND and two CP/ND filters. For the Phantom 4, the Vivid Collection ($99) offers three CP/ND filters while the Shutter Collection ($99) features ND16, ND32, and ND64 filters for working in very bright conditions.
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