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Do you need ND Filters on a Drone?
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DAFlys
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Do you need ND Filters on a Drone?







10-9 07:02
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DJI Paladin
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Very well-explained video about ND Filters. Great Find! Thanks for sharing this with us, DA! Have a good one.
10-10 01:34
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Montfrooij
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No you don't very often.
10-10 09:08
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kyalami
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Good video and explanations. To be honest, the way I need the videos, I do not think it is important, at least for non professional videographers. I am very happy with he quality and I assume that most of us are hobbyist. I think that all videos looks great on my TV. If I am wrong I apologize.
10-10 10:41
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Lucas775
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It's all a personal preference.
10-10 10:54
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videoeditman
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Do you need the ND filters, maybe. If you are a professional you will know the value of using them, especially on the Air 2S. If you are a hobbyist you don't need them, but you could improve your videos to look more professional if you implement them properly.
10-11 04:54
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DAFlys
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videoeditman Posted at 10-11 04:54
Do you need the ND filters, maybe. If you are a professional you will know the value of using them, especially on the Air 2S. If you are a hobbyist you don't need them, but you could improve your videos to look more professional if you implement them properly.

I have a VND permanently on the M2P and turn it on a few notches any time its bright.   I find a slightly longer exposure yields a nicer quality image.   
10-11 23:41
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Labroides
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DAFlys Posted at 10-11 23:41
I have a VND permanently on the M2P and turn it on a few notches any time its bright.   I find a slightly longer exposure yields a nicer quality image.

I find a slightly longer exposure yields a nicer quality image.  
How is that?
It sounds unlikely.
What aspect of the image is improved by using a longer shutter speed?
10-12 06:35
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DAFlys
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Labroides Posted at 10-12 06:35
I find a slightly longer exposure yields a nicer quality image.   
How is that?
It sounds unlikely.

Shutter speed affects image quality in two principal ways. Firstly the longer the shutter is open (the slower the speed) the more light you get. The more light you get the less noise you have as it evens out the random emission of photons from a lightsource, and raises the signal produced by the sensor above the noise floor (the camera electronics produce a background level of noise, the bigger the signal you generate, by having more photons hit each pixel in the sensor, the less this background noise is noticed). This assumes you alter the other settings (aperture, ISO) to maintain the same exposure (overall brightness) in the image.
There is a point however when a long exposure can make an image noisier as it allows heat to build up on the sensor, which affects the recorded image.
Secondly shutter speed controls the impression of motion in an image. A long exposure/shutter speed blurs motion, giving the impression of greater motion of the camera or subject. It can enhance the image by making athletes or cars look like they're going very fast. It can detract from the image if the subject is not intended to be moving (e.g. a portrait) or if camera motion causes the image to come out blurred.

10-12 06:43
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NickelPlate
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Labroides Posted at 10-12 06:35
I find a slightly longer exposure yields a nicer quality image.   
How is that?
It sounds unlikely.

I'd like to know that too. As near as I can determine by watching youtube videos some people like it because by letting in less light it has a motion blur effect on video (more "cinematic").  Personally I can't stand motion blur such as what we see in the cinemas at 24fps they shoot at. Supposedly also makes some colors "Pop" but honestly I can't see it in before and after pictures, ND filters seem to me to just make things darker and not overexposed but you do the same thing by adjusting the EVO downward if you use the overexposure warnings in DJI Fly app.
10-12 06:46
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Bigplumbs
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No you don't just another way to get at your money
10-12 08:21
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DAFlys
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NickelPlate Posted at 10-12 06:46
I'd like to know that too. As near as I can determine by watching youtube videos some people like it because by letting in less light it has a motion blur effect on video (more "cinematic").  Personally I can't stand motion blur such as what we see in the cinemas at 24fps they shoot at. Supposedly also makes some colors "Pop" but honestly I can't see it in before and after pictures, ND filters seem to me to just make things darker and not overexposed but you do the same thing by adjusting the EVO downward if you use the overexposure warnings in DJI Fly app.

Depends on whether your interested in video or photos.  For video they help achieve the 180 rule which means you don’t get sharp footage with moore effect.   For photos you can get more light into the sensor with the sharpest f stop if the camera.    For example you won’t see many landscape photographers using 1/2000 of a second shutter because it’s a bright day,  they’ll add an nd and possibly a soft grad.
10-12 08:43
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DAFlys
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Bigplumbs Posted at 10-12 08:21
No you don't just another way to get at your money

You don’t “need” them as you say but in some situations you’ll get better images and video by using them.
10-12 08:44
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scubaAnn
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DAFlys Posted at 10-12 06:43
Shutter speed affects image quality in two principal ways. Firstly the longer the shutter is open (the slower the speed) the more light you get. The more light you get the less noise you have as it evens out the random emission of photons from a lightsource, and raises the signal produced by the sensor above the noise floor (the camera electronics produce a background level of noise, the bigger the signal you generate, by having more photons hit each pixel in the sensor, the less this background noise is noticed). This assumes you alter the other settings (aperture, ISO) to maintain the same exposure (overall brightness) in the image.There is a point however when a long exposure can make an image noisier as it allows heat to build up on the sensor, which affects the recorded image.Secondly shutter speed controls the impression of motion in an image. A long exposure/shutter speed blurs motion, giving the impression of greater motion of the camera or subject. It can enhance the image by making athletes or cars look like they're going very fast. It can detract from the image if the subject is not intended to be moving (e.g. a portrait) or if camera motion causes the image to come out blurred.

Nice explanation.  Thanks
10-12 16:05
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Labroides
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DAFlys Posted at 10-12 06:43
Shutter speed affects image quality in two principal ways. Firstly the longer the shutter is open (the slower the speed) the more light you get. The more light you get the less noise you have as it evens out the random emission of photons from a lightsource, and raises the signal produced by the sensor above the noise floor (the camera electronics produce a background level of noise, the bigger the signal you generate, by having more photons hit each pixel in the sensor, the less this background noise is noticed). This assumes you alter the other settings (aperture, ISO) to maintain the same exposure (overall brightness) in the image.There is a point however when a long exposure can make an image noisier as it allows heat to build up on the sensor, which affects the recorded image.Secondly shutter speed controls the impression of motion in an image. A long exposure/shutter speed blurs motion, giving the impression of greater motion of the camera or subject. It can enhance the image by making athletes or cars look like they're going very fast. It can detract from the image if the subject is not intended to be moving (e.g. a portrait) or if camera motion causes the image to come out blurred.

Shutter speed affects image quality in two principal ways. Firstly the longer the shutter is open (the slower the speed) the more light you get. The more light you get the less noise you have as it evens out the random emission of photons from a lightsource, and raises the signal produced by the sensor above the noise floor (the camera electronics produce a background level of noise, the bigger the signal you generate, by having more photons hit each pixel in the sensor, the less this background noise is noticed). This assumes you alter the other settings (aperture, ISO) to maintain the same exposure (overall brightness) in the image.

You are fooling yourself with this.
As near as I can make out, you are suggesting some problem with background noise is being reduced.
What background noise?

Can you find any examples to show the "problem" and some improvement in an image to match this mumbo jumbo?



10-12 17:09
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Labroides
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DAFlys Posted at 10-12 08:43
Depends on whether your interested in video or photos.  For video they help achieve the 180 rule which means you don’t get sharp footage with moore effect.   For photos you can get more light into the sensor with the sharpest f stop if the camera.    For example you won’t see many landscape photographers using 1/2000 of a second shutter because it’s a bright day,  they’ll add an nd and possibly a soft grad.


For photos you can get more light into the sensor with the sharpest f stop if the camera.    For example you won’t see many landscape photographers using 1/2000 of a second shutter because it’s a bright day,  they’ll add an nd and possibly a soft grad.

And none of that applies to drone stills.
There is no need to shoot at the "sharpest f stop".
Most users don't have a controllable aperture anyway, but for users of the Mavic 2 pro or Phantom 4 pro who do, the lens is quite sharp over a range of apertures, rather than a single, magic "sweet spot".

I'm puzzled at the alleged improvement you say can be gained.
What's improved (that can be seen by real people rather than hypothetical extreme pixel peepers)?

10-12 17:15
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DAFlys
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Labroides Posted at 10-12 17:09
Shutter speed affects image quality in two principal ways. Firstly the longer the shutter is open (the slower the speed) the more light you get. The more light you get the less noise you have as it evens out the random emission of photons from a lightsource, and raises the signal produced by the sensor above the noise floor (the camera electronics produce a background level of noise, the bigger the signal you generate, by having more photons hit each pixel in the sensor, the less this background noise is noticed). This assumes you alter the other settings (aperture, ISO) to maintain the same exposure (overall brightness) in the image.

You are fooling yourself with this.

Perhaps you don’t have your images printed large enough to see it.
10-12 21:43
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DAFlys
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Labroides Posted at 10-12 17:15
For photos you can get more light into the sensor with the sharpest f stop if the camera.    For example you won’t see many landscape photographers using 1/2000 of a second shutter because it’s a bright day,  they’ll add an nd and possibly a soft grad.
And none of that applies to drone stills.
There is no need to shoot at the "sharpest f stop".

Firstly yes I do have the Mavic 2 pro with adjustable aperture. But even on the mini 2 I have people saying they can’t believe the quality of image I get with it.  All you need to do is look at the best landscape photographers go see they do not use fast shutter speeds.    In fact many like myself will regularly take an 80 second exposure with a second 80 seconds with the shutter closed completely for noise reduction.  It’s the norm in landscape photography to do this.
10-12 21:47
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DAFlys
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scubaAnn Posted at 10-12 16:05
Nice explanation.  Thanks

Thanks Ann.
10-12 21:47
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DAFlys
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Igorka Posted at 10-12 15:28
By using ND filters you will get better looking footage, and you will have extra protection for the lens.

10-12 21:50
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Labroides
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DAFlys Posted at 10-12 21:47
Firstly yes I do have the Mavic 2 pro with adjustable aperture. But even on the mini 2 I have people saying they can’t believe the quality of image I get with it.  All you need to do is look at the best landscape photographers go see they do not use fast shutter speeds.    In fact many like myself will regularly take an 80 second exposure with a second 80 seconds with the shutter closed completely for noise reduction.  It’s the norm in landscape photography to do this.
Firstly yes I do have the Mavic 2 pro with adjustable aperture.
So ?
But even  on the mini 2 I have people saying they can’t believe the quality of  image I get with it.
And that proves what?
Some random person/s said they like your pix ... big deal.
That doesn't prove a thing about your ND filter nonsense.

All you need to do is look at the best landscape  photographers go see they do not use fast shutter speeds.
The best landscape photographers will choose a shutter speed appropriate for the scene and the effect they want.
And that can be anything from very slow to quite fast.


In fact  many like myself will regularly take an 80 second exposure with a second  80 seconds with the shutter closed completely for noise  reduction.  It’s the norm in landscape photography to do this.

So you are one of the best landscape photographers and along with all the others, you shoot 80 sec exposures because that makes the best images.
Great ... sometimes a long exposure might be a good thing.

But this forum discussion is about drone photography and an 80 second exposure is not an option.

The more you go on, the more it's obvious you have no idea about the topic.
An ND filter is not going to make any improvement to your drone stills, unless it;s to force a shutter speed for effect.
It's not going to change the colour, the saturation or contrast.
It does nothing at all except to force a slower shutter speed.





10-12 21:55
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DAFlys
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Labroides Posted at 10-12 21:55
Complete bunkum
You're fooling yourself
What a lot of tosh

It’s really not.  Just look at any great landscape photographer for proof. You will not find them using crazy fast shutter speeds,  why do you think they use tripods.
10-12 21:59
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Labroides
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DAFlys Posted at 10-12 21:59
It’s really not.  Just look at any great landscape photographer for proof. You will not find them using crazy fast shutter speeds,  why do you think they use tripods.

They use tripods to keep their cameras stable when they choose to shoot a long exposure.
Your idea that they only shoot long exposures is nonsense.

Please read my amended post above.
10-12 22:09
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DAFlys
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Labroides Posted at 10-12 22:09
They use tripods to keep their cameras stable when they choose to shoot a long exposure.
Your idea that they only shoot long exposures is nonsense.

My point is that typically they don’t shoot crazy fast shutter speeds.  The nd filter gives you more control over that as you know.

What I know is that a slower shutter speed whilst still maintaining sharpness works for me and the people that use my images seem happy with them.

If you don’t want to use filters that’s fine but it’s another tool in the kit bag that can be useful.
10-12 22:20
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Labroides
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DAFlys Posted at 10-12 22:20
My point is that typically they don’t shoot crazy fast shutter speeds.  The nd filter gives you more control over that as you know.

What I know is that a slower shutter speed whilst still maintaining sharpness works for me and the people that use my images seem happy with them.

What I know is that a slower shutter speed whilst still maintaining sharpness works for me and the people that use my images seem happy with them.
This doesn't prove the ND filters do anything to improve your images.

If you don’t want to use filters that’s fine but it’s another tool in the kit bag that can be useful.

I don't use ND filters for drone photography, because I don't need to force a slower shutter speed.
If I needed to, I'd consider them.
But as I have a good understanding of photographic principles and what ND filters do (and can't do), I won't be using them for the same reasons you do.
10-12 22:57
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DAFlys
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Labroides Posted at 10-12 22:57
What I know is that a slower shutter speed whilst still maintaining sharpness works for me and the people that use my images seem happy with them.
This doesn't prove the ND filters do anything to improve your images.

That’s fine you do you.  I’m using them as so far the people that use my images are happy with them so I’ll continue to use them when I see gut.
10-12 23:19
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Labroides
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DAFlys Posted at 10-12 23:19
That’s fine you do you.  I’m using them as so far the people that use my images are happy with them so I’ll continue to use them when I see gut.

so far the people that use my images are happy with them
So despite handicapping your photo taking, you get results that your audience is happy with.
That's not proof of anything, particularly when we know nothing of your audience.
Understanding basic photographic principles and what ND filters actually do or how to use them, would probably improve your photography even more.
10-13 00:10
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DAFlys
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Labroides Posted at 10-13 00:10
so far the people that use my images are happy with them
So despite handicapping your photo taking, you get results that your audience is happy with.
That's not proof of anything, particularly when we know nothing of your audience.

Its actually not handicapping the images,   its knowing when to use the ND filter to get best results.  Out of interest how many magazine front covers have used your images?
10-13 00:14
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Labroides
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DAFlys Posted at 10-13 00:14
Its actually not handicapping the images,   its knowing when to use the ND filter to get best results.  Out of interest how many magazine front covers have used your images?

No front covers from drone images.
But I bought a car with the proceeds of photo sales to just one of my clients.
10-13 00:52
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DAFlys
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Labroides Posted at 10-13 00:52
No front covers from drone images.
But I bought a car with the proceeds of photo sales to just one of my clients.

Very nice.   
10-13 00:53
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scubaAnn
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You're welcome.
10-13 03:09
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