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ND Filter: Which type is best?
1425 6 2015-6-25
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HunterBrooks
Second Officer

United States
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There appear to be two main types of ND filters; 1) the screw-on type like from Polar Pro that screws onto the end of the P3 camera, and 2) the thin wafer type that just gets inserted behind the existing UV-filter on the camera.

From an altering the natural balance of the gimbal perspective, the second type naturally has less impact.  But what about performance.  A few people mentioned that they were going to do a side-by-side comparison and post a video, but I haven't seen that yet.  If that does exist, can someone please reply with the link.  I'd like to see that video.

Otherwise, for those who have tried both, how would you compare the video quality of the two types.

Thanks!
2015-6-25
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marco58
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Italy
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I have tested filters (2) (ND16 by PhantomFilters), and I can compare their performance wrt no filter at all: no visible colour drift, no visible loss in image uniformity and resolution (video 1080p, no sense to use them in photography, no idea on 4K). However, they are not easy to be managed (better never touch it, better not to remove it on the field). The best is to buy another DJI UV filter, and to keep one with the gel filter inside, the other without. Or to wait for DJI ND filters....
2015-6-25
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ditzlerphoto
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Flight distance : 37470 ft
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marco58 Posted at 2015-6-26 15:46
I have tested filters (2) (ND16 by PhantomFilters), and I can compare their performance wrt no filte ...

I have another solution and that is to apply the ND filter film to the outside of the existing lens with no modifications. You simply side on this 3D printed ring to hold them. It works well and only adds 0.7 grams of weight to the gimbal. You can change it in seconds in the field and you don't need tools.





The filter material I use is probably the same as phantomfilters.com except mine are sized a littler larger to go outside the existing UV filter and not inside. I get the ND filters from Rosco from a professional lighting company here in Chicago.

I sell these on eBay as a filter set without the ring if you have a 3D Printer or with the ring and filters or even a double set with two ring and 6 filters. If you need more ND than a 3-stop filter you can also stack them. I have them in-stock and I usually ship the same day.



I haven't tested mine agains the PolarPro filters but I would imagine the performance would be similar. The PolarPro's are probably more durable but also more expensive.

Here is a link to the Double set.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/271912147328

Here are some of my notes to determine what amount you need.

If you are serious about getting the best video quality from your DJI Phantom 3 then you want to shoot with the best settings. The most professional look is achieved by shooting at a shutter speed that is DOUBLE what the frame rate is.

For example:
1080P/60  = 1/120 second
4k/30 = 1/60 second

Typical settings: please preview with the DJI app and turn off auto-exposure
Bright overcast daylight - 1080P/60 = 3-stop reduction
Bright daylight - 1080P/60 = 4-stop reduction

Bright overcast daylight - 4K/30 = 4-stop reduction
Bright daylight - 4k/30 = 5-stop reduction

Stackable design:
To get 4-stops of reduction simply add the 3-stop filter and a 1-stop filter.

I hope that helps.

cheers
-david


2015-6-26
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aburkefl
First Officer
Flight distance : 78612 ft
United States
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marco58 Posted at 2015-6-26 15:46
I have tested filters (2) (ND16 by PhantomFilters), and I can compare their performance wrt no filte ...

Agree partly. I bought a small collection of the PhantomFilters as well. Yes, they are very small, very thin and susceptible to a good breeze in the field.

What the hey - sit in your vehicle and change filters. You can also buy filter holders - gobs of places online if you're not near a big city - and keep them safe, segregated and labeled.

I much prefer the idea of the individual "wafer" format - the balance of the gimbal has already been brought into question by some. These wafer-style ND filters from PhantomFilters add virtually nothing to the weight on the camera.

I don't have any professional equipment to measure what's actually being produced - but the results look nice to me.
2015-6-26
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YKM
lvl.4
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You could consider this ND4/8/16 filter set, 2 grams (same as DJI UV filter and no need to worry about the motor overheat), aluminum frame with thread on design will be available at
http://taco-rc.com/taco-rc-nd-fi ... ance-free-shipping/



2015-6-26
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HunterBrooks
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I guess I'll ask the question a different way ...

Does every ND filter provide the exact same level of video quality no matter which brand or method you use to attach it to the P3 camera?

Thanks!
2015-6-26
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YKM
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HunterBrooks Posted at 2015-6-26 22:59
I guess I'll ask the question a different way ...

Does every ND filter provide the exact same leve ...

You could email us for the original uncompressed demo video ant then you could compare the quality with other solution.   We do not have the gel filter.  Though it looks much cheaper than glass filter, please be noted that glass filter will not fade with time and gel filter should be replaced occasionally.
2015-6-26
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