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Your smartphone is about to get professional-grade photo filters

Photo filters aren’t something every photographer needs, but for those who do need them, they’re an absolute necessity. It’s for this reason that Sandmarc, a manufacturer of high-quality photo filters for action cameras and drones, has started a Kickstarter campaign to bring its filter technology to smartphones.

Sandmarc is calling its two types of smartphone filters “Drama” and “Scape” filters, but they’re little more than polarizing and neutral density filters, respectively.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are four different filters in total: one polarizing, and three neutral density filters (ND4, ND8, and ND16). Each of the filters attaches to a dedicated clip-on mount, which can then be attached to your smartphone. As a bonus, the filters can be stacked on top of one another for maximum customization.

The polarizer filter is unique in that using it yields a visual result that’s unable to be replicated when editing a photo. Polarizing filters improve dynamic range and contrast in an image by reducing glare, adding saturation to the sky, and minimizing reflections.

“After” photo shot with SANDMARC Drama Filter & iPhone. (Unedited) @dzzdzz012

Neutral Density filters, on the other hand, don’t necessarily change the aesthetic of the image. Instead, they simply reduce the amount of light that’s hitting the sensor. When used with a smartphone, which can sometimes be limited in bright light environment due to its (more often than not) fixed aperture, neutral density filters can make for a more properly exposed image.

Shot using SANDMARC Scape Filter & iPhone 6S Plus. (Unedited) @itskcho

The clip-on design of the filters makes them more universal tools than some other smartphone photography add-ons, but Sandmarc specifically references a few popular phones they are guaranteed to work with:

  • iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 5, iPhone 4, iPhone SE
  • Samsung S8, S8 Plus
  • Samsung S7, S7 Edge
  • Google Pixel
  • LG G6
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sandmarc is $7,000 into its $100,000 Kickstarter goal with 54 days yet to go. If you hop on early enough, you can pick up a “Drama” filter for $29, a set of three “Scape” filters for $49, and a bundle of all four for $79.

If the campaign reaches its goal, Sandmarc expects the first filters to go out in September 2017.

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Gannon Burgett
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