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ND filters and 4K video?
3186 18 2017-9-24
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mpwobbly
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I have read a bit about the use of ND filters and I understand, from those that have them, that the video is 'softer' due to the slower shutter speed. I confess upfront that I haven't any knowledge of the use of ND filters on video but I am wondering if using them would be counterproductive if you are trying to get the very best sharp footage for 4K TV? I can see the use of Polarizing Filters for saturation and glare on reflective surfaces but isn't the softer end result from ND filters going to go against the industry trend of maximising 4K clarity?





2017-9-24
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Jenee 2
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I am not an expert but I have not heard of ND filters making the video softer. All an ND filter does is reduce the f-stop so you can get a slower shutter speed. It should not effect sharpness if that is what you are referring to when you use the term "soft".
2017-9-24
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Mike Warren
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Ideally, the shutter speed of a video camera should be fixed at twice the frame rate, so for 30p the shutter speed should be 1/60th of a second. This gives the most natural feeling to the movement. Just enough motion blur so the frames appear to merge into a fluid motion. Slower than that and the picture looks blurry, and much faster than that and the picture can appear to stutter.

Since the only ways you can normally control the exposure are shutter speed, aperture and ISO, once the shutter is fixed on a video camera you are only left with ISO and aperture. The problem with the Mavic is that the aperture is fixed and can't be adjusted, so that only leaves the ISO. And the problem with that is that the minimum ISO is 100, so in good light the video will always be over exposed. Hence the use of ND filters to simulate what shutting the aperture down would do, at least from an exposure point of view. A quality ND filter will not affect sharpness, but using one while shooting in auto is a little pointless s the whole purpose is to gain better control of what the camera is doing. Also, using an ND when the light is too low for it will necessitate either raising the ISO, with will increase the noise,  or lower the shutter speed, which may cause excessive motion blur.
2017-9-24
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mpwobbly
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Jenee 2 Posted at 2017-9-24 19:38
I am not an expert but I have not heard of ND filters making the video softer. All an ND filter does is reduce the f-stop so you can get a slower shutter speed. It should not effect sharpness if that is what you are referring to when you use the term "soft".

Yes I am not an expert either but noted that comment was made on one other post somewhere and wanted to explore the issue and if it were causing problems with sharpness.
2017-9-26
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mpwobbly
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Mike Warren Posted at 2017-9-24 22:49
Ideally, the shutter speed of a video camera should be fixed at twice the frame rate, so for 30p the shutter speed should be 1/60th of a second. This gives the most natural feeling to the movement. Just enough motion blur so the frames appear to merge into a fluid motion. Slower than that and the picture looks blurry, and much faster than that and the picture can appear to stutter.

Since the only ways you can normally control the exposure are shutter speed, aperture and ISO, once the shutter is fixed on a video camera you are only left with ISO and aperture. The problem with the Mavic is that the aperture is fixed and can't be adjusted, so that only leaves the ISO. And the problem with that is that the minimum ISO is 100, so in good light the video will always be over exposed. Hence the use of ND filters to simulate what shutting the aperture down would do, at least from an exposure point of view. A quality ND filter will not affect sharpness, but using one while shooting in auto is a little pointless s the whole purpose is to gain better control of what the camera is doing. Also, using an ND when the light is too low for it will necessitate either raising the ISO, with will increase the noise,  or lower the shutter speed, which may cause excessive motion blur.

Thanks Mike - I think this explains it best. You mention the faster speed can give the appearance of "stutter". Therein seems to be the key to the speed being too fast. Thanks for the answer that I can understand a little better now.
2017-9-26
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StanfordWebbie
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I agree that Mike's answer was very thorough.  His explanation about shutter speed and frame rate is mentioned on many YouTube training videos.   I'd only add that, what helped me, was reading that ND filters are nothing more than sun glasses for your camera.  You need to have your camera set to manual (not auto) when using them, and you need those filters only when filming in bright light.  
2017-9-26
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mpwobbly
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StanfordWebbie Posted at 2017-9-26 17:28
I agree that Mike's answer was very thorough.  His explanation about shutter speed and frame rate is mentioned on many YouTube training videos.   I'd only add that, what helped me, was reading that ND filters are nothing more than sun glasses for your camera.  You need to have your camera set to manual (not auto) when using them, and you need those filters only when filming in bright light.

Thanks StanfordWebbie - now I need to find a good explanation of how to use the manual settings and using an ND filter in Manual Mode. Any suggestions or links?
2017-9-28
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DocAraxá
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Mike Warren Posted at 2017-9-24 22:49
Ideally, the shutter speed of a video camera should be fixed at twice the frame rate, so for 30p the shutter speed should be 1/60th of a second. This gives the most natural feeling to the movement. Just enough motion blur so the frames appear to merge into a fluid motion. Slower than that and the picture looks blurry, and much faster than that and the picture can appear to stutter.

Since the only ways you can normally control the exposure are shutter speed, aperture and ISO, once the shutter is fixed on a video camera you are only left with ISO and aperture. The problem with the Mavic is that the aperture is fixed and can't be adjusted, so that only leaves the ISO. And the problem with that is that the minimum ISO is 100, so in good light the video will always be over exposed. Hence the use of ND filters to simulate what shutting the aperture down would do, at least from an exposure point of view. A quality ND filter will not affect sharpness, but using one while shooting in auto is a little pointless s the whole purpose is to gain better control of what the camera is doing. Also, using an ND when the light is too low for it will necessitate either raising the ISO, with will increase the noise,  or lower the shutter speed, which may cause excessive motion blur.

Perfect answer!
For example, for me, that live in Brazil, with so much sunlight, it is almost impossible to fly without ND filters.
Cheers.
2017-9-29
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Montfrooij
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Mike Warren Posted at 2017-9-24 22:49
Ideally, the shutter speed of a video camera should be fixed at twice the frame rate, so for 30p the shutter speed should be 1/60th of a second. This gives the most natural feeling to the movement. Just enough motion blur so the frames appear to merge into a fluid motion. Slower than that and the picture looks blurry, and much faster than that and the picture can appear to stutter.

Since the only ways you can normally control the exposure are shutter speed, aperture and ISO, once the shutter is fixed on a video camera you are only left with ISO and aperture. The problem with the Mavic is that the aperture is fixed and can't be adjusted, so that only leaves the ISO. And the problem with that is that the minimum ISO is 100, so in good light the video will always be over exposed. Hence the use of ND filters to simulate what shutting the aperture down would do, at least from an exposure point of view. A quality ND filter will not affect sharpness, but using one while shooting in auto is a little pointless s the whole purpose is to gain better control of what the camera is doing. Also, using an ND when the light is too low for it will necessitate either raising the ISO, with will increase the noise,  or lower the shutter speed, which may cause excessive motion blur.

Great explanation!
2017-9-29
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StanfordWebbie
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mpwobbly Posted at 2017-9-28 16:00
Thanks StanfordWebbie - now I need to find a good explanation of how to use the manual settings and using an ND filter in Manual Mode. Any suggestions or links?

Try this:  
Also, go to YouTube.com and do a search for "Mavic and Camera settings:"  Tons of great tutorial videos are there.
2017-9-29
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mpwobbly
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StanfordWebbie Posted at 2017-9-29 06:55
Try this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUGT9Vfd6kY
Also, go to YouTube.com and do a search for "Mavic and Camera settings:"  Tons of great tutorial videos are there.

Fantastic video - thanks for providing the link. Cheers!
2017-9-30
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CoreyB10
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Dude - Done to death - Have a look at this post from a few weeks ago and PM Oliver from the guys at PP for filter info etc - https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=113679
2017-9-30
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Mike Warren
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I don't now if there have been changes to the camera firmware since that Tom's Tech Time video, but my observation shows really aggressive noise reduction is applied, even at ISO 100 when the sharpness is set to anything below +1. This NR causes any dark foliage to turn to mush.

I have spent quite a few hours testing the Mavic camera. As someone who has done photography and video both as a hobby and professionally for over 35 years I'm confident I have come up with the best settings, but unfortunately, it does require a bit of work in post production.

Resolution UHD, Sharpness: +1, contrast: 0, saturation: 0. White balance either cloudy or sunny, depending on the light. Colour profile D-Log. ISO 100 unless absolutely no choice. ND filter if required to keep shutter speed close to 1/50th of a second. I aim for between 1/250th and 1/50th.

ND filters add another glass layer which increases the already bad lens flare of the Mavic when shooting into or nearly into the sun so I will avoid the use of them if at all possible in that situation.

Post processing requires a LUT or curves adjustment while checking a scope. Other colour processing may be required depending on the shot. I also have to add a 1.3 pixel fast blur to try to tame the over-sharpness. Noise reduction may also be needed depending on the shot.

Doing all of this has allowed me to get footage that will cut reasonably well with professional cameras if used sparingly.

And finally, I just accept that there are some situations where the footage is just going to be unusable in a professional situation.

I purchased the Mavic specifically to help with a nature documentary I'm making in my spare time and so far have about 30 seconds of footage I consider suitable.
2017-10-1
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mpwobbly
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Mike Warren Posted at 2017-10-1 19:13
I don't now if there have been changes to the camera firmware since that Tom's Tech Time video, but my observation shows really aggressive noise reduction is applied, even at ISO 100 when the sharpness is set to anything below +1. This NR causes any dark foliage to turn to mush.

I have spent quite a few hours testing the Mavic camera. As someone who has done photography and video both as a hobby and professionally for over 35 years I'm confident I have come up with the best settings, but unfortunately, it does require a bit of work in post production.

Thanks Mike for the detailed response - for a newcomer it is a bit daunting to have to do so many settings to get a video that you can be happy with but I guess you get to that point from a lot of experience. Appreciate the time you took.
2017-10-2
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mpwobbly
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CoreyB10 Posted at 2017-9-30 22:05
Dude - Done to death - Have a look at this post from a few weeks ago and PM Oliver from the guys at PP for filter info etc - https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=113679

Yes Dude I suppose you are right it has been done to death for some and for others it is new information for people getting a drone for the first time. The same applies to those with video and photographic experience and newcomers. I'm new to all of the above and new to forums as well (I am not on Facebook, Instagram or any other those other blab fests)  I'm getting ready to turn 70 - thanks to all those that have the patience to help people like me out. But I genuinely, thank you for providing a link in your response I appreciate it.
2017-10-2
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Oracle Miata
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CoreyB10 Posted at 2017-9-30 22:05
Dude - Done to death - Have a look at this post from a few weeks ago and PM Oliver from the guys at PP for filter info etc - https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=113679

This post is terrible. This community is of varying ages and varying levels of expertise, deal with it.  Also side-note,  Kenny Block sucks at rallying and you and your avatar should feel bad.
2017-10-2
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mpwobbly
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Oracle Miata Posted at 2017-10-2 07:46
This post is terrible. This community is of varying ages and varying levels of expertise, deal with it.  Also side-note,  Kenny Block sucks at rallying and you and your avatar should feel bad.

Thanks for your response - I used 'Dude' in my response (not my usual method of starting a sentence) because my son is a mad PS gamer and I hear it used all the time amongst his friends and it comes out from time to time when I get amongst his friends - the gaming 'Dudes'. I might be getting old but I can still handle a PS controller when challenged. Anyway, thanks and Hi to Corey810 if he is still in the thread (I'm picking up the lingo OK)
2017-10-2
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CoreyB10
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Oracle Miata Posted at 2017-10-2 07:46
This post is terrible. This community is of varying ages and varying levels of expertise, deal with it.  Also side-note,  Kenny Block sucks at rallying and you and your avatar should feel bad.

Both me and my avatar feel fine. I understand the post and my comments. OK, so I apologise to mpwobbly for the initial response but I supplied the link and hopefully he now has some insight as to how and what filters do. What I feel bad about is your need to drop to immature pokes at my avatar and the fact that you personally think Ken Block sucks at rallying. Get off your PC high horse man.
2017-10-3
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Oracle Miata
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CoreyB10 Posted at 2017-10-3 22:28
Both me and my avatar feel fine. I understand the post and my comments. OK, so I apologise to mpwobbly for the initial response but I supplied the link and hopefully he now has some insight as to how and what filters do. What I feel bad about is your need to drop to immature pokes at my avatar and the fact that you personally think Ken Block sucks at rallying. Get off your PC high horse man.

I will gladly dismount my steed when you get off you pony and show some respect to others.  And Ken Block sucks at rallying, and it's "fanbois" like you that keep him "hooning" around old airfields because he has no talent when it comes to actual competition.  Just the facts man.
2017-10-4
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